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Showing posts from March, 2015

Folding the tablecloth

A slightly amended version of this was subsequently published in the online version of the SMH    I have a confession to make. I was one of the 394 candidates on the NSW Upper House ballot paper. And I want to apologise for its ridiculous number of boxes, more than any sane person should need to consider. It doesn't serve democracy to offer so many choices that are ignored. Last time we had a 'tablecloth', the 1999 NSW election, it inspired reform of dubious utility. The bar was raised for party registration, which clearly hasn't been sufficient, and requiring 15 candidates on a group ticket only increases the amount of paper used. Even the system of optional preferential voting and above the line numbering, which makes it easier to vote as you would wish, adds to voter confusion due to the subtle differences from the federal system. If we accept that the minuscule number of people who vote for individuals below the line have no impact on the result, and that we