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  • Why Not Proportional Representation?
    represents not so much a political party but all residents of that electorate The member is identified in the legislature as for example the member for Melbourne Ports representative of the 24 th district The member is answerable to the residents for all their concerns about government at least to the degree that he can represent all the divergent interests at the same time Indeterminate Criterion Representation a k a proportional representation There are no mini elections but just one whole election where all the votes are brought together to be tallied A winning candidate may have accrued his votes from any or all parts of the country Parties and independent candidates design their agenda political platform according to what they see as the important issues of the day and then offer themselves to various segments of the voting public They are successful to the degree that they are viewed by sections of the public as responsible and accommodating to the voter s specific concerns You as a voter are defined by what you want to be defined by Your representative in government represents your chosen interests The member is identified and easily labelled as for example the Greens parliamentarian the Republican the Democrat the Christian Socialist the Libertarian the Free Trader the parliamentarian for the wheat growing districts the parliamentarian for the inner cities the parliamentarian for the diary districts the parliamentarian representing pensioners the gay rights parliamentarian the parliamentarian representing the indigenous The member is answerable to those who voted for him in that he is answerable to his or his party s declared platform The perennial problems associated with geographical criterion representation is that with regards to political decision making it is taken for granted that voters should be defined by where they live There is the assumption that a person only looks at the important issues of the day from the perspective of someone who lives in his geographical area We are asked to believe that a person walking into a polling booth will ask Which of the candidates on offer is going to be the greater benefit to the residents of my area of town Is it not possible that he might be more concerned about those of his own economic status religion profession or beliefs and values This site suggests that voters should have the autonomous right to define themselves by any criterion they choose including position on social human rights issues economic status occupation type age gender religion as well as geographical region To divide the state up into electoral zones for the sake of the local concerns of the voters would appear to be merely an excuse to raise the necessary quota for wining a seat so as to deny unwelcome minorities the opportunity for political representation The problem of proportional representation and unstable governments One of the most common arguments against the implementation of proportional representation as a vehicle to elect parliamentarians is that in often creating a legislature with multiple

    Original URL path: http://www.proportional-representation.org/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Pluralist Voting
    even though it is the duty of politicians to care for the welfare of the public there does seem little justification to arrange benefits for just one segment of the population at the obvious expense of all others Of course in theory it could also happen with proportional representation systems Politicians will still have constituents whose vote they want at the next election even if they don t all live in the same area However in practice it would be a lot more difficult pass on a gratuity to people when there is no pretext for giving it to them apart from the characteristic of the voters themselves What justification can you have for legislation that grants money to people because they support environmental measures or believe in capital punishment or believe that we should not be involved in foreign military entanglements The chief executive AND your local member One of the most bizarre aspects of pluralist voting when it is applied to responsible government systems is the fact that someone as important as the prime minister also remains because he or she is still a member of the lower house of parliament the representative of the electorate from which he she is based and is duty bound to be the one handling all local concerns It seems incongruous that someone who may well be involved in strategically important discussions with world leaders about their united involvement in theatres of war might also have to talk a call from a constituent complaining that the aircraft noise from above his farm is stopping his hens from laying A party decapitated The incongruity becomes even worse at election time A party could either win or present a reasonable result at an election and yet be in the position of having its leader lose his own seat and thus not be able to join his comrades in parliament This extreme embarrassment happened for Australian then Prime Minister Stanley Bruce who in the 1928 election lost his own seat and had to wait three years before he could return to parliament Many are predicting a similar situation will happen in the upcoming 2007 Australian federal election Prime Minister John Howard who polls declare has the best chance of leading his Liberal Party to victory is now fighting a tight race in his own electorate of Bennelong due to a recent electorate boundary redistribution which removed some erstwhile supporters while added some voters with unknown loyalties Of the approximate twelve million voters in Australia it would be fair to say that at least five million would prefer the Prime Minister to remain in office However because there is no guarantee that a needed majority of 40 001 of that 5 000 000 actually live in Bennelong there is a very real possibility that the Liberal Party even if it wins could be without its leader in the new term The two party system A two party system often develops spontaneously from the single member district

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  • About Us
    TAB or Tattslotto card where the voter would fill out only three boxes see below from three listings of the alphabet to indicate a three letter code representing the candidate or political party he or she chooses eg ALP LIB NAT GRN DLP Cards would be read and sorted by optical character reader OCR sorting machines as in Post Office letter distribution centres and grouped into bundles of perhaps 50 according to their respectively marked candidate After sorting and counting scrutiny would then consist of party scrutineers randomly choosing a bundle of fifty for an AEC checker to take to a table and under scrutiny of interested parties manually recount and check for affiliation Points of Note Administration Costs According to the ABC Elections website Australia Votes 2007 approximately only 5 of voters vote below the line Thus even though the new below the line paper would become even larger probably only five of them will have to be sorted and counted for every hundred of previous elections Costs of elections for the AEC and candidates would be cheaper due to Economies of scale in printing nationwide rather than previously state wide both Senate ballot papers and political party how to vote flyers as well as media advertising The average Senate paper would now be the smaller above the line A T L one entailing decreased printing and distribution costs User Friendly For those who had forgotten what code to input or who were not carrying a how to vote card a wall of the voting booth could be filled with an AEC poster listing the political parties and candidates together with their three letter code For Election Day a simple OCR machine not a sorter could be installed at each polling station and be programmed to indicate whether a marked card was formal or informal without actually indicating who had been voted for Voters who were not sure if they had marked their card correctly would have the option to run their card through the machine so as to confirm that their vote was valid With the aid of OCR sorter machines and computers to distribute party preference placements the choice of 95 of the voters could be ascertained on the night of the election leaving only the manual counting of the remaining 5 for a later time Integrity Less chance of human error with machine counting Small hard paper ballot papers being easier to handle would allow for greater numbers per hour to be randomly checked under scrutiny A Board could be established to distribute codes to political parties candidates Preference would be given to those who could already prove voter recognition eg ALP for Labor and GRN for the Greens Where no recognition could be proved and more than one party applied for a certain code the preference would be given to the larger party to be judged by such indicators as membership lists or size of petitions to the AEC Such user friendly codes as ABC AAA or ZZZ should probably be denied to all Due to costs of optical character reader sorting machines ballot papers would probably need to be taken to central sorting halls for counting rather than be done at each individual voting station This would also make scrutiny easier for smaller parties who normally don t have the resources to cover every voting booth Concluding Summary As the Encyclopedia Britannica has stated The case for proportional representation is fundamentally the same as that for representative democracy Only if an assembly represents the full diversity of opinion within a nation can its decisions be regarded as the decisions of the nation itself The Australian Senate should as much as feasible represent all political interests of the Australian people rather than representation be skewered by geographical regional limitations areas of which are already accommodated by the House of Representatives anyway To intentionally engineer or refuse to reform an electoral system which denies minorities political representation violates the principle of the democratic ideal as well as the Australian fair go ethic What Needed Reform Upon invitation from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters conducting an inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 drafted to amongst other initiatives abolish Group Voting Tickets I request that the following comments be taken into consideration Philip Lillingston Publisher of the website Why Not Proportional Representation Introduction Rather than suggest different solutions to the alleged problems in our Senate electoral system I would like to challenge the rationale behind these problems with respect to ATL voting Executive Summary Winning with miniscule primary votes The primary vote count is irrelevant In a preferential voting system the final count is the total of primary and secondary votes A voter does not deserve to lose the franchise because their earlier choice was wasted due to insufficient other voters Most voters don t know where their preferences are going They don t know only because they don t bother to find out Most voters trust the parties they vote for Those who don t can find out or vote below the line Senate voting is overly complex For 97 of the population it is not You simply make one tick above the line Alleged problems re ATL voting that need addressing Despite detailed government publications of the 2014 JSCEM inquiry into the 2013 election and the Explanatory Memorandum of the above mentioned bill alleged problems relating to above the line voting that are in need of reform are not that easily to fully ascertain For that reason together with quotes from these documents I have included quotes from Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull and Special Minister of State Senator Mathias Cormann Winning on a low primary vote the other issue of widespread community concern was the election of Senators in some states on a very low percentage of primary votes JSCEM report 1 12 Australians were astonished to see people elected to the Senate whose primary votes were a fraction in the case of one senator from Victoria about 0 5 per cent of the vote Prime Minister Turnbull Parliament house press conference 22 2 2016 Response The very nature of preferential voting One must ask why are only the primary votes mentioned as though preferential votes are irrelevant Whether by multiple elections or sequential voting preferential voting otherwise internationally known as choice alternative or instant runoff voting is very common throughout the democratic world If a voter s choice becomes ineligible due to lack of other support preferential voting guarantees the voter another choice as compared to kicking him or her out of the voting booth and telling them they no longer have a right to a democratic input Winning micro party candidates accrue at least the requisite 14 28 of the vote representing that percentage of the voters who want someone to represent them even if that someone was not always their first choice Under the new proposals it is estimated approximately two million votes will become exhausted and elect no one How can we endorse a system that whether intentional or not punishes a voter by removing his or her right to representation merely because their first few choices were not popular ones Hypocrisy In the 1998 federal election Pauline Hanson won 36 of the primary vote in the seat of Blair more than 10 ahead of the next placed candidate and even further ahead of the Liberal Party candidate Cameron Thompson And yet due to preference flows it was Thompson who won the seat One doesn t seem to remember the Liberal Party then complaining about someone winning with only a fraction of the primary vote It is one thing to complain and seek to abolish our preferential voting system because one believes the alternative first past the post is superior However it is nothing short of hypocrisy to complain of a basic attribute of preferential voting in areas where one electorally suffers while accepting the system in other areas where one profits Senate voting is overly complex The bill thereby proposes to reduce the complexity of the Senate voting system Explanatory Memorandum Response No it isn t For over 96 of voters who vote above the line you simply mark off one box and that s it It is even simpler than lower house local member voting To the degree that some people do find it so reducing complexity is not a justification for effectively disenfranchising millions of people Not knowing where your preferences flow most voters are unlikely to understand where their preferences flow when they vote above the line Explanatory Memorandum a political party trades those votes away in secret without actually reflecting the true intention of the voter the reforms will empower the voter to determine their preference Special Minister of State Senator Mathias Cormann most voters don t know where their votes are going unless they bother to look up the Group Voting Tickets GVT on the AEC website Prime Minister Turnbull Response In secret behind closed doors A very common sentiment in support of change is that small party GTVs are the product of secret back room deals behind closed doors done strictly to benefit the party operators irrespective of the true intention of the voter This does seem to be a bit of a beat up Unless the claim is that those party operatives take a bribe in exchange for their party taking a dive facilitating another party winning the goal of the small parties is to be successful at elections utilizing whatever preference deals that offer that chance It is hardly as though their behind closed door actions can be compared to that of a criminal conspiracy The result of their actions are not only not criminal but also not secret Either mark below the line or trust your chosen party It is true that most voters don t know where all their preferences flow but how is this a problem or at least a serious one deserving of such drastic changes to the system that most commentators believe would exhaust approximately 23 of the votes and thus leave that percentage of Australian voters unrepresented in the Senate The premise behind this claim is that the average voter would like to scrutinise the GVT to check against problem parties getting an earlier tick than warranted However there is already accommodation for those voters who wish to control their full preference order that being voting below the line voting The above arguments presented seems to imply that after those voters who care fill out below the line and the other voters also care but just happen to fill out above the line anyway But this is a contradiction If a voter votes above the line it means they trust the party they give their support to Why should this be so hard to believe The motive behind parties enumerating their Group Voting Tickets GVT is strategic They arrange deals with other parties to maximise their chances The supporter wants their party to win so obviously they will accept what their party advises In contemporary times micro parties advise preferencing almost any small party to a major one as it gives them a chance of victory as compared to guaranteed failure if a larger party is in the shortlist It is a highly spurious argument to claim the system allowing small parties to occupy a seat at the nation s forum must be abolished because their voters don t know who they are voting for Those that trust their chosen parties don t care and those that do care can vote below the line anyway Hypocrisy It is the Liberal Party of Australia which is introducing legislation to address this fault in the system whereby voters generally do not know where their preferences are heading The obvious implication is that the Liberal Party is concerned that voters to a degree are voting blind concerned enough to change the voting procedure which per chance will just happen to according to most commentators increase the Liberal Party s numbers in the Senate But if one looks at lower house how to vote cards printed by the Liberal Party for recent federal elections it is very interesting to note that nothing is done to enlighten their own supporters as to where their preferences will flow When listing the order of voting they want their supporters to follow from one to on average nine in a certain order all information given on the card is the candidate s name beside the box to number while party affiliation is left out Doing such would not be that difficult considering lesser resourced parties such as Australian Christians Secular Party of Australia Rise Up Australia Bullet Train for Australia Katter s Australian Party and even some independents do give affiliations for every name on their preference list Thus we are asked to believe the Liberal Party is doing this because they care that average Australian voters are kept fully aware yet the Liberals themselves unlike many independents or micro parties don t even keep their own supporters informed of where their preferences would be going Summation Excluding the marginal voters versus input for all The virtue of the current system for Senate voting is that subject to informal votes practically every voter can have an effect upon the outcome In final vote counting undertaken by the AEC the ballot papers are passed on from one preferenced candidate to the next in order until finally in conjunction with enough others to make a quota they find a home and elect a candidate For an Australian who has gone to the trouble of attending a polling place waited in line gone through the formalities and then made your considered primary vote and your party s considered preference votes to have your 87 th preference elect a candidate is still a better feeling than for your vote to mean absolutely nothing Under the proposed changes for voting above the line the usual choice for over 96 of voters there will be a maximum limit of six boxes to number which will mean that voters not enamoured with the major parties will in all probability have their vote exhausted when their from twelfth to thirtieth preference vote for micro parties still elects no one If voter intention is the same as the last election this would relate to approximately three million Australians who would be denied an input into the appointment of Senators The cure that is worse than the disease So what we are left with is the problem that certain voters who endorse micro parties put their trust in their associated Group Voting Tickets even though they might not have bothered to go to the trouble of finding out where their preferences flow And the solution to said problem is to deny those voters the right to indicate simply with one mark that their list of preferences is concordant with their chosen party a prohibition which is to effectively disenfranchise them reasonably appropriate to serve an end consistent with representative government Challenging the constitutionality of aspects of Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Act of 2016 which introduced changes to the method Senators are elected in Australian federal elections Executive Summary The Constitution Under our constitution parliament has arbitrary power to decide which electoral systems and methods will be used for elections Eg single member voting proportional representation compulsory voting Robson Rotation preferential voting etc That a system may be proven to be less efficient than others is not a reason for it to be declared unconstitutional However In Roach v Electoral Commissioner 2007 the HCA invalidated a law denying the vote to short term prisoners holding that whatever electoral law is made must be reasonably appropriate and adapted to serve an end which is consistent or compatible with the maintenance of the constitutionally prescribed system of representative government Denying the vote to some without substantial reasons violated that concept Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Act of 2016 Approximately 17 of Australians as per the last election preference micro parties ahead of major parties in the chance that their micro party will be elected As has been admitted by most commentators due to removal of Group Voting Tickets GVTs this will no longer be practically possible and millions of votes will end up exhausted and elect either primarily or preferentially no one Alleged reasons for change ATL voters do not know where their preferences go Response Even though this is mostly true it is irrelevant as Above The Line ATL voting for micro party supporters is still by far their best chance of getting their first choice party elected On balance democracy should be more about getting your primary candidate elected than knowing who your secondary candidates are Candidates can get elected with only 0 5 of primary vote Response True but there is nothing undemocratic about this The candidate still represents 14 2 of the electorate who would otherwise be represented by no one Preferential voting has been an accepted part of Australia s electoral system for almost a century Summation Voters specifically concerned where their subsequent preferences are going can now vote BTL for as far as they wish The majority of marginal voters whose main concern is to get their chosen party elected can only practically do so using GVTs and must be given that chance Due to the fact that without just cause approximately 16 of the voters easily making up a quota would be effectively disenfranchised due to their votes becoming exhausted and discarded the CEA is invalid with respect to the abolition of GVTs as it is not reasonably appropriate and adapted to serve an end which is consistent or compatible with the maintenance of the constitutionally prescribed system of representative government Introduction The Glenn Drury road to electoral success In the last few years there has been a prolificacy of micro parties in both federal and state parliaments The reason

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  • Frequently Asked Questions
    merely declare the winning party to be their least worst choice When only one candidate in a single member electorate can win it is very disingenuous to state that voters actually supported that candidate merely because they didn t detest him or her as much as they did the others We have to draw a limit to the alleged virtues of stability when it means that so many voters end up with a representative who wasn t their first choice Besides when there is a separately elected executive the stability given by having a majority party in parliament is of much less importance How can we have confidence in our government when because of the proliferation of large and small parties at any time we don t know who has the power What if we need emergency legislation passed No leader of the government can give an assurance that legislation can immediately be enacted into law There will be stability because the chief executive Prime Minister President who does have some powers is in for a fixed term immaterial of his support in Parliament House It is true that no MP party leader can speak for the legislative assembly and declare that some legislation will definitely be passed This however probably only appears a problem as it is something we have been used to experience For all of its history the US Congress has been in the same situation and they have never really viewed it as a problem Members of congress are not bound to their parties call and even when one party has a majority in both houses in still does not guarantee that that party s leader can introduce legislation and be sure that it will be passed Extremists Doesn t proportional representation give rise to small extremist parties and allow them a platform for their unpleasant views Well we do live in a democracy They possibly find our views unpleasant If we truly believe we are right then we cannot fear the words spoken by our political enemies Besides in parliament they would only be granted time to speak in proportion to the size of their party Won t we be in the situation where small and possibly extremist parties control the balance of power and dictate legislation in return for their support with required legislation The bark of control the balance of power is a lot worse than its bite What many people don t realise is that a lot of legislation is passed with bi partisan support that is support from all of the major parties No party appealing to what may be described as the middle of the road voter wants to be left behind by not being seen to endorse predominately popular legislation whose time has come A common effective criticism of one party from another is something similar to the line ten years ago when this important legislation was first introduced members seated on the other side failed to give it their support The minority parties only begin to get their leverage when the proposed legislation itself is partisan and somewhat controversial In such cases there will always be a limit to what deal a major party will do because after all it always has to maintain its own reputation It s not going to be in its interest if the price it has to pay to get its own program through is supporting some really bizarre legislation the publicity from which would cause it to lose substantial votes at the next election If the legislation it has to support in the horse trade is odd but relatively unobtrusive and benign to the population as a whole then is it really so bad that a small party manages to get some minor legislation through After all they represent the electorate too All that s going to happen is that parliament will be joined by a collection of single issue candidates What intelligent input on the bread and butter issues such as maintaining the economic health of the nation through low unemployment and a high value of the dollar will we get by candidates dedicated to gun rights euthanasia legalising marijuana capital punishment or saving the forests public schools or whales You can t choose an electoral system so as to filter out the type of representatives you don t want In a democracy a person should be able to choose anyone to represent them What comes next Anyone who hasn t a university degree or anyone who has never done manual labour should be denied access to Parliament In response to the specific criticism single issue politicians might claim that others place too much emphasis on interest rates at the expense of human rights No one has the arbitrary authority to declare what issues take priority The best indication would be in the numbers manifested from election results proportional to all those who voted Also it must be remembered that in Germany where because of proportional representation the Bundestag is populated by five different parties the economy is still managed so as to remain the strongest in Europe Representation Doesn t it mean I will miss out on having a local representative Any group of people who felt at a loss in not being able to now have a local representative could be reminded that if there were sufficient numbers of them in the same area with similar thoughts they still could elect someone local As there would no longer be electorate boundaries a popular MP in any area could spread his net further to adjacent localities to garner sufficient votes to make up his quota If it turned out that there were still not enough votes it would simply mean that the people in that general area wish to define themselves by other criteria than geography A minority of people in any specific area can hardly have a right to complain if the majority think other issues are more important

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  • Benefits of Proportional Representation
    The costs of this redrawing of the electoral maps include not only the analysis of population movements of the whole state as well as public awareness campaigns informing voters of their new districts but also legal challenges to any new proposed boundaries where there may be a suspicion that a gerrymander is at play see newspaper clipping below Cost of an election to the taxpayer will be cheaper with regards to both printing and administration as there will be only one common ballot paper for the whole country Cost of an election to parties and their supporters will be cheaper as advertisements and promotional material how to vote cards will be the same throughout the country No Abuse of Process No bizarre election results where parties with fewer votes can still win more seats in the legislature due to the either intentional or accidental gerrymander effect No violation of the one person one vote principle due to electorate malapportionment where some electorates happen to end up with more voters than others In the Australian 2007 federal election the 122 401 voters of the electoral district of Canberra appointed one person to represent them in Parliament while the 117 901 voters in the area covering both Solomon and Lingiari are represented by two members in Parliament In Western Australia one specific upper house state metropolitan electorate has four times as many voters as the smallest rural seat In the United Kingdom the average seat in England where the Conservatives are the strongest party has 73 212 voters while the average seat in Labour dominated Wales has just 56 531 voters 1 Also in the United Kingdom the 21 908 voters of one seat in Scotland s Western Isles have the same political clout in Westminster as the 110 228 voters of

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  • Links
    rotating electoral periods and to maintain necessary constitutional requirements Rotating Electoral Periods A rotation system as exists in most Australian PR electorates is when at every election only half the seats are up of election but for twice the electoral period followed by at the next election the remaining seats which would at that stage have completed their double electoral term The alleged justification for this system is the stability it offers to the parliamentary house it is attached to An upper house elected by rotation with only half of the members facing re election each time provides greater continuity of experience and stability Elections only every three years can lead to short term thinking and planning which may not be in the best interests of the nation There are a number of problems with this theory The premise the argument is based upon is that the public are a fickle lot who are forever changing their representatives at the first whim of displeasure But history has shown that this is not the case Even for the Australian House of Representatives which does not have extended terms well in excess of 50 of incumbents at every election unless retiring after a long period in Parliament retain their seats In fact in some democracies the opposite often appears to be the case In the United States where it is not rare for at least 75 of standing incumbents to retain their seats constitutional amendments known as term limit initiatives have been attempted with some success to specifically limit rather than extend the tenure of democratic representatives If indeed the voters are fickle and dismiss an incumbent due to their short term thinking cannot those same voters at another time be equally fickle and appoint for a double period a representative who quickly turns out to be quite unacceptable In that case the solution to the first problem undeniably becomes the cause of the second Stability is very important with regards to executive government the Prime Minister and cabinet and senior public service It is not a good sign for foreign investment domestic business or foreign relations to have the occupants of senior government offices regularly changing hands However to claim that the seats of the legislature possibly changing political texture every three years should be a problem does seem to be pushing the envelope Compared to the executive the actions of Parliament have quite less a direct effect where often enacted legislation will take a year or more before coming into effect and then only after being approved by the crown as well as being consistent with the constitution Whether or not Parliament attains greater needed stability one thing without doubt is that having only half the seats available at every election doubles the quota needed to win a seat Multiple Electoral Zones The reason for not having the whole state or even country as a single zone for proportional representation but instead dividing the area up into multiple member electorates

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  • Criticism
    parties from the True Finns in Finland to Geert Wilders far right Freedom Party in The Netherlands gain legitimacy from PR that allows them to thrive A few years ago Boris Johnson the mayor of London best summed up the mess of PR pointing out that in the 50 years since the war there were 103 elections in Germany Italy Japan Switzerland Belgium The Netherlands and Sweden all countries that favour PR and its endless stream of buggins turn coalitions And how often in those 103 elections did voters actually succeed in producing a change of government Six times Not one to mince words Johnson revealed PR as a fraud upon voters because it will always tend to erode the sovereign right of the people to kick the rascals out Oliver Hartwich who heads The New Zealand Initiative a free market think tank in Wellington has called PR workable only in fair weather democracies Hartwich says a form of PR was introduced into Germany after World War II to ensure a weak government They didn t want another Hitler like figure he says But under the old West Germany it was easy to govern with consensual politics when the economy was constantly growing No hard decisions needed to be made Germany has an electoral model that best suits a fair weather democracy When economic clouds gather consensual politics make it near impossible to reform an economy But once PR is introduced it is difficult to remove Just look to New Zealand as evidence of that This is why we should remember last week It has been bad enough enduring the policy failures of this shambolic minority government while the Australian economy is booming But consider a different scenario Buoyed by complacency we or a complacent next generation adopt the Greens model of PR Economic clouds severely darken over Australia Real reform is needed PR will deliver us a truly awful outcome constant reform paralysis poor policy and a wretched economy Again if in any doubt about this go looking for the naive academic s co operative Europe When you find it please report back Janet Albrechtsen a response to Ms Albrechtsen Proportion blame where it is due Last week in an article titled The Proportional Pathway to Policy Paralysis Janet Albrechtsen gave a coherent argument describing how the wrong type of electoral systems can lead to all facets of dysfunctional government where instability pork barrelling and minor parties disproportionate influence to their voting base can shame what should be the pride of democratic governance Whereas she was accurate in identifying many of the problems that exist not only here but also in democracies overseas her pinning the blame on proportional representation PR may have been rather unfair to the only system that gives minorities a political voice Under existing so called responsible government political frameworks here and overseas where PR voting is utilised governments are often unstable because they can only be formed by a coalition of sometimes disparate political

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