Merry Christmas

Activity at this site will be pretty light in the coming month or so, as I will be hard at work on my guide to the March 24 New South Wales election (among other things). I will at some point knock together a preview of the by-election to be held for the Western Australian state seat of Peel on February 3. For those seeking an overview of the recent Victorian election, you could do a lot worse than this effort by Nick Economou of Monash University, brought to you by the good people at Democratic Audit.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

154 comments on “Merry Christmas”

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  1. A few random points:
    * Chris, it might have been better if Mulholland and co had picked a new name for their party rather than persist with the DLP brand, which will always arouse visceral hatred in large sections of the ALP (for reasons I’m sure you understand). I think the current DLP is trying to be a Christian Democratic party on the German or Italian model – it’s a pity the Christian Democrat brand was stolen by that old fool Fred Nile.
    * Gaynor, Australia is a federation, and therefore the states run their own electoral systems. If we are in favour of abolishing the states and having everything run by Canberra, we should say so. I think federalism is a good thing and should be retained, but I agree there is a price to be paid for it in terms of duplication and different standards between the states. If there are serious problems with the VEC the solutions may include: new management; more money; better parliamentary oversight; changes to the Act – but not abolishing it.
    * I too was a little puzzled that the ALP didn’t do more about Ferntree Gully and West Metro. I gather the view at State Office was that in a further recount in West Metro we would not make further progress. The historical precedents are that even if we succeeded in overturning the result in FTG we would lose a by-election.
    * On upper house reform. Before the election we had 25 MLCs. Only ten of them are there now, while two moved the the Assembly. The rest either retired, lost their preselections or were defeated. They knew when they voted for reform in Caucus that this would be the likely outcome, given the dynamics of the new system (I wrote a paper showing what would happen, which was seen by MLCs). They voted for reform out of their belief that it was right, and for the long-term benefit of this and future Labor governments, which will never again face a hostile upper house. I think this shows commitment to principle and altruism of a kind rarely seen among Australian politicians.

  2. Sorry, my numbers were slightly out

    ALP MLCs 2002:

    * Re-elected: Broad, Darveniza, Jennings, Lenders, Madden, Mikakos, Scheffer, Smith, Somyurek, Theophanous, Viney (11)
    * Moved to Assembly: Eren, Thomson (2)
    * Ratted: Hadden (1)
    * Retired or deselected: Buckingham, Gould, Hilton, Hirsch, McQuilten, Mitchell, Nguyen (7)
    * Defeated: Argondizzo, Carbines, Pullen, Romanes (4)

    *Newcomers 2006: Eideh, Elasmar, Leane, Pakula, Pulsford, Tee, Thornley, Tierney (8)

  3. Sean (post December 24th, 2006 at 2:11 am)

    regarding the greens HTV cards is their any evidence that the greens HTV cards have a significant effect on the preference flows? (id imagine it would be hard to test due to the rarity of the greens preferencing liberals over alp) I vaguely remember something on one of the blog sites (i think here ozpol or mumble) regarding this saying it had a very limited effect.

  4. Cameron, if there is no Green HTV about 93% pref go to ALP, with a HTV that prefs ALP it goes up about 4%. I don’t know what it would do if the ticket preferenced the Right as I only know Vic stats and it hasn’t happened here.

  5. Cameron. if the VEC published the detailed preference results we would know exactly.

    Adam: Credit for the reforms must go to John Cain and Evan Walker who first introduced a reformist policy. john Landres, Steve Bracks and John Brumby delivered on the ALP promise.

    The proposal for a single independent Australian Electoral Authority would not entail the abolition of the VEC just a vastly scaled down version. The VEC would maintain a Chief Electoral Commission and a small executive staff members. The Chief Commissioner would be a member of the board of directors of the new authority. Whilst it is desirable to standardise electoral requirements it is not a requirement in order to have a single professional organization. Fact is the VEC stuff-up big time. Throwing more money after bad and the cost of duplication can not be justified.

  6. Why is it “desirable to standardise electoral requirements”? If people in Qld want OPV and no upper house, fine. If people in Tas want Hare-Clark, fine. I am in favour of federalism and the diversity it creates. “Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a thousand schools of thought contend.”

  7. Adam,

    Tasmania is an example of how a state conducts superb elections. The Tasmanian Electoral Commission maintains a small executive and a commissioner, but they employ the AEC to conduct the election for them.

    Sure the state boundaries are the same as the federal boundaries. But there is consistency in relation to returning officers, polling places, polling place staff, post election casual staff etc.

    The recent state election in Victoria was a disgrace. Why should the people of Victoria have to put up with that rubbish. The polling places were a shambles, there were queues all day, post election counts were inaccurate, transparency appeared to be low. This election isn’t necessarily isolated either. I remember what happened in Hastings in 2002.

    Forget about extra money, additional resources, changes in management etc. Let a professional body conduct the entire election. Afterall the AEC maintains the roll for the VEC. Extend this to the whole election process and ensure the job gets done properly.

    Elections are more professionally conducted by the feds than the states. Let’s have some common sense here. Do the job properly, rather than place a band-aid over an infected wound.

  8. Gaynor Your comments are right and to some extent so is Adams. When the process of the conduct of the election can be standardise then clearly it should be. Just like we have common road rules/standards. The main issue IU have is that each state has different rules in the counting of proportional representation and that the rules in use is out of date. First thing to go is the method of calculating the transfer value. Once that issue is resolved you can review issues such as segmentation, integer based transfers and where optional preferential exists adopt a reiterative count, The rules that are currently in place were designed to facilitate senate elections and a manual count. The discrepancies I the formula become more apparent when you apply the Senate rules to municipal elections. They do not match nor are they one vote one value. The fact that NSW still maintains a lottery sample preference transfer is to my surprise as I thought that was dropped many years ago. The PR society adopted a value based surplus transfer but also advocated the last bundle and FIFO transfer as opposed to the VEC aggregated value segmentation.

    All these distortions in the mathematics of the vote are no longer required with the use of computer based technology. We can retain the remainders and we can proportion out the vote based on this transferred progressive value as opposed to distorting the value of votes to simplified the counting process. Once you remove these anominalies of unjust calculations we can then adopt a single transaction one per candidate making the count process more straightforward and the possibility of undertaking a reiterative count. With each elimination the ballot is reset and recounted any votes that exaughsted are removed from the count and the quota adjusted to reflect the full proportionality of the count.

    Withe the introduction fo computer based technology we also need to ensure that the data files used to determine the results of the election are published and reality available for analysis and review. It is this data files that Scrutineers must be able to verify is true and accurate. This is done by a number of ways. Random sampling, selective query analysis and detailed breakdown of the ballot by polling place. The total number of votes recorded should match the total number of ballot papers issued. Any variance must be accounted for.

    The fact that there was a variation in the total; number of ballot papers between the provisional count and the recount is of serious concern and something that can not be justified or passed of a a simple mistake. Votes can and do go missing. Some are added.

    The other issue of concern which we need to get on top of real soon is the ability to access the results of the e-election on line and for data recorded to be out of the realm of proper scrutiny and validation. Any e-voting system MUST have a write once-read only log file that is made available for Scrutineers and alaysts to study and verify that the data has not been tampered with. Each e-voting computer must be protected from any access to the data prior to the close of the poll. The recorded votes should be able to be reconstructed using the write-once read only CD.

    If we are t maintain faith in future evoting public elections we need to ensure that the election is open and transparent, data is readily available and published immediately after the poll closes and the progress of the count shown on line in real time. It must also be managed by a professional and competent team. The VEC in this election has proven that is it not professional, not competent and certainly not open and transparent. If it was then monumental mistakes and poor management would not have occurred.

    Gaynors comments about the Tasmanian Government maintain a small executive is what Victoria should consider adopting but with the requirement that the AEC is an independent authority (Independent from direct state and federal government interference. Each State and the Federal Government appointed electoral commissioners would be on the board of directors and would oversea and report on the performance and functions of the newly created authority.

  9. Gaynor says: “Elections are more professionally conducted by the feds than the states.”
    * That is a very sweeping statement for which I doubt you can produce convincing evidence.
    * Even if it is true, it does not follow that the solution is to centralise all electoral administration in Canberra. If a given state authority is not performing well, the solution is usually to fix it, rather than advocate a federal takeover of its area of competence. Unless you are advocating the abolition of the states, the solution is to hold state governments to account for the performance of authorities they control.
    * I also doubt the constitutional propriety of one parliament in a federation having control of the election of the other parliaments in the federation. Such an idea would certainly not even be contemplated in the US, for example.
    * Even if it is true, the reverse might be true next year. These things vary according to who is in government and who is running the various authorities. There have been times when the AEC has stuffed things up and has been severely criticised, and also some evidence that it is being politicised by the current government.
    * For all these reasons, the idea of handing over running state elections to the AEC is simply a non-starter. If there are problems with the VEC, they have to be fixed in Victoria.

  10. In the US Federal Elections are a state responsability (many states give much of that responsability to lower levels of government). Most elections in the US are on the Tuseday after the first Monday in November (and in the same years as well).

  11. I’d like to see more states adopt Tasmania’s approach of aligning federal and state boundaries.

    For example, NSW has 93 state MPs, and from the next election, 49 federal MPs. You could increase the state MPs to 98 without making a noticeable impact on either the size of the Parliament or the size of electorates, and then you could simply divide every federal electorate in two.

    You would still need to conduct a state redistribution, but it would be a hell of a lot simpler, and would also make things simpler for voters in avoiding confusion about who exactly are their local members.

    Another example, you could divide every federal Queensland electorate in three, giving you 87 state electorates. I may be wrong, but my memory is that Queensland has 89 state seats as it is.

    It’s hardly a major reform, but I think it would be easy to accomplish and be quite a good idea.

  12. Victoria used the federal electoral boudaries for the upper house with the federal electorates split in two for the lower house from 1955 untill some point in the 60`s (when the state Libs introduced rural weighting).

    If federal boundaries are to be used then like Tasmania each federal electorate could be multi member state electorates but it would be slightly impractical to elect 5 as Tasmania does due to the size of parliaments that would create also electing 2 member per electorate would do strange things to politcs as it would move what areas are marginal around alot. Queensland would be improved by even 3-member electorates but more per electorate would be better.

    The only thing is that is the if the Commonwealth Parliament moved to PR (say the Greens got the balance of power in the HoR) then this would need redoing.

    My thoughts are: (electorates x members)

    Tasmania 5×7

    Victoria 13×7

    ACT 3×7

    NSW 15×7

    Queensland 13×7

    NT 5×7

    SA 7×7

    WA ?

  13. Adam You continually miss the point. First t is constitutionally possible. there is not limitation. Second having a independent Australian electoral authority does not entail it being based in Canberra and or under the control of the the federal Government,. It would be independent. Each State and the Federal Government would appoint one executive member to the board of the new authority. the Austerity would still be required to conduct the required election in accordance with State/Federal law depending on which election was being run. In over 30 years of active scrutiny of public elections I have found the VEC to be consistently bad. (This year being the worst) by contrast the AEC has been far more professional and open about the conduct of their elections. They have not acted unjustly to avoid the publication of the detailed elections results like Tully has. Ten only issue I have had with the AEC was not of their doing but of the City of Melbourne and the poor advice given them by Alison Lyon (former Legal Officer) and Jim Gifford who had no idea as to what he was doing. The AEC at all times has provide itself to be the more professional and educated authority.

    As single independent authority would generate significant saving in avoiding the cost of duplication. You suggestion that Governments throw more money at fixing the problem is most certainly not the way forward. There is little wonder why governments are so expensive at times. Its not a question of money (Although saving can be made) It’s a question of leadership and professional ability. The VEC has neither.

  14. In terns of reform of the lower house. I am not in favor of having at this stage a proportional lower house unless we abolish the upper-house. Whilst I have reservations about land holding franchises I believe that the two house model is best served by having the upper-house a multi member institution elected by proportional Representation. In my view Tasmania has it the wrong way around. Its upper-house should be PR and the lower-house single member electorates.

  15. Better Still abolish State Governments altogether. Tasmania is well and truly over represented. It should have no more then 5 local councils. (one per federal Seat) Maybe we should negotiate New Zealand becoming a State of Australia and Tasmanian becoming part of New Zealand or merging it with Victoria. ๐Ÿ™‚ we live in the age of vastly improved communications and the need for smaller states/colony’s no longer can be justified.

  16. Adam says “There have been times when the AEC has stuffed things up and has been severely criticised, and also some evidence that it is being politicised by the current government”.

    What evidence is there that the AEC is being politicised by the current government? First I’ve heard about it. If true then it is a scandal. I assume Adam has evidence.

    As for my comment about the feds running elections better then the states it is only my observation. I do know the AEC employ full-time staff. I do know they have a dispersed infrastructure. I do know their queues and efficiency in the polling places on election day appear to be better (in my area anyway). I do know that no federal results in living memory have been reversed as a result of botched counting.

    I do know when the AEC make a mistake they issue press releases to announce their error and offer mechanisms to prevent it from happening again. It’s called transparency. Look at their website, press releases go back to 1998. Look at the press release on 6/12/2005. A typical example of a professional and transparent electoral body. Mistakes are made, this is inevitable, but they are open and accountable.

    Mind you if anyone believes the states conduct elections better than the feds then they obviously see something I don’t. And if anyone believes that it is better having the states run their elections than the feds then fair enough. Let’s keep duplicating the same service between a federal body that employs full-time professional staff with state bodies that use temporary staff on contract.

    As far as I’m concerned policies and guidelines concerning the conduct of state elections could still be determined by the relevant state authority. But the nuts and bolts implementation of the election would be far better done by the AEC. They have the infrastructure, the staff, the knowledge and the track record.

    My humble opinion only.

  17. Gaynor fully agree. (I t6hink Adam should outline where he claims the AEC has stuffed up and the federal Government is beginning to interfere in the conduct of the AEC’s independence? If this is true then even more reason to create a truly independent electoral authority with state government representation on the executive board. The roles of redistributions and the conduct of elections are two separate task.

    The number of complaints I have received from all sides of the political divide against the VEC and Tully in particular is considerable and more then I have every experienced before. Something is wrong and the problems lies with the VEC not the AEC. Far worst then the ABC’s management. ๐Ÿ™‚ Could you imagine Steven Mayne on ABC radio? Drive times presenters should watch out as reports indicate that Mayne is on the hunt for a job on radio.

  18. Those advocating the abolition of state governments have not presented any arguments for doing so. Democracy requires a system of checks and balances which prevents the concentration of power, even if there is some inefficiency. Federalism is one such check and balance. The separation of powers is another. A democratically elected upper house is yet another.

    Every country of our size has at least three levels of government. Some have four levels. Smaller countries such as France and Germany have at least three levels of government. The United Kingdom, which often figures in discussions of this sort, had both county councils and district councils. Now, it has a Scottish Parliament and assemblies for Northern Ireland, Wales and Greater London. It also has unelected regional authorities.

    Even countries with both smaller populations and smaller areas, such as Switzerland, have three levels of government.

    All these other nations, large and small, could be wrong, but I would like to hear some reasoning.

    It would be a serious mistake to centralise power in one national government. We should be building up the states as protectors of our freedom.

  19. * I take MelbCity’s point that he is not advocating that the states hand over the conduct of their elections to the federal government. If he is advocating a national election authority jointly managed by the commonwealth, states and territories, I would not necessarily oppose that.
    * Politicisation of the AEC. Until this year the AEC insisted that there was (a) no significant level of electoral fraud including false enrolments at federal elections, and (b) that the five-day period of grace for late enrolments after the writs were issued caused them no problems and did not create an opportunity for false enrolments. But once the Howard government announced its changes to the Act abolishing the period of grace on the grounds of “securing the electoral roll”, the AEC withdrew its previous position, and when AEC officials fronted the JSCEM inquiry they toed the Howard line. Labor members certainly think that the current heads of the AEC are too keen to please the current government.

  20. Cameron, re effect of Greens prefs:

    Yes, in a bunch of marginal seats it has made a definite difference.

    My favourite example being Alfred Cove, WA 2005 where strategic preferencing from the Greens kept Graham Kierath from returning to parliament and (there can be little doubt?) becoming state leader. I was the candidate. Still waiting for thank-you cards from thousands of WA workers.

  21. Ooh, and I don’t think Enviroyouth’s figures there are accurate, at least not for a wider sample. 93% is way too high.

    Green HTVs do make a significant difference and the ALP knows it… to the point where they have offered to fund last-minute reprints of HTV cards.

    The Libs know it as well, Kierath’s group handed out bogus Green HTVs in Alfred Cove last year.

  22. Adam is quite correct about the AEC’s current acquiescence in the Howard Government’s moves to prevent (the ‘wrong’) people from voting. Why shouldn’t new voters be allowed to enrol up to and indeed even on the day of voting, as happens in Canada?

  23. Anyone who thinks the AEC does a better job than the VEC should have been around inner Melbourne at the last election.

    People have complained (including on this site I think) that the Group Voting Tickets were not displayed sufficiently prominently at the state election. Fair enough, but the people I know who asked for them were directed to them. At teh federal election they were not available at polling booths at all. I know because I got calls from people who had fronted the booth and asked to see them. I also had a friend who was second in command at a large booth who confirmed for me they simply were not issued. This was a clear breach of the electoral act, yet the AEC never apologised nor acknowledged fault.

    As for queues – you should have seen the queues at Melbourne Town Hall at the federal election. It took over an hour to get to the front, but upon doing so many people found out they had been in the wrong queue from the start – there were seperate ones for locals, those from elsewhere in Victoria and those from interstate. Many people found they had to go back to the start of a whole new, equally long queue.

    After the count was complete one staff member reported finding a bundle of unchecked postal votes – about 30 – under a table in the office and was told to ditch them. Of course the margin was much larger than this, but it hardly inspires confidence.

    There were problems with the VEC’s performance, but generally speaking they seemed to be trying. The AEC, at least in my area, didn’t actually seem to care if the election was run properly or not.

  24. Adam yes I am talking about a jointly managed independent authority.

    I also share your concerns at the attempts of the Government to change the electoral law to limit participation in our elections. This is not direct interference with the AEC but attempts to gerrymander the electoral law. An electoral authority where all the States are represented would provide a check and balance. The sort of changes that Howard was trying to implement and the desire to standardise as many aspects of our electoral system would have had an impact on State elections as well. I am all for having one set of rules for the way elections are conducted provided it is fair and inclusive. Preferential “Alternative vote” for single ember elections and a Preferential proportional representation for all multi-member elections. The real challenge would be getting corporate Australia to adopt preferential and proportional voting.

    Stephen L. I voted in Melbourne and I did not find it any problem. The AEC most certainly conducted the election in a more professional manner then the VEC. I have never heard of an electoral authority not doing a basic check on the total number of votes recorded to ensure that it matched the number of votes received. This is why we had requested that the VEC provide us with information on the number of ballot papers issued and why the publication of the polling place returnees is also important.; the VEC’s refusal to provide this information compounded by their monumental stuff-up is of considerable concern and can not be excused.

    Most the people I have spoken to who span the political divide have express concern and opposition to the way in which the VEC has conducted the state election and their refusal to provide information and the details of the election results. Judging by Stephen comments it would seam that all political parties with the exception of the Greens. Looks like electoral reform will not be one of their goals or policies. Just like maintaining open and transparent governance was not supported by the Greens in Melbourne. Their policies are not worth the cost of internet traffic required to down load.

  25. Electoral reform has been on our agenda for years, but don’t bother to check. Save your precious bandwidth for more “Tully-MUST-resign” posts.

    William, I don’t think the Delta of 4% is accurate either.

  26. Curious…I live in postcode 2167 (Glenfield), but it’s not showing up on that Your Labor Candidate thing. A glitch, or they haven’t preselected yet? Is Chaytor still in the running?

  27. I decided the look at the NSW ALP candidates page and my thoughts are:

    The hottest candidate is Tabitha Winton Candidate for North Shore, followed closely by Angela D’Amore Member for Drummoyne.

    Both have exceptional hair.

    (Just being honest, and remember, Tis the season to be jolly)

  28. Greens policy on electoral perform just like their policy on open and tranapernt governance. Illegal meetings behind closed doors, Lord mayors limousines costs and internal catering costs not disclosed. And by the looks of it electoral reform and VEC accountability off the agenda. Its not the cost of bandwidth its the value of the Greens statements that are not worth it. The Greens don’t practice what they preach. Opportunist hypocrites.

  29. yeah far be it from the greens to forecast theyd get 20% in a WA byelection, put out four useless press releases, spend half of election day dissing a minor independent candidate to voters and other poll workers and then deny it afterwards (all the while their vote goin backwards and with one of their best candidates)

    nah, theyd never do that. green, not greed. i cant wait to see what stunts theyll pull in peel ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. oh and u might want to ask the greens why they screwed over the third voice alliance too… “we are the third voice” yeah crap… its just a way of taking over other parties and neutralising their impact ๐Ÿ™ and u wonder why young people are cynical about politics and wont join parties.

    it goes a little something like this. in a major party u have to do what they say. in the greens u have to do what they say (they dont tell u that bit when theyre spouting their participatory democracy and grassroots stuff but a few key ppl make the decisions and if the grassroots decide otherwise, well, they get overruled)… the democrats are gone, one nation are gone, family first are just hillsong/victory life plus (anti gay hatred eat your heart out, we can get 200 people to a rally and oppose 70% of the population… wow) and yeah so who can young people get involved with? think about that…

  31. oh and dont bother voting for the libs because once they’re in if you write to them by email they want your FULL home address before theyll even reply to you (wouldnt be surprised if they start askin for credit card details too so they can bill you for the stamp hey), and i mean the ISP tells u “dont send personal details by email” so thats really the pollies just saying “we dont really want to hear from you” … ive had no probs gettin alp, dems, greens, even fam first to reply to email only the libs. so yeah ill probably vote ALP (fed election 2007 will be my first voting election)

  32. stay tuned. more and more minor parties will give the greens a miss on preference deals as the greens become main stream stuck at the 10% barrier. All that is required is the Liberal party and the ALP to place the greens last. Lindsay Tanner is looking good in Melbourne. Will the greens seek to challenge Tanner come 2007 federal election. Watch as the Melbourne Green vote sinks faster then the Titanic.

  33. The ALP seems likely to change its no new Uranium mines policy which will send many voters to the Greens and also the Tasmanian forest policy will probably do the same thing. The Greens have a good chance at winning in Melbourne, Sydney, Grayndler etc especially with a lower Lib vote. The election may well land the Greens the bicameral balance of power.

  34. Tom,

    The coalition has 19 long-term senators, plus two from the territories, giving it a starting point of 21 senators. (Thank you, Queensland!) Family First has one. For the Greens to get the balance of power in their own right, the coalition would have to win only two Senate seats in three states. We can hope, but a landslide like this is extremely unlikely.

  35. Greetings all from sunny, not to say torrid, Bangkok, where they have abolished elections for the time being – not that anyone here seems to care.

    I see we have moved on to the federal election. Bets are on for how many of the required 16 seats Labor can win.

    I agree that Labor’s move towards a pro-uranium policy and ditching Latham’s forests policy will boost the Greens in three or four inner-city seats, while boosting Labor’s chances in about 20 regional seats. In purely political terms, this is a no-brainer – Labor cannot defeat Howard without winning regional seats in NSW, Qld and Tas, whereas Labor can live at a pinch with one or two Green MPs. Personally I think Tanner can see off any challenge. (Not so sure about Plibersek).

    On the Senate, my view is that the chances that the Coalition will lose its majority in 2007 are exactly zero. The Labor/Greens combo would have to win 4 of 6 seats in two states. Labor/Greens would require a swing of around 10% to gain two seats from the Coalition. I think this is impossible. Antony?

  36. There is too much stuff to trawl through here, I suppose everybody else knows, but the LC preference distributions have been posted to the VEC web-site. They have a “print date” of 14 Dec, but they must have been posted more recently than that. These are Excel versions of the count-sheets.

    Has anyone done an analysis/analyses?

  37. MelbPC,

    When you voted federally did you ask to see the group voting tickets? I have yet to hear of a single booth where these were available. There are plenty of ways the VEC’s performance fell down, and I’m happy to be part of a process to see these are prevented in future. However, staff members who worked on the federal had stories that were far worse than anything I have yet heard reliably regarding the VEC.

    Transperancy is important and it could certainly have been higher in this election, but when I have staff members tell me that GVTs were simply not issued or that they they were told to ignore a pile of postal votes that had been dropped in the wrong box that concerns me even more. Add to that reports enrollment registrations received in plenty of time were not processed because the staff who were doing this were pulled off the job to try to patch failures happening elsewhere then I find that even more concerning. And as for a training session for over a hundred staff where the commissioner at the time was reported to be clearly drunk – at 9am – and one starts to think that the VEC looks better by comparison.

  38. Re senate: There is not way the the Liberal party will lose control o0f the senate at the next election. There would have to be a double dissolution which there wont be. The election will not occur until after July 1 due to the fact that the liberal party would want to maximise its controls of the senate for as long as it can.

    Re VEC: Why did the VEC fail and reused to provide access to the detailed preference data files? Why did they not provide statistical information on the number of postal ballot papers issued? They have only just recently published summary count sheets (One week after the count). Why did the VEC not check and validate that the total number of votes recorded matched the total number of ballot papers issued (The published results still do not tally) Why is it that a FOI Application is required to gain access to the detailed results of the election? Is a public document. And there is a lot more. Having been actively involved in the scrutiny, analysis and review of public elections for over 30 years I can most certainly attest that the conduct of the 2006 State election was one of the worst unprofessional counts I have ever seen. Public elections must be open and transparent if public confidence in the electoral process is to be maintained. The screw-ups in the recent election are inexcusable and should never have occurred. The VEC should have checked that the data matched the number of votes expected. had the VEC provided the information we had requested this would have been one of the first checks prior to distributing any preferences. the fact that the VEC failed to publish polling booth data for the upper house also compounded the quality and transparency of the count. (The later point to some extent is due to a ill considered policy advocated by Antony Green and other members of the media) Polling place details are an important part of the scrutiny and review of the count. It provided a breakdown of the total number of votes received.

    In addition Why did the VEC illegally access the results of the e-voting polling places without scrutineers present prior to the close of the polls.

    the greens clearly have a very selective assessment of what they consider good. i have NEVR seen a count that refused to provide public access to basic essential information. again if the VEC provided this information and did their job professionally then the mistakes recorded in the provisional count would not have occurred. This is a very very basic requirement one that The VEC failed to ensure took place. A stuff-up that should not have occurred. Elections must be opened and transparent and Steve Tully;’s refusal to ensure that public information is readily available has and continues to bring the conductor of the election into disrepute.

    Do you have a copy of the detailed preference data files? Without it is impossible to undertake an proper scrutiny of the ballot . Why has this information not been made available?

    There is still serious doubts about the results of the Western Metropolitan count with the number of total votes record being significantly less then the previous first count. Again missing is the polling booth returns. It most certainly does not tally with the total number of ballot papers recorded for the associated lower house seats. Strangely most of the missing ballots have come from one party? There should be a requirement that if the overall results of the ballot changes between counts them there should be a further recount to verify that mistakes in the counting of the election were not introduced in the second count. Again the need to ensure that the total number of ballot papers recorded tallies the total number of ballot papers issued is fundamental to a any count. Why was there no checks? (Pretty basic requirement that has This shoulalways been done until this election. WHY?) The Total number of ballot papers recorded should be the same win the provisional count and the recount. A variation of over 400 votes is not acceptable. It indicates that votes have gone missing or the VEC double counted votes. Did they do a check and a summary of the Polling place returns? This is so basic it is hard to comprehend that the VEC failed to undertake such checks.

    And the Greens defend the VEC in its unprofessional count.

    Western Metropolitan should be recounted and Polling place returns and the details of the BTL preference data MUST be published without delay.

    If the Greens are sincere about honest open and transparent governance then they should be demanding the above.

    The Ombudsman Act (section 13 (C)) needs to be amended so as to ensure that the VEC is subjected to a full review and detailed scrutiny by the State Ombudsman. Currently the VEC is exempt from any review by the Ombudsman leaving only the courts and the Parliament to hold them to account. The Ombudsman is not entiled to even review the acts and abuse of VEC’s adminstration of the FOI act.

    These issues and more will be subject to review when teh Sta

  39. Re senate: There is not way the the Liberal party will lose control o0f the senate at the next election. There would have to be a double dissolution which there wont be. The election will not occur until after July 1 due to the fact that the liberal party would want to maximise its controls of the senate for as long as it can.

    Re VEC: Why did the VEC fail and reused to provide access to the detailed preference data files? Why did they not provide statistical information on the number of postal ballot papers issued? They have only just recently published summary count sheets (One week after the count). Why did the VEC not check and validate that the total number of votes recorded matched the total number of ballot papers issued (The published results still do not tally) Why is it that a FOI Application is required to gain access to the detailed results of the election? Is a public document. And there is a lot more. Having been actively involved in the scrutiny, analysis and review of public elections for over 30 years I can most certainly attest that the conduct of the 2006 State election was one of the worst unprofessional counts I have ever seen. Public elections must be open and transparent if public confidence in the electoral process is to be maintained. The screw-ups in the recent election are inexcusable and should never have occurred. The VEC should have checked that the data matched the number of votes expected. had the VEC provided the information we had requested this would have been one of the first checks prior to distributing any preferences. the fact that the VEC failed to publish polling booth data for the upper house also compounded the quality and transparency of the count. (The later point to some extent is due to a ill considered policy advocated by Antony Green and other members of the media) Polling place details are an important part of the scrutiny and review of the count. It provided a breakdown of the total number of votes received.

    In addition Why did the VEC illegally access the results of the e-voting polling places without scrutineers present prior to the close of the polls.

    the greens clearly have a very selective assessment of what they consider good. i have NEVR seen a count that refused to provide public access to basic essential information. again if the VEC provided this information and did their job professionally then the mistakes recorded in the provisional count would not have occurred. This is a very very basic requirement one that The VEC failed to ensure took place. A stuff-up that should not have occurred. Elections must be opened and transparent and Steve Tully;’s refusal to ensure that public information is readily available has and continues to bring the conductor of the election into disrepute.

    Do you have a copy of the detailed preference data files? Without it is impossible to undertake an proper scrutiny of the ballot . Why has this information not been made available?

    There is still serious doubts about the results of the Western Metropolitan count with the number of total votes record being significantly less then the previous first count. Again missing is the polling booth returns. It most certainly does not tally with the total number of ballot papers recorded for the associated lower house seats. Strangely most of the missing ballots have come from one party? There should be a requirement that if the overall results of the ballot changes between counts them there should be a further recount to verify that mistakes in the counting of the election were not introduced in the second count. Again the need to ensure that the total number of ballot papers recorded tallies the total number of ballot papers issued is fundamental to a any count. Why was there no checks? (Pretty basic requirement that has This shoulalways been done until this election. WHY?) The Total number of ballot papers recorded should be the same win the provisional count and the recount. A variation of over 400 votes is not acceptable. It indicates that votes have gone missing or the VEC double counted votes. Did they do a check and a summary of the Polling place returns? This is so basic it is hard to comprehend that the VEC failed to undertake such checks.

    And the Greens defend the VEC in its unprofessional count.

    Western Metropolitan should be recounted and Polling place returns and the details of the BTL preference data MUST be published without delay.

    If the Greens are sincere about honest open and transparent governance then they should be demanding the above.

    The Ombudsman Act (section 13 (C)) needs to be amended so as to ensure that the VEC is subjected to a full review and detailed scrutiny by the State Ombudsman. Currently the VEC is exempt from any review by the Ombudsman leaving only the courts and the Parliament to hold them to account. The Ombudsman is not entiled to even review the acts and abuse of VEC’s adminstration of the FOI act.

    These issues and more will be subject to review when teh Sta

  40. Melbcity,
    I haven’t heard any Green anywhere defending VEC. As for a count in West Metro, the ALP have already stated they dont think they would win a recount, so why have one.

  41. I don’t this issue relates to which Party wins, its a question of the accuracy of the count.

    Due to the poor quality of information and lack of accountability of the VEC and poor management there is ongoing issues of concern related to the conduct of the election,

    Why is it that the TOTAL number of votes has declined significantly (over 450 votes) and that most of these seem to be coming from one party. I can understand changes in the number of informal and formal votes and even the miss allocation of votes from one party to another. BUT the TOTAL number of votes should not change (certainly not the extent that had been recorded). DID the VEC undertake a basic check/balance with the total number of votes issued? Why was this information not checked prior to the hitting “Go”. The VEC has clearly stuffed up and demonstrated a non-professional management of then election.

    It is my view that if the overall results of the election changes as a result of a recount then a second recount would be undertaken to ensure that mistakes in the count have not been introduced into the second count. We have already seen how madly managed the conduct of the election was. The VEC should be required to do a verification count until the results of the election are confirmed at least twice. Again the changing TOTAL number of votes and the fact that it does not tally with other information (Such as the lower house vote) and the refusal of the VEC to publish the details of the election give further rise of concern. until a recount is undertaken the result of the election will continue to be held in doubt and the conduct of the election and the role of the VEC brought into question.

    THE VEC MUST COME CLEAN AND PUBLISH ALL THE FACTS AND RELEVANT DATA BEFORE IT EMBARKS ON A CREATIVE ACCOUNTING EXERCISE TO COVER UP AND GLOSS OVER ITS MISTAKES.

    PUBLISH THE POLLING PLACE RETURN INFORMATION, FOR THE UPPER- HOUSE AND PUBLISH THE DETAILED PREFERENCE DATA FILES OF BOTH COUNTS (PROVISIONAL AND RECOUNT). OUR ELECTIONS MUST BE OPEN AND TRANSPARENT APPALLING AND HIS ACTIONS CONTINUE TO BRING VICTORIA AND THE VEC INTO DISREPUTE.

    THIS INFORMATION IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE WHY HAS THE VEC REFUSED TO PUBLISH THIS DATA AND MAKE IT AVAILABLE FOPR INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS. THE STATEMENTS PREVOUSLY MADE DO NOT SCRUB UP TO ANALYSIS AND BASIC REVIEW.

    IF STEVE TULLY CAN NOT PROVIDE AN HONEST AND TRANSPARENT ELECTION THEN HE SHOULD RESIGN.

    THE STATE MUST REVIEW THE OMBUDSMAN ACT TO ENSURE THAT THE VEC IS SUBJECT TO PROPER REVIEW AND PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY.

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