Category Archives: Politics

The Greens in the 2018 Victorian Election

The resignation of Richard DiNatale from the Senate and need for the preselection of a replacement prompted me to go back and reconsider the 2018 Victorian state election results as it seemed that some unsuccessful candidates there might be candidates for the Senate seat.
As it turned out I got sidetracked and didn’t finish the post until the preselection was over and won by Lidia Thorpe.

The basic story of the election was the the Greens lost a lot of seats, and some have used that so suggest a big loss of electoral support for the Greens, however a look at the percentages does not support this idea, so a more nuanced view is required.

This is not an attempt to paint it as some sort of good result, there was a decline in vote and the Greens failed to turn their gains in 2014 into an increase in vote. However there is some important context. A strategy of trying to win lower house seats has generally been successful and may have come at the cost of upper house seats, and furthermore Group Voting Tickets and preference deals put the Greens at a disadvantage in the upper house.

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Strategic Voting – the positives and negatives

In the leadup to the 2019 Federal Election there was quite a bit of talk of strategic voting. At the time I wanted to write about it but was a bit busy, now that I do have time it’s no longer of much interest but at least I’ll have it here ready for when it does come around again.
Since it was mostly discussed in terms of supporting conservative independents to defeat Liberals then I will use this situation to give concrete examples, however the same principles can apply in any appropriate circumstances regardless of the parties involved.

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Another Double Dissolution?

It looks like the Coalition government is going to have a narrow majority and I have already seen calls for a double dissolution (DD) election. I remember that this sort of thing started up after the Coalition won in 2013, and I never quite saw why people wanted it. It seemed to just be code for “new election now” but also with some sort of magical expectation that it would give them the result they want ie. not a coalition government. In reality, there is no reason why a new election soon after the last one should give a substantially different result.
In fact, now that we’ve had a DD election in recent memory I thought this sort of thing would stop, but it hasn’t.
There is no reason to expect a DD, this would have to be called by the Liberals because they think there is an advantage in it, and they would need a trigger so it’s not happening until well into the term anyway. I think a lot of times people are thinking more along the lines of the Whitlam dismissal but there were very particular circumstances there.

It also seems to be prompted by the small majority in the house, however, Labor a long way from the numbers to form Government, if the Liberals did lose any members to court challenges (e.g. in Chisolm) or defections or by-elections, then they would still have the support at least half of the cross bench. Even if they did lose that support, there is no reason to expect a DD election.

Anyway, despite all this, I thought I would have a look at another reason why a DD is not an attractive proposition – what would the senate look like?

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Voting Advice For The 2018 SA Election

The voting system has changed (for the better in my opinion), so I want to give a quick post with my recommendations for voting. This post is about how to vote regardless of who you want to vote for, I plan to write another later with my thoughts on who to vote for. That said, I will declare here that I support the Greens so you’re free to decide on any potential bias in what follows.
Also, the electoral commission have lots of info on the election, you can find it here

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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:

Part 2:

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

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

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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