Despite what some people have said, this election result is terrible. Hung governments are impotent governments. I had a lot of sympathy for the ALP; how could anybody achieve their reform agenda when they’ve got an irrationally hostile Senate? Now they’re going to attempt their agenda with a hostile Senate and House of Representatives.
There were a few good points. I’m yet to find a seat where the informal vote was lower than the primary vote for the Secular Party. I’m an atheist and even I can’t stand them.
There were some surprising points. Check out the distribution of votes for the ALP and the Greens in Melbourne.
ALP Primary: 27,771
Greens Primary: 25,387
ALP 2PP: 31,154
Greens Primary: 39,172
Notice how little the ALP vote changed after preferences? There were 14 thousand people who voted for the Liberal Party, but the ALP vote doesn’t move nearly that much. Therefore, the bulk of Liberal voters gave their preferences to the Greens over the ALP. How extremely weird.
And then there was the just plain stupid. I feel sorry for Senator Steve Fielding. As downright silly as he is, he’s a genius in comparison to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. During the election coverage, she noted that if the rules were completely different and we had proportional voting, the Greens would have taken 17 seats. What she neglects to say is that proportional voting would have given the CDP Christian and Family First parties several seats as well. Thank Zeus, we don’t have proportional voting. She also neglects to mention the huge number of seats where the Greens primary vote was less than the number of informal votes cast. The Greens Party is just a stunt party who couldn’t even manage to draw the protest vote in places where people were literally throwing away their votes.
I propose a new system for elections. Instead of voting for a candidate, you vote against them. The candidate with the least number of negative votes wins. We’d never hear from the Greens Party again.
In other news, congratulations to the Australian Sex Party for their excellent first time showing. The question will be whether they can sustain it. I’ve been trying to work out the number of votes per candidate (parties with more candidates obviously end up with more votes) and a rough measure seems to put it up at the One Nation level of support. That makes me feel slightly better about Australia.