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View Full Version : I just looked a bit at Australian elections...



steben
09-08-2013, 03:39 PM
My sister lives in Australia, she got married there as well by the way, since she started working there in the anti-cancer pharmaceutics... yes I'm proud of her :D
Recently I noticed the elections. Politics in Australia are really very European as it seems....

- The "Liberals", how related and close Australia may seem to the UK / US, are in fact "conservatives". "Liberal" refrs to "Liberty" in the economic sense. very continental European.... all "Liberals" in western continental Europe are centre-right, not progressive.

- The centre-right "coalition" .... hehehe.... how French is that? :D Or Italian!

- A lot of "coalition" parties in Australia are locally state-related, just as the CSU / CDU coalitian in Bavaria, Germany. Not that difficult to understand. However, some lcoal parties, as the LNP (liberal national party), are in fact as related to the Liberal Party as they are with the National Party. Not that big a problem, becaus eboth are in the "coalition" My god, how complicated is that (and funny)?

Rising Sun*
09-09-2013, 09:24 AM
Don't forget the independents and minor parties who will control the balance of power in the senate, which is the upper house in our two house parliament and which has to pass any legislation introduced into the lower house where the Liberal / National Party Coalition has a significant majority. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/detours-ahead-as-minor-parties-claim-senate-balance-20130908-2te36.html

"Donkey vote" refers to people who just tick the first party or candidate on the left of the ballot paper. This position is reckoned to worth about 1 to 2% extra votes.

steben
09-09-2013, 09:38 AM
Don't forget the independents and minor parties who will control the balance of power in the senate, which is the upper house in our two house parliament and which has to pass any legislation introduced into the lower house where the Liberal / National Party Coalition has a significant majority. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/detours-ahead-as-minor-parties-claim-senate-balance-20130908-2te36.html

"Donkey vote" refers to people who just tick the first party or candidate on the left of the ballot paper. This position is reckoned to worth about 1 to 2% extra votes.

Big difference in Senate and lower house!
How come?

In Belgium there used to be big difference in voting in two houses. Division between regions aside (Flemish - Walloon), the main difference was regional / national. Senate had one list of candidates everywhere (usually the veterans, party leaders...), the Chamber (lower house) had a list for each province (locals).

Rising Sun*
09-09-2013, 10:39 AM
Big difference in Senate and lower house!
How come?


In Belgium there used to be big difference in voting in two houses. Division between regions aside (Flemish - Walloon), the main difference was regional / national. Senate had one list of candidates everywhere (usually the veterans, party leaders...), the Chamber (lower house) had a list for each province (locals).

Senate / lower house similar here.

Senators are elected to represent each state. Lower house members are elected to represent many more local electorates in each state. These aren't state based electorates as each lower house electorate is equal to every other one in the country so far as electing a member is concerned, but not in the value of a voter's vote as metropolitan electorates can be many times the size of rural ones in the number of voters, but they all elect one member. Lower house electorates are very much smaller geographically and in the number of voters than the Senate electorates. The differences in the size of the Senate and lower house electorates and the mysteries of our preferential voting system make it easier for minor parties to win in the Senate.

This is compounded by a long tradition, which I often follow, of voting for one of the two major parties (strictly three, as the Liberals / Nationals are a coalition but for practical purposes are usually regarded as a single unit) in the lower house where the Prime Minister sits and which is the heart of the government, although senators are also members of the government and can be Ministers but not Prime Minister, but voting for a different, often minor, party in the Senate to put a brake on the government.

When the government controls both houses it can do as it likes as it can ram all its legislation through both houses. Many of us, necessarily including a proportion of people who normally vote for one of the two major parties, are sufficiently distrustful of both major parties and most politicians not to want a government which can do whatever it likes.

The last government was a minority government which did shameful and hypocritical deals with independents in the lower house and with the Greens in the Senate to keep itself in power, which is what most politicians care about most. There was widespread discontent with that government for that and many other reasons, which is why it was convincingly defeated. There is also a good deal of cynicism about the new government, which probably contributed to the desire to put a brake on it by voting differently in the Senate.

A further factor is that most of the latest crop of minor parties, whose candidates will take some time to recover from the shock of actually being elected to the Senate, did not stand candidates in the lower house electorates as they lacked the resources to contest numerous electorates in one state compared with contesting just the Senate positions in the same state which are dealt with as a single election / electorate.

This election is most unusual in the number of very minor parties which have got into the Senate but generally not into the lower house. This appears to be in part due to the skilful exploitation of our preferential voting system as mentioned in the article I linked above, but I suspect also very much due to a general dissatisfaction with the major parties and, as in my case, a reluctance to put either collection of lying, hypocritical, self-serving, arrogant major party bastards in unfettered control of the nation.

Naturally the two major parties regard the election of several very minor parties to the Senate as something which requires corrective action before the next election. The last thing they want is a truly democratic system where any idiot (as distinct from the idiots in the two major parties) can get elected. The new government is already making noises about reviewing what it clearly regards as a defective electoral system which allows new players into the game to upset the two established players, and the other major party will undoubtedly agree.

Rising Sun*
09-09-2013, 11:55 AM
- A lot of "coalition" parties in Australia are locally state-related, just as the CSU / CDU coalitian in Bavaria, Germany. Not that difficult to understand. However, some lcoal parties, as the LNP (liberal national party), are in fact as related to the Liberal Party as they are with the National Party. Not that big a problem, becaus eboth are in the "coalition" My god, how complicated is that (and funny)?

It gets more complicated with the Northern Territory successor to the Country Party which became the National Party nationally (which with the Liberals is part of the new national coalition government) becoming the often governing Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory which isn't part of any of them, but sort of is.


In 1979 the Country Liberal Party established "an association" with both the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Country Party of Australia. Both coalition parties receive Country Liberal Party delegations. The CLP President has full voting rights with the National Party and observer status with the Liberal Party.

CLP members of the Federal Parliament are directed by the CLP where they are to sit. This could be with the National Party, the Liberal Party or on the cross benches.

Indicative of CLP affiliation with both Federal Coalition partners, former Senator Bernie Kilgariff sat with the Liberal Party and the National Party during his time in Canberra. http://www.countryliberals.org.au/content.php?id=1000

Then again, they do drink an awful lot in the Northern Territory. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/northern-territory-drinks-most-alcohol-in-the-world/story-e6freuzr-1225735132584

Nickdfresh
09-09-2013, 03:40 PM
Then again, they do drink an awful lot in the Northern Territory. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/northern-territory-drinks-most-alcohol-in-the-world/story-e6freuzr-1225735132584

That's saying a lot when one Aussie says another drinks a lot... :mrgreen:

tankgeezer
09-09-2013, 06:28 PM
Is the term "Lot" in this context defined as just more than normal, or as a Batch ? (could be either)

steben
09-10-2013, 02:47 AM
It gets more complicated with the Northern Territory successor to the Country Party which became the National Party nationally (which with the Liberals is part of the new national coalition government) becoming the often governing Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory which isn't part of any of them, but sort of is.

http://www.countryliberals.org.au/content.php?id=1000

Then again, they do drink an awful lot in the Northern Territory. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/northern-territory-drinks-most-alcohol-in-the-world/story-e6freuzr-1225735132584

lol!!!

As a centrist with a tendency towards power control (ok, rather conservative they tell me) I support the situation in the country. If I were Australian, I wouldn't need a reform just because the major parties want it. Usually 'proper, efficient gouverning' will be thrown into the discussion as to convince opponents of reform. It is my nature however not to thrust in the existence of major difficulties that need efficient (read: dictatorial) gouverning if no war or disaster is a threat at the moment. And if such a situation occurs, no reform is needed either, since it will direct the noses in the same direction anyway.
No,no. Democracy is what it is. Face it. Politicians have enough means to ensure decision making. It doesn't need to be easy.

In the US, some may complain about the Democrat vs Republican issue. But I do not dare to imagine what an overall majority all the time in all houses would make possible... Switching party every 10 years makes it even worse in that case.
Some people that live in a represantative democracy (in which % determines the most the number of seats) often make the remark that countries as the US are a temporarily elected dictatorship.