deird1: Twilight Sparkle's hot air balloon (MLP:FiM hot air balloon)
[personal profile] deird1
I have been reading a lot about the US election lately, and have come to a simple conclusion: our elections are better.

I've also realised that I've never told you all about our elections, so for anyone who's curious, keep reading...


Australian Elections and Why They're So Much Better Than Yours (Whoever You Are)

1) We have an independent group organising them.

This being the Australian Electoral Commission. They organise the whole shebang, and oversee the voting. Among other things, this greatly limits gerrymandering, as the electoral districts are figured out by people who are required by law to be impartial.


2) The campaign season doesn't go on for an eternity.

Most likely, our election this year will be held on July 2nd. We're still not sure, though, because it hasn't been announced yet.

You guys have campaigns that go on for MULTIPLE YEARS. It's INSANE.

Plus - we have no primaries. So we're not all sick of the candidates before we even reach the main event.


3) Voting is on Saturdays.

This makes it easier for everyone to attend, rather than getting stuck at work. It's also a lot more relaxing. (If you go to the right polling booth, you can have a democracy sausage afterwards. They are yummy and awesome.)


4) Voting is compulsory.

Everyone votes. EVERYONE. Which, among other things, means that you don't get candidates trying to "get out the vote" by being as radical as possible. Instead, aware that the vote will be "out" whether they like it or not, they have to cater to as many people as possible, by heading more for the centre.


5) We have preferential voting.

...and this is the best bit. The uber-reason why Australia's elections rock and everyone else's are just second best.

Our ballots are a bit more complicated than yours. We don't choose a single candidate - instead, we rank all the candidates, from best to worst.

Why is this awesome? Because there ain't no such thing as "throwing your vote away" on a third party candidate.

I can vote for Awesome McPolicyGuru, who probably won't win, in the comforting knowledge that, when they fail to win as per usual, my vote will instead go to Nice von-Competent rather than Evil Villainson. And, if enough people do the same, Awesome McPolicyGuru could even get elected! Woo!

This is why our government is less of a two-parties-and-nothing-else situation that the US. The way your elections are set up, you're pretty much always going to have two viable candidates and no-one else - whereas we usually have a decent showing of third party and independent MPs. Because we can actually elect them.

Date: 2016-04-18 04:29 pm (UTC)
ruuger: Heart-shaped version of the Finnish flag with the word 'Eurovision' (Eurovision Song Contest)
From: [personal profile] ruuger
I just don't get the US presidential primaries. What is the benefit of trashing your own party's candidate? In Finland, there is sometimes small scandals and dirt-throwing when presidential candidates are chosen, but for the most part the parties try to *hide* this from the potential voters to avoid having them vote another party.

In Finland, the official election days are on Sundays, but there is also a week-long 'pre-voting period' when you can also vote. On the election day, you have to go to your designated voting place (usually at a local school), but if you vote during the pre-vote, you can vote anywhere in Finland (or in its embassies), and there are usually voting booths at every post-office and supermarket to make voting easy. We don't have compulsory voting, but I think that all the parties try to encourage voting because they all believe that they would get those extra votes.

In general, we have very party-focused politics because we use the D'hont method, meaning that when you vote for a candidate, you also give your vote for all the candidates in their party. The method favours big parties (there are usually 3-4 parties that get the majority of votes), but the smaller parties can also benefit from it because the smaller the party, the less chance there is that they're going to have someone on their list who you absolutely positively do not want to give your vote.

Date: 2016-04-19 09:05 am (UTC)
ruuger: Heart-shaped version of the Finnish flag with the word 'Eurovision' (Eurovision Song Contest)
From: [personal profile] ruuger
It's quite handy, actually. I usually vote at the same place where I get my groceries - I go there a couple of times a week and just pick a time when there are no queues to the voting booths.

The pre-election voting places usually look something like this. You just show your ID, they give you a ballot, you go to the booth to fill it, have it stamped by the official, put it in an envelope, sign a paper to confirm your identity, and you're done.

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