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.

Re: Warning: long electoral ramble.

Date: 2016-04-19 10:39 am (UTC)
ruuger: Heart-shaped version of the Finnish flag with the word 'Eurovision' (Eurovision Song Contest)
From: [personal profile] ruuger
The yogic flyers' party! Man, that brings back the memories - we had a Natural Law Party in the 90's in Finland as well. Is it an actual, could-win-seats kind of a party in Australia, or just a weird fringe party that doesn't actually get votes?

There has been talk about mandatory voting in Finland as well because of the low turnout (40-70%, depending on the type of election). It would be fairly easy to implement since Finland doesn't have voter registration - everyone is automatically registered - but I don't think that the citizens' advocacy groups would allow it.

Re: Warning: long electoral ramble.

Date: 2016-04-19 10:37 pm (UTC)
megpie71: AC Reno holding bomb, looking away from camera (about that raise)
From: [personal profile] megpie71
The Natural Law party never managed to get a single candidate elected. Mostly, I think, because they were aiming to get people elected to the House of Representatives rather than the Senate - our lower house is harder for minor parties to get into than the upper house, because for the lower house, you have to get a single member over the 50% plus one vote extra barrier. The Senate has a rather different system, being voted for state-wide, and usually you're looking at 6 senators per state - so about 1/6th of the vote plus one vote extra is the quota to get a senator elected. This up-coming election, being a double-dissolution, means we're voting in 12 senators per state, which lowers the level of the quota. Technically, this means the minor parties should have an easier time of it, getting their candidates over the line. However, there's been some rather recent fiddling with the ballot process for the senate ballots aimed at reducing the influence of "preference whisperers" on the whole process. So this could influence things.

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