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The flawed and outdated system of counting the vote was designed to facilitate a manual count, back in the days before calculators or computers.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


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.

Green and Bartlett in denial

There is ongoing concern about the flaw in the way the Australian Electoral Commission calculate the surplus transfer value used in counting the Senate vote. the senate uses a system of Single Transferable Voting – Proportional Representation.

The problem with the Senate system is that it was designed to facilitate a manual counting process. The method used to calculate the surplus transfer value is seriously flawed as a result.

Analysis of the 2007 Senate vote indicated that ALP Senator David Feeney could have lost his seat had One Nation preference the Liberal Party ahead of the ALP. Feeney would have lost not as a result of the voters intention but because the system used by the AEC delivered the Liberal/National Party an additional bonus of 7,000 votes.

The formulas used by the AEC divides a candidate’s surplus by the number of ballot papers and does not take into consideration the value of the vote.

Analysis of the NSW ticket votes based on the output of ABC’s Antony Green’s Calculator shows that the Liberal National Party ticket vote increases in value by over 14,000 votes. In a close election 14,000 votes can make a big differences. the system is clearly flawed but no one is trying to fix it.

Disgraced former Queensland Democrat Senator, come failed Green Candidate for Brisbane , Andrew Bartlett, is in denial. Mr Bartlett claims the system is not flawed.

Clearly Mr Bartlett is not as well informed as he thinks he is (Too many stolen red wine bottles)

Electoral Analyst, Antony Green, wrote a paper in 2008 confirming our previous analysis of the 2007 Victorian Election. But even Antony Greens assessment and confirmation is not good enough for Mr Bartlett who still defends the indefensible current Senate voting system.

His blind support could have something to do with the fact that the Greens have been the beneficiary of the Liberal party’s Bonus vote.

Andrew Bartlett does not understand how the vote is counted.

He could be forgiven in part, because Antony Greens Senate calculator is also misleading. The Green Calc does not list out in detail the method used in calculating the Surplus Transfer Values.

Antony Green use of terminology such as “Raw votes” and “votes” is also misleading.

Under AEC rules the Surplus Transfer value is calculated by dividing the value of a candidate’s surplus by the number of ballot papers.

For the ill informed such as Andrew Bartlett this sounds reasonable but if your take the time to analyse and calculate the actual surplus transfer value you soon realise that the system is seriously flawed. the reason is simple. Not all votes that dorm part of a candidate’s surplus are of the same value. Some are allocated at a fraction of value and others may be at full value. If you divide the surplus usually based on the number of ballot papers then you are in effect increasing that value of Major Party tickets votes at the expense of minor party primary votes.

If we are to restore confidence in the way the Senate vote is counted then we MUST ensure that the system is an accurate reflection of the voters expressed intention and is fully proportional not semi proportional.

As long as we have misinformed advocates such as Andrew Bartlett hope that the system will be fixed is not looking good

If we can not make the necessary changes and fix the system then we should abandon preferential proportional representation and adopt a party list system.

Missing from Antony Greens Calculator is the calculation of the surplus and the Surplus transfer value. Below is the calculations that demonstrate how the Senate system works

Data presented below is based on output published by Antony Green’s Senate Calculator for the State of NSW 2010 Election

NSW

[Count 1: Initial allocation]

There are 1,584,909 Primary vote ballot papers each having a value of 1 allocated to the LNP #1 Candidate: Total vote 1,584,909

[Count 2: Concetta FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (Liberal/National) elected #1]

LNP #1 has a surplus of 1,584,909 – Quota (579,828)
= 1,005,081

Surplus Transfer value = (1,005,081 divided by 1,584,909 ballot papers) = 0.634156914

1,584,909 ballot papers are transferred to LNP #2 each ballot paper valued at 0.634156914, the total value = 1,005,081 (Above quota)

[Count 4: William HEFFERNAN (Liberal/National) elected #3]

LNP #2 now has a surplus of 1,005,081 – Quota (579,828)
= 425,253

Surplus Transfer value = (425,253 divided by 1,584,909 ballot papers) = 0.268313827

1,584,909 ballot papers are transferred to LNP #3 each ballot paper valued now at 0.268313827, the total value = 425,253 (Below Quota)

[Exclusion of candidate process]

OK. At this stage the data is the same (But Antony Greens calculator has not published the break down or the formula used in calculating the value of the transfer value and the number of ballot papers held by the candidate. This information is sadly hidden from view – Why is that?)

[The LNP #3 candidate picks up votes from the following exclusions]

[Count 7: Meg SAMPSON (Group K Independents) excluded]

313 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Group K Ticket 1 of 3 Total number of ballot papers 1,584,909 @ 0.268313827 plus 313 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 425,566

[Count 18: Nick BEAMS (Socialist Equality Party) excluded]

1,199 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Socialist Equality Party Ticket 2 of 3. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 1,512 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 426,765

[Count 28: Greg SWANE (Family First) excluded]

38,371 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Family First. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 39,883 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 465,136

[Count 29: Fiona CLANCY (Australian Democrats) excluded]

5,609 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Family First. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 45,492 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 470,745

[Count 31: Paul GREEN (Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)) excluded]

79,157 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group). Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 124,649 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 549,902.

[Count 32: Jim Gerard MUIRHEAD (Shooters and Fishers) excluded]

95,292 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group). Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 219,941 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 645,194. (LNP Candidate #3 elected)

[THE DISTORTION IN THE COUNT]

The LNP#3 Now has
1,804,850 ballot papers (1,005,081 valued at 0.268313827 (value 425,253)
plus 219,941 ballot papers full valued votes) Candidates Total Value 645,194

Candidates Total 645,194

1,005,081 ballot papers at 0.268313827 = 425,253 (65.91% of 645,194)
219,941 ballot papers at 1.00000 = 219,941 (34.09% of 645,194)

Surplus = 645,194 – Quota (579,828) = 65,366

Under the AEC rules the Surplus Transfer value is calculated by dividing the Surplus by the total number of ballot papers

65,366 divided by (1,005,081 + 219,941) = 0.03621686

The LNP ticket vote is worth the value of 57,400 votes (87.81%) of 65,366
The Primary Full value votes are now worth 79,66 votes (12.19%) 65,366

[The LNP ticket vote has increased its percentage of the Total value from 65.91% to 87.81%) and the Primary Full value votes have been devalued from 34.09% to 12.19%]

This represents a Bonus value of:

The LNP Ticket vote

65366 at 65.91% = 43,083
65366 at 87.81% = 57,400

A increase in value of 14,317

The Primary minor party full value vote
65366 at 34.09% = 43,083
65366 at 12.19% = 7,965

[Devalued by 14,317 votes]

14, 317 votes can be the difference in a close election.

This came about as a result of a FLAW in the way the vote is counted. A flaw that Mr Bartlett thinks does not exist. A flaw that inflated the Major Party Ticket vote at the expense of the minor party vote.

  • A flaw in the way the vote is counted that should not exist.
  • A flaw that needs to be corrected not hidden from view
  • A flaw that some seek to hide and some who are ex members of parliament, ex Democrats. No Green Candidates think does not exist.

Green and Bartlett in denial

There is ongoing concern about the flaw in the way the Australian Electoral Commission calculate the surplus transfer value used in counting the Senate vote. the senate uses a system of Single Transferable Voting – Proportional Representation.

The problem with the Senate system is that it was designed to facilitate a manual counting process. The method used to calculate the surplus transfer value is seriously flawed as a result.

Analysis of the 2007 Senate vote indicated that ALP Senator David Feeney could have lost his seat had One Nation preference the Liberal Party ahead of the ALP. Feeney would have lost not as a result of the voters intention but because the system used by the AEC delivered the Liberal/National Party an additional bonus of 7,000 votes.

The formulas used by the AEC divides a candidate’s surplus by the number of ballot papers and does not take into consideration the value of the vote.

Analysis of the NSW ticket votes based on the output of ABC’s Antony Green’s Calculator shows that the Liberal National Party ticket vote increases in value by over 14,000 votes. In a close election 14,000 votes can make a big differences. the system is clearly flawed but no one is trying to fix it.

Disgraced former Queensland Democrat Senator, come failed Green Candidate for Brisbane , Andrew Bartlett, is in denial. Mr Bartlett claims the system is not flawed.

Clearly Mr Bartlett is not as well informed as he thinks he is (Too many stolen red wine bottles)

Electoral Analyst, Antony Green, wrote a paper in 2008 confirming our previous analysis of the 2007 Victorian Election. But even Antony Greens assessment and confirmation is not good enough for Mr Bartlett who still defends the indefensible current Senate voting system.

His blind support could have something to do with the fact that the Greens have been the beneficiary of the Liberal party’s Bonus vote.

Andrew Bartlett does not understand how the vote is counted.

He could be forgiven in part, because Antony Greens Senate calculator is also misleading. The Green Calc does not list out in detail the method used in calculating the Surplus Transfer Values.

Antony Green use of terminology such as “Raw votes” and “votes” is also misleading.

Under AEC rules the Surplus Transfer value is calculated by dividing the value of a candidate’s surplus by the number of ballot papers.

For the ill informed such as Andrew Bartlett this sounds reasonable but if your take the time to analyse and calculate the actual surplus transfer value you soon realise that the system is seriously flawed. the reason is simple. Not all votes that dorm part of a candidate’s surplus are of the same value. Some are allocated at a fraction of value and others may be at full value. If you divide the surplus usually based on the number of ballot papers then you are in effect increasing that value of Major Party tickets votes at the expense of minor party primary votes.

If we are to restore confidence in the way the Senate vote is counted then we MUST ensure that the system is an accurate reflection of the voters expressed intention and is fully proportional not semi proportional.

As long as we have misinformed advocates such as Andrew Bartlett hope that the system will be fixed is not looking good

If we can not make the necessary changes and fix the system then we should abandon preferential proportional representation and adopt a party list system.

Missing from Antony Greens Calculator is the calculation of the surplus and the Surplus transfer value. Below is the calculations that demonstrate how the Senate system works

Data presented below is based on output published by Antony Green’s Senate Calculator for the State of NSW 2010 Election

NSW

[Count 1: Initial allocation]

There are 1,584,909 Primary vote ballot papers each having a value of 1 allocated to the LNP #1 Candidate: Total vote 1,584,909

[Count 2: Concetta FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (Liberal/National) elected #1]

LNP #1 has a surplus of 1,584,909 – Quota (579,828)
= 1,005,081

Surplus Transfer value = (1,005,081 divided by 1,584,909 ballot papers) = 0.634156914

1,584,909 ballot papers are transferred to LNP #2 each ballot paper valued at 0.634156914, the total value = 1,005,081 (Above quota)

[Count 4: William HEFFERNAN (Liberal/National) elected #3]

LNP #2 now has a surplus of 1,005,081 – Quota (579,828)
= 425,253

Surplus Transfer value = (425,253 divided by 1,584,909 ballot papers) = 0.268313827

1,584,909 ballot papers are transferred to LNP #3 each ballot paper valued now at 0.268313827, the total value = 425,253 (Below Quota)

[Exclusion of candidate process]

OK. At this stage the data is the same (But Antony Greens calculator has not published the break down or the formula used in calculating the value of the transfer value and the number of ballot papers held by the candidate. This information is sadly hidden from view – Why is that?)

[The LNP #3 candidate picks up votes from the following exclusions]

[Count 7: Meg SAMPSON (Group K Independents) excluded]

313 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Group K Ticket 1 of 3 Total number of ballot papers 1,584,909 @ 0.268313827 plus 313 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 425,566

[Count 18: Nick BEAMS (Socialist Equality Party) excluded]

1,199 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Socialist Equality Party Ticket 2 of 3. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 1,512 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 426,765

[Count 28: Greg SWANE (Family First) excluded]

38,371 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Family First. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 39,883 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 465,136

[Count 29: Fiona CLANCY (Australian Democrats) excluded]

5,609 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Family First. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 45,492 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 470,745

[Count 31: Paul GREEN (Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)) excluded]

79,157 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group). Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 124,649 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 549,902.

[Count 32: Jim Gerard MUIRHEAD (Shooters and Fishers) excluded]

95,292 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group). Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 219,941 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 645,194. (LNP Candidate #3 elected)

[THE DISTORTION IN THE COUNT]

The LNP#3 Now has
1,804,850 ballot papers (1,005,081 valued at 0.268313827 (value 425,253)
plus 219,941 ballot papers full valued votes) Candidates Total Value 645,194

Candidates Total 645,194

1,005,081 ballot papers at 0.268313827 = 425,253 (65.91% of 645,194)
219,941 ballot papers at 1.00000 = 219,941 (34.09% of 645,194)

Surplus = 645,194 – Quota (579,828) = 65,366

Under the AEC rules the Surplus Transfer value is calculated by dividing the Surplus by the total number of ballot papers

65,366 divided by (1,005,081 + 219,941) = 0.03621686

The LNP ticket vote is worth the value of 57,400 votes (87.81%) of 65,366
The Primary Full value votes are now worth 79,66 votes (12.19%) 65,366

[The LNP ticket vote has increased its percentage of the Total value from 65.91% to 87.81%) and the Primary Full value votes have been devalued from 34.09% to 12.19%]

This represents a Bonus value of:

The LNP Ticket vote

65366 at 65.91% = 43,083
65366 at 87.81% = 57,400

A increase in value of 14,317

The Primary minor party full value vote
65366 at 34.09% = 43,083
65366 at 12.19% = 7,965

[Devalued by 14,317 votes]

14, 317 votes can be the difference in a close election.

This came about as a result of a FLAW in the way the vote is counted. A flaw that Mr Bartlett thinks does not exist. A flaw that inflated the Major Party Ticket vote at the expense of the minor party vote.

  • A flaw in the way the vote is counted that should not exist.
  • A flaw that needs to be corrected not hidden from view
  • A flaw that some seek to hide and some who are ex members of parliament, ex Democrats. No Green Candidates think does not exist.

Green and Bartlett in denial

There is ongoing concern about the flaw in the way the Australian Electoral Commission calculate the surplus transfer value used in counting the Senate vote. the senate uses a system of Single Transferable Voting – Proportional Representation.

The problem with the Senate system is that it was designed to facilitate a manual counting process. The method used to calculate the surplus transfer value is seriously flawed as a result.

Analysis of the 2007 Senate vote indicated that ALP Senator David Feeney could have lost his seat had One Nation preference the Liberal Party ahead of the ALP. Feeney would have lost not as a result of the voters intention but because the system used by the AEC delivered the Liberal/National Party an additional bonus of 7,000 votes.

The formulas used by the AEC divides a candidate’s surplus by the number of ballot papers and does not take into consideration the value of the vote.

Analysis of the NSW ticket votes based on the output of ABC’s Antony Green’s Calculator shows that the Liberal National Party ticket vote increases in value by over 14,000 votes. In a close election 14,000 votes can make a big differences. the system is clearly flawed but no one is trying to fix it.

Disgraced former Queensland Democrat Senator, come failed Green Candidate for Brisbane , Andrew Bartlett, is in denial. Mr Bartlett claims the system is not flawed.

Clearly Mr Bartlett is not as well informed as he thinks he is (Too many stolen red wine bottles)

Electoral Analyst, Antony Green, wrote a paper in 2008 confirming our previous analysis of the 2007 Victorian Election. But even Antony Greens assessment and confirmation is not good enough for Mr Bartlett who still defends the indefensible current Senate voting system.

His blind support could have something to do with the fact that the Greens have been the beneficiary of the Liberal party’s Bonus vote.

Andrew Bartlett does not understand how the vote is counted.

He could be forgiven in part, because Antony Greens Senate calculator is also misleading. The Green Calc does not list out in detail the method used in calculating the Surplus Transfer Values.

Antony Green use of terminology such as “Raw votes” and “votes” is also misleading.

Under AEC rules the Surplus Transfer value is calculated by dividing the value of a candidate’s surplus by the number of ballot papers.

For the ill informed such as Andrew Bartlett this sounds reasonable but if your take the time to analyse and calculate the actual surplus transfer value you soon realise that the system is seriously flawed. the reason is simple. Not all votes that dorm part of a candidate’s surplus are of the same value. Some are allocated at a fraction of value and others may be at full value. If you divide the surplus usually based on the number of ballot papers then you are in effect increasing that value of Major Party tickets votes at the expense of minor party primary votes.

If we are to restore confidence in the way the Senate vote is counted then we MUST ensure that the system is an accurate reflection of the voters expressed intention and is fully proportional not semi proportional.

As long as we have misinformed advocates such as Andrew Bartlett hope that the system will be fixed is not looking good

If we can not make the necessary changes and fix the system then we should abandon preferential proportional representation and adopt a party list system.

Missing from Antony Greens Calculator is the calculation of the surplus and the Surplus transfer value. Below is the calculations that demonstrate how the Senate system works

Data presented below is based on output published by Antony Green’s Senate Calculator for the State of NSW 2010 Election

NSW

[Count 1: Initial allocation]

There are 1,584,909 Primary vote ballot papers each having a value of 1 allocated to the LNP #1 Candidate: Total vote 1,584,909

[Count 2: Concetta FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (Liberal/National) elected #1]

LNP #1 has a surplus of 1,584,909 – Quota (579,828)
= 1,005,081

Surplus Transfer value = (1,005,081 divided by 1,584,909 ballot papers) = 0.634156914

1,584,909 ballot papers are transferred to LNP #2 each ballot paper valued at 0.634156914, the total value = 1,005,081 (Above quota)

[Count 4: William HEFFERNAN (Liberal/National) elected #3]

LNP #2 now has a surplus of 1,005,081 – Quota (579,828)
= 425,253

Surplus Transfer value = (425,253 divided by 1,584,909 ballot papers) = 0.268313827

1,584,909 ballot papers are transferred to LNP #3 each ballot paper valued now at 0.268313827, the total value = 425,253 (Below Quota)

[Exclusion of candidate process]

OK. At this stage the data is the same (But Antony Greens calculator has not published the break down or the formula used in calculating the value of the transfer value and the number of ballot papers held by the candidate. This information is sadly hidden from view – Why is that?)

[The LNP #3 candidate picks up votes from the following exclusions]

[Count 7: Meg SAMPSON (Group K Independents) excluded]

313 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Group K Ticket 1 of 3 Total number of ballot papers 1,584,909 @ 0.268313827 plus 313 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 425,566

[Count 18: Nick BEAMS (Socialist Equality Party) excluded]

1,199 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Socialist Equality Party Ticket 2 of 3. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 1,512 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 426,765

[Count 28: Greg SWANE (Family First) excluded]

38,371 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Family First. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 39,883 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 465,136

[Count 29: Fiona CLANCY (Australian Democrats) excluded]

5,609 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Family First. Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 45,492 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 470,745

[Count 31: Paul GREEN (Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)) excluded]

79,157 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group). Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 124,649 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 549,902.

[Count 32: Jim Gerard MUIRHEAD (Shooters and Fishers) excluded]

95,292 Primary vote ballot papers are transferred at full value on the exclusion of Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group). Total number of ballot papers 1,586,421 @ 0.268313827 plus 219,941 ballot papers at full value of 1.00000: Total value of votes 645,194. (LNP Candidate #3 elected)

[THE DISTORTION IN THE COUNT]

The LNP#3 Now has
1,804,850 ballot papers (1,005,081 valued at 0.268313827 (value 425,253)
plus 219,941 ballot papers full valued votes) Candidates Total Value 645,194

Candidates Total 645,194

1,005,081 ballot papers at 0.268313827 = 425,253 (65.91% of 645,194)
219,941 ballot papers at 1.00000 = 219,941 (34.09% of 645,194)

Surplus = 645,194 – Quota (579,828) = 65,366

Under the AEC rules the Surplus Transfer value is calculated by dividing the Surplus by the total number of ballot papers

65,366 divided by (1,005,081 + 219,941) = 0.03621686

The LNP ticket vote is worth the value of 57,400 votes (87.81%) of 65,366
The Primary Full value votes are now worth 79,66 votes (12.19%) 65,366

[The LNP ticket vote has increased its percentage of the Total value from 65.91% to 87.81%) and the Primary Full value votes have been devalued from 34.09% to 12.19%]

This represents a Bonus value of:

The LNP Ticket vote

65366 at 65.91% = 43,083
65366 at 87.81% = 57,400

A increase in value of 14,317

The Primary minor party full value vote
65366 at 34.09% = 43,083
65366 at 12.19% = 7,965

[Devalued by 14,317 votes]

14, 317 votes can be the difference in a close election.

This came about as a result of a FLAW in the way the vote is counted. A flaw that Mr Bartlett thinks does not exist. A flaw that inflated the Major Party Ticket vote at the expense of the minor party vote.

  • A flaw in the way the vote is counted that should not exist.
  • A flaw that needs to be corrected not hidden from view
  • A flaw that some seek to hide and some who are ex members of parliament, ex Democrats. No Green Candidates think does not exist.

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.

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.

Victoria takes one step forward on the path of reform Federal Government held in shame

The Victorian Parliament Electoral Matters Committee has recommended that the electoral act be modified to adopt a more fairer and accurate calculation of the results of the upper house elections

Recommendation 8.1: The Victorian Government considers introducing the Weighted Inclusive Gregory Method of counting votes for the Legislative Council

The proposal brings Victoria in line with Western Australia which had also adopted similar changes earlier in the way votes are counted.

The reforms proposed by the Victorian Parliament will have its greatest impact in the Local Government sector including the City of Melbourne. (Assuming that the same policy will flow through to Local Government). Analysis of past elections has shown that the results of the City of Melbourne Elections would have changed had this reform been in place at the time.

The recommendation of the State Parliament has flown in the face of the Australian Federal Government who earlier this year rejected calls for similar reform to the Australian Senate System. The Australian Government, increasingly seen to be at odds with the states on electoral reform, remains stuck in the 19th century clinging on to an outdated and discredited counting system.

Analysis of the 2007 Senate election has indicated that ALP Senator David Feeney could have lost his seat as a result of the distortion on the Senate Counting system, a system that would have delivered the Greens an additional 7,000 “bonus votes” above and beyond the number of actual votes received.

The recommendation of the State Parliament Electoral Matters Committee is a step forward in improving the accuracy and public confidence in Victorian elections.

The Parliament now needs to consider further the other anominally and error in the Senate Upper House election system, namely the way in which votes allocated to excluded candidates are redistributed.

The order in which votes for minor candidates are distributed seriously effects the outcome of the senate elections. The system currently in place unfairly resulted in the Greens Queensland Senate Candidate “Larissa Waters” missing out in the right of representation in 2007 . The ALP unfairly won a third Senate spot as a result.

With the advent of computer assisted election counts, both the Australian Parliament and State Governments, should consider adopting a re-iterative counting system (Wright System) or the use of Meeks Method of counting the vote as the next step for electoral reform

Victoria takes one step forward on the path of reform Federal Government held in shame

The Victorian Parliament Electoral Matters Committee has recommended that the electoral act be modified to adopt a more fairer and accurate calculation of the results of the upper house elections

Recommendation 8.1: The Victorian Government considers introducing the Weighted Inclusive Gregory Method of counting votes for the Legislative Council

The proposal brings Victoria in line with Western Australia which had also adopted similar changes earlier in the way votes are counted.

The reforms proposed by the Victorian Parliament will have its greatest impact in the Local Government sector including the City of Melbourne. (Assuming that the same policy will flow through to Local Government). Analysis of past elections has shown that the results of the City of Melbourne Elections would have changed had this reform been in place at the time.

The recommendation of the State Parliament has flown in the face of the Australian Federal Government who earlier this year rejected calls for similar reform to the Australian Senate System. The Australian Government, increasingly seen to be at odds with the states on electoral reform, remains stuck in the 19th century clinging on to an outdated and discredited counting system.

Analysis of the 2007 Senate election has indicated that ALP Senator David Feeney could have lost his seat as a result of the distortion on the Senate Counting system, a system that would have delivered the Greens an additional 7,000 “bonus votes” above and beyond the number of actual votes received.

The recommendation of the State Parliament Electoral Matters Committee is a step forward in improving the accuracy and public confidence in Victorian elections.

The Parliament now needs to consider further the other anominally and error in the Senate Upper House election system, namely the way in which votes allocated to excluded candidates are redistributed.

The order in which votes for minor candidates are distributed seriously effects the outcome of the senate elections. The system currently in place unfairly resulted in the Greens Queensland Senate Candidate “Larissa Waters” missing out in the right of representation in 2007 . The ALP unfairly won a third Senate spot as a result.

With the advent of computer assisted election counts, both the Australian Parliament and State Governments, should consider adopting a re-iterative counting system (Wright System) or the use of Meeks Method of counting the vote as the next step for electoral reform

Victoria takes one step forward on the path of reform Federal Government held in shame

The Victorian Parliament Electoral Matters Committee has recommended that the electoral act be modified to adopt a more fairer and accurate calculation of the results of the upper house elections

Recommendation 8.1: The Victorian Government considers introducing the Weighted Inclusive Gregory Method of counting votes for the Legislative Council

The proposal brings Victoria in line with Western Australia which had also adopted similar changes earlier in the way votes are counted.

The reforms proposed by the Victorian Parliament will have its greatest impact in the Local Government sector including the City of Melbourne. (Assuming that the same policy will flow through to Local Government). Analysis of past elections has shown that the results of the City of Melbourne Elections would have changed had this reform been in place at the time.

The recommendation of the State Parliament has flown in the face of the Australian Federal Government who earlier this year rejected calls for similar reform to the Australian Senate System. The Australian Government, increasingly seen to be at odds with the states on electoral reform, remains stuck in the 19th century clinging on to an outdated and discredited counting system.

Analysis of the 2007 Senate election has indicated that ALP Senator David Feeney could have lost his seat as a result of the distortion on the Senate Counting system, a system that would have delivered the Greens an additional 7,000 “bonus votes” above and beyond the number of actual votes received.

The recommendation of the State Parliament Electoral Matters Committee is a step forward in improving the accuracy and public confidence in Victorian elections.

The Parliament now needs to consider further the other anominally and error in the Senate Upper House election system, namely the way in which votes allocated to excluded candidates are redistributed.

The order in which votes for minor candidates are distributed seriously effects the outcome of the senate elections. The system currently in place unfairly resulted in the Greens Queensland Senate Candidate “Larissa Waters” missing out in the right of representation in 2007 . The ALP unfairly won a third Senate spot as a result.

With the advent of computer assisted election counts, both the Australian Parliament and State Governments, should consider adopting a re-iterative counting system (Wright System) or the use of Meeks Method of counting the vote as the next step for electoral reform

See no evil, Hear no evil , Speak no evil. Electoral reform denied

The Australian Parliament fails to act to correct errors in the way votes are counted in Australia.

The Australian Labor Party forsakes its reputation on electoral reform to perpetuate a distortion in the way in which Senate votes are counted in Australia.

Three issues had been identified as needing attention and correction.

1. The method used in calculating the Surplus Transfer Value and
2. The methods used in distributing preferences of excluded candidates.
3. The need to publish detailed electronic preference data files in a timely fashion so as to ensure the proper scrutiny and open and transparency of computerised election counts.

Surplus Transfer Value

The method used in calculating the Surplus Transfer Values seriously distorts the one vote one value principle and as demonstrated by the analysis of the 2007 Victorian Senate vote (hypothetical) could have unfairly denied the Australian Labor Party’s David Feeney a third Senate seat. David Feeney would have lost the election to the Australian Greens’ Richard Di Natale, who would have been the beneficiary of the distortion in the value of the vote. A distortion that would have given the Greens a bonus value of 7,000 additional votes tipping the results of the election in favour of the Greens Candidate. (The analysis and hypothetical was independently confirmed by ABC media electoral analyst Antony Green).

Western Australia was the first State Government to address this the errors and correct the formula currently used to take into account the true value of the vote when calculating the Surplus Transfer Value. Under the current rules votes belonging to major political parties are inflated at the expense of minor parties. This gives an unfair advantage to one party above the other as the final result of the election does not accurately reflect the outcome or intention of the voters.

The proposed change in the way the vote is counted and the calculation of the surplus transfer value is minimal and could be readily implemented for less then $10,000.

The issue of calculation of the Surplus Transfer value is a time bomb ticking. One that will and can effect both major parties come time in the future. Western Australia State Parliament acted to correct this issue but the Australian Government and Opposition Parties failed to act.

The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee in its final report on the 2007 Federal Election failed to act to correct this obvious error. Preferring instead to turn a blind eye to the flaws in the way the Senate vote is counted

The Australian Greens, represented by Senator Bob Brown, also has turned a blind and covered their mouth to prevent the correction of the the in the way the Senate vote is counted. Primarily because the Greens are the beneficiary of the current distortion. The failure of the Greens to address this issue in a their dissenting report demonstrates that the Greens hold no moral ground when it comes to electoral reform.

Method of Distribution of preferences

The second issue is just as important in ensuring that the Senate electoral system accurately reflects the voters intention.

Analysis of the Queensland Senate Election has shown that the results of the election did not accurately reflect the intention of the Queensland voters.

The method used in determining the order and transfer of preferences denied the Australian Greens the right of representation.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) failed to give due and proper consideration to the issues raised.

In supporting the argument for no change the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, backed up by a false and fallacious argument presented by the Australian Electoral Commission opted to deflect attention and criticism that the results of the election did not reflect the voters intentions.

The AEC falsely claimed that they were not in a position to verify the results of the analysis of the Queensland election in which the Greens Candidate, Larissa Waters, was denied the right of representation.

The AEC claimed that analysis of the election results would have required the development of software that was not readily available. This argument is false as the flaw in the counting system can be readily identified using existing software and existing procedures in the count.

The election of Larisa Waters was not dependent on the changes required to the way in which the Surplus Transfer Value is calculated as outlined above.

The results of the recount would have shown that Larisa Waters should have been elected and highlights the problem in the way preferences from excluded candidates are distributed.

All the AEC had to do to demonstrate and verify the error in the way the elections are counted was recount the electronic ballot excluding all candidates from the count except the last seven candidates left standing (Three Liberal, Three ALP and the greens Larisa Waters).

This requires no modifications to existing software and analytical tools are readily available to the AEC. The AEC could have also called on the expertise of other electoral authorities (Members of IDEA an international association of electoral authorities to which the AEC is a member) to help assist in the analysis of the other electoral system such as the “Meek method” (The time required to process the electronic data is less then three hours)

The AEC by failing to undertake a proper and detailed analysis of the method of election had compromised its professional independent standing.

Respected ABC Electoral Analyst Antony Green also failed to undertake a proper and detailed analysis of the Queensland results and the method used in the distribution of preferences .

Antony Green went to considerable effort to verify the identified issues raised in relation to the Surplus Transfer Value calculation (See Antony Greens supplementary submission and analysis of the hypothetical in relation to the Victorian Senate Vote) however Anthony Green was unable or unwilling to undertake analysis on the method of distribution of preferences from excluded candidates. Given the significance of the outcome one can only wonder and question why the Antony Green failed to review the results in detail. Had Antony Green analysed the result of the Queensland count he would have been better informed and aware of the distortion in the way the ballot is counted.

Antony Green like the AEC turned a blind eye to the errors in the system count and the fact that the Greens were denied the right of representation due to the method used. A method that is not accurate and was original designed primarily to facilitate a manual count not accuracy.

The JSCEM and the AEC put forward the false argument that the alternative method proposed could not be verified by a manual count and as such should not be used. If needed a manual count could readily be undertaken using the alternative proposals .Given that we now have use of computer based technology the system used should be changed to take full advantage of the new technology.

Open and Transparent computerised counts

The AEC should be congratulated by the fact that they published the detailed preference data for the Senate elections. However there is ongoing concern at the delay taken by the AEC in making this information available for independent analysis and subject to proper scrutiny. With the introduction of computer based counting systems it is fundamental and important that public elections and the results of the election are open and transparent.

Without publishing this data the computerised count and results of the election can not be independently verified or properly scrutinised. The lack of transparency and accountability and accuracy in the computersied count undermines overall public confidence in the electoral process.

The parliament needs to change the regulations and procedures so as to ensure that copies of computerised electronic preference data files are readily available for scrutiny and public review. As a minimum copies of the preference data files should be readily available to scrutineers though-out the count and official certified copies published as apart of the procedures related to the declaration of the poll – not three months after the declaration.

The JSCEM, disappointingly, failed to properly address these issues.