The system was designed to facilitate a manual count and in the trade-off has inbuilt distortions in the election process that have the potential to effect the overall outcome.
With the coming November Municipal poll where many councils will for the first time also be adopting the system used to elect the Senate and Victorian Upper-house the potential for the results of the election to be effected by the flaws in the system are increased exponentially
The Western Australian Government has realised the impact of this error and has acted partially to correct the mistakes in adopting a system for its upper-house elections, but the Victorian and Federal Government are yet to follow in the WA steps.
WA has made one step forward but there are more steps that should be taken to improve the system and ensure that the outcome of the election reflects the voters’ intentions.
To try and address the shortcomings of the system in place we have made a submission to both the State and Federal Parliament advocating change. Change that would see the implementation of what we have named The Wright System. (Named after the late Jack Wright author of “Mirror of a Nations Mind” and past President of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia.)
The Wright System advocates the use of a formula used in the calculation and distribution of a Candidates Surplus in a proportional representation count based on the value of the vote as opposed to the number of ballot papers .
The system also recommends the adoption of a reiterative count process where the count is restarted and recounted following any exclusion of any unsuccessful candidates whose votes are to be redistributed.