2008 Under the 2012 model

We decided out of interest to apply the 2008 vote under the new proposed model of nine Councillors.

It should be noted that this is indicative only. For the sake of the exercise we excluded Peter Clark from the count. He was replaced by Jackie Watts. (This time she was elected in her own right)

Elected Candidate Group
1 JETTER, Carl JETTER
2 OKE, Cathy GREENS
3 LOUEY, Kevin McMULLIN
4 ONG, Ken TEAMMELB
5 SHANAHAN, Brian SHANNAHAN
6 KANIS, Jennifer FOWLES
7 BINI, Luciano JETTER
8 LEPPERT, Rohan GREENS
9 WATTS, Jackie MORGAN

* Results indicative only

2008 Under the 2012 model

We decided out of interest to apply the 2008 vote under the new proposed model of nine Councillors.

It should be noted that this is indicative only. For the sake of the exercise we excluded Peter Clark from the count. He was replaced by Jackie Watts. (This time she was elected in her own right)

Elected Candidate Group
1 JETTER, Carl JETTER
2 OKE, Cathy GREENS
3 LOUEY, Kevin McMULLIN
4 ONG, Ken TEAMMELB
5 SHANAHAN, Brian SHANNAHAN
6 KANIS, Jennifer FOWLES
7 BINI, Luciano JETTER
8 LEPPERT, Rohan GREENS
9 WATTS, Jackie MORGAN

* Results indicative only

2008 Under the 2012 model

We decided out of interest to apply the 2008 vote under the new proposed model of nine Councillors.

It should be noted that this is indicative only. For the sake of the exercise we excluded Peter Clark from the count. He was replaced by Jackie Watts. (This time she was elected in her own right)

Elected Candidate Group
1 JETTER, Carl JETTER
2 OKE, Cathy GREENS
3 LOUEY, Kevin McMULLIN
4 ONG, Ken TEAMMELB
5 SHANAHAN, Brian SHANNAHAN
6 KANIS, Jennifer FOWLES
7 BINI, Luciano JETTER
8 LEPPERT, Rohan GREENS
9 WATTS, Jackie MORGAN

* Results indicative only

Commission recommends increase in City Representation

The Victorian Electoral Commission has recommended in its final report that the level of representation of the City of Melbourne be increased from 9 to 11 Councillors – 2 City wide Councillors plus the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor team)

The Commission failed to address concerns related to the method of election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor and the City’s external boundaries and voter franchise.The Commissions report also failed to address concerns in relation to the above the line voting, calculation of the surplus transfer value and count-back process used in fulfilling casual vacancies. The terms of reference of the Commission review prevented it from addressing the real issues effecting the City Council.

Putting the limitations of the review aside the recommendation to increase the level of representation and maintain a city wide electorate is a positive for Melbourne. A ward system based on geographical boundaries would have divided the city and communities of interest.


The Council votes as a whole and should be elected as a whole.

The geographical size of the Council is not too large (Similar in size to a State or Federal electorate).

Under the system of proportional representation, in spite concerns about the serious flaws in the way votes are counted and issues pertaining to the voter franchise – the City wide multi-member electorate is the most democratic.

An increase from seven to nine members elected city wide would ensure on average that 95% of the electorate would be represented by a representative of their choosing, where in a single member electorate up to 49% of the electorate would be disenfranchised.

Whilst there is ongoing urgent need for review of the City’s electoral system, its external boundaries and the election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor – the recommendations proposed in the final report should be supported.

Commission recommends increase in City Representation

The Victorian Electoral Commission has recommended in its final report that the level of representation of the City of Melbourne be increased from 9 to 11 Councillors – 2 City wide Councillors plus the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor team)

The Commission failed to address concerns related to the method of election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor and the City’s external boundaries and voter franchise.The Commissions report also failed to address concerns in relation to the above the line voting, calculation of the surplus transfer value and count-back process used in fulfilling casual vacancies. The terms of reference of the Commission review prevented it from addressing the real issues effecting the City Council.

Putting the limitations of the review aside the recommendation to increase the level of representation and maintain a city wide electorate is a positive for Melbourne. A ward system based on geographical boundaries would have divided the city and communities of interest.


The Council votes as a whole and should be elected as a whole.

The geographical size of the Council is not too large (Similar in size to a State or Federal electorate).

Under the system of proportional representation, in spite concerns about the serious flaws in the way votes are counted and issues pertaining to the voter franchise – the City wide multi-member electorate is the most democratic.

An increase from seven to nine members elected city wide would ensure on average that 95% of the electorate would be represented by a representative of their choosing, where in a single member electorate up to 49% of the electorate would be disenfranchised.

Whilst there is ongoing urgent need for review of the City’s electoral system, its external boundaries and the election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor – the recommendations proposed in the final report should be supported.

Commission recommends increase in City Representation

The Victorian Electoral Commission has recommended in its final report that the level of representation of the City of Melbourne be increased from 9 to 11 Councillors – 2 City wide Councillors plus the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor team)

The Commission failed to address concerns related to the method of election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor and the City’s external boundaries and voter franchise.The Commissions report also failed to address concerns in relation to the above the line voting, calculation of the surplus transfer value and count-back process used in fulfilling casual vacancies. The terms of reference of the Commission review prevented it from addressing the real issues effecting the City Council.

Putting the limitations of the review aside the recommendation to increase the level of representation and maintain a city wide electorate is a positive for Melbourne. A ward system based on geographical boundaries would have divided the city and communities of interest.


The Council votes as a whole and should be elected as a whole.

The geographical size of the Council is not too large (Similar in size to a State or Federal electorate).

Under the system of proportional representation, in spite concerns about the serious flaws in the way votes are counted and issues pertaining to the voter franchise – the City wide multi-member electorate is the most democratic.

An increase from seven to nine members elected city wide would ensure on average that 95% of the electorate would be represented by a representative of their choosing, where in a single member electorate up to 49% of the electorate would be disenfranchised.

Whilst there is ongoing urgent need for review of the City’s electoral system, its external boundaries and the election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor – the recommendations proposed in the final report should be supported.

Review Disclosure – Due March 21

The Victorian Electoral Commission is due to publish the final report for the City of Melbourne Electoral review on Wednesday (March 21, 2012).

The preliminary report had recommended that the City Council representation be increased by 2, excluding the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor the number of Councilors would increase from 7 to 9. The initial recommendation proposed that the City continue to be elected as a whole.

Melbourne City Councilor, Jackie Watts, in a misguided direction opposed the increase in representation and proposed a reduction in democratic representation in order to establish Local Wards that she mistakenly thinks will increase her chances of election .

The criticism of the City Council is an indictment against the current Councillors and Council administration and the system of franchise and the direct election of the Lord Mayor and its external boundaries.

The problems highlighted by Cr Watts and some residents groups would not be addressed by the solutions advocated by Cr Watts. Cr Watts herself was elected not on merit but as a result of the flaw in the way the State Government counts the votes. Over 6000 votes were ignored in the count-back that followed Councillor Clarke’s resignation . 6,000 votes that should have been counted but were not.

The Kensington Association submission is worthy of consideration. They have rightly supported the “City as a Whole” proposal with the fall back of a 3 x 3 ward option as being the most democratic. They also highlight the divisons within the Residential community. Residnets represent 40% of the City electorate and the City Wide model, like it or not relfects that breakdown although it is distorted by the system of direct election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Sadly the real issues effecting the City Council will not be looked at as the terms of reference of the Commission was restrictive. It prevented the consideration of alternative solutions that would help address the many perceived problems surrounding the City Council. Those problems will still remain.

Hopefully the Commission will not compound the problems by supporting Cr Watts ill-conceived proposal.

Tomorrow we will know what the final recommendation is. We will not be holding our breath. The Commission has made many inconsistent recommendations in the past and we see no reason why they would break that model.

Review Disclosure – Due March 21

The Victorian Electoral Commission is due to publish the final report for the City of Melbourne Electoral review on Wednesday (March 21, 2012).

The preliminary report had recommended that the City Council representation be increased by 2, excluding the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor the number of Councilors would increase from 7 to 9. The initial recommendation proposed that the City continue to be elected as a whole.

Melbourne City Councilor, Jackie Watts, in a misguided direction opposed the increase in representation and proposed a reduction in democratic representation in order to establish Local Wards that she mistakenly thinks will increase her chances of election .

The criticism of the City Council is an indictment against the current Councillors and Council administration and the system of franchise and the direct election of the Lord Mayor and its external boundaries.

The problems highlighted by Cr Watts and some residents groups would not be addressed by the solutions advocated by Cr Watts. Cr Watts herself was elected not on merit but as a result of the flaw in the way the State Government counts the votes. Over 6000 votes were ignored in the count-back that followed Councillor Clarke’s resignation . 6,000 votes that should have been counted but were not.

The Kensington Association submission is worthy of consideration. They have rightly supported the “City as a Whole” proposal with the fall back of a 3 x 3 ward option as being the most democratic. They also highlight the divisons within the Residential community. Residnets represent 40% of the City electorate and the City Wide model, like it or not relfects that breakdown although it is distorted by the system of direct election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Sadly the real issues effecting the City Council will not be looked at as the terms of reference of the Commission was restrictive. It prevented the consideration of alternative solutions that would help address the many perceived problems surrounding the City Council. Those problems will still remain.

Hopefully the Commission will not compound the problems by supporting Cr Watts ill-conceived proposal.

Tomorrow we will know what the final recommendation is. We will not be holding our breath. The Commission has made many inconsistent recommendations in the past and we see no reason why they would break that model.

Review Disclosure – Due March 21

The Victorian Electoral Commission is due to publish the final report for the City of Melbourne Electoral review on Wednesday (March 21, 2012).

The preliminary report had recommended that the City Council representation be increased by 2, excluding the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor the number of Councilors would increase from 7 to 9. The initial recommendation proposed that the City continue to be elected as a whole.

Melbourne City Councilor, Jackie Watts, in a misguided direction opposed the increase in representation and proposed a reduction in democratic representation in order to establish Local Wards that she mistakenly thinks will increase her chances of election .

The criticism of the City Council is an indictment against the current Councillors and Council administration and the system of franchise and the direct election of the Lord Mayor and its external boundaries.

The problems highlighted by Cr Watts and some residents groups would not be addressed by the solutions advocated by Cr Watts. Cr Watts herself was elected not on merit but as a result of the flaw in the way the State Government counts the votes. Over 6000 votes were ignored in the count-back that followed Councillor Clarke’s resignation . 6,000 votes that should have been counted but were not.

The Kensington Association submission is worthy of consideration. They have rightly supported the “City as a Whole” proposal with the fall back of a 3 x 3 ward option as being the most democratic. They also highlight the divisons within the Residential community. Residnets represent 40% of the City electorate and the City Wide model, like it or not relfects that breakdown although it is distorted by the system of direct election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Sadly the real issues effecting the City Council will not be looked at as the terms of reference of the Commission was restrictive. It prevented the consideration of alternative solutions that would help address the many perceived problems surrounding the City Council. Those problems will still remain.

Hopefully the Commission will not compound the problems by supporting Cr Watts ill-conceived proposal.

Tomorrow we will know what the final recommendation is. We will not be holding our breath. The Commission has made many inconsistent recommendations in the past and we see no reason why they would break that model.

City of Melbourne Representation Review 2012


SUBMISSION

Change that Counts
City of Melbourne Electoral Review

Commission Recommendation

I wish to express my support for the commission recommendation that the City Council be represented by a nine member city council elected as a whole in addition to the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor but with qualification as outlined below:

1. Terms of Reference

The terms of reference of the commission were overtly limited and as such prevented the proper and concise review of the representative model,

1.2 Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor positions

The review should have included as part of its terms of reference method the direct election of election and representation of the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor. By failing to do so has brought the review into disrepute.

The dual election of both Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor on a preferential majority of vote distorts the proportionality of the representational model, effectively giving 50% of the electorate a ratio of three to one. This goes against the principle of one vote one value.

It is my firm position that the positions of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the City Council should be appointed from and by the elected City Council as a whole and not by a general plebiscite. It is essential that the City Council maintains confidence and support in its chairman at all times. The elected Council should have the right to dismiss the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor should they no longer maintain confidence of the Council. The City of Melbourne Act should be amended to provide clarity and a mechanism to address this issue. This could include a separation of responsibly of the Lord Mayor and the Chairman of the City Council.

Further, the legislative exclusion of candidates for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor positions from nominating and standing for the general Council position is discrimatory and severely limits the rights of candidates to stand for public office and for electors to choose those who they consider best to represent them. There is no justification that merits their exclusion from running for both positions. If need be the Government should consider increasing the nomination deposit for each position to discourage frivolous or tactical nominations.

1.3 Order of the Ballot

Analysis of the 2008 Lord Mayor ballot shows that the current Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, was elected on the strength of the so called “Donkey vote” determined by the order of the ballot, with candidates at the top of the ballot having a distinct advantage of candidates that securer a lower position.

This issue can be addressed by adopting what is commonly referred to as “Robson Rotation” where the order of the ballot paper is rotted in such a way that no single candidate maintains a poll position in the order of the ballot.

1.4 Internals Ward

Whilst it is the past practice to establish local electorates on the false premise of a geographical boundary representing “community of interest” that fact is that community of interests transcend geographical boundaries.

Decisions of the Council are made as a whole and as such it is preferable that the Council is elected as and whole and not divided into geographical wards.

Local Wards

Concerns of non local-representation as made in a number of submission is misleading. Any perception of lack of representation is a reflection of the existing representatives and procedures of the City Council not the electoral system. An unsubdivided, multimember proportional representational model increases the representation of the Council. The single member model conversely diminishes and distorts the extent of representation.

If local wards are to be introduced then it is important that each ward returns the same number of elected representatives. To this extent, a nine member council would be best served if there were three wards each returning 3 elected councillors.

It is acknowledge that is often difficult to draw internal geographical boundaries in such as away so to maintain a balance of equal representation and number of constituents. For this reason it is recommended that the City of Melbourne not be subdivide into local wards

Alternative Option

An alternative to local wards is to implement a division of representation based on a voters mandate entitlement (Residents and non resident status) and electing Councillors according to their enrolment status. The review body should consider this as an alternative option.

1.5 External Boundaries

The review should have canvassed the need for a review of external boundaries. The City of Melbourne should be expanded to include the City of Yarra, Port Phillip and the former city of Prahran and the four state lower house seats of Albert Park, Melbourne, Richmond and Prahran taking into considerations of community of interest and economies of scale.

1.6 Method of voting

In considering any proposed representational model it is important that consideration is given to the method of voting and election.

Proportional Representation provides the best outcome of representation however the method of counting the vote as defined in the Local Government Act and Regulations distorts the proportionality and accuracy of the ballot.

The method of calculating the surplus transfer value and the distribution of preferences need to be reviewed. (See section below)

1.7 Above the Line voting

The method of “Above the line voting” used in the City of Melbourne election inflates the number of candidates who nominate with most groups nominating more candidates then can reasonably be expected to be elected. Further it allows for the predetermined allocation of preferences which in a local government context is not desirable although it is acknowledged that it does assist in the data-entry of ballot papers that record an “Above the line” vote. The “Above the line” voting system facilitates and encourages candidate groups to nominate as purely as tactical means of influencing the outcome of the ballot.

1.8 Method of fulfilling casual vacancies

The method of filling casual vacancies and count back currently implemented is seriously flawed. Over 6,000 voters were disenfranchised and their votes excluded as a result of the count back procedures used to fill the casual vacancy following the resignation of Councillor Clark. The value of Votes that remained on the table at the conclusion of the 2008 election were not taken into consideration. These votes should have been counted.

The current legislation provision only considers the ballots attributed to vacating candidate and in the process the candidate elected does not reflect the proportionality or intent of the electorate.

Analysis of the 2008 ballot indicates that the wrong person was elected to fill the casual vacancy as a result of this error.

This needs to be addressed if the community is to maintain confidence in the electoral process.

1.9 Integrity and scrutiny of the ballot

In 2008 THE Victorian Electoral Commissioner, Steve Tully, had interfered and undermined the independence of the returning officer. As a result the Returning Officer failed to adopt the provisions of the local Government Act that require the preliminary distribution of the ballot papers prior to the distribution of preferences. This severely limited the opportunity and quality of the scrutiny of the election. The preliminary distribution of preferences allows scrutineers to oversee the conduct of the election in an orderly sequential fashion, providing a means were a scrutineer can monitor the progression of the count. Whilst there is provision in the Act and Regulations for the Returning officer to vary the procedure used in an electronic count this does not necessitate or justify the refusal of the Returning officer to undertake a preliminary distribution prior to the data-entry and transcription of voter’s preference data.

Further more in the Chief Electoral Commissioner had compromised the integrity of the election by making allegations that were false and misleading in relation to the legitimate concerns expressed by members of the community as to the procedure of the counting of the ballot.

If confidence is to be maintained in the electoral process it is important that the returning office is independent from the direction or interference by the Chief Victorian electoral Commissioner. The Chief Victorian Electoral office has no legal to direct the returning officer in the fulfillment of their duties.

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