Wentworth by-election nominations day


Nominations will be declared at midday today for the Wentworth by-election. I’m going to drop by the ballot draw in Sydney and will update the candidate list on my seat guide in the early afternoon.

As of this morning I’m aware of at least thirteen candidates, who are all listed on the seat guide.

I’ve been a bit quiet over recent weeks as I’ve been focusing on seat guides but I’m going to start doing more active blogging as we head into the Wentworth by-election and Victorian state election.

In the meantime, please use this as a thread to discuss the candidate nominations today.

Update: here is the full list in ballot order:

  • Robert Callanan (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Dominic Wy Kanak (Greens)
  • Shayne Higson (Voluntary Euthanasia)
  • Steven Georgantis (People’s Party)
  • Tim Murray (Labor)
  • Ben Forsyth (Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party)
  • Tony Robinson (Liberty Alliance)
  • Samuel Gunning (Liberal Democrats)
  • Dave Sharma (Liberal)
  • Angela Vithoulkas (Independent)
  • Deb Doyle (Animal Justice)
  • Andrea Leong (Science Party)
  • Licia Heath (Independent)
  • Barry Keldoulis (Arts Party)
  • Kerryn Phelps (Independent)
  • Kay Dunne (Sustainable Australia)
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  1. Great to see Wentworth voters will have such a large group of candidates to vote for however with our undemocratic preferencial voting system many in Wentworth will end up electing a candidate they may not want as an MHR as it was not their first choice and few are interested in a 2nd or 3rd choice candidates.

  2. Strange way to define undemocratic Adrian. I’d guess you’d just prefer it if we had a different system because your favourite party may become more likely to win.

    I for one am very interested in my 2nd, 3rd, etc. choice win if my 1st doesn’t.

  3. Preferential voting is way more democratic than first past the post, because it ensures that 50% +1 of the electorate preferred the elected candidate over the runner up.

    With first past the post, a candidate may come first on a 30% primary vote but the other 70% may have put them last and preferred anybody but them….

  4. Surely first past the post (which really means closest to the post as nobody is likely to get 50% of first preferences) would be little more than a lottery with 16 candidates.

    While a voter has to use each number 1-16, they have to have at least a slight preference between each candidate, but they can vote 1-3 for the three candidates they don’t much mind which of the three gets in, and 12-16 for the five complete fruitcakes, and 4-11 for the others.

    FPP could mean that those top three candidates get about 20% each (with 2nd and 3rd preferences to the other two), and are beaten by one of the “fruitcake” candidates voted for by 35% of the voters who like fruitcake.

  5. FPP works well in many countries, including our mother country the UK, which is the cradle of modern democracy. My point is only my first preference is of interest to me. In Melbourne Portlast election the Libs got 41% while the ALP and Greens got about half that each but the ALP won on preferences. The ALP is not the same as the Greens and the Greens are not the same as the ALP. They hate each other.

  6. It doesn’t matter if ALP & Greens are the same or if they hate each other.

    What matters is what the voters preferred, and the fact is that 51.4% of the voters preferred the ALP over the Liberals and that’s why the ALP candidate won.

    The fact that the Libs got 41% of the primary vote while the ALP and Greens both got under 30% is only a reflection of how much competition they had on their side of politics.

    Progressive voters had a smorgasbord of options on the ballot at that election – Labor, Greens, Animal Justice, Drug Law Reform, Marriage Equality, even the independent.

    Conservative voters had one option – the Liberal.

    What you’ve just highlighted using Melbourne Ports as your example, is the very reason FPP doesn’t work – and that’s because with FPP the contest comes down to nothing more than who has the least like-minded competition; not who most of the electorate would actually prefer.

    FPP would discourage voting for minor/independents, and even discourage them from running, because of the risk of fracturing the vote on their side of politics.

    Here is a perfect example of why FPP doesn’t work. I voted in Ports in 2016 and my first choice wasn’t Labor or Liberal, but in a FPP system I would have been forced to vote Labor because anything else would have been a wasted vote that could help the Lib win.

    Nobody loses out with preferential voting. Again using Ports as the example, if you voted for the Lib (or Labor) then your preferences weren’t distributed anyway and you are having a say in the final race. If you voted for a smaller party, you got to contribute to their primary vote without losing your say in the final two as well. It works.

    There’s nothing at all unfair about preferential voting. The Liberal in Ports simply lost because 51.4% of the electorate didn’t want him to. That’s exactly how it should work.

  7. FPTP works well in exactly zero countries. It is a disaster in the UK, has caused decades of problems in Canada, and is at least partly responsible for the absurdity that is current US politics. Anyone who looks at that and wants a piece of it is, frankly, someone not worth listening to about anything related to elections.

  8. leave preferential but introduce a savings provision where a vote is formal as long as the voter intention is clear. 1 by itself is formal but cannot tell choices so no preferences, 1.2.3 4. shows voters choices for the first 4 candidates only

  9. mick

    That’s basically the NSW optional preferential voting system (and in a way, the Australian Senate’s system as well).

    Agree with Trent though – the best thing about preferential voting is that voters do not lose out (50%+1 is an emphatic endorsement by voters as opposed to 20% which just happened to beat out 15%, 16%, 18% and so on) and that there is a lot more incentive for other candidates to compete.

    Two things I’d like to see done in the future are restrictions on HTVs where candidates can only put their own side on their party and no one else – end the ridiculous fussing over of preference deals by the parties and the media; and Robson rotation implemented to negate the effect of the donkey vote.

  10. I am in two minds about FPTP vs the TPP system, on one hand I think the person with the highest primary vote should be elected however at least with the TPP system, the successful candidate has to receive 50.01% to be elected, this is fairer than being elected with say 35% primary vote. At most federal and state elections there are only ever a handful of seat results that would be changed if we moved to a FPTP instead of the TPP. One thing we should do is have each candidate’s HTV card set up in the polling booth with a booth worker making sure no one was tampering with them instead of focusing on voting.

  11. I just think we should do away with HTV cards. The biggest complaint about a 2PP system is from voters who don’t realise they are in control of their own preferences and that parties “give their preferences” away and the outcome is decided by preference deals.

    Banning HTV cards would eliminate that and voters would feel more empowered. That way when candidates win on preferences the voters don’t see it as being some sort of rigged fix-up (which it isn’t).

  12. One more point, in a sense preferencial voting is the true “first past the post” because “the post” is a majority, a majority is >50%, and in what is called a FPTP system, the winner doesn’t actually even have to pass the post at all!! So really it’s just “closest to the post” whereas in preferencial voting it’s the first to actually get there.

  13. First Past the post is an inaccurate description it should more accurately described as all dropped dead before the post
    Agree with Benee on this issue. Adrian should know that FPP did not work that well in UK Labour snuck in in 1920’s and in most Labour Victories since then because Whig votes were ignored or in more recent years UKIP votes ignored. Tory’s won in most of their victories because left wing votes ignored.

    Faults of preferential voting could be fixed by educating voters.If as much money had been allocated to voter education as subverting morality voters would pay attention to their 3 and 4 votes. An alternative could be do away with pre poll and First Week all candidates on ballot. Week 2 14 candidates
    Week 3 13 candidates.. and so on till
    Week 14 2 candidates.
    Andrew Jackson

  14. There is still optional preferencial that QLD used to have before a major party stopped it (dont know which one did it) so whats wrong with that then?

  15. The trouble with optional preferential is that neither major party can be trusted with it.

    In the past two decades here in Queensland, they’ve both run “just vote 1” campaigns with the intentional side-effect of suppressing opposing voters’ preference rates. (Labor did it back in the late 90s, the LNP post-amalgamation.)

    OPV is of course superior to FPV in that it can be more expressive (you can rank people equal last as well as expressing a full preference sequence).

    Ideally in a single-member-district system we’d use some sort of Condorcet method and then a valid ballot sequence could have candidates ranked equally anywhere along it.

  16. What has it got to do with the two major parties? The voter place 1 only or 1 and 2 etc on the ballot paper and disregard the rest of the candidates. Only morons follow HTV cards.

    HTV cards at polling places should be banned or better still conduct all election by postal vote like for council elections in Victoria. Simple and no rent and labour cost to man dozens of polling places per electorate.

    I early vote as I dont like ques or getting caught in the rain or hot sun for long periods. I also hate being harrassed by campaign worker trying to shove HTV cards into my hand. When I vote below the line in the Senate I need time at early voting to get the vote for the 60 or more candidates correct.

    All that plastic wrap at polling places is a waste of money and is environmental polution were discarded after the election. Next election I may consider voting for a candidate with the least or nil plastic wrap at the polling place.

  17. Adrian, everyone votes even “idiots” and “morons”, the system must be designed with that fact in mind. Enough people are fooled by the intentional “fooling” that was major parties in QLD (and still in NSW) getting the “just vote one” message out prominently to effect the result of the election.

    Many people are likewise influenced to vote for a party by it’s appeared prominence. I would agree with banning or limiting polling booth volunteer numbers, behaviour, and postage rules but expecting parties to scale it back unilaterally doesn’t seem reasonable, you’re just asking for parties to intentionally disadvantage themselves.

  18. The AEC dont design the system with HTV, plastic wrap and all the other crap parties and candidates use. The AEC run the election and see that votes are lodged correctly, accounted for and they declare a winner.

  19. Adrian –

    The AEC barely have responsibility for the ‘design’ of the system at all. Pretty much all the particulars are laid out in legislation (with the Commissioner given the power to make a few rulings on minor issues).

    You’re asking for the cats to bell themselves.

    If anyone wants to vote against electoral material resource wastage I recommend voting for a minor party or independent 🙂

  20. What is happening in Wentworth? Surely someone can give us some facts and not just opinion.
    Street meetings
    Candidate forums
    Door knocking
    Flyers local newspaper coverage
    Party meetings and leaked internal polling?????

    Who what where when and how
    Most of us know each other’s opinions already.

  21. Deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg was in Wentworth last week according to the website J-Wire. Odd as Josh is the Member for Kooyong in Victoria and parliament was not sitting so a cheaper side trip to Sydney was not possible either. Who paid for his visit? I hope it was not the taxpayers. Also the PM lives in Sydney and he could have visited instead at no cost to the taxpayer I assume.

  22. Andrew (no relation) we can give up on local newspapers in Wentworth if they are like thoses in Metropolitian Melbourne were I live. Most have identical editorial content from a paler in one distribution area to the next and are about trivia or womens and cafe marketing pretending to be editorial and no letters to the editor now either. If it was not for real estate adds local papers would not exist. They are just junk mail pretending to be a newspaper. Most are owned by Fairfax and News Ltd.

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