Victorian council elections: November 29

UPDATE (29/11/08): For inside dope on progressive counting, Ben Raue of The Tally Room will feed through results provided by his contacts in the Greens. Andrew Landeryou at VexNews might be good for news from the other side of the fence. The Poll Bludger Investigations Unit is also at work in comments.

Local government is the proverbial bridge too far as far as my own commentary is concerned, but here by popular demand is a thread for reader discussion of the imminent Victorian council elections. I gather that most of these are held by post with a deadline of Friday, November 28 for receipt of ballots, but a few holdouts (Banyule, Brimbank, Greater Dandenong, Glen Eira, Hobsons Bay, Knox, Moreland, Port Phillip and my old home of Yarra) do it the old-fashioned way the following day (see the Victorian Electoral Commission for more detail).

Not sure how much success I’ll have with this, but it’s a worth a try. Readers who know or care about a particular local government contest are invited to write a brief, non-partisan overview in comments. If it meets my specifications I will give it a run up here, while keeping an ongoing invitation to other commenters to suggest additions or amendments. To get the ball rolling, I’ll start with everything I can tell you about the race for the lord mayoralty.

Melbourne City Council: After serving two four-year terms as lord mayor, John So is not seeking a third. The candidates to watch appear to be former state Liberal leader Robert Doyle; Adam Bandt, the Greens candidate who came within swinging distance of Lindsay Tanner in the seat of Melbourne at last year’s federal election; current councillor Catherine Ng; Will Fowles, who I’m told is from the Labor Left; Peter McMullin, former Geelong mayor and Labor election candidate linked to the party’s Right faction (although his running mate is the none too Labor-friendly Tim Wilson, director of the Institute of Public Affairs’ free trade unit); and Gary Morgan of Roy Morgan Research fame. The latter has helpfully furnished us with his very own opinion poll, which shows Doyle well ahead of Bandt on first preferences with Ng in third place. Second preferences are apparently set to produce a close race for second between Bandt, Ng and Morgan, with none posing a threat to Doyle. Bandt appears not to have done well out of preference recommendations, including those of candidates linked to Labor.

Darebin City Council: Three wards electing three councillors. Hat tip to Martin B and Caroline Church for the following.
Rucker ward: There are two Labor candidates, two Greens (Trent McCarthy and Helen Brown) and five others, only one of whom has much of an independent local profile – Darren Lewin-Hill. The ward is the stronghold of the Labor Unity sub-faction associated with state MPs Theo Theophanous and Nazih Elasmar, and is not being contested by the rival sub-faction of Michael Leighton and Robin Scott, the former and current members for Preston. At corresponding booths in the 2007 federal election, Labor polled 49 per cent of the primary vote, the Greens 31 per cent and Liberal 16 per cent. If those numbers are reflective of this vote, the result should be straightforward: one Labor and one Greens candidate will be comfortably elected, with the third seat going to the other Labor candidate or, less likely, Lewin-Hill if he can gather enough Labor preferences and votes from Liberals.
Cazaly ward: There are 17 candidates, nine of whom identify as Labor members (4 Unity, 4 Socialist Left, one unaligned), plus one Greens, one “conservative independent” (allegedly a former Labor member with a decidedly non-conservative activist history) and six other independents. The Labor candidates include incumbents Vince Fontana, a former mayor and member of the Leighton-Scott faction, and Alison Donohue, who is also receiving Leighton-Scott preferences but is apparently not directly linked. Haphazard preference arrangements suggests their proliferation might be down not to dummy candidates, as one might suspect, but to poor party organisation. Donohue and two other candidates, Ben Morgan and Joe Cutri, seem to have fared the best of the nine on preferences. The corresponding federal booth results were Labor 60 per cent, Liberal 20 per cent and Greens 16 per cent, suggesting Greens candidate Mohammed El-leissy will have to rely on Labor fragmentation to get a look-in.
La Trobe ward: Even more candidates than Cazaly ward, with better organisation lending greater credence to suspicions of dummy candidates. No fewer than 16 candidates recommend some permutation of preferences for Gaetano Greco and Tim Laurence of the Labor Socialist Left, while five candidates recommend preferences for the Unity ticket of Stanley Chiang (another associated of Leighton and Scott) and Tania Sharkas. Also on the receiving end of most Socialist Left preference arranagements is Melissa Salata of the Theophanous-Elasmar sub-faction of Labor Unity, who is hostile to the Leighton-Scott sub-faction. That leaves only the Greens candidate, Sara Scally, and another who recommends a preference to her. The campaign between the Socialist Left and Unity has been bitter: Laurence took internal party action against Chiang (which was dismissed), and there were counter-claims that Laurence broke party rules with his material. The federal election booth numbers here were Labor 62 per cent, Liberal 23 per cent and Greens 8 per cent, suggesting the issue is likely to be how the three seats divide between Socialist Left and Unity.

Banyule City Council: Consists of seven wards in Melbourne’s inner north-east. Olympia ward: Incumbent Anthony Carbines is chief-of-staff to Education Minister Bronwyn Pike (and the son of upper house MP Elaine Carbines), and thus unquestionably aligned to Labor. Beale ward: Incumbent Wayne Phillips was the Liberal member for Eltham from 1992 to 2002, when he became one of dozens of victims of the first Brackslide. Ibbot ward: Incumbent Tom Melican is said to be an independent. Hawdon ward: Vacant ward being contested by two Labor members, Sandra MacNeil and Martin Appleby, along with an independent and a Green. Grimshaw ward: Labor incumbent Dean Sherriff is being contested by two fellow party members, Frank Beard and Jess Paul. Sherriff’s career on council was saved in April 2007 when a conviction for criminal damage was overturned on appeal, but he retains a conviction for assault relating to the same incident. Griffin ward: Incumbent Jenny Mulholland challenged by Steve Walpole, a Labor member, and Dora Bergman, a one-time running mate of Mulholland. Bakewell ward: A rematch between Liberal incumbent Peter McKenna and Labor member Michael Paul, following a very close result in 2005. Andrew Landeryou’s VexNews reports that Greens candidate Ian Kirk has raised eyebrows by giving McKenna his second preference. A Greens supporter in comments claims this was in response to Paul’s attitude in preference negotiations, but the Labor camp insists discussions were entirely cordial until Kirk advised he would preference McKenna on the grounds that he was a “serious candidate”.

Glen Eira City Council: Glen Eira has gone against the prevailing trend by changing from postal to attendance voting. This has apparently discouraged dummy candidates, resulting in 26 nominations compared with 61 in 2005. The council consists of three wards which each elect three councillors, with seven sitting councillors seeking re-election. The assessments that follow come direct from Winston in comments. Camden ward: Michael Lipshutz and Helen Whiteside are standing for re-election and appear to be working together with the backing of the Liberal Party – although neither are members. Other candidates include local businessman Frank Penhalluriack (who actually lives in Kew) and a residents group ticket headed by Peter Blight. Lipshutz is a prominent member of the Jewish community and with over one third of the ward Jewish should have no problems getting re-elected. Penhalluriack has number one position on the voting card which will help him. Lipshutz, Whiteside and Penhalluriack are spending big and will probably be elected. Rosstown ward: Nine candidates. Three sitting councillors standing: Margaret Esakoff, Steven Tang and Rob Spaulding. This is the only ward with a Greens candidate – Neil Pilling – who could be the wild card as he is getting some flow of preferences. Tucker ward: Ten candidates, two sitting councillors standing: Nick Staikos (Labor) and Henry Buch (Liberal). Buch may struggle as he only recently joined council on a countback after the resignation of former Mayor David Feldman. Fellow Liberal and former councillor Jamie Hyams has scored number one position and should be elected. The other candidate with a chance is Jim Magee, who lead the fight to save the local swimming pool and polled well in the 2005 election.

Kingston City Council: The council has been reformed from seven single-member wards to three three-member wards. Hat-tip to Deano in comments for the following. North ward: Incumbent councillors Greg Alabaster and Arthur Athanasopolous are likely to be returned, but the third is up for grabs. Contestants are Paul Peulich, son of Liberal MP Inga Peulich, and Liz Larking, a past councillor and former ALP member. Mara Hayler is running for the Greens. Central ward: No fewer than 21 candidates have nominated, included 73-year-old mayor Bill Nixon and councillor Rosemary West. Other candidates include past councillor Ron Brownless, said to have done well out of preference recommendations, and John Natoli, an independent running a “well-organised campaign”. Three candidates have Labor links, including former state upper house MP Noel Pullen. Geoff Heard is said to be a “dark horse” and a “greenie”, although the actual Greens candidate is Dean Andrew. South Ward: John Ronke, incumbent for the Braeside Park ward, is said to be certain to win one of the three seats. Twelve candidates are competing for the other two. They include Donna Bauer, said to have run a “big spending campaign”; Trever Shewan, a former councillor; Carlos Lopez, the candidate of the Greens; Jeremy Nash, a member of the ALP; and Peter Wertheimer, an RSL captain.

Port Phillip City Council: JH writes in comments: “Another interesting council will be Port Phillip with the Unchain crew looking a reasonable chance in Catani Ward (Serge Thomann has been getting lots of press) and MAV boss Dick Gross could have a fight on his hands to be re-elected in Junction Ward. Having said that, I’ve not seen HTVs for anyone, so I don’t know who’s giving what. The Greens are running in every ward bar Albert Park, which is uncontested.”.

Bendigo Shire Council: The Greens have an incumbent mayor here in David Jones, seeking re-election in Kangaroo Flat ward. Another Greens incumbent is former mayor Julie Rivendell of Eppalock ward. The council consists of nine single-member wards: I gather councillors have an annual vote to determine who hte mayor will be for the coming year. The Greens between them have held the position for three of the past four years. North West Plains ward councillor Kevin Gibbins was a Liberal candidate at the 2004 federal and 2006 state elections.

Mount Alexander Shire Council: Commenter Follow the Preferences has high hopes for the Greens here. The council consists of the three-member Castlemaine ward in the centre, which is surrounded by the single-member rural wards of Tarrengower, Calder, Coliban and Loddon. The Greens have one incumbent in Philip Schier of Castlemaine ward, with Jan Garood and Doug Ralph respectively contesting Coliban and Calder.

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.

381 comments on “Victorian council elections: November 29”

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  1. He ran on the basis of his leadership of the Opposition…he is centre-right…but because he is a wet he would fit in very well as Mayor…

    I can understand him being dirty with the Liberal Party…he got a rough deal especially in 2002 with his shadows and then being booted before an election that Ted didnt do well at either…

    Anyway id rather Doyle than Ng or McMullin.

  2. I know nothing about Ng. If I had been a voter I would probably have voted for McMullin out of party loyalty, but I don’t have a very high opinion of him. Personally I think the MCC should be abolished. The state government should run the CBD itself and the residential areas should be hived off to the neighbouring councils.

  3. [But McMullin had that unsavory character in Tim Wilson as his running mate…bad move.]

    If Glen’s calling Tim Wilson unsavoury I wonder what that says.

  4. Get with the times Adam, the CBD is a residential area (the number of residents bottomed out in the mid-90`s at about 200 I think and has been increasing ever since).

    The results page which the article links to has the leadership team undecided.

  5. Results are up for Rucker ward in Darebin. As could have been predicted Diana Asmar was returned with a quota and so was the Green McCarthy. The surplus from Asmar plus dummy exclusions (there were two obvious dummies funnelling votes to Asmar) Stephen Tsitas was returned to the third position. Am awaiting with interest future wards in Darebin and will comment when they come in. Lewin-Hill in Rucker polled best of the independents. He should join the ALP if he wants a career in Darebin council politics, and possibly as an MP. Lewin-Hill has lots of ability.

  6. If he can win as an independent why would he join the ALP.

    One of the good things about the introduction of PR to Darebin is the end to it being a one party council.

  7. Doyle huh?

    Well, as long we foil his idiotic plot to open Swanston St to cars, he cant do much damage. Does the Mayor actually do anything, or have any, like, powers n shit?

    Foil Doyle!!

  8. Rucker ward where the Greens have a newly elected councillor is the majority of the seat of Northcote (with part in Cazaly ward and part in the City of Yarra) which is not good for the ALP because I am told that having a Greens councillor is good for the Greens vote at higher levels.

    I hope that the Greens win in Cazaly ward.

  9. Trying to open Swanson St to cars again would be like kicking a hornets nest because of all the people who would be opposed especially if they try and narrow the footpath (it is a very busy footpath and is often crowded and all the traders with stalls/tables would kick up a stink too).

  10. Tom Darren Lewin-Hill cannot win as an Independent. The Greens are now represented in his ward. He did not win as an Independent and gets no preferences from ALP candidates or their dummies. Call them running mates is probably a better term as it is pr and dummies are essentially a device for single member wards.

    Darren Lewin-Hill ought to seriously consider joining the ALP if he wants to become a Darebin councillor. It has been done before, only the people concerned were Libs. Councillors in Northcote named Bryan and Hales (now both deceased) won election initially as independents but joined the ALP so that they could become Mayor. The difference between them and Darren is that Darren is really Labor, whereas those councillors in the past are all really Libs.

  11. There were a number of porkies presented in how the fold of the LM count went.

    Doyle has come out and called for electroal reform and in the process created the so called preference deals. Hmmm.. There are no binding preference deals in the LM count Voters make that choice.. influenced by the candidates HTV recommendations.

    In fact Doyle only crept above the line due to preference drift.

    The Greens were never in place to win. Catherine Ng out polled the Greens.The Greens were below Doyle.Ng and McMullin. McMullen’s vote drifted to Doyle which put him ahead of Catherine Ng. The Greens are quick to try and place blame for their loss on others. Catherine Ng was more tory then Doyle and the Greens backed her in the hope of securing a sweetheart deal.

    Doyle received top end of expectations. It was reasonable to assume that due to his low campaign activity that his vote would have dropped back to around 22-24% which is where we assessed him at being. Gary singer can in at the top end of expectations, Catherine Ng at the bottom end. McMullin 4-6% below (expectations).

    Early Analysis of the data shows that on a one to one basis against Doyle no candidate was in a winning position other then Doyle.

    Doyle owes his election to Australia’s Preferential ballot system.

    The main issue of electoral reform that should be enacted is to scrape the Direct election of Lord Mayor and revert to a collegiate system – elected from and by the elected Councillors.

    Doyle does not have the numbers on Council. His team only has three candidates. Doyles 26% did not flow to his lead candidate Incumbent Councillor Carl Jetter. Jeter polled 20% (Around expectation level).

  12. Darren Lewin-Hill cannot win as an Independent

    Well he could, but it’s a tough ask. He’d have to more than double his primary from 5% to over 10% (maybe by gathering the Liberal votes in the ward), have the Greens capture another 5% from the ALP for 35% of the vote, and then have preferences fold for him. That’s a conceivable scenario, but obviously it’s a tough ask.

  13. The voting system is really dumb i mean Doyle won 26% of the vote and has only 1 councilor on his side out of 7 how the heck is he meant to get things done?

  14. Oz .. Not enough attention was given to the fact that McMullin has Time Wilson on his team. I liked this fact. I thought it was a positives that was not excentuated. The media most certainly did not explore this issue. We keep hearing from the Keep Politics out of Politics – No party involvement BS.. fact is Catherine Ng is more and closely aligned and associated with the Liberal party then any those that are members.

    Catherine Ng had a Labor Member as her Lead Candidate in the Council. Brian Shanahan who clung on to her skirt tails and was elected as a result. Gary Singer has Ken Ong who is a member of the Liberal party, he sought preselection for a state seat if I recall and lost.

    The Greens were the only party to endorse candidates. It is fair to say that Adam Brandt was the next highest profile candidate below Doyle in the electorate as he stood for the Federal Seat one year ago.

    McMullin was around ten years ago and no one other then those in Geelong really knew him. I am not a great fan of McMullin, he sold us out back in 1996 when he cow tailed to Kennett and abandoned his opposition to then location of the Museum in the Carlton Gardens. (An issue we were winning in the public arena) opportunity lost to Melbourne and the issue that McMullin was elected to Council on. It took McMullin less then 3 months to betray those that voted for him. He held the Deputy position for one year out of a three year term of office before losing it to Lorna Hannon and Liberal Clem Newton-Brown. No a great tallent there but if it was achoice between McClown and Doyle or Ng McMullin would still be preferable. In the wash (Best of a bad lot in my view.) I supported McMullin from a distance but never joined his campaign team. There were mistakes made. First was getting our of the starting gates and his published preference deals did not go down too well. It took him a week to recover.

    The media gave Doyle a hall pass and let him off very lightly for his non-attendance and lack of activity in the campaign. So much for Activating the electorate.

  15. In fact Doyle only crept above the line due to preference drift.

    Yes, from Singer’s and Morgan’s vote in particular. If those voters had followed recommendations to preference Ng over Doyle then Ng would probably have been elected. Instead they both seem to have leaked at about 25% directly to Doyle.

  16. Martin yes I would agree I need to do more analysis in the voting patterns but allindications is that is correct. Doyle, like John So, picked up preference drift/the inverse donkwy vote. The margins in the count were close and thought the count there were a number of very close calls between Ng and Singer, Ng and the Greens and Ng and McMullin. On each case and distribution Doyle edged ahead.

  17. And Democracy@work we wouldnt have to analyse a thing if we had first past the post…Doyle would have won by a large margin…enough said.

  18. Adam in Canberra @ 302
    “I know nothing about Ng.” This a surprise given that she actively campaigned against your ex boss and was the talk around the office in days to come.

    Catherine is closing alliagned and associated with Ted Baillieu, her Hu8sband is Teds advisor. She was John So’s lead Candidate in 2001 and 2004. Chair of Planning. She is also loathed around town hall and is the main reason why John So did not seek a third term.he could not stand her or work with her. Town Hall staff were keen to not see her re-elected. They would have supported McPlyable and Singer in preference.

    Robert Doyle is in for a hard time.not only because he has the greatest duds in his team (His Deputy Susan Riley and lead candidate Carl Jetter – Both I have rated last in my choice). Doyle will soon find that the Council is a hot bed of corruption and self interest. Management of Melbourne health is a holiday compared to the bun fights and back stabbing in Town Hall. We can expect Susan Riley to report the system and seek to become defactor Foreign minister for Melbourne. I am pretty confident that Doyle will be the media’s dream candidate. Doyle putting back the fun and entertainment in Clown Hall.

  19. Colac Otway is becoming Colac vs. Otway. The new Council will be dominated by coastal representatives from Apollo Bay who have felt overshadowed by Colac. Simon Price, the cashed-up Liberal failed to get elected and this will have implications for Liberal pre-selection. Labor’s Corangamite victory was built on a strong performance in Colac the Liberals would benefit by a Colac based candidate.

  20. More And more reports and complaints are being received at the way in which the VEC had conducted the elections overall. Not just in Melbourne

    Elections in Victoria are no longer open and transparent.

    A number of candidates outside the City of Melbourne have requested the VEC provide copies of the preference data-files used to determne the results of the election . The VEC refused to make this information available, even though it is a public document and subject to FOI. It is a disgrace that this information is not made available to candidates scrutineers or the public.

  21. Ok, so on one level it’s not accurate to blame preference leakage.

    In a two-horse race between Ng and Doyle there were 30837 primary votes cast for tickets recommending a preference for Doyle ahead of Ng, and 27125 primary votes cast for tickets recommending a preference for Ng ahead of Doyle. this compares with the final margin of 31348 Doylve vs 26614 Ng. So if preference flows were 100% as recommended then Doyle would still have won comfortably. Only a net 511 votes leaked, which is tiny. (The significant leakage from Singer’s and Morgan’s voters seems to have been almost entirely matched by the leakage to Ng from Fowles’ and McMullins’ voters.)

    (This ignores the fact that if preference flows were 100%, then Singer and Morgan would have been ahead of Ng at the 6th exclusion, and so Ng would have dropped out there, but that’s another story.)

  22. Adam tell us more about your relationship David Feeny? What is you do for him agaion apart from pull a salary? Obviously you do not support the need for the conduct of elctions to be open and transparent.

  23. The mayor having only one ally on council is an argument against the direct election of the Lord Mayor because the Lord Major should be dependant the support of the majority of the council so as to be able to govern and to be held to the executive responsibility.
    Having 9 normal councillors would be better that a “leadership team” and 7 seven normal councillors.

  24. Tom the City Council should be 21 members with the size of the municipality taking in Prahran, Albert Park, Melbourne and Richmond. Apart from the drierite election the main problem is the City of Melbourne is too narrow in its focus. Councillors such as Susan Riley and Carl Jetter want the larks and perks of public office.Jetta get the City Council to pay for all his travel costs (Private and Council related) He is one of the highest costing most travelled councillors

  25. D@W they should just increase the size of the representatives instead of 7 increase it to 20 and base them on the proportion of votes recieved by those running for Mayor thus the Lord Mayor would have a sizable voting block and so would opposition candidates.

  26. The VEC had refused to make available a copy of the electronic preference data file to Candidate’s scrutineers in the City of Hume. The election result is scheduled to be declared at 7:00PM tonight. The Returning Officer has claimed that legislation prevents the VEC from providing this data, the same information that was made available in the City of Melbourne election and also previously available to other municipalities. Without access to this data there is no way in which an computerised count can be verified. The Candidate has been denied the right of a recount. The extent of data-entry errors is significant and can only be verified to be accurate with a comparative second data-entry count. The RO could not provide which sections of the Act and regulations prevents copies of this information being made available. This is very alarming and raises serious questions as to the conduct of public election in Victoria.

  27. Glen first you need an odfd number in total. But I would not justofy a counil of 20 odd under the exsiting boundaries. The City should be bigger in size and consist of seven wards with three councillors elcted for each ward. The Mayor elected from the Councillors. There could be justifcation for a recount of the votes to elect an additional person to fill the role of ward councillor vacated by the person appointed Mayor. This would be inaddition to the Mayor’s position

  28. What is clear is that the system of local government in Victoria is in need of serious review and reform. There is no point in enacting piecemeal patch ups. Each council should be structured in the same basis and representative model. This Mosaic approach of state imposed models is a disaster.

  29. Glen I would never support or advocate a first past the post system. The system is seriously flawed. Take a look at Canada. England and the USA. Whilst 26% of punters preferred Robert Doyle to be elected conversely that means 74% preferred someone else.

  30. Darebin results might seem a result on paper for Labor Unity but infighting suggests the race for Mayor might come down to horse trading across factional lines.

    The Leighton-Scott sub faction of Labor Unity has 3 (Morgan, Fontana and Chiang).

    The Theophanous-Elasmar sub faction of Labor Unity has 3 (Katsis, Asmar and Tsitas. The last two from Rucker ward, and Leighton-Scott powerbrokers must be really annoyed they left that ward alone.

    The Socialist Left has one, former roadie for an Elvis impersonator Gaetano Greco, who according to Vexnews had a falling out with Stanley Chiang in the same ward. The Socialist Left probably would have had two if Rae Perry had not been injured in a traffic accident and did not stand.

    The Pledge has one, Laurence

    The Greens have one, McCarthy.

    Darebin under pr has gone from an all Labor Unity Council with 9 out of 9 to a divided council with 6 Labor Unity out of 9, two from Left ALP factions, and one Green.

    Another mistake by Labor Unity was not to run retiring councillor Mendo Kundevski in the northern La Trobe ward. That ward is full of Macedonians and Kundevski would have been a big vote winner in that ward.

  31. Of course three of the sitting Darebin councillors have previously been mayor: Asmar, Fontana, Chiang. The fourth sitting councillor, Tsitas, doesn’t come across as mayor material, but I’m sure the ALP can surprise me. Presumably Greco, Laurence and especially McCarthy have no chance.

  32. Well that explains a few things (to a newcomer to Darebin, ex Yarra), Caroline.
    Only a ‘faceless men’ style labour right regiem. with effective no opposition could have come up with an electroal process as unispiring and apathy-inducing as the Darebin post-only ballot.

    Let’s hope that gets the heave-ho quick smart.

    Democracy – you may have to get off your fat arse every few years. deal with it.

  33. “if you counted people’s first choice…you really should only get one choice…”

    Much as it pains me to agree with Adam, I have to agree that this constant refrain is boring.

    Yes, Glen, we all understand how first-past-the-post works – except that the nominations would have been completely different and the voting different.

  34. Being Mayor Martin B is not about quality. It is about numbers. Laurence has been a councillor before and he could be a good Mayor. Don’t oppose him because he is Indian. He intelligent and articulate. McCarthy has no chance because he’s Green. Greco is in the Socialist Left but that doesn’t stop a deal. Tsitas could even be Mayor as part of a deal. It is often you are Mayor this year, you are Mayor next year, and someone else the year after. It’s been done before and it will be done again. A good topic for your PhD thesis Martin B. The selection of the Mayor of Darebin.

  35. lefty e wants an attendance type ballot like Yarra. Postal worked well this time in Darebin. What Yarra wants is up to Yarra.

  36. “lefty e wants an attendance type ballot like Yarra.”

    yes. An attendance ballot facilitate a bare minimum of political participation in the community. Why do you oppose that, caroline?

    Incidentally, did this system go to local referendum, or was it a clique of 9 faceless hacks who decided for us?

  37. I neither support nor oppose anyone. My observation is merely based on my rudimentary grasp of deal-making whereby a faction with more numbers is in a better position to grab the lollies now, and promise to hand them to a faction with lesser numbers later.

  38. The postal voting system encourages stooge candidates because all they need is a photo, statement and preference recommendation and they can direct votes towards the candidate they are a stooge for while if there is attendance voting then they would have to have their own team of how to vote card distributors to be effective.

  39. True Tom – plus you dont get to meet party workers and candidates when you go vote. This is most people’s only contact with their reps – ever. darebin cc has managed to reduce the farcical minima of australian democracy to zero – and for that, I believe they should be condemned.

    Trotting out some micro-parochialism about “other councils” would only be appropriate if the people of darebin had a chance to decide on their own system.

    Im guessing they didnt. I suspect the work of hacks.

  40. AFAICT the initial decision in favour of postal voting was taken by the administrator appointed by the Kennett government when they sacked the Darebin council.

    Postal voting has been maintained by each Darebin council since then. (Under the legislation each council can opt for either postal or attendance voting.)

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