JSCEM Senate reform inquiry – video highlights


I watched some parts of today’s JSCEM inquiry, and cut together a few short clips of interesting parts of the day. I thought I would post them on Youtube and here – if you have a section which you think was particularly interesting, let me know in comments and I’ll cut it and upload it.

Firstly, this 42 second interaction between Antony Green and Stephen Conroy about whether voters actively choose to vote above the line, or are ‘herded’ into it by a voting system that makes it much much harder to vote below-the-line. This is related to my blog post on informal rates amongst below-the-line voters.

Go below the fold for three more videos.

And here is a longer 5-minute clip which includes the above, as well as more interesting discussions which are revealing about the real issues at the core of Senate reform.

Here is the five-minute introductory statement from the original public psephologist, Malcolm Mackerras, in which he is strongly critical of the proposed changes, as well as previous changes in 1984. He also makes some off-topic criticisms of Malcolm Turnbull and calls on senators to take the new law to the High Court.

And finally, a short clip where committee chairman David Coleman clarifies with Mackerras that he believes the Senate voting system has been unconstitutional since 1984.

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  1. While I don’t agree with Mr Mackerras’ assertion that group voting tickets are unconstitutional, I certainly agree with Antony Green’s assessment of the existing situation and his recommendations for progress. One can only hope his testimony carries some sway with the members.

  2. If an optional preferential system will now apply below the line why is the line needed at all?

  3. Because 6 preferences are required below the line for a formal vote (even though the instructions will say to give 12), but the electorate has had more than 30 years of being able to vote just 1.

    After a few elections under this system, with people getting used to numbering at least 6, you could do away with the above-the-line option entirely.

  4. Yes. To help this along people might campaign expressly for any twelve preferences below the line which hopefully might not include sitting people of the major (‘big’) parties. At least it gives voters a better chance of upsetting Party tickets. The prospects here are mouthwatering.

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