20.2 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

A better way to vote for the Senate

Latest News

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Other News

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the...

MardiGrass is on and Nimbin is ready to roll

The recent cancellation of Bluesfest sent a shiver up the spine of MardiGrass host Michael Balderstone, as visions of the same fate awaiting the annual protest at Nimbin came too close for comfort.

Poor Council drains

Kate Anderson, Mullumbimby In response to and support of Kerry Gray’s and Robin Gracie’s letters Echo 31 March). The McGoughans Lane...

Tweed council adopts Jack Evans Boat Harbour plan

The Tweed Shire Council has announced that they have adopted the Plan of Management for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour precinct.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Rise and shine!

Early morning starts are not a usual routine for chefs at the Ballina RSL Club. March was an exception when Chef Halie Welsh rallied some staff and friends together to take part in Ian Thorpe’s Laps For Life charity. A team of ten hit the Ballina Pool at 7am every day during March to raise funds For ReachOut’s Laps For Life challenge. 

The Senate-voting was a bit of a shambles. Here are three ways to improve Senate-voting procedures:

1: Do not force voters to number every square below-the-line. After 50 numbered preferences or so, the voter has made their intentions clear enough. If there are more exhausted votes towards the end of the counting, that’s ok. At least individual ballots do not end up helping parties the voter did not wish to support. (That is happening under present protocols.) This limited mandatory numbering has been used in State elections. It saves voters and counters unnecessary effort.

Last Saturday’s imposition to number all 110 boxes in correct sequence, drives voters to take the easy path, above the line.

2. End the practice of parties formally lodging preferences for their above-the-line primaries with the AEC. What percentage of the population really knows where their preferences might be headed? This is not easy transparent democracy. The final Senate make-up is determined by these deals between candidates, almost more than the numbers written down by voters. It suits the candidates, who hope to arrange deals that bolster their count. That the end-result of this horse-trading can be misleading to voters was demonstrated with crystal clarity in the election just past.

This unseemly inter-party preferencing was recently discontinued for NSW Local Government elections. Good thing too.

3. Allow optional preferential numbering above-the-line. Give The People the power to write their own simple preferences, above-the-line. This is very straightforward, saves everyone a lot of time, and is the most accurate vehicle of voter wishes.

This system has been used in elections for other tiers of government.

I could add an extra point to enhance intelligent senate-voting. If the media used a quarter of the their election coverage time on describing the many parties standing for the Senate, then voters will have some idea who they are voting for. Every election I’m dismayed that we all vote for one level of Parliament on the basis of almost no information.

 

Nadine Hood, Bangalow


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only is it a prime example...