What Happened In The Senate?

It was my intention to write a post reviewing the outcome of the Senate election once it was finalised, and I may still post about some particular features if they are under discussion, especially if Labor keeps up their ridiculous opposition to the new voting system and continue to blame it for everything (before the election it was going to lock out minor parties and after the election it is responsible for them getting elected!), but otherwise I don’t see much point because Dr Kevin Bonham has written an absolutely superb review of the results of the new senate voting system, covering everything I wanted to say and a whole lot more, and a lot better than I would have, so I just want to point interested people in that direction.

Part 1: http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/senate-reform-performance-review-part-1.html

Part 2: http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/senate-reform-performance-review-part-2.html

New Senate Terms

It’s really too early to be talking about this, but there has been a bit of talk about it and there seems to be quite a bit of confusion so I wanted to try and clarify the current situation.

Firstly, there is already a great post on this by Antony Green, however being written a while ago it doesn’t cover the actual results of the election. It is here http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2016/04/how-long-and-short-terms-are-allocated-after-a-double-dissolution.html

We are still well short of having the full results of the Senate. So far we just have counts of number 1 votes, and even these are well short of being complete, many are around 60% of the electorate. This is enough for us to know which candidates have a guaranteed quota but we know very little about preferences, especially as this is the first election under this system. Kevin Bonham has an informative post on the state of the count here http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/2016-senate-postcount-very-long-way.html

There is interest for a couple of main reasons

  • Derryn Hinch has raised the issue
  • Many are wondering whether Pauline Hanson will have a 3 or 6 year term.

Unfortunately an article on the ABC website to answer questions on this actually made some misleading statements and incorrectly claimed that a certain method was advantageous to the major parties – a claim which is demonstrably untrue.

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The Major Parties Do Not Win Because Of Preferences

The purpose of this post is to explain why a common misconception about voting is actually false. The heading is rather general, and by certain interpretations not necessarily true, so I will start by clarifying what I mean precisely. Firstly by “major party” in this post I mean Labor or the Coalition. When I say they don’t win on preferences, I mean that collectively, in the sense that most seats are won by one or the other of them. It happens quite often that preferences will decide which of them will win, but I am saying that preferences are not making it inevitable that one of Labor or the Coalition will win.

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