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Showing posts from March, 2022

Some thoughts on multi-member electorates

Because I was thinking about multi-member electorates , I couldn't help but jot down a few responses to common objections. This is not my first rodeo with off-the-cuff electoral reform proposals ( local copy ); hey, someone's got to be interested in voting systems! (1) By reducing the percentage of votes required to win a seat in parliament, the government will become less stable. Having multi-member electorates would pull us towards a more representative system, but runs the 'risk' of requiring more coalitions: just as frequently happens in Tasmania where both Labor/Greens and Liberal/Greens have formed functional coalitions. Of course, there is the possibility that the coalitions are unstable or unworkable; some countries (e.g. Italy, Israel) are notorious for having chaotic governance because coalition partners can and do easily drop support for the government, or simply end up not being able to form a government in the first place. If you truly do value

Keeping the pork in its barrel

One of the depressing moments in NSW politics last year was when the former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, fronting ICAC over allegations that she had been improperly influenced due to a personal relationship, said: I don’t think it would be a surprise to anybody that we throw money at seats to keep them. Witness also the ex-Deputy Premier's bizarre pride in being known as Pork Barrelaro . You could read this as overdue acceptance of political reality, but for me it's more concerning. It's an indication that pork-barrelling is on the verge of becoming normalised for our political class, such that they no longer feel the need to pretend it's inappropriate. Stolen from Wikipedia And let's be clear: it is inappropriate. When 95% of grants go to politically advantageous seats with almost no process, and notes are destroyed in contravention of the State Records Act, it smells more like corruption than good governance. The previous year, Berejiklian had (correctly) poi