Victorian Election 2014 – What’s going on in the Legislative Council?

On the count so far it is looking like the new Labor Government is going to face a wide assortment of parties in the upper house. I want to look at how this has happened. This is based on the count today (day after election) so there is still more counting to go, and this is using Antony Green’s calculator so it is assuming all ticket votes. It is not unknown for the result to differ based on below the line votes (I believe this was a decisive factor in the 2013 Tasmanian Senate election), particularly since Victoria has optional preferencing below the line which makes below the line voting a less arduous task. In particular, these are not my predictions of what the final outcome will be.

The short reason why there are lots of surprising results is above the line voting. It is not preferential voting itself, which is an excellent system and much fairer than first past the post systems, the problem is that above the line votes allow for all of the votes for micro parties to be funneled together in ways that would not happen if people selected their own preferences.

 

Eastern Met (3 Liberal, 1 Labor, 1 Green)

This one is pretty much in line with first preferences, though a first past the post result would give a second Labor rather than Green. Only one micro (for these purposes anyone besides Lib, Lab, Nat, Grn) gets over 2% here, the DLP. The Greens get a big boost when Voluntary Euthanasia get elected, this frees up preferences from Sex, Cyclists and Animal Justice as well, giving Greens a decent lead over Labor for the last spot. It’s actually PUP preferences which put them over a quota, but by this point the Greens lead over Labor is big enough that they still win the last spot regardless of where PUP preferences go.

Eastern Vic (2 Labor, 1 Liberal, 1 National, 1 Shooters & Fishers)

There is a serious preference harvest here with Shooters & Fishers starting on about 2.4%. On a first past the post count the Greens would have the last spot. S&F get it because just about every micro preferences them, this includes all the Christian parties, People Power and PUP but also Sex and Cyclists, which is rather questionable. The cyclist numbers are so small as to have negligible effect, the Sex numbers are much larger, though it isn’t really clear that them preferencing the Greens as they did elsewhere would change the final result anyway, S&F get a lot of votes from the LDP. I’m no fan of Shooters and Fishers but a lot of people in Eastern Vic do like the small right wing/ christian parties, just about a quotas worth. The support for them from PUP was fairly important in making sure they stayed ahead of the LDP who might otherwise win off these preferences. That said, with about above the line voting I think that many of these votes would exhaust and Shooters & Fishers would not get anywhere near a winning position.

North Met (2 Labor, 1 Liberal, 1 Green , 1 Sex)

On First preferences Labor would pick up a third at the expense of Sex. The overall story here is that every small party sends preference to Sex or Family First and almost nothing goes to Labor or Liberal (the Greens primary is so close to a quota that they are out early on after electing Greg Barber), then it basically boils down to whichever of the majors having more excess surplus deciding the winner. So all the micro preferences push Family First and Sex into winning positions, and then the fact that Labor were further over 2 quotas than the Liberals were over 1 means their surplus elects the Sex candidate. Once again, without above the line preferencing neither of the smaller parties would get into that position and Labor would get the extra spot.

North Vic (1 Liberal, 1 Labor, 1 National, 1 Shooters & Fishers, 1 Country Alliance)

On first preferences Labor would get a second and the last would just got to Lib/Nat over Greens. Early in the count the Country Alliance rapidly climb to the top with LDP, FF and DLP preferences. Meanwhile Shooters are kept in there by PUP when they are on the verge of being eliminated. Once again the Shooters are about to be eliminated but this time are saved by Sex and Cyclists, to then be elected by Liberal/National preferences. So their success is absolutely down to preference deals. Finally, Labor preferences then choose Country Alliance over the Greens, I don’t know that much about Country Alliance but I’m sure Labor will find out whether that was a good choice during their term. The outcome had Sex party preferenced differently is harder to tell, they definitely would have stopped Shooters & Fishers but then their big bundle of right wing preferences would most likely elect country alliance and also give the Libs a boost, but chances are that Labor preferences would then elect a Green.

SE Met (2 Labor, 2 Liberal, 1 Green)

There are fair attempts at preference harvests by Sex and Rise Up, but they both run out of micro support. It helps that PUP preferences go to Greens, though even if they went to Rise Up they’d still fall short of a quota, though if PUP went to Sex they would possibly be elected instead of Greens.

South Met (3 Liberal, 1 Labor, 1 Green)

Quite a straightforward one, first 4 spots easily filled, and with only one left it’s just a race between Labor and Liberal who both have plenty of excess surplus to stay on top, no preference harvest really comes together, there’s not enough extra votes left out there.

West Met (2 Labor, 1 Liberal, 1 Green, 1 DLP)

I had thought the DLP success might be partly due to the ballot draw, but actually they are down the bottom, well below the ALP. After the initial quotas are distributed the Greens are in front and get over a quota with Sex, Animal Justice and PUP preferences. Without PUP it’s quite complicated (and depends where PUP preferences go) but the Greens could hang in just short of a quota while the DLP get elected, and then, if Labor is still ahead of Liberals then Liberal preferences would probably put Labor in instead. It is quite possible there would be enough extra votes here and there to see the Greens over a quota before that point anyway.

As for DLP, it’s a classic preference harvest, all the small right wing parties preference them and pretty much nobody preferences Labor or Liberal, when Liberals get eliminated their preferences elect DLP over Labor.

Western Vic (2 Liberal, 2 Labor, 1 Local Jobs)

On first preferences the Greens are favoured over Vote 1 Local Jobs (whoever that is). Vote 1 Local Jobs start with just 1.27% of the vote so if they do get through there will be plenty of commentary. There’s about 2.2 (out of 6) quotas out there with micros so it’s definitely prone to a preference harvest. After the 2 quotas each to Lab/Lib are used up the Greens are way in front for the last spot, but of course there’s a multitude of candidates in there who do not like the Greens. It’s the Country Alliance who save Vote 1 Local Jobs from being eliminated early (meanwhile Labor throw their preferences over to DLP, which previously got them elected in this region). Local jobs are once again in line for exclusion and get saved by Family First. This is the sort of point where above the line votes have such a huge effect, if FF voters chose their own preferences they would probably be spread amongst a number of remaining candidates and Local Jobs would still be eliminated next. That puts them in the big league of the micros with PUP and DLP, who are all still well short of the Greens though. Then the Liberals have a 10,000 vote surplus which puts Local Jobs ahead of the other contenders, and then Sex party preferences make them competitive with the Greens. Then PUP preferences go to the Greens but it is not enough for a quota, so when the DLP are eliminated their preferences and all the Micro right wing ones with them at this stage put local jobs over the Greens. There are some pretty tight elimination points in this count, though it seems possible that if Local Jobs are eliminated the preference harvest may be on for DLP or PUP instead.

 

Victorian Election – Number As Many Preferences As You Can

This post is along similar lines to my last one on preferential voting, but it seems worth specifically addressing some issues that are arising in discussions about the upcoming Victorian State Election.

Optional Preferential Voting in the Legislative Council

The Legislative Council is an upper house like the Senate in Federal Elections. In Victoria you vote for candidates in your region, with a total of five being elected, so it is is very similar to voting for senators for your state in a federal election. Just as with the senate there is the option to vote above or below the line. When you vote above the line you vote just for one party, and your preferences are allocated according to a group voting ticket submitted by the party to the electoral commision. If you vote below the line you choose the preferences yourself. There is one important difference between Victorian and federal elections, Victoria uses optional preferential voting for voting below the line in state elections. This means you only need to fill in 5 candidates rather than all of them to cast a valid vote.

Should I Vote Above Or Below The Line?

It’s up to you. Above the line is perfectly fine as long as you agree with the preferences of whoever you wish to vote for. If this is the case then it makes voting easy. These preferences are not secret, they have been published by the Victorian Electoral Commission, though the best place to view them is at Antony Green’s site. If you don’t agree with the preferences of the candidate you want to give your number 1 vote to, then you should fill in your own preferences below the line.

Preference Deals

There is a lot written about preference deals. As all parties are required to submit a preference ticket then they have to decide on how to preference all other candidates. This is sometimes determined by deals they do with each other. If you vote above the line then your preferences will be distributed according to the ticket, which may be the results of deals, however be aware that it is always distributed according to the ticket which is already published in advance – it’s not that they trade votes backwards and forwards after the election. If you are happy with the published voting ticket then any deals involved in determining it are irrelevant. If you are not happy then you can vote below the line.

Preference Harvesting

One issue with preference deals is that because most people vote above the line, large blocks of votes are distributed in the same way en masse, in such a way that would not occur if there were no above the line votes as individual’s preferences would be much more varied. This can results in a candidate with a small initial vote picking up lots of preferences and winning a place in the election. The fact that a candidate can win with a small vote is not itself a problem if it is based on voters genuine preferences, but with above the line voting this is not the case and the whole process is often criticised as being like a lottery.

Voting below the line helps to beat preference harvesting, but even though it is only required to number five preferences, by letting your vote exhaust then you are giving more power to the preference deals. This is because if votes below the line exhaust then the remaining places are predominately determined by the above the line votes which follow the preference tickets. If you are worried about the effect of preference deals then it is worth voting for as many candidates as you can, not just five.

Get the Maximum Value From Your Vote

Consider a ballot which numbers only five candidates, and another with starts with exactly the same five candidates but then goes on to preference every other as well. These two ballots count exactly the same up until the point when all of those first five have been elected or eliminated. If one of those five is a candidate left with part of the unused quota at the end, then in fact the effect of these two ballots is indistinguishable from each other. Otherwise, the only difference is once those five are out. At this point the first ballot is exhausted, there are still other candidates to be elected but this voter has no say whatsoever. The second ballot continues to affect the outcome until the election is over, the second voter has gained more value from their vote, have given more information and had a greater say. In particular, by allocating extra preferences the second voter in no way weakens their vote for the first five candidates.

But I Don’t Want My Vote To End Up With …

A common comment is something like “I don’t want my vote to end up with the Liberals” or “I don’t want my vote to end up with Labor” or something similar. The objection here is purely psychological, not rational. If you allocate preferences in the genuine order in which you prefer candidates then there can be no problem, the only way your vote can count for a candidate is against one lower in your preference order, which is necessarily a good thing, even if you don’t like that candidate. If your vote had already exhausted then one of them still is going to win at this point due to the votes of everybody else, but it might be the one you like less. The outcome can only be worse for you, by preferencing you can only help the party you don’t like against someone you like even less, but by not preferencing the only possible different outcome is to effectively help the party you like less.

Splitting the Vote

It’s also important to realise that if everyone just votes for the minimum number of candidates then the election is approximately the same as one decided by first past the post. This allows vote splitting, which means that the votes of a group of people with broadly similar interests can be split between many candidates, while a less popular position might be represented by one candidate who then wins. Such situations are open to manipulation by people organising front parties to take away votes from their opponents. If preferences only take those votes back to the opponents then there is no motivation to do this.

The Right and Wrong Reasons For Wanting Optional Preferencing

The right reasons for optional preferencing:

  • It makes voting easier and reduces informal votes
  • For an election with a large number of candidates it can be hard for people to meaningfully preference all of them so it’s better if they don’t have to.
  • It can encourage below the line voting, though I would be much more in favour if it was used to do away with above the line voting altogether.

The wrong reasons:

  • It doesn’t necessarily reduce the power of preference deals, when above the line is still an option, then it can result in lots of below the line votes being exhausted and giving more weighting to preferences determined by deals.
  • To avoid your vote ending up with a particular party. As explained above, this is not actually a problem, and in fact exhausting your vote will only ever lead to the same or a worse outcome.

In summary, only having to vote for five candidates means that below the line voting shouldn’t be intimidating, but make the most of your vote by preferencing as many candidates that you can (ideally the only blank spots should be anyone who is equally last or that you know nothing about), including ones you don’t like as long as they are only ahead of ones you like less.

Finally note that the lower house is a different story, you have to preference all candidates, but the same principle applies, your vote will only ever count for someone against someone else you preference lower, so putting a number against every candidate, even those you don’t like, is not a problem.

 

 

 

Wolfpanther vs Sacred Crab

Setlist from all vinyl DJ set at the Metro, 2/11/14. Wolfpanther in plain text, Sacred Crab in italics.

  • Sugar Minott – Never Give Up
  • Jaga Jazzist – Doppelganger
  • NRBQ – Rocket #9 / Venusian Sunset
  • Old & New Dreams – Togo
  • Jimmy Guiffre – Fascinating Rhythm
  • Miles Davis – Iris
  • Joni Mitchell – Black Crow
  • Paul Giovanni & Magnet – Corn Rigs
  • John Steven – The Big Kilmarnock Bonnet
  • Pentangle – Jack Orion
  • Syd Barrett – Octopus
  • Jean Claude Vannier – La Girafe Au Ballon
  • The Soft Boys – Human Music
  • Jane Weaver with Wendy Flower – Whispers of Winter
  • Muddy Waters – Tom Cat
  • Sleater-Kinney- O2
  • Guided By Voices – Surgical Focus
  • Sleater-Kinney – Bury Our Friends
  • Stu Thomas – Treble and Bass
  • Ed Kuepper – You Must Endure What You Cannot Cure
  • Native Cats – Wearing The Killer
  • Old Mate – Truth Boy
  • Johnny Guitar Watson – The Real Deal
  • Thundercat – It Really Doesn’t Matter To You
  • Frank Zappa – San Ber’dino
  • The Residents – Elvis and his Boss
  • Midnight Oil – No Time For Games
  • The Wreckery – Everlasting Sleep
  • Midnight Oil – Weddingcake Island
  • Ed Kuepper – Also Sprach The King of Euro-Disco
  • Van Morrison – Cypress Avenue
  • The Dirty Three – Hope
  • The Scientists – Brain Dead
  • Beasts of Bourbon – Execution Day
  • The Who – So Sad About Us
  • Guided By Voices – Some Drilling Implied/Shocker in Gloomtown/ A Salty Salute
  • Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians – Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl
  • Sleater-Kinney – One More Hour
  • NRBQ – A Girl Like That
  • Bird Nest Roys – Joringel
  • The Replacements – Skyway
  • The Caretaker – Past Life Regression
  • Joni Mitchell – A Strange Boy
  • Paul Giovanni & Magnet – Gently Johnny
  • The Byrds – I Wasn’t Born To Follow
  • Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash – Girl From The North Country
  • Gram Parsons / Flying Burrito Brothers – Your Angel Steps Out of Heaven
  • Bonnie Prince Billy and the Picket Line – Rider
  • The Interstellar Villains – My Boyfriend Is An Outlaw
  • Bruff Superior – Not With You
  • Old Mate – I Think Of You
  • Fair Maiden – Blue Moon
  • Knox – Alligator Man
  • Blank Realm – Falling Down The Stairs
  • Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Symphony of the Nymph
  • Penny Penny – Ndzihere Bhi
  • Primal Scream – Loaded
  • Pop Levi – Blue Honey (A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Mix by the Amorphous Androgynous)
  • Soft Boys – I Got The Hots
  • Mr Lif – Live From The Plantation

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Full Preferential Voting (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Vote For People I Don’t Like)

This post is about why full preferential voting is good thing, why in an optional preferential voting system you should preference as many candidates as you reasonably can, and why preferencing someone you don’t like is not always a bad thing.

Mostly I am talking here about the system that applies to the lower house in Australian federal and state elections, in which one candidate is elected to represent an electorate. I’ll comment on upper house elections, which involve proportional representation, towards the end.

Basics – how does preferential voting work?

All of the first preferences are counted. If someone had over 50% of the vote they win. If not, the candidate with the least number of votes is excluded and the second preferences on their ballots are counted and their votes reassigned to those candidates. Once again if some one has 50% they win, if not the next candidate is excluded. At each stage the redistribution is based on what voters have filled in on their ballots, the candidates (or parties) have no say. If the next preference on a ballot is for someone already excluded then it just moves on to the next preference for a candidate who is still in the running.

An example: Suppose an election has five candidates A,B,C,D,E and 100 voters. A candidate requires 51 votes to be declared the winner. On first preferences the votes are

A: 39, B:35, C:16, D: 7, E:3

Nobody has 51 so the 3 votes from E are redistributed.

A:39, B: 35+2=37, C: 16+1=17, D:7

Next D is eliminated, and their preferences distributed, any with a second preference for E just move on to the next one

A:39, B:37+7=44, C:17

Now C is eliminated

A: 39+10=49, B: 44+7=51

Note that even though it looks like it is C that pushes B over the line to be the winner, some of the 7 votes B gets at this stage could well be votes that were initially for D and E, so you couldn’t just say that B won because of C’s preferences without looking at the details.

In Federal elections a valid ballot must have preference for all candidates, in some states there is optional preferential which means that votes can exhaust if no further preferences are given, at which point a winner requires 50%+1 of the remaining votes.

Why have preferences?

A first past the post system, where you just take the candidate with the largest vote, is easily seen to be unfair. Two similar candidates can split the vote, for example if A and B have policies that are generally more popular with the electorate than those of C, then with A and B both running the vote might be A:30 B:30 C:40, but if only A and C ran then it might be A:60 C:40. This election is too easily open to manipulation and does not give a fair outcome. It also tends to result in strategic voting, meaning that voters are forced to speculate on who is likely to win and perhaps vote for someone who is not their preferred candidate to get a better outcome. There are numerous alternatives to first past the post, and none are perfect (a perfect system is mathematically impossible), but preferential systems are in general much fairer.

The Two Party Preferred Vote

Often the outcome of an election is expressed in a two party preferred vote, either for a particular electorate or the overall result for all electorates. This is just the result of distributing all preferences until two candidates are left. It is a way of viewing the outcome, but is not part of the count that determines the winner. In the example above, the winner was not decided until only two candidates were left however this doesn’t have to be the case. In an election with 10 candidates where one of them gets 51% of first preferences they are declared winner with no preferences being distributed. To determine the two party preferred vote you would distribute preferences until only two candidates remain but this has no effect on the outcome and just gives a away of measuring the margin of their victory over the next most popular candidate. There is a common misconception that somehow the two party preferred count gives a built in bias towards the major parties in the electoral system but it is not part of the system, just a way of viewing the outcome, and it mostly involves the major parties because they get most of the votes. In the Federal electorate of Melbourne the two party count is between The Greens and Labor, and in the recent Vasse by-election in WA it was between the Liberals and Nationals.

Preferences don’t make Labor and Liberal win

Often people complain that their preferences end of with Labor and Liberal and so they always win. Nothing about preferential voting favours Labor and Liberal. There are other factors such as single member electorates which do have an effect, but the major parties do not win because of the preferences of people who vote for other parties – they win because most people give first preferences to one of them. In many cases one of them gets over 50% of first preferences so no preferences are distributed. In other cases the preferences of people who voted for others are used to decide between the two major parties, but in this situation the winner is guaranteed to be one of the major because most people voted for them, when your preference gets distributed to them they have already won, your vote isn’t making that happen, but it is helping to decide which one wins. Once again they haven’t already won because of the system, it was because most people voted for them.

For example, consider my electorate of Hindmarsh. At the last Federal election, the results were (in percentages)

Greens – 8.84
Liberal – 46.17
PUP      – 2.47
DLP     – 0.88
Katter  – 0.63
Labor   – 37.95
Family First – 3.05

The distribution of preferences can be seen here http://results.aec.gov.au/17496/Website/HouseDivisionDop-17496-185.htm but it isn’t hard to see that one of Labor or Liberal is going to win and preferences only serve to decide which one because neither has over 50% on first count. As it turns out most people who didn’t vote for a major preferred Labor, but not enough to get them over 50%, in this case all preferences had to be distributed before the Liberal candidate gets over the line.

Why you should allocate as many preferences as possible

In a Federal election, and some states, you have to allocate preferences to all candidates, however in some states (and other elections such as local council) there is optional preferential voting, which means you can number as many as you like. In such a system you should still preference all candidates if possible, even the ones you don’t like. The reason is simple, not allocating a preference to someone does nothing to stop them winning, only a preference for another candidate can actively work against them. If at least one of the candidates you like is popular with others as well, then they won’t be eliminated and your vote will stay with them until either they win or lose out to the eventual winner.

Suppose though that none of your favoured candidates survive to the decisive count. This has happened because of how everyone else has voted, there is nothing you can do about it, this is democracy. However if your vote exhausts you have no further say over the election, so this only makes sense if you really genuinely don’t care who wins out of the remaining candidates. Let’s say an election has a great candidate, a mediocre candidate, a bad candidate and an awful candidate. If you vote only for the great candidate, you are potentially letting a bad or awful candidate beat the mediocre one. Many people instead would vote 1 great, 2 mediocre and that’s it. This is still not a good idea though, because this means that if they get eliminated then you have no say between bad and awful. If you really think the awful candidate is much worse than the bad one then you must vote 3 bad.

It might not feel right giving a preference to someone you don’t like but the only way your vote can count for them is if all your preferred candidates have been eliminated (because not enough other people liked them, which you can do nothing about), and you are helping them to beat someone you like even less.

There is no need to guess in advance which candidates will be popular, your vote only transfers when someone is eliminated, if the great or mediocre candidates are popular enough (or if the awful one gets eliminated early) then your vote will never transfer to the bad candidate.
On the other hand what is the impact of not preferencing, i.e. let’s say you vote 1 great only, instead of allocating 3 preferences?

  • If Great wins – then it makes no difference, your extra preferences would never have been counted.
  • If Mediocre wins – then it makes no difference, either your vote would have stayed with Great until they lose the final stage, or would have transferred to Mediocre and helped them win. Either way your vote couldn’t have changed the outcome.
  • If Bad wins – If they beat Great or Awful at the last count, there is no difference, but if they beat Mediocre at the last count then your vote could have helped stop them. That is, they are more likely to win in the scenario when you use fewer preferences.
  • If Awful wins – Then if at the last stage they beat either Mediocre or Bad then you may have been able to stop them, but you can’t by voting only 1. So they are more likely to win if you don’t preference.

So failing to allocate preferences can only help candidates you don’t like to win, whereas preferencing candidate you don’t like can only help them to win against candidates you like even less.

Thus the rational choice is to preference as many candidates as possible, so you should only leave the very least favoured one blank, or any which you know nothing about (but even better is to make sure you do find out who they are). Some of your preferences will be for candidates that seem highly unlikely to win, but that doesn’t matter, if eliminated your vote just moves on to the next candidate.

Just remember that in a full preferential election you should not leave any blank.

A Disclaimer
I have glossed over the implications of Arrow’s Theorem, but with good reason. A perfect voting system is mathematically impossible. This means that it is possible to devise situations where ordering your preferences in a way which does not reflect your actual preferences can achieve a more desirable outcome. For practical purposes there is not much you can do, since manipulating the outcome requires a very specific set of circumstances and good information on how everybody else will vote. It only really comes into play when there are 3 or more candidates with a reasonable chance at winning, so it doesn’t come up so often in the sort of elections I’m talking about. As such I would say that preferencing as many candidates as you reasonably can in the order which you like them is an optimal strategy, but not perfect, in that for most possible configurations of votes it will achieve the best possible outcome however it is not always guaranteed.

The Senate and other Upper Houses
For proportional representation elections with preferential voting the principal is basically the same despite the extra complications. Some states (and quite possibly in the Senate in the future) have optional preferencing. Once again it is best to preference as many candidates as possible, including ones you don’t like if it means you get to put them ahead of ones you like even less. The main difference is that there could be a very large number of candidates so it may well be the case that there are many you know nothing about so it is reasonable to not allocate preferences to them.

The basic message is that by preferencing as many candidates as possible then you equip your vote with as much information as possible and it has the potential to achieve more for you. Putting a preference next to someone isn’t saying you approve of them, it only says you prefer them to whoever is lower in your preferences. Letting a ballot exhaust cannot achieve a better outcome than if you had kept preferencing, only the same or worse, and only makes sense if you genuinely have no preference at all between the remaining candidates. Most of all preferential voting is good thing and should be defended against those who take simplistic views like “it helps the major parties”, “it’s a scam”, “it should be one person one vote” because they are demonstrably wrong.

 

 

 

Wolfpanther vs Cool Jumper

Setlist from the Metro, Mon Oct 6th 2014. Wolfpanther in plain text, Cool Jumper in italics.

  • Mario Cavallero and his Orchestra – Le Bon, La Brute et le Truand
  • Pavement – Box Elder
  • Bored Games – Joe 90
  • Thigh Master – Head of the Witch
  • The Max Block – Black Fish
  • Unity Floors – Women’s Golf
  • Blank Realm – Reach You On the Phone
  • Assassins 88 – Lethal
  • Bitch Prefect – Holiday in America
  • Beaches – Send Them Away
  • JPS Experience – Slip
  • Deerhunter – Nothing Ever Happened
  • Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy
  • Day Ravies – I Don’t Mind
  • Delicate Steve – Ramona Reborn
  • Peak Twins – Steppin’ Off
  • Parquet Courts – Instant Disassembly
  • Ausmuteants – Hate This Town
  • The Bats – North By North
  • Eastlink – Overtime
  • The Stones – Down and Around
  • Ivy St – Ten Ounces In the Sticks
  • Native Cats – I Remember Everyone
  • Lost Animal – (Intro) Beat Goes On
  • Superstar – Pastoral Dirge
  • Circular Keys – Eurogrand
  • Burial – Spaceape
  • Rites Wild – Rites Wild Theme
  • Julia Holter – Don’t Make Me Over
  • Old Mate – Throwin’ Down
  • Earth – From the Zodiacal Light
  • Constant Mongrel – Complete
  • Laughing Clowns – Bride of Jesus
  • Per Purpose- Bathing Suit Sand
  • The Triffids – Suntrapper
  • Twerps – Heavy Hands
  • Pentangle – Willy of Winsbury
  • Lower Plenty – Life/Thrills
  • Swirl – So Far
  • Bare Grillz – Lee Majors
  • The Fall – The Classical
  • The Stevens – Legend in My Living Room/ Challenger
  • The Wedding Present – A Million Miles
  • Old Mate – Truth Boy
  • Straitjacket Fits – Down In Splendour
  • Harmony – Cut Myself Clean
  • Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Ending It All (As I do)
  • Sarah Mary Chadwick – Steffo
  • Talk Talk – I Don’t Believe In You
  • Absolute Boys – At Lust
  • Low – Breaker
  • Liars – Can’t Hear Well
  • Brooks & O’Hagan – Mulcair
  • Atlas Sound – Logos
  • Laetitia Sadier – Between Earth and Heaven
  • Alps – I Get So High
  • Bob Dylan – Sara
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street
  • Serge Gainsbourg – Flash Forward
  • Silly Joel & the Candymen – Dr Suess

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Wolfpanther vs d.d.lean + Chrome Dreams II setlist

Setlist from all vinyl DJ set, Sunday 7/9/14

First Part: Wolfpanther in plain text, Chrome Dreams II in italics

  • The Verlaines – Don’t Send Me Away
  • Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
  • Parquet Courts – Instant Disassembly
  • Alex Chilton – Rock Hard
  • Toy Love – Rebel
  • Jesus & Mary Chain – Head On
  • Look Blue Go Purple – I Don’t Want You Anyway
  • Hoodoo Gurus – Poison Pen
  • Elvis Costello – Pump It Up
  • Todd Rundgren – International Feel
  • P.G. Six – Wrong Side of Yesterday
  • The Kinks – Where Have All The Good Time Gone
  • Lexo and the Leapers – Circling Motorhead Mountain
  • The Who – I Can’t Reach You
  • Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot – Bonnie & Clyde
  • David Bowie – Where Have All The Good Times Gone
  • Talking Heads – A Clean Break
  • The Ramones – I Wanted Everything
  • Proton Energy Pills – (Less Than I) Spend
  • Buzzcocks – Nothing Left
  • Black Flag – Nothing Left Inside
  • Wire – Too Late
  • Sonic Youth – Cotton Crown
  • Public Image Ltd – Bad Life
  • Public Image Ltd – This Is Not A Love Song
  • Public Image Ltd – Annalisa
  • Dr Alimantado – Oil Crisis
  • The Jam – Funeral Pyre
  • The Meters – 6V6 LA

Part Two: Wolfpanther in plaintext, d.d.lean in italics

  • Giant Sand – Stranded Pearl
  • Paul Giovanni – Willow’s Song
  • John Fahey – The Yellow Princess
  • Mike Cooper & Steve Gunn – Pony Blues
  • Giant Sand – Can Do
  • Fairport Convention – Matty Groves
  • The Beta Band – It’s Not Too Beautiful
  • Boo Radleys – 9th & Fairchild
  • Yellowman – Them a Mad Over Me
  • Sugar Minott – Jah Almighty
  • Alice Coltrane – Shiva Loka
  • Sagor & Swing – Fugan Som Förlorade Sin Orgelstämma
  • Deep Magic – Brighter Days
  • Squarepusher – Don’t Go Plastic
  • Isaac Hayes – Our Day Will Come
  • Ornette Coleman – All My Life
  • Moondog – Tap Dance / Oo Debut / Drum Suite
  • Art of Noise – Close (to the Edit)
  • Sun Araw – All Night Long
  • Boards of Canada – Seven Forty Seven
  • Multiple Man – Surface Roads
  • Pye Corner Audio – Electronic Rhythm Number Eighteen
  • Deep Magic – Alone In Her Cave
  • Richard Hewson – Deserted Starship
  • Forma – FORMA 237A
  • Echo & The Bunnymen – Killing Moon
  • Siouxsie & The Banshees – The Staircase
  • Rule of Thirds – Mouthful
  • New Order – Dreams Never End
  • Talk Talk – Give It Up
  • Burial – Street Halo

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Wolfpanther vs Blast Rhombus setlist

Setlist from vinyl DJ set at the Metro, 3/8/14. Wolfpanther in plaintext, Blast Rhombus in italics.

  • Sandpit – Hold yr Horses
  • The Stickmen – Measure Your Limits
  • Galaxie 500 – Isn’t It a Pity
  • Low – Dinosaur Act
  • Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Out of Reaches
  • Parquet Courts – N Dakota
  • Smog – Let’s Move To the Country
  • REM – So. Central Rain
  • Guided By Voices – Game of Pricks
  • Bitch Prefect – University Fiend
  • Kurt Vile – Freeway
  • Peaking Lights – Hey Sparrow
  • Laurel Halo – Oneroi
  • Fhloston Paradigm – The Phoenix
  • Iggy Pop – Night Clubbing
  • Brian Eno – I’ll Come Running
  • John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – Mother
  • Bob Dylan – Lay Lady Lay
  • Paul McCartney – Temporary Secretary
  • James Pants – Clouds Over the Pacific
  • Patti Smith – Because the Night
  • John Cale – Paris 1919
  • Talk Talk – Wealth
  • Julia Holter – Moni Mon Amie
  • Neutral Milk Hotel – Two Headed Boy Pt 2
  • PG Six – This Song
  • Jim O’Rourke – All Downhill From Here
  • Bonny Billy & The Picket Line – Ohio River Boat Song
  • Neil Young – Barstool Blues
  • Incredible String Band – A Very Cellular Song
  • Panda Bear – Bros
  • Pentangle – Jack Orion
  • Paul McCartney – One Of These Days
  • Melanie Oxley & Chris Abrahams – Benchtop
  • Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Menopause Man
  • Jackie Mittoo – Stereo Freeze
  • Devo – Out of Sync
  • Passage – Creature in the Classroom
  • Smog – Hit the Ground Running
  • The Verlaines – Joed Out
  • Brian Eno – The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch
  • Ceephax Acid Crew – Capsule in Space
  • Nothing People – Sickness
  • Rangda – Plugged Nickel
  • Guided By Voices – As We Go Up We Go Down
  • Serge Gainsgbourg – Sous le Soleil Exactement
  • Talking Heads – Born Under Punches
  • Daphni – Yes, I Know
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Cinnamon Girl
  • Pearls Before Swine – Did You Dream Of
  • Belong – Perfect Life
  • The Cure – Untitled
  • My Bloody Valentine – To Who Knows When
  • Boards of Canada – Aquarius
  • Talk Talk – The Rainbow
  • Burial – Come Down To Us
  • Amon Tobin – Keepin’ It Steel
  • Dub Specialist- Taurus Dub 2
  • Marcia Griffiths – Mark My Words
  • Winston Edwards & Blackbeard – Whitehall Scandal
  • Digital Mistikz – I Wait
  • Sugar Minott – Hang on Natty
  • Otis Redding – Keep Your Arms Around Me
  • The Herbaliser – Unsungsong
  • DJ Food – The Crow
  • Amon Tobin – Slowly
  • Jane Birkin – Jane B.
  • Otis Redding – That’s How Strong My Love Is
  • Madtoons Beat Orchestra – Black Light District
  • Cannibal Ox – The F Word
  • The Herbaliser – Good Girl Gone Bad
  • Camu Tao – Hold The Floor
  • Alias – Angel of Solitude
  • Billy Bang Sextet – Sinawe Mandelas
  • Albert Ayler – New Ghosts
  • David Murray – David – Mingus

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Wolfpanther vs Barry Handler

Setlist from vinyl DJ set at the Metro, 6/7/14, Wolfpanther in plaintext, Barry Handler in italics

  • Laetitia Sadier – Auscultation of the Nation
  • Jessamine – Your Head Is So Small It’s Like A Little Light
  • Camera Obscura – Troublemaker
  • Here We Go Magic – How Do I Know
  • Sandpit – Along the Moors
  • Youth Lagoon – Mute
  • Weekend – Nostalgia
  • Brian Eno – No One Receiving
  • Talking Heads – I Zimbra
  • Squarepusher – Squarepusher Theme
  • Amon Tobin – Easy Muffin
  • Mouse on Mars – Die Seele von Brian Wilson
  • Pablove Black – Jamrec Dub
  • Dunderhead – Black Beading
  • Miles Davis – Nefertiti
  • Sam Prekop – Little Bridges
  • The Memory Band with Grantby – The Ballad Of Imber Down
  • Fizzarum – Tond Three
  • Tim Koch – Switch Invert
  • Tangerine Dream – Church Theme
  • Ben Daglish – The Last Ninja (Wastelands)
  • Goto 80 – Come Together
  • Sagor & Swing – Ingen Vals Om Inget Alls
  • Giampero Boneschi – Cantabile For Drum
  • Incredible String Band – A Very Cellular Song
  • Vendor Refill – Pendulum
  • Magnet – Gently Johnny
  • Hrvatski – Kochen Raum
  • Jake Slazenger – Nautilus
  • Public Image Ltd – Death Disco Megamix
  • Leyland Kirby – Derelict Bar
  • Plone – Sunday Laid Moo
  • Broadcast – Unchanging Window
  • Pale Saints – Porpoise
  • A.R. Kane – Crazy Blue
  • Moose – Last Night I Fell Again
  • Look Blue Go Purple – In Your Favour
  • The Wendys – Pulling My Finger Off
  • Melanie Oxley & Chris Abrahams – Benchtop
  • Crystal Stilts – Spirit In Front Of Me
  • Laughing Clowns – Eternally Yours
  • Severed Heads – Propeller Two (Rotation Mix)
  • New Order – Blue Monday
  • Public Image Ltd – Memories
  • Black Brothers – School Children
  • Freeform – Wakker Sticks
  • James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream
  • Squarepusher – Iambic 5 Pentameter
  • Pye Corner Audio – End of All Eras
  • Brian Eno – Deep Blue Day
  • Jane Weaver with The Focus Group with Susan Christie – A Circle and A Star (Part 1)
  • Cylob – Are We Not Men Who Live And Die
  • The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up
  • Sun Electric – Tee
  • Sun Araw – Deep Cover
  • Deerhoof – Matchbook Seeks Maniac
  • Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold I/II
  • Public Image Ltd – Track 8
  • The Fall – Green Eyed Loco Man
  • My Bloody Valentine – I Need No Trust
  • Pentangle – Sally Free And Easy

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Wolfpanther vs Chūshō ōkami

Setlist from DJ set at the Metro, 1/6/14

Wolfpanther in plain text, Chūshō ōkami in italics.

  • Old and New Dreams – Lonely Woman
  • Suicide – Girl
  • Kode 9 & The Spaceape – Otherman
  • Arto Lindsay/ Ambitious Lovers – Too Many Mansions
  • Brian Eno and David Byrne – The Jezebel Spirit
  • Plant Plants – Repeaters
  • Belbury Poly and Spacedog – Find Me
  • David Bowie – Stay
  • Talking Heads – Life During Wartime
  • Dinosaur L – Go Bang
  • Penny Penny – Zirimini
  • Robert Del Gado & his band – Amapola
  • Laughing Clowns – I Don’t Know What I Want
  • Sun Araw – Conga Mind
  • Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra feat. Ariel Engle – Birds Toss Precious Flowers
  • 23 Skidoo – Kundalini
  • Bill Callahan – Call It Dub
  • Jaga Jazzist – Swedenborgske Rom
  • Calvin Keys – B.E.
  • Robert Del Gado & his band – Estrellita
  • [unknown Russian children's story]
  • David Bowie – Cygnet Committee
  • Serge Gainsbourg – L’Homme a Tete de Chou
  • Cream – White Room
  • Ennio Morricone – A Fistful of Dollars
  • The Cure – Funeral Party
  • Swans – Love Will Save You
  • David Bowie – Moss Garden
  • Konx-Om-Pax – Silent Reading
  • Project D – Love Theme From Midnight Express
  • eMMplekz – Raining With Piss/AsspuMMel (must Try Ader)/ Tethered To My Hotspot
  • Demdike Stare – Hashshashin Chant
  • Dub Specialist – Spawning
  • Hailu Mergia – Laloye
  • Parquet Courts – Borrowed Time
  • The Beatles – Helter Skelter
  • Husker Du – Celebrated Summer
  • Jesus and Mary Chain – You Trip Me Up
  • Big Black – The Big Payback
  • Black Sabbath – Sweet Leaf
  • Hydromedusa – Faceless
  • Sonic Youth – Death Valley ’69
  • The Verlaines – Death and the Maiden
  • David Bowie – A New Career in a New Town
  • Cannibal Ox – The F Word
  • Hall & Oates – Rich Girl

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The proposed senate voting reforms

I’ve posted about senate voting reforms before and everything I wrote there still applies, in particular I’m still in broad agreement with Antony Green who has posted about the latest proposals here. Basically the proposal is to do away with group voting tickets, and instead allow optional preferential voting both above and below the line, as well there are some extra conditions on party registration.

I think the proposals are fine. While I prefer full preferential to optional preferential, it is less of an issue in multi-member electorates. I would perhaps prefer a minimum number of votes to be formal but this does complicate things (especially as to what that number would be for above or below, and whether it’s fixed or depends on the total number), so it’s reasonable not to have it. I’m not entirely sure that above the line is still needed if you allow optional preferencing of all candidates anyway (though I think in that case you really would need a minimum number or there could be serious problems). The additional requirement on registration is to have 1500 rather than 500 unique members. I’m not completely sold on this being necessary but I don’t think it’s a particular problem either, a serious party should have no problem with this. Independents can still contest as well.

These reforms should be effective in stopping the virtual lottery that the senate election has become, where preference harvesting effectively elects candidates with very little support in the community. Furthermore this has encouraged lots of people to register parties to “enter the lottery” which only makes the vote more complicated through having massive ballot papers that further discourage people from voting below the line (and also can lead to the sort of confusion where Liberal votes vote LDP and Labor voters vote DLP, a factor which has helped both get elected). It does not stop new parties, if they have enough votes they can still get elected. On the plus side also they did not add extra costs, so a movement with genuine support has no obstacle to forming a party.

There were some proposals which I considered poor which I’m glad to see weren’t recommended. There is no minimum threshold of first preferences to get elected. This is good, because as I pointed out in the previous post, people getting elected off a small first preference isn’t the problem, the problem was preference harvesting which made this happen more often when it wasn’t really deserved. A scenario where a candidate is not the first prefence of many, but is preferred by a large number of voters who’s higher preferences get eliminated can still get elected (provided they have enough support to stay in the count). The difference now is that they win because people genuinely preferenced them, not because of preference deals.

There are many comments on this article at the Guardian complaining about the proposals. I think partly this is because the Guardian have framed it as the major parties ganging up on the micros, and lots of people just don’t understand preferences. Now of course the fact that all the large parties are in agreement rightly would raise suspicions about their motives, but claims that this is undemocratic are unsupportable. Some are accusing the Greens of selling out on this, which is crazy given that it’s bascially everyone else coming around to what are essentially proposals the Greens have been making for years. It takes the allocation of preferences away from the parties and leaves it up to voters. It gets rid of the random “lottery”, preference harvesting and the power of “preference whisperer” Glenn Druery. It removes any point to setting up fake parties to divert voters away due to a single issue.

This isn’t to say that Labor and Liberal aren’t doing this out of self-interest, but it just so happens that sometimes the self-interest of those in power happens to intersect with what is the right thing to do – after all this is how we ended up with most good features of our voting system, such as preferential voting.

Update: A couple of things I forgot to mention

– some people are claiming this is all about “maintaining the duopoly”. Rubbish. The reason most senators are Labor or Liberal is that most first preferences are for those parties, if enough people vote for other candidates they get elected (Greens, PUP, LDP, Xenophon would still have been elected in the new system, though with LDP there’s a chance that the smaller paper would mean more people would find the actual party they meant to vote for).

– It would be nice if they fixed the Inclusive Gregory issue for surpluses as well. This is a fairly technical point mostly of interest to voting nerds, but basically the way surpluses are allocated is less than ideal because they needed to simplify it when they were counted by hand, now that should not be an issue.