Team Doyle Disenfranchised: Droop vs Pure Proportional voting

Why do we continue to use the “Droop quota” and in the process disenfranchise a significant percentage of voters?

In the past the adoption of the Droop quota allowed us to reach a conclusion in the count without having to distribute preferences to the Nth degree and count every vote.  However with the use of computer based technology this justification no longer applies.

Droop = x/(y+1)-1
Pure Proportional = x/y

By calculating the quota to be “x(/y+1)-1”, as defined by Droop, we are ignoring up to a quota of  voters which results in a large percentage of votes being locked up in what is referred to as the “wasted quota”.

The effect of the Droop quota can be  seen clearly by analyzing the 2012 City of Melbourne Council vote.  In this case Team Doyle received around 38% of the vote and elected 3 positions with 8% of voters (Team Doyle’s surplus) was ignored. 

If the system was a pure proportional count the quota would have been 11.11% instead of 10% and the outcome of the election would have been more representative.

Under the Droop quota the Greens managed to elect 2 positions with just 14% of the primary vote and community candidate Kevin Chamberlin on 6% miss out being elected. If the count was pure proportional without the distortion of the Droop quota Kevin Chamberlin would have been elected with the support of Team Doyle’s surplus preferences.

Why should Team Doyle’s voters be disenfranchised and ignored by being lockup in the discarded quota, why should not the system be fully proportional and each vote of equal value.  The current system using the Droop Quota at best can only be described as semi proportional.

The system using the Droop quota becomes even more distorted under the Victorian Local Government count-back rules as the vote that has been left on the table is not taken into account when calculating who or which candidate fills the casual vacancy.

The Victorian State Parliament Electoral Matters Committee to date has not scheduled a review of the Local Government elections, it is unclear if they will even though it is within their terms of references and they have an obligation to do so.

Will the Melbourne City Council take up this issue?    Most likely not.  The Greens benefited from the distortion in the proportionality of the count so they will not see any benefit in reform.  The only team that did not was Team Doyle and Kevin Chamberlin. But the principle is clear if you believe in proportional representation then all votes should carry equal weight x/y is the purest means of calculating a quota not x/(y+1)-1

2012 City of Melbourne Primary Preference count (9 Councillors to be elected)


x/y Pure Proportional Representation – minus the flaws

Analysis and recounting of the City of Melbourne “C9” Council elections produces a different result.

If we remove all the distortions that arise though the segmentation, wrong calculation of the surplus transfer value and the method of calculating the quota that was introduced last century back in the times of the typewriter when computer technology was not readily available we would have a true proportionality election. If we divided the number of votes by the number of vacancies (x/y) and allocated each vote a value of one and proportioned out the value of the vote with one single transaction per candidate, no segmentation the results of the election would have been

Order Candidate Group
1 LOUEY, Kevin TEAM DOYLE
2 OKE, Cathy THE GREENS
3 ONG, Ken GARY SINGER – JOHN SO MELBOURNE LIVING
4 WOOD, Arron TEAM DOYLE
5 PINDER-MORTIMER, Beverley TEAM DOYLE
6 MAYNE, Stephen STEPHEN MAYNE
7 WATTS, Jackie MORGAN ELLIOTT- PROSPERITY FOR LIVEABILITY
8 FOSTER, Richard OUR MELBOURNE
9 CHAMBERLIN, Kevin SHANAHAN CHAMBERLIN FOR MELBOURNE

Greens candidate, Rohan Leppert would have been excluded.

The system that is currently in place is semi proportional at best and as a result of the method of calculating the surplus transfer value (based on the number of ballot papers as opposed to the value of the vote) the value of some votes increase at the a expense of others. It distorts the proportionality of the vote and does not accurately reflect the voters intentions.

The Greens received 15.62% of the primary vote which in pure proportional terms equates to 1.41 quotas.

After the distribution of preferences the Greens second candidate fails to reach quota and is excluded from the count.

If Victoria is to maintain public confidence in the electoral system the results of the election MUST be accurate and MUST reflect the intentions of the electorate. It must be proportional to the vote. Each vote must equal one value.

The flawed and outdated system of counting the vote was designed to facilitate a manual count, back in the days before calculators or computers. With the aid of computer technology and a more accurate method of counting the vote there is no justification to maintain the existing electoral systems.

If we calculated dividends or interest paid on financial transactions the way we calculate the vote our financial system would collapse over night.

Group Name ATL BTL Total % Quota % Quotas Remainder
OUR MELBOURNE 3,414 539 3,953 6.21% 0.56 0.56
STEPHEN MAYNE 3,148 680 3,828 6.01% 0.54 0.54
RESIDENTS FIRST:STOP THE RATES RIP-OFF! 1,703 226 1,929 3.03% 0.27 0.27
SHANAHAN CHAMBERLIN FOR MELBOURNE 3,242 444 3,686 5.79% 0.52 0.52
COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS LEADERSHIP 561 73 634 1.00% 0.09 0.09
COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS LEADERSHIP 560 73 633 0.99% 0.09 0.09
FORWARD TOGETHER 475 53 528 0.83% 0.07 0.07
THE GREENS 8,989 953 9,942 15.62% 1.41 – 1.00 0.41
TEAM DOYLE 22,915 949 23,864 37.48% 3.37 – 3.00 0.37
MORGAN ELLIOTT- PROSPERITY FOR LIVEABILITY 5,598 516 6,114 9.60% 0.86 0.86
GARY SINGER – JOHN SO MELBOURNE LIVING 7,596 708 8,304 13.04% 1.17 – 1.00 0.17
Ungrouped 249 0.39% 0.04 0.04
Sum 58201 63664 9 5 4
Quota



7074


x/y Pure Proportional Representation – minus the flaws

Analysis and recounting of the City of Melbourne “C9” Council elections produces a different result.

If we remove all the distortions that arise though the segmentation, wrong calculation of the surplus transfer value and the method of calculating the quota that was introduced last century back in the times of the typewriter when computer technology was not readily available we would have a true proportionality election. If we divided the number of votes by the number of vacancies (x/y) and allocated each vote a value of one and proportioned out the value of the vote with one single transaction per candidate, no segmentation the results of the election would have been

Order Candidate Group
1 LOUEY, Kevin TEAM DOYLE
2 OKE, Cathy THE GREENS
3 ONG, Ken GARY SINGER – JOHN SO MELBOURNE LIVING
4 WOOD, Arron TEAM DOYLE
5 PINDER-MORTIMER, Beverley TEAM DOYLE
6 MAYNE, Stephen STEPHEN MAYNE
7 WATTS, Jackie MORGAN ELLIOTT- PROSPERITY FOR LIVEABILITY
8 FOSTER, Richard OUR MELBOURNE
9 CHAMBERLIN, Kevin SHANAHAN CHAMBERLIN FOR MELBOURNE

Greens candidate, Rohan Leppert would have been excluded.

The system that is currently in place is semi proportional at best and as a result of the method of calculating the surplus transfer value (based on the number of ballot papers as opposed to the value of the vote) the value of some votes increase at the a expense of others. It distorts the proportionality of the vote and does not accurately reflect the voters intentions.

The Greens received 15.62% of the primary vote which in pure proportional terms equates to 1.41 quotas.

After the distribution of preferences the Greens second candidate fails to reach quota and is excluded from the count.

If Victoria is to maintain public confidence in the electoral system the results of the election MUST be accurate and MUST reflect the intentions of the electorate. It must be proportional to the vote. Each vote must equal one value.

The flawed and outdated system of counting the vote was designed to facilitate a manual count, back in the days before calculators or computers. With the aid of computer technology and a more accurate method of counting the vote there is no justification to maintain the existing electoral systems.

If we calculated dividends or interest paid on financial transactions the way we calculate the vote our financial system would collapse over night.

Group Name ATL BTL Total % Quota % Quotas Remainder
OUR MELBOURNE 3,414 539 3,953 6.21% 0.56 0.56
STEPHEN MAYNE 3,148 680 3,828 6.01% 0.54 0.54
RESIDENTS FIRST:STOP THE RATES RIP-OFF! 1,703 226 1,929 3.03% 0.27 0.27
SHANAHAN CHAMBERLIN FOR MELBOURNE 3,242 444 3,686 5.79% 0.52 0.52
COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS LEADERSHIP 561 73 634 1.00% 0.09 0.09
COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS LEADERSHIP 560 73 633 0.99% 0.09 0.09
FORWARD TOGETHER 475 53 528 0.83% 0.07 0.07
THE GREENS 8,989 953 9,942 15.62% 1.41 – 1.00 0.41
TEAM DOYLE 22,915 949 23,864 37.48% 3.37 – 3.00 0.37
MORGAN ELLIOTT- PROSPERITY FOR LIVEABILITY 5,598 516 6,114 9.60% 0.86 0.86
GARY SINGER – JOHN SO MELBOURNE LIVING 7,596 708 8,304 13.04% 1.17 – 1.00 0.17
Ungrouped 249 0.39% 0.04 0.04
Sum 58201 63664 9 5 4
Quota



7074


Melbourne’s Electoral System Seriously Flawed

Melbourne’s electoral system is seriously flawed an in need of urgent review.

The system in place provides an unfair disadvantage to unaligned  independent candidates and the method of calculating the surplus transfer value and distribution of preferences is tainted and not accurate.

Mr van der Craats, who is running as an unaligned candidate said “that the above-the-line voting system should be scrapped and the method of counting the votes revised to address the anomalies in the system that make the system unfair“.

Voters who wish to support  independent candidates or those that are not included on group tickets have to vote below-the-line. Above-the-line voters in most cases do not know where their votes or preferences are allocated or aware of the impact they have on the outcome of the election. A team or party vote locks in voters preferences which are then allocated according to the groups ticket.

The City of Melbourne is the only Municipality in Victoria that uses an above-the-line-voting system

As a team vote is able to be directed this provides an unfair advantage in the preference deals that decide the election. Un-grouped candidates are placed at the bottom of the ballot paper and denied the same rights as ticket votes in that voters have to vote below-the-line to cast a first preference vote for them. 

Most candidates running on group tickets have little to no chance of being elected and are only listed to bolster the groups appearance or to direct preferences to support other candidates.  A lead candidate on a team ticket can be elected with less than half a quota (>5% of the total vote) where an un-grouped independent candidate would require 9% or more below-the-line primary votes.

Melbourne’s Council election is already decided as a result of predetermined preference deals. It is a question of magnitude and only 11 candidates are placed to have a chance of being elected.

Victoria’s voting system is additionally flawed by the way in which the vote is counted.  The system of “proportional representation”and the method of calculating the surplus transfer value (The number of votes that a candidate receives that is over the 10% quota)  is not proportional. Ticket/Party votes are inflated in value at the expense of  minor parties and independent candidates.

The system used is, at best, semi-proportional and is not accurate.

Add to this technical issues related to the distribution of preferences from excluded candidates where votes are segmented and distributed in such a manner that they do not apply equally to all votes.

The principle that a a vote for an excluded candidate should be distributed in order of the voters preference as if the excluded candidate had not stood does not apply to Local Government elections. Votes skip candidates and are allocated to other candidates at a higher value than they would otherwise be had they been distributed according to the order of preference indicated by the voter. The system in use is akin to dealing from the bottom of the deck and giving higher value to some votes at the expense of others.  These distortions in the way we count the vote came about as a result of trying to ease the manual counting of votes. With the use of computer-based technology there is no justification or need to maintain the flaws in the way our votes are counted.  

If we calculated financial dividends the way Victoria calculates the vote our financial system would collapse overnight with a loss of confidence.  


In addition: The method of filling causal vacancies by count-back is also flawed in that the system does not include votes that retain a value and are left unused on the table. In the City of Melbourne count-back that was held last year over 6000 unallocated votes were ignored and voters disenfranchised.  The wrong candidate was elected to fill the casual vacancy. 

Successive Labor and Liberal Government’s have failed to review the system in place and address these issues. 

The Victorian Parliament’s “Electoral Matters Committee” has responsibility and oversight of Victoria’s local government electoral system.  whilst they have reviewed the State election they have not reviewed the system as it applies to Local Government.

Anthony van der Craats is the National Secretary and a Life member of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia

Melbourne’s Electoral System Seriously Flawed

Melbourne’s electoral system is seriously flawed an in need of urgent review.

The system in place provides an unfair disadvantage to unaligned  independent candidates and the method of calculating the surplus transfer value and distribution of preferences is tainted and not accurate.

Mr van der Craats, who is running as an unaligned candidate said “that the above-the-line voting system should be scrapped and the method of counting the votes revised to address the anomalies in the system that make the system unfair“.

Voters who wish to support  independent candidates or those that are not included on group tickets have to vote below-the-line. Above-the-line voters in most cases do not know where their votes or preferences are allocated or aware of the impact they have on the outcome of the election. A team or party vote locks in voters preferences which are then allocated according to the groups ticket.

The City of Melbourne is the only Municipality in Victoria that uses an above-the-line-voting system

As a team vote is able to be directed this provides an unfair advantage in the preference deals that decide the election. Un-grouped candidates are placed at the bottom of the ballot paper and denied the same rights as ticket votes in that voters have to vote below-the-line to cast a first preference vote for them. 

Most candidates running on group tickets have little to no chance of being elected and are only listed to bolster the groups appearance or to direct preferences to support other candidates.  A lead candidate on a team ticket can be elected with less than half a quota (>5% of the total vote) where an un-grouped independent candidate would require 9% or more below-the-line primary votes.

Melbourne’s Council election is already decided as a result of predetermined preference deals. It is a question of magnitude and only 11 candidates are placed to have a chance of being elected.

Victoria’s voting system is additionally flawed by the way in which the vote is counted.  The system of “proportional representation”and the method of calculating the surplus transfer value (The number of votes that a candidate receives that is over the 10% quota)  is not proportional. Ticket/Party votes are inflated in value at the expense of  minor parties and independent candidates.

The system used is, at best, semi-proportional and is not accurate.

Add to this technical issues related to the distribution of preferences from excluded candidates where votes are segmented and distributed in such a manner that they do not apply equally to all votes.

The principle that a a vote for an excluded candidate should be distributed in order of the voters preference as if the excluded candidate had not stood does not apply to Local Government elections. Votes skip candidates and are allocated to other candidates at a higher value than they would otherwise be had they been distributed according to the order of preference indicated by the voter. The system in use is akin to dealing from the bottom of the deck and giving higher value to some votes at the expense of others.  These distortions in the way we count the vote came about as a result of trying to ease the manual counting of votes. With the use of computer-based technology there is no justification or need to maintain the flaws in the way our votes are counted.  

If we calculated financial dividends the way Victoria calculates the vote our financial system would collapse overnight with a loss of confidence.  


In addition: The method of filling causal vacancies by count-back is also flawed in that the system does not include votes that retain a value and are left unused on the table. In the City of Melbourne count-back that was held last year over 6000 unallocated votes were ignored and voters disenfranchised.  The wrong candidate was elected to fill the casual vacancy. 

Successive Labor and Liberal Government’s have failed to review the system in place and address these issues. 

The Victorian Parliament’s “Electoral Matters Committee” has responsibility and oversight of Victoria’s local government electoral system.  whilst they have reviewed the State election they have not reviewed the system as it applies to Local Government.

Anthony van der Craats is the National Secretary and a Life member of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia

Melbourne’s Electoral System Seriously Flawed

Melbourne’s electoral system is seriously flawed an in need of urgent review.

The system in place provides an unfair disadvantage to unaligned  independent candidates and the method of calculating the surplus transfer value and distribution of preferences is tainted and not accurate.

Mr van der Craats, who is running as an unaligned candidate said “that the above-the-line voting system should be scrapped and the method of counting the votes revised to address the anomalies in the system that make the system unfair“.

Voters who wish to support  independent candidates or those that are not included on group tickets have to vote below-the-line. Above-the-line voters in most cases do not know where their votes or preferences are allocated or aware of the impact they have on the outcome of the election. A team or party vote locks in voters preferences which are then allocated according to the groups ticket.

The City of Melbourne is the only Municipality in Victoria that uses an above-the-line-voting system

As a team vote is able to be directed this provides an unfair advantage in the preference deals that decide the election. Un-grouped candidates are placed at the bottom of the ballot paper and denied the same rights as ticket votes in that voters have to vote below-the-line to cast a first preference vote for them. 

Most candidates running on group tickets have little to no chance of being elected and are only listed to bolster the groups appearance or to direct preferences to support other candidates.  A lead candidate on a team ticket can be elected with less than half a quota (>5% of the total vote) where an un-grouped independent candidate would require 9% or more below-the-line primary votes.

Melbourne’s Council election is already decided as a result of predetermined preference deals. It is a question of magnitude and only 11 candidates are placed to have a chance of being elected.

Victoria’s voting system is additionally flawed by the way in which the vote is counted.  The system of “proportional representation”and the method of calculating the surplus transfer value (The number of votes that a candidate receives that is over the 10% quota)  is not proportional. Ticket/Party votes are inflated in value at the expense of  minor parties and independent candidates.

The system used is, at best, semi-proportional and is not accurate.

Add to this technical issues related to the distribution of preferences from excluded candidates where votes are segmented and distributed in such a manner that they do not apply equally to all votes.

The principle that a a vote for an excluded candidate should be distributed in order of the voters preference as if the excluded candidate had not stood does not apply to Local Government elections. Votes skip candidates and are allocated to other candidates at a higher value than they would otherwise be had they been distributed according to the order of preference indicated by the voter. The system in use is akin to dealing from the bottom of the deck and giving higher value to some votes at the expense of others.  These distortions in the way we count the vote came about as a result of trying to ease the manual counting of votes. With the use of computer-based technology there is no justification or need to maintain the flaws in the way our votes are counted.  

If we calculated financial dividends the way Victoria calculates the vote our financial system would collapse overnight with a loss of confidence.  


In addition: The method of filling causal vacancies by count-back is also flawed in that the system does not include votes that retain a value and are left unused on the table. In the City of Melbourne count-back that was held last year over 6000 unallocated votes were ignored and voters disenfranchised.  The wrong candidate was elected to fill the casual vacancy. 

Successive Labor and Liberal Government’s have failed to review the system in place and address these issues. 

The Victorian Parliament’s “Electoral Matters Committee” has responsibility and oversight of Victoria’s local government electoral system.  whilst they have reviewed the State election they have not reviewed the system as it applies to Local Government.

Anthony van der Craats is the National Secretary and a Life member of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia

Melbourne City Council – Holding them to account

Gallery

Welcome to the 2012 Melbourne City Council Election – Unaligned Independent Candidate’s web site Please vote one below-the-line Anthony van der Craats How To Vote Unfortunately due to unfair and unjust limitations voters wishing to support Independent Candidates MUST vote … Continue reading

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

Victoria’s Count Back System of Shame

The City of Melbourne has concluded the count back of the 2008 Municipal Election ballot to determine who will fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Councillor Peter Clarke.

The successful candidate was Jackie Watts (Peter Clarke’s number 2 on his ticket).

Over 6,000 votes that should have been counted were excluded from the count.

Raising further concern about the system of Proportional representation used in Victoria’ municipal elections.

Whilst the result of the count back are not brought into question the method used in the count back is very much questioned..

Under the system adopted there are seven councillors elected to the Council with a quota of just under 1/8 of the total vote. The total vote divided by (the number of vacant positions plus one) minus one. Of which Peter Clarke represents one eighth.

Peter Clarke was not elected on the primary vote and relied on the distribution of preferences from other candidates. Clarke’s surplus votes were also distributed on assisting the election of other councillors who were elected later in the count.

Peter Clarke had a primary vote of 5511 votes at full value (1.000)

He received an additional 3205 votes at full value and 18 fractional value votes following the distribution of preferences from excluded candidates and other candidates surpluses. Total value 8734

The quota for election was 7415. Clarke’s surplus of 1319 which was distributed to other candidates, remaining in the count, according to the voters nominated order of preference.

Under the VEC rules the recount only took into consideration the votes that formed Clarke’s original quota, they failed to take into consideration other unused residual votes that remained on the table, effectively a full quota of votes was ignored in the recount. Votes which could have determined the outcome of the recount and the candidate who filled the casual vacancy.

By only considering Clarke’s original set of ballot papers that were used to elect him the system has double counted some votes and excluded other votes which legitimately should have been counted.

The formula that should have been used should have proportioned Clarkes original set of ballot papers so that they together equal quota (Quota divided candidates total value of votes) times the value of the each vote.

This value should have then been added to any remaining residual value that had not been used at the conclusion of the original count brining the count to its final conclusion. In a full preferential ballot this should equal two quotas minus one. (Taking into consideration and exhausted votes that failed to express a valid preference for any continuing candidate.

All unelected Candidates should have been reactivated and include in the recount and value of the votes outstanding redistributed according to the voters nominated preference until a candidate has reach the original quota value.

This is not the process that the VEC or the legislation applied. They only considered the ballot papers that made up Clarkes original quota votes that when combined with the other residual votes could have produced a different result. But excluding the residual votes from the count these voters have been denied equal representation.

By Way of a theoretical analogy

The ALP number 3 Senate Candidate Jacinta Collins may have been elected on the back of preferences from the DLP who preferenced Jacinta Collins then preferenced Family First or some other candidate ahead of the ALP’s other candidates. The DLP vote when they were excluded from the Count continued on to elect Collins in the original election.

If Collins position subsequently became vacant and count back was used to fill the casual vacancy, under the VEC rules the ALP’s number 4 candidate would be elected but not on merit or on in accordance with the voters chosen candidate. The DLP vote would have been transferred to the Family First Candidate not the ALP and this vote could have resulted in Family First reaching quota before the ALP number 4 candidate. In a fair accurate system Family first’s Steve Fielding should be elected on the count back.

The City of Melbourne count back has highlighted some serious flawed in the system of proportional representation that has been adopted.

Flaws that were introduced by poor legislation drafting and designed to facilitate an outdated manual counting process. With the use of computer based technology it is possible and highly desirable that the system is reviewed and the rules amended to reflect more accurately the voters choice. Our system of Proportional representation and the count back rules, as they currently exist, is not really proportional but semi proportional at best.

If we cannot fix the system so that it accurately reflects the voters choice then we might as well do away with preferential voting which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to count and adopt a similar cheaper party list system as is used in Europe.

If we are going to retain the preferential voting and the associated expense of counting it then it should be accurate.

Victoria’s Count Back System of Shame

The City of Melbourne has concluded the count back of the 2008 Municipal Election ballot to determine who will fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Councillor Peter Clarke.

The successful candidate was Jackie Watts (Peter Clarke’s number 2 on his ticket).

Over 6,000 votes that should have been counted were excluded from the count.

Raising further concern about the system of Proportional representation used in Victoria’ municipal elections.

Whilst the result of the count back are not brought into question the method used in the count back is very much questioned..

Under the system adopted there are seven councillors elected to the Council with a quota of just under 1/8 of the total vote. The total vote divided by (the number of vacant positions plus one) minus one. Of which Peter Clarke represents one eighth.

Peter Clarke was not elected on the primary vote and relied on the distribution of preferences from other candidates. Clarke’s surplus votes were also distributed on assisting the election of other councillors who were elected later in the count.

Peter Clarke had a primary vote of 5511 votes at full value (1.000)

He received an additional 3205 votes at full value and 18 fractional value votes following the distribution of preferences from excluded candidates and other candidates surpluses. Total value 8734

The quota for election was 7415. Clarke’s surplus of 1319 which was distributed to other candidates, remaining in the count, according to the voters nominated order of preference.

Under the VEC rules the recount only took into consideration the votes that formed Clarke’s original quota, they failed to take into consideration other unused residual votes that remained on the table, effectively a full quota of votes was ignored in the recount. Votes which could have determined the outcome of the recount and the candidate who filled the casual vacancy.

By only considering Clarke’s original set of ballot papers that were used to elect him the system has double counted some votes and excluded other votes which legitimately should have been counted.

The formula that should have been used should have proportioned Clarkes original set of ballot papers so that they together equal quota (Quota divided candidates total value of votes) times the value of the each vote.

This value should have then been added to any remaining residual value that had not been used at the conclusion of the original count brining the count to its final conclusion. In a full preferential ballot this should equal two quotas minus one. (Taking into consideration and exhausted votes that failed to express a valid preference for any continuing candidate.

All unelected Candidates should have been reactivated and include in the recount and value of the votes outstanding redistributed according to the voters nominated preference until a candidate has reach the original quota value.

This is not the process that the VEC or the legislation applied. They only considered the ballot papers that made up Clarkes original quota votes that when combined with the other residual votes could have produced a different result. But excluding the residual votes from the count these voters have been denied equal representation.

By Way of a theoretical analogy

The ALP number 3 Senate Candidate Jacinta Collins may have been elected on the back of preferences from the DLP who preferenced Jacinta Collins then preferenced Family First or some other candidate ahead of the ALP’s other candidates. The DLP vote when they were excluded from the Count continued on to elect Collins in the original election.

If Collins position subsequently became vacant and count back was used to fill the casual vacancy, under the VEC rules the ALP’s number 4 candidate would be elected but not on merit or on in accordance with the voters chosen candidate. The DLP vote would have been transferred to the Family First Candidate not the ALP and this vote could have resulted in Family First reaching quota before the ALP number 4 candidate. In a fair accurate system Family first’s Steve Fielding should be elected on the count back.

The City of Melbourne count back has highlighted some serious flawed in the system of proportional representation that has been adopted.

Flaws that were introduced by poor legislation drafting and designed to facilitate an outdated manual counting process. With the use of computer based technology it is possible and highly desirable that the system is reviewed and the rules amended to reflect more accurately the voters choice. Our system of Proportional representation and the count back rules, as they currently exist, is not really proportional but semi proportional at best.

If we cannot fix the system so that it accurately reflects the voters choice then we might as well do away with preferential voting which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to count and adopt a similar cheaper party list system as is used in Europe.

If we are going to retain the preferential voting and the associated expense of counting it then it should be accurate.

Victoria’s Count Back System of Shame

The City of Melbourne has concluded the count back of the 2008 Municipal Election ballot to determine who will fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Councillor Peter Clarke.

The successful candidate was Jackie Watts (Peter Clarke’s number 2 on his ticket).

Over 6,000 votes that should have been counted were excluded from the count.

Raising further concern about the system of Proportional representation used in Victoria’ municipal elections.

Whilst the result of the count back are not brought into question the method used in the count back is very much questioned..

Under the system adopted there are seven councillors elected to the Council with a quota of just under 1/8 of the total vote. The total vote divided by (the number of vacant positions plus one) minus one. Of which Peter Clarke represents one eighth.

Peter Clarke was not elected on the primary vote and relied on the distribution of preferences from other candidates. Clarke’s surplus votes were also distributed on assisting the election of other councillors who were elected later in the count.

Peter Clarke had a primary vote of 5511 votes at full value (1.000)

He received an additional 3205 votes at full value and 18 fractional value votes following the distribution of preferences from excluded candidates and other candidates surpluses. Total value 8734

The quota for election was 7415. Clarke’s surplus of 1319 which was distributed to other candidates, remaining in the count, according to the voters nominated order of preference.

Under the VEC rules the recount only took into consideration the votes that formed Clarke’s original quota, they failed to take into consideration other unused residual votes that remained on the table, effectively a full quota of votes was ignored in the recount. Votes which could have determined the outcome of the recount and the candidate who filled the casual vacancy.

By only considering Clarke’s original set of ballot papers that were used to elect him the system has double counted some votes and excluded other votes which legitimately should have been counted.

The formula that should have been used should have proportioned Clarkes original set of ballot papers so that they together equal quota (Quota divided candidates total value of votes) times the value of the each vote.

This value should have then been added to any remaining residual value that had not been used at the conclusion of the original count brining the count to its final conclusion. In a full preferential ballot this should equal two quotas minus one. (Taking into consideration and exhausted votes that failed to express a valid preference for any continuing candidate.

All unelected Candidates should have been reactivated and include in the recount and value of the votes outstanding redistributed according to the voters nominated preference until a candidate has reach the original quota value.

This is not the process that the VEC or the legislation applied. They only considered the ballot papers that made up Clarkes original quota votes that when combined with the other residual votes could have produced a different result. But excluding the residual votes from the count these voters have been denied equal representation.

By Way of a theoretical analogy

The ALP number 3 Senate Candidate Jacinta Collins may have been elected on the back of preferences from the DLP who preferenced Jacinta Collins then preferenced Family First or some other candidate ahead of the ALP’s other candidates. The DLP vote when they were excluded from the Count continued on to elect Collins in the original election.

If Collins position subsequently became vacant and count back was used to fill the casual vacancy, under the VEC rules the ALP’s number 4 candidate would be elected but not on merit or on in accordance with the voters chosen candidate. The DLP vote would have been transferred to the Family First Candidate not the ALP and this vote could have resulted in Family First reaching quota before the ALP number 4 candidate. In a fair accurate system Family first’s Steve Fielding should be elected on the count back.

The City of Melbourne count back has highlighted some serious flawed in the system of proportional representation that has been adopted.

Flaws that were introduced by poor legislation drafting and designed to facilitate an outdated manual counting process. With the use of computer based technology it is possible and highly desirable that the system is reviewed and the rules amended to reflect more accurately the voters choice. Our system of Proportional representation and the count back rules, as they currently exist, is not really proportional but semi proportional at best.

If we cannot fix the system so that it accurately reflects the voters choice then we might as well do away with preferential voting which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to count and adopt a similar cheaper party list system as is used in Europe.

If we are going to retain the preferential voting and the associated expense of counting it then it should be accurate.

Greens set to be elected in Victorian Senate

The Australian Greens is set to elect a Senator in Victoria on the back of One Nation preferences to the Liberal party ahead of the Australian labor Party.

All being equal, analysis of the 2007 Victorian Vote using the 2010 ticket allocations has shown that the Greens will receive an additional bonus value arising from a flaw in the way in which the Senate vote is counted. The distortion in the proportionality gives the Liberal Party a bonus of over 7,000 votes derived from minor parties who are excluded from the count. This inflates the Liberal Party ticket vote and when transferred to the Greens tips them over the line and denying the labor Party a third senate seat.

Under the current rules a candidates surplus transfer value is calculated by dividing the surplus value by the number of ballot papers, disproportionately to the value of the vote. This inflated the value of the Liberal Party ticket vote which before being transferred represents only 20% of the surplus but under the AEC paper based formula the new transfer value carries 80% of the value of the surplus.

The Australian Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Electoral matters, which Melbourne Port’s Micheal Danby as a member, was aware of this flaw in the system but failed to act to correct the system. ABC Electoral Analyst, Antony Green,m independently confirmed my analysis of the 2007 Victorian Senate election.

By failing to act to correct the flaw in the way the Senate vote is counted the ALP has already lost a Senate seat and the Greens are the beneficiary of Bonus votes that the system delivers at the expense of other minor parties would oppose the Greens platform.

Greens set to be elected in Victorian Senate

The Australian Greens is set to elect a Senator in Victoria on the back of One Nation preferences to the Liberal party ahead of the Australian labor Party.

All being equal, analysis of the 2007 Victorian Vote using the 2010 ticket allocations has shown that the Greens will receive an additional bonus value arising from a flaw in the way in which the Senate vote is counted. The distortion in the proportionality gives the Liberal Party a bonus of over 7,000 votes derived from minor parties who are excluded from the count. This inflates the Liberal Party ticket vote and when transferred to the Greens tips them over the line and denying the labor Party a third senate seat.

Under the current rules a candidates surplus transfer value is calculated by dividing the surplus value by the number of ballot papers, disproportionately to the value of the vote. This inflated the value of the Liberal Party ticket vote which before being transferred represents only 20% of the surplus but under the AEC paper based formula the new transfer value carries 80% of the value of the surplus.

The Australian Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Electoral matters, which Melbourne Port’s Micheal Danby as a member, was aware of this flaw in the system but failed to act to correct the system. ABC Electoral Analyst, Antony Green,m independently confirmed my analysis of the 2007 Victorian Senate election.

By failing to act to correct the flaw in the way the Senate vote is counted the ALP has already lost a Senate seat and the Greens are the beneficiary of Bonus votes that the system delivers at the expense of other minor parties would oppose the Greens platform.