Older voters point out the flaws in our democratic process

We gauged older voters on the sentiment towards pre-polling and compulsory voting.

Older voters point out the flaws in our democratic process

With one week of pre-polling behind us and an election just two weeks away, YourLifeChoices asked older voters for their views on pre-polling and compulsory voting in the Friday Flash Poll: Would you still vote if you had the choice? Here’s what they had to say.

Seventy-one per cent agree with pre-polling, 21 per cent don’t, and seven per cent are unsure
More than half (52 per cent) have or will vote early in this year’s federal election. As to why …

“I have voted early, in accordance with the rules, as I will not be able to on 18 May. Regardless, why do people vote early? Possibly because nothing will change their mind and nothing in the campaign will. Or, perhaps, they like the convenience. Sure the parties and pollies dislike it, but woe betide any pollies who want to change the system. Imagine upsetting almost 50 per cent of voters. In a terrible campaign like this one, with many below-par candidates, lack of vision, no coherent plan for the country, dirt units dragging up scandals from years ago – no wonder people want to vote and get it over with,” wrote Ted.

“Queues at polling stations on election day have become disgustingly long in recent elections. That is unacceptable when voting is compulsory and encourages people to pre-poll without a legitimate reason,” wrote IndyLoops.

76 per cent agree with compulsory voting, 24 per cent do not, and nine in 10 (90 per cent) would still vote even if they didn’t have to
“I believe it is the greatest thing about the Australian voting system … everyone gets to say who they want and there is no excuse for people to say they are dissatisfied with their local politician … It would be terrible if we ended up like the US or Britain... we at least get what we deserve through our own actions,” wrote Aileen Goodwin.

“Perhaps if voting was not compulsory, the political parties would work harder to get and keep my interest in their policies,” wrote Huskie.

“While I favour compulsory voting, I think there is a strong case against. Do you really want voters that don’t care or don’t understand the issues voting to party lines or donkey voting?” wrote Farside.

69 per cent have made up their minds long before election day, while three in 10 (31 per cent) consider themselves swinging voters up until hitting the polls
“I think we should be voting on a party’s ability to govern and general principles and the quality of their politicians, all of which are evident well before the election. So pre-polling is fine,” wrote Keithb.

Four in 10 (39 per cent) feel that because they are forced to vote, they will merely choose the best of a bad lot
More than half (55 per cent) express confidence in their candidate. Six per cent are unsure.

“As regards voting for the ‘best of a bad lot’, I recall our history teacher who was a staunch Labor voter in an electorate that was 98 per cent Country Party being asked which the best party was to vote for. His answer remains with me to this very day. We were told to vote for the candidate who we think will do the best for us personally, regardless of party affiliation, and not be swayed by the overall result.

“By this criteria, it gets down to a local contest where things like climate change, electric cars, coal mines and sea levels become meaningless for those living through prolonged droughts. If a candidate can promise to sort out a local problem, and we can believe that they can, what is happening with house prices in the city is white noise,” wrote Old Man.

Older voters still have faith, although it is waning …
Almost half of all respondents (48 per cent) still believe in Australia’s democratic system, but 44 per cent say they that while they still believe in the system, they are losing faith. Only eight per cent expressed outright distrust for democracy.

Seven in 10 (69 per cent) say that voting should remain compulsory
But more than a quarter (27 per cent) think it should be voluntary and three per cent are unsure.

“Many of the problems in the US are caused by their lack of compulsory voting. I would hate to see us go the same way! One of the cornerstones of our system is that we all have to vote and dropping that requirement would lead to the awful scenario of politicians hassling people, trying to get them to come out and vote. For goodness sake, don’t advocate for voluntary voting! It would be a disaster!” wrote Infinityoz.

“A democratic system expects that all citizens should participate by demonstrating their views through voting. It makes parties work harder to present their policies to all, not just a target audience of rusted-on voters. Preferential voting, though, is highly questionable simply because a voter’s choice has every chance of being co-opted to another party,” wrote Crowcrag.

“I do think everyone should vote, but I also think we should be allowed to only vote for candidates we agree with – not be forced to number every box,” wrote Triss.

“Women fought long and hard for me to get the vote and I would be denigrating their hard work by not voting,” wrote Ardnher.

“People fought hard for the right to vote, why give it up?” wrote Misty.

While many support compulsory voting, others remain sceptical and some even suggest that voting is not compulsory under the current system.

“Compulsory voting is itself undemocratic. We do have at least the option to protest by casting an informal vote, which unfortunately not many people are aware of,” wrote Franky.

“It is not compulsory to vote, it is compulsory to be on the electoral role and have your name crossed off the list … what happens next is up to you,” wrote Ted Wards.

“One can make the conscientious decision not to vote. However, I think that is a poor attitude. We should cherish having a democracy and being able to vote and hope all people do and make considered choices,” wrote Rod63.

“The main reason that the US has a lousy government is very similar to our own – vast amounts of tied or vested interest cash pumped into political parties with strings attached. Anyone who has lived in the US knows the political power of the vested interests and lobbyists, the NRA, no gun control and tens of thousands of deaths annually; the oil and mining industries, no climate control. Australia proves that uncontrolled political donations corrupt, the US proves that they corrupt absolutely. If you think compulsory voting ensures good democracy, ask the people of North Korea, Egypt, Libya, Mexico, Brazil, Greece and Argentina how it works out for them?” wrote Cosmo.

Pre-polling is fine, but voters want a time limit set
Three quarters (75 per cent) of all respondents believe there should be a time limit placed on pre-polling, with 40 per cent saying pre-polling should begin one week prior to an election, 29 per cent saying two weeks prior and 15 per cent saying three weeks. Only 17 per cent said there should be no such limit.

Pre-polling and compulsory voting not the issue
“The biggest problem we have is preferential voting. I know we can end up with more people not voting for the winner, but people will have thought more about who they vote for. It would also rid major parties giving preferences to minor parties, promising to adopt some of their ridiculous programs,” wrote Luddite.

“Does anybody find it ironic that we are compelled to vote or vote ‘informally’, a euphemism for not entering a vote or spoiling the ballot paper, yet our politicians have the right to abstain in parliamentary debate. Why is that privilege not extended to the electorate? If we must continue with the current system, how about an ‘abstain’ box on the ballot sheet. Maybe it’s a crackpot idea but at least the politicians would gain an understanding of the percentage of the electorate who didn’t like any of them,” wrote Notoverthehill.

“The problem is that voters are uninformed. My view is that every candidate should be given by the Government free reasonable space, and compelled to, record their own personal policies, with supported reference to verifiable reasons, in local media before the early voting period. A low limit should be placed on media advertisements to prevent money controlling information. Compulsory optional preferential voting is essential to allow voters free choice and register disapproval of party control preventing proper candidate representation of their constituents,” wrote Eddie.

“Compulsory voting is the method by which the winning party can claim it has a mandate. It was designed by the parties for the parties – not the voters. It does not guarantee good representatives or good government. Similarly with preferences. The saving grace of the system is that one does not have to vote for any of the candidates if none are up to the mark, simply have our name crossed off at the polling station. The fairest and most accurate indicator of support for a candidate is ‘first past the post’, with no preference deals. We may still end up with a bunch of donkeys, but at least we will know it hasn’t been elected by mathematical trickery,” wrote BillF2.

“Preferential voting should be abolished and first past the post wins. Those small minority parties that you have to preference, some you never have heard about, how can you tick any of boxes when you cannot understand their policies? Some are way out of this planet. They will never be able to govern in own right and WE have to tick one of those on our ballot paper, otherwise our vote will be informal!” wrote Haveachat.

While Australia’s system of democracy will always have its critics, compulsory voting and the convenience of pre-polling ensures that all Australians have a say in which party is elected to govern. As one member, Mick, writes: “If you don’t vote, then celebrate what you get! You deserve it.”

Do you feel that preferential voting is a problem? Do you monitor all parties’ campaigns until election day. Or have you already made up your mind who will get your vote?

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    COMMENTS

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    Julian
    6th May 2019
    10:34am
    In a system where preferences are allowed, the idea of " democracy" is diluted. Without fully understanding how it works and where your vote could actually go, there is potential for some candidates to be favoured over others.

    Thats why it should be abolished along with corruption laden donations.
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    11:29am
    That's a big part of it Julian but the (not) free Press also has a lot to answer for. Running well chosen political propaganda to get LNP governments re-elected is anything but democracy. Trying to eliminate the ABC is also not democracy. Then neither is donations (=bribes) to political parties, both sides.

    I don't know about other (genuine) posters on this website but I do value democracy and freedom but I can see the right side of politics slowly but surely chipping away at the bricks of our democratic system. A bit like the lobster in the pot: raise the temperature gradually and people will not feel the noose tightening around their necks.

    I live in hope!
    Paddington
    6th May 2019
    11:49am
    Interestingly, this was on the ABC this morning in the segment where they are answering questions posed by voters. It was explained how important preferential system is which was an eye opener for sure. Some awful stuff would have gotten through parliament and examples were used of the time period when Abbott was PM. So, in short, it is a good system and we are lucky to have it.
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    12:43pm
    But need to weed out the problems....lie Fraser Anning being elected or Ricky Muir last time around.
    My problem is actually not so much with the above as with the ability of the LNP to have right wing Independents elected who then throw in lots with an LNP party. Palmer is in that boat and so might Zali Steggle.
    Paddington
    6th May 2019
    3:37pm
    Of course, Mick, one needs to be mindful of each number. Palmer is pitiful; he often did not even turn up to parliament and when he did he was photographed sleeping at least once. He also has thrown millions at this election but has failed to pay his employees. Fraser Anning is dreadful but surely most people realise that this time! And so on and so forth.
    World Prophet
    8th May 2019
    12:18pm
    So basically what I glean from the comments to Julian's post is that we value democracy, as long as it excludes the people we don't like.
    Returned Serviceman..
    8th May 2019
    5:33pm
    Yes World Prophet agree with The labor Green coalition and you are fine disagree and you are not entitled to a say.
    Misty
    8th May 2019
    7:20pm
    Rubbish Returned Serviceman, you could say the same thing about the CP, PH Nats and Liberal Coalition.
    Batara
    6th May 2019
    11:00am
    I have trouble understanding the clamour against preferential voting. Say there are three candidates in your electorate: one Liberal, one Labor and one Greens. After the votes are counted the Liberal gets 10,000, the Labor candidate gets 8,000 and the Green gets 3,500. Are those who favour first past the post saying that the 10,000 who voted for the Liberal should get their votes respected while the 11,500 who voted for a progressive candidate are not worthy of having their choice acknowledged? The Greens voters can select either Labor or Liberal to get their vote if the Green is not second on first count. Preferences allow everyone to rank the order of how they view the policies of the candidates on the ballot paper. It does not deprive people of their right to chose the policies that they prefer.
    I suspect that people who want first past the post are objecting to the Senate election where the multitude of minor to nonsensical parties confuse the issue.
    Karl Marx
    6th May 2019
    11:37am
    Most voters don't understand preferential voting & just follow a "How to Vote" card like blind sheep.
    Paddington
    6th May 2019
    11:53am
    I made a comment on this above and it is a good system.
    LNP preferencing Palmer is not good, however, and voters need to be very careful to think for themselves. I did not realise LNP has put Palmer second. I assumed it was further down so that is woeful and hope people are wary.
    I did 12 below the line for the senate which means you choose individuals and the first six are the important ones.
    Farside
    6th May 2019
    12:27pm
    Paddington, the LNP preferencing decisions are fine if you are a LNP voter. They have publicly said Palmer's views are "closer" and One Nation is "more aligned" to their own views.
    Paddington
    6th May 2019
    3:32pm
    Farside, like I said, woeful!
    ozirules
    6th May 2019
    6:48pm
    In your example Batara, all votes were respected and choices acknowledged. The problem I have with preferential voting is that the clear winner of the first round now has to be subjected to further tinkering with votes because he/she didn't get more than 50% of total votes. What rubbish is that. All votes are of equal value and should be counted once only and the best candidate with more votes than the second or third placed etc. should be elected because they won. No one else had more votes, end of story. Why is 50% the magic number, why not 60 or 40, that would be just as meaningless to me and many others judging by some of the posts. Fannying around with preferences is ridiculous as is filling in multiple boxes representing people who most voters have never heard and placing them in some sort of imagined order of rank. All I want is one box to tick .
    FrankC
    6th May 2019
    8:52pm
    Ozirules, you've hit it on the head. I agree 100% . The one with the most votes , wins ! simple. So Batara, Liberals got 10K, Labour 8K, and greens 3.5 K votes. Libs won, and the other two didn't, that is simple adjudicating.
    World Prophet
    8th May 2019
    12:27pm
    It appears that Paddington has a problem with democracy. In a democracy, Paddington, everyone has the right to vote for who they like. Your view appears to be that the current system is a good system, but preferencing of parties you don't approve of by parties you don't approve of is considered 'woeful'. I do get where you are coming from, but find it a bit teenagery.
    Misty
    8th May 2019
    7:24pm
    Yes SFR, a lot of people just want to get their vote over and done with and grab a How to Vote Card on the way without even knowing who they are voting for, not everyone is as fixated or educated on politics as people commenting here.
    Batara
    6th May 2019
    11:00am
    I have trouble understanding the clamour against preferential voting. Say there are three candidates in your electorate: one Liberal, one Labor and one Greens. After the votes are counted the Liberal gets 10,000, the Labor candidate gets 8,000 and the Green gets 3,500. Are those who favour first past the post saying that the 10,000 who voted for the Liberal should get their votes respected while the 11,500 who voted for a progressive candidate are not worthy of having their choice acknowledged? The Greens voters can select either Labor or Liberal to get their vote if the Green is not second on first count. Preferences allow everyone to rank the order of how they view the policies of the candidates on the ballot paper. It does not deprive people of their right to chose the policies that they prefer.
    I suspect that people who want first past the post are objecting to the Senate election where the multitude of minor to nonsensical parties confuse the issue.
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    11:50am
    And how do you account for Clive Palmer's votes? He spent $60 of his own m oney in the full knowledge that he would not be elected. Then he turned around and presented Morrison's men with preferences.
    Clive Palmer does not throw money away and there's been a deal done. Will Morrison repay Palmer in cash plus some or will he legislate for the benefit of Palmer? There's dirt here and we'll find out once its too late to undo.
    How does your position go on this Batara?
    Farside
    6th May 2019
    12:35pm
    Mick, are you arguing for first past the post? If this was the case Hanson would have been elected in 1998 with 36% of primary votes and lost out after the Libs, ALP and Greens preferenced each other giving Blair to the Libs.
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    12:45pm
    First past the post is not a bad idea as the MAJORITY of voters get to have their choice ratified. If candidates do not work out its up to THE ELECTORATE to change that rather than self interest politicians. They should have no part in the electoral process lest it be tainted.
    Batara
    6th May 2019
    1:33pm
    Mick, regarding your comment at 12:45pm. If you look at the simple example I gave where the Liberal would get elected with 10,000 votes first past the post you will see that the MAJORITY of voters are not having their choice ratified. The MAJORITY has voted for Labor and Greens, but the minority of voters who went for the Lib would get their way.
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    2:15pm
    Actually NO. The majority voted for a party. If you are not comfortable with that then you put up issues for election rather than political parties.
    I'm not exactly against the current system if the pollies ironed out the abuse of it.
    Misty
    6th May 2019
    11:03am
    Isn't that what this election is all about, voting for the candidate you favour the most?.
    Misty
    6th May 2019
    11:05am
    For that matter isn't that what all elections are about?.
    Cowboy Jim
    6th May 2019
    11:38am
    I had to fill in all names for the ballot to be valid, had to vote for people I absolutely did not want. That is wrong about preferential voting. Why not allow one, two or three names only and leave the others blank?
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    11:52am
    Common sense Cowboy Jim. I believe the Electoral Commission accepted that first time the tablecloth was aired. Not sure about this time around though and as you said why not as after the first half a dozen the rest are confetti anyway.
    Paddington
    6th May 2019
    12:05pm
    Well you put the very worst last. Not hard really! P for Pauline and P for Palmer at the end. If there is a racist party then they go way down too.
    Farside
    6th May 2019
    12:42pm
    fair point Cowboy but for preferential voting to work there would need to be a minimum number of votes submitted, I am guessing three or four would suffice. We have already seen partial completion in the senate election with choosing up to 12 candidates from the ever-increasing number of parties and candidates.
    Batara
    6th May 2019
    1:49pm
    Misty, there will always be a candidate or two who is unlikely to be elected. In most electoral divisions either Labor or Liberal will be elected. In a few electorates a National or a Green or (heavens forbid) a One Nation candidate could be elected, but normally a member of one of the two major parties will win. By extension of your thoughts those candidates who are unlikely to be elected should not be allowed to stand. Sure we can vote for the candidate we most favour, but if there are three or more candidates there would be an order of preference after the one we most favour. That is what preferential voting is all about - giving voters an opportunity to have their first and second choice respected. It also fosters democracy by facilitating opportunities for small parties and independents to have a go.
    Batara
    6th May 2019
    1:49pm
    Misty, there will always be a candidate or two who is unlikely to be elected. In most electoral divisions either Labor or Liberal will be elected. In a few electorates a National or a Green or (heavens forbid) a One Nation candidate could be elected, but normally a member of one of the two major parties will win. By extension of your thoughts those candidates who are unlikely to be elected should not be allowed to stand. Sure we can vote for the candidate we most favour, but if there are three or more candidates there would be an order of preference after the one we most favour. That is what preferential voting is all about - giving voters an opportunity to have their first and second choice respected. It also fosters democracy by facilitating opportunities for small parties and independents to have a go.
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    2:19pm
    Look up the meaning of democracy Batara.
    God help us if ruling parties ever get to choose who is able to stand. That's the opposite of democracy, a dictatorship, and they've already tried it on.
    Charlie
    6th May 2019
    11:47am
    If you are going to have compulsory voting, it is only reasonable to make it as convenient as possible by having pre-polling, end of story.

    It is far better to judge a political party by their performance when they are in power, than by a whole lot of garbage on what they are gunna doo, spoken in a pre election speech.

    My main complaint about the political parties is that they have a hidden agenda about the values they are representing.

    The labor party is no longer a workers party protecting wages and conditions they have become obsessed with changing the social order of things... gay lesbian rights, feminism, constitutional aboriginal status, that is more important than aboriginal health. Refugees "rights" of coming in and wandering down the streets like this was a third world country. Dodgy interpretations of what equality means.

    The greens have become an extremist group also big on social marxism, but trampling over the rights of anybody who wants to use coal for any purpose or eat meat.

    They have completely forgotten about transport emissions, that produce about 20% of greenhouse gasses.

    As for the Liberals they seem fairly much a mixed bunch, also with a hidden agenda, but I would prefer to return to a world of conservative values than continue the way we are going.
    Misty
    6th May 2019
    11:57am
    Well Charlie if you vote the Coalition back in that is exactly what you will get, to use your words, "continue the way we are going".
    Paddington
    6th May 2019
    12:00pm
    The Greens are not extremist nor Marxist!
    Coal is bad and we have reached an important time to get serious about preserving the environment.
    Ha ha the Greens are not vegetarians I can assure you.
    Far right are far far worse than the Greens.
    Conservative can also be an ugly word. Moderate maybe not too bad but extremism is more likely in that plane than to the left of the middle.
    Fear mongering aimed at the Greens who are only trying to save our world is ludicrous.
    If there is the slightest chance global warming is real then we actually have no choice.
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    12:57pm
    You are sounding a bit like your description of the Greens Charlie.

    "It is far better to judge a political party by their performance when they are in power." The writing has been on the wall for the current government for 6 years despite it lying as if on steroids. No secret. So are going to vote LNP again?

    Your description of Labor and Greens is a bit unfair though. Sure Labor has moved away from wages only but then if they had not they'd be labelled a one issue party. As one of the 2 major parties Labor needs to have policies on everything. The other side demands it and will shoot them down if they don't have these.

    The Greens? I understand....and mad woman Hanson-Young does a lot to drag the party down. Having said that I heard Di Natalie last week and he was pretty spot on about the political problems and class war which needs to change. Climate change is a no brainer. Then there was the class war stealing wages from average people and all the rorts employers are using with no end in sight. Then there's the tax system where the top end are plundering the rest of the nation and it never ends. I could go on but you get the point. The only thing Di Natalie said which hit a raw nerve was about bringing people into the nation. That we need like a hole in the head.

    Nobody is going to tell you anything about coal and meat. When renewables become a no brainer then you'll want those. Meat? Who cares about a handful of activists who are promoted in the media. We can ignore these people and change who we vote for if a political party decides to implement such a ridiculous policy. The ballot box is there for a reason. Use it to kick put rats. So are going to vote LNP again??????
    KSS
    6th May 2019
    2:06pm
    Ah Yes, Mr Di Natalie, he who wants to tax all large businesses into oblivion, legislate for preferential treatment for all women in finance, housing and the workplace, bring in 100% renewable energy by 2030 (if you think your electricity bills are high now, wait 11 years then see where they will be), and a host of equally ludicrous far left socialist policies.

    Mr Di Natalie who wants to enshrine equality of LGTBIQ+ and root out anti-semitsm (has he been listening to the pro-Palestinian/anti Israeli rhetoric from those in his own party?). Equality for all, except some will be far more equal than others. Good luck if you are a successful male - you will be rendered destitute!

    And Paddington thinks he is not extreme left? Mr Di Natalie is way left of Marx, Castro, and Stalin with his 'progressive' view of the future!
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    2:27pm
    KSS - your post is as usual an extreme right wing post determined by the almighty dollar.
    I have never voted for Greens. What I was saying is much of what I heard him say last week was on the money no matter how much your wealthy colleagues would be shuddering in their boots.
    I don't consider the rich giving themselves tax breaks, abusing the superannuation system to launder income, using trusts to pay a much lower rate of tax or offshore tax shelters as legitimate. Di Natalie has this right and requiring high income earners to pay a fair PERCENTAGE of tax is fair.
    I don't consider governments entering into a business arrangement with the coal, irrigators, banking industries or the wealthy to be fair. Its corruption at best.
    I don't consider being in cahoots with media barons and being er-elected on the back of propaganda democracy.

    Tell me about The Greens KSS. Better still lets stack then up against the current government. I thought so.
    The Greens may be way left and I certainly do not agree with some of their ideology but they are not puppets! The current government is.
    Paddington
    6th May 2019
    3:53pm
    Woo, KSS, you are extreme!
    Of course LGTBIQ should be equal. Everyone should be equal even people who espouse rubbish. Greens are left of Labor for sure but not to the point of communism.
    Far right is worse than left minded people.
    Hate is far right for example. Racism comes from the far right. Anti Muslim comes from the far right. Anti any religion is far right when it is to the point of terrorism or inciting hatred.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2019
    4:10pm
    "Of course LGTBIQ should be equal. Everyone should be equal even people who espouse rubbish."

    Paddington, that's ridiculous! Not everybody is equal. What is desirable is equal OPPORTUNITY. Forcing equality of outcome is simply discrimination.

    "Anti Muslim comes from the far right."

    No - it comes from any sane person who has read the Quran and is aware of Islam's continuously violent 1,400-year history.
    Charlie
    6th May 2019
    6:43pm
    All irrelevant for me. I am tired of seeing the country become a welfare state and the place run by minority groups.. Age pension obviously and rightly excluded.

    The government in power is not always to blame for representatives who swing the balance of power.. I intend to vote for the only bit of conservatism there is left . I don't care what anybody thinks.
    Rosscoe
    6th May 2019
    12:00pm
    Mick, you're right on the money there. We have got too many lousy "journalists" in Australia. I hardly ever watch the Sky News channel anymore. I've even tried to remove Sky News from my Telstra Foxtel subscription. Journalists should just report the news accurately. I'm afraid I would never take part in a demo to protect the jobs of journalists - most of them have sold out the Australian people.
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    1:00pm
    Thanks for the kudos Rosscoe.
    The biggest issue I have with right wing journalists is they report what their boss wants rather than the news. This is why I frequently call for a POLITICAL ANTI PROPAGANDA legislation. That would put a hold on paid propaganda. Not holding my breath though.
    Farside
    6th May 2019
    1:01pm
    Journalism is under the pump everywhere because of economics; simply there are not enough people willing to pay for the so called Fifth Estate following the disruption to newspapers and broadcasters by the internet. The 24x7 news cycle has only exacerbated the problem.
    80 plus
    6th May 2019
    2:07pm
    Farside, The problem was made worse when the L.N.P. Government rewarded Murdoch for his support by removing the restriction on owning a TV station and newspaper in the same capital city, This action resulted in over 70% of the media being controlled by one organization. Most Queensland papers are all published by News Corporation. Brisbane Courier mail, Townsville Bulliten, Gold Coast Bulletin , Cairns Post. this may explain why the print media is no longer supported by the public.
    Viking
    6th May 2019
    2:23pm
    80 plus with any luck when Murdoch dies his sons will sell up and buy Casinos or drive it broke. If anyone lowers themselves to read his crappy newspapers they have already made up their minds who they are voting for. I find the best use for the Australian is for lighting my wood heater, I get them from the recycling bin. The Telegraph is best for soaking up oil spills and the local paper goes well in the compost bin. They are all very unpopular in the dunny!
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    2:30pm
    Farside - you are being kind. The Murdoch empire traded propaganda to get Abbott elected for money in the bank. That's how big business works. There's no free ride.
    The real issue is one of democracy and the perversion of the word once you get politicians selling off the nation's silverware. They forget they are custodians rather than owners.
    Rosscoe
    6th May 2019
    12:00pm
    Mick, you're right on the money there. We have got too many lousy "journalists" in Australia. I hardly ever watch the Sky News channel anymore. I've even tried to remove Sky News from my Telstra Foxtel subscription. Journalists should just report the news accurately. I'm afraid I would never take part in a demo to protect the jobs of journalists - most of them have sold out the Australian people.
    Dave R
    6th May 2019
    1:04pm
    I have not decided who I will place first on my ballot paper but I know I will be placing the LNP last on it. I like preferential voting because you can number candidates in the order you would prefer to see them elected.
    Viking
    6th May 2019
    1:13pm
    You only need to see the enormous double page spreads and the weekend newspapers and the incessant TV ads paid for by Clive Palmer to know that our politics are corrupted by tied money going into political advertising. It is now very clear that democracy itself is for sale in this country, it can be bought and none of the main political parties except maybe the Greens want to stop it. What's more we are compelled to vote for commercialised politics. Is this democracy? The people will not be the winners from this election whoever wins. If the 40% who don't know and don't care are compelled to vote, they will vote for the party that can afford to shout the loudest. Is that what you want? What chance for the independents. Now we see the LNP cozying up to the extremists, the "No Principals" with One Nation and Palmer with the Lazies. I hope you all get what you pay for!
    KSS
    6th May 2019
    2:13pm
    They are only corrupted if you take these ads on board and vote for Mr Palmer, just like if you see the ads that say "This is the Bill Australia can't afford" or "Scott Morrison has done plenty - ripped money out of health and education and given $17b to the banks) and vote for Mr Shorten or Mr Morrison. And incidentally you can only vote for any of them if you live in their electorates!

    That's all they are; advertising; much like dish washing liquids and chewing gum! And I don't buy dishwashing liquid according to ad either.........
    MICK
    6th May 2019
    2:31pm
    Spot on Viking. Most voters are lambs to the slaughter: feed 'em poo, only tell 'em what you want 'em to know and keep 'em in the dark.
    Viking
    6th May 2019
    2:37pm
    KSS but are you one of the 40%? I think not. 40% under this system (not mine maybe yours) is enough to get any party into power with preferences so do you want a mob compromised by an extremist party like One Nation or the totally unpredictable self interested Palmer running the country?
    KB
    6th May 2019
    1:38pm
    You vote for the candidate who you trust the most to do a good job. Not necessarily for the party. Nor do you have to follow how to vote cards,- This election is a farce.






























































































































































    You vote for the candidate bests represents you and you do not have to follow how to vote cards. This elections is farce with so many candidates having to quit. They should have been selected more carefully. Their names will still appear on the ballot papers and people can still choose to vote for them. If they get enough votes they can still be elected as independents. Already voted as postal vote is vote is for me. Liberal went last
    Misty
    6th May 2019
    9:19pm
    Why, what is so different this time?.
    Misty
    6th May 2019
    9:20pm
    Sorry KB didn't see the last part of your comment, huge gap between sentences on my computer, anyone else have this problem?.
    Lookfar
    8th May 2019
    3:12pm
    Hi KB read your analysis, I think you have it there, but why is it a farce if as you say everybody can make the choices they want? -

    Cheers,
    Geoff.
    KB
    6th May 2019
    1:38pm
    You vote for the candidate who you trust the most to do a good job. Not necessarily for the party. Nor do you have to follow how to vote cards,- This election is a farce.






























































































































































    You vote for the candidate bests represents you and you do not have to follow how to vote cards. This elections is farce with so many candidates having to quit. They should have been selected more carefully. Their names will still appear on the ballot papers and people can still choose to vote for them. If they get enough votes they can still be elected as independents. Already voted as postal vote is vote is for me. Liberal went last
    mike
    6th May 2019
    2:32pm
    Mr Gee is (Calare) is a disgrace. He has insulted seniors and retirees with his throw off remarks and his refusal to represent self funded retirees. However Shorten is ten times worse wiith his retiree tax grab and his other policies SO WE ARE FORCED TO VOTE LIBERAL.
    Alexia
    6th May 2019
    2:52pm
    Compulsory voting is ridiculous in a democratic country, should not even exist anywhere, it is a travesty.
    Even if there was anyone worth voting for!
    Eddy
    6th May 2019
    3:09pm
    An old adage is that Oppositions do not win elections, Governments lose them. This is what we will find out in the coming election. However I will be so happy to get all those distasteful political advertisements off TV and Google, endless political press conferences dominating all the news channels and to have Clive Palmer's UAP interruptions out of my text box.In any case my number 1 vote will be for an independent just so any major party does not get the public funding of $2.83 for my vote.
    Grammargirl
    6th May 2019
    3:36pm
    The fairest and most accurate indicator of support for a candidate is ‘first past the post’, with no preference deals. We may still end up with a bunch of donkeys, but at least we will know it hasn’t been elected by mathematical trickery. I agree with Bill. Preferential voting should be abolished and first past the post wins. We should only choose the Senate by choosing the poeople we wish to represent us not be obliged to choose 12 people of variable competence.

    6th May 2019
    3:40pm
    No matter how much voters want a change to the preferential voting system, it ain't gonna happen. Politicians set the rules and preferential voting suits them. Deals are made with minor parties for their preferences and hypocrisy is rampant. Liberals want to put PHON last but by a quirk of naming, there is no Liberal party in Queensland nor is there a National party, they have joined and are a separate party known as LNP so PHON is higher up the preferences in Queensland. Labor is rubbishing Palmer but has elevated him in some electorates for preferences because it suits their candidate.

    Some have suggested that donations be capped but this is a nonsense as it cannot be done successfully. The ways around such a ban are many and varied. he most blatant of these was when the unions spent about $20M prior to the 2007 election and one of the first things they did was to grant unions $20M for training. Mere coincidence. We may yell and scream but life goes on and preferential voting and donations will continue.
    Viking
    6th May 2019
    4:49pm
    BS Old Man. The Democratic Republic of North Korea one of the few countries that shares aspects of our voting system such as compulsory voting found a way so did The Democratic Federated Republic of Russia which in some ways is more democratic in not having compulsry voting seems to have found a way too. If the LNP can draft legislation to deprive us of our freedoms in the name of ant- terrism, it can find ways to draft legislation in the name of democracy. It will probably stick in their throats much more while they are doing it and the extremist right of the LNP will squeal like stuck pigs but if they believed in democracy they could do it. I think what you are suggesting is they dont!
    Lookfar
    6th May 2019
    5:02pm
    In regards to Preferential voting, another way to do it is to have two options, the which the voter chooses, presumably from a confused or resentful perspective but it doesn't matter, their first three, (to tie into the Lower house 3,) after which their vote is extinguished, or if they then continue to fill in the rest of the parties (boxes) their vote is not extinguished, but is counted, as are the rest which fill in the boxes, or at least most of the boxes so as to include all tryers.
    It would not be at all unusual for someone to feel resentful but after having chosen the first three, to wake up to the consequences and want to have full preferential voting, so making the first 3 option available but not binding would be a pro Democracy compromise. - imho.
    I think that this would be a compassionate solution to include all except the barking mad
    'Daisy'
    6th May 2019
    6:09pm
    Thank you for this formative article, quote: 'everyone gets to say who they want and there is no excuse for people to say they are dissatisfied' BUT NO, we do not get the Pollies or Party we vote for due to the preferential voting system we have. I totally disagree with the Pollies making deals with other parties to get themselves past the post. It should be first past the post, that would be more of a democratic system.
    FrankC
    6th May 2019
    8:40pm
    I totally agree with 'haveachat' and Julian. Prefernces are the worst thing that has occurred in our voting system. It is meaningless as we are told to vote for someone we have never heard of, that is just plain ridiculous. We're told that our gtovernmebnt is run on the Wetminster system, what a load of bollocks. In Westminster, there are just 2 houses, Lords and Commomns. The voting system is totaly democratic and sure. You vote for just one person on the ballot sheet only, not this bloody stupid 1,2,3,4,5,6 etc. My son asked "what about the others who don't get a vote?", my re[ply is 'tough' They lose. It's the one with the hightest number of votes gets in. Ther are probably just 5 or 6 candidates in your electorate, not compulsorily having to vote for 26, as is current. Some of these parties are beyond a joke. At least we are spared by voting for 6 only, but that is 5 too many. Hare and Clarke should have been extradited as soon as they suggested stupid preferences
    Lookfar
    7th May 2019
    5:23pm
    FrankC, you are not supporting democracy but only a fight between two putative leaders, - Rival Chieftains, you are just choosing the tyrant that will bully you the least, everybody else, including you, will be just pawns, slaves, of no account to the probably halfmad egotists that have fought their way to the 'top', and to which you want to gift absolute power.
    This is insanity from a thousand years ago, and only then from a degenerate society, - society was much more developed a thousand years earlier, just what makes you think every body except the top 1 should rule when we have now proved that they rule viciously stupidly, with no thought or care for the future nor the past not the environment nor our chidren.
    We human beings are evolving, there is no more black and white, there is many shades of grey, many ways of looking at different issues, and it requires courage to accept that there are other human beings in our world, - not just ME.
    You may be delighted to hear that there are other countries, like North Korea, where you will get what you think you want, but you will be extremely fortunate if they let you come back here.
    Lookfar
    7th May 2019
    5:23pm
    FrankC, you are not supporting democracy but only a fight between two putative leaders, - Rival Chieftains, you are just choosing the tyrant that will bully you the least, everybody else, including you, will be just pawns, slaves, of no account to the probably halfmad egotists that have fought their way to the 'top', and to which you want to gift absolute power.
    This is insanity from a thousand years ago, and only then from a degenerate society, - society was much more developed a thousand years earlier, just what makes you think every body except the top 1 should rule when we have now proved that they rule viciously stupidly, with no thought or care for the future nor the past not the environment nor our chidren.
    We human beings are evolving, there is no more black and white, there is many shades of grey, many ways of looking at different issues, and it requires courage to accept that there are other human beings in our world, - not just ME.
    You may be delighted to hear that there are other countries, like North Korea, where you will get what you think you want, but you will be extremely fortunate if they let you come back here.
    Lookfar
    7th May 2019
    5:23pm
    FrankC, you are not supporting democracy but only a fight between two putative leaders, - Rival Chieftains, you are just choosing the tyrant that will bully you the least, everybody else, including you, will be just pawns, slaves, of no account to the probably halfmad egotists that have fought their way to the 'top', and to which you want to gift absolute power.
    This is insanity from a thousand years ago, and only then from a degenerate society, - society was much more developed a thousand years earlier, just what makes you think every body except the top 1 should rule when we have now proved that they rule viciously stupidly, with no thought or care for the future nor the past not the environment nor our chidren.
    We human beings are evolving, there is no more black and white, there is many shades of grey, many ways of looking at different issues, and it requires courage to accept that there are other human beings in our world, - not just ME.
    You may be delighted to hear that there are other countries, like North Korea, where you will get what you think you want, but you will be extremely fortunate if they let you come back here.
    Lookfar
    7th May 2019
    5:23pm
    FrankC, you are not supporting democracy but only a fight between two putative leaders, - Rival Chieftains, you are just choosing the tyrant that will bully you the least, everybody else, including you, will be just pawns, slaves, of no account to the probably halfmad egotists that have fought their way to the 'top', and to which you want to gift absolute power.
    This is insanity from a thousand years ago, and only then from a degenerate society, - society was much more developed a thousand years earlier, just what makes you think every body except the top 1 should rule when we have now proved that they rule viciously stupidly, with no thought or care for the future nor the past not the environment nor our chidren.
    We human beings are evolving, there is no more black and white, there is many shades of grey, many ways of looking at different issues, and it requires courage to accept that there are other human beings in our world, - not just ME.
    You may be delighted to hear that there are other countries, like North Korea, where you will get what you think you want, but you will be extremely fortunate if they let you come back here.
    FrankC
    6th May 2019
    8:45pm
    Batara, yes , first pass the post, wins. That person who had 10,000 votes ( in your post ) was preferred by the electorate. What's the problem there?
    Mondo
    6th May 2019
    9:08pm
    This the last post that I will make during this election and maybe beyond because I am sick of some of the personal insults on other people and the clear lack of analytical thinking by some before they write. Don't attack the person, attack the idea but think first!
    I lived and woked for several years in Communist Eastern Europe amongst many other places and I am just amazed and rather frightened that the level of political indoctrination seems no different here. People actually believe how the politicians tell them to think, that's very dangerous. I am a Liberal at heart, I believe in rewards for the hard worker but i also believe in fair opportunity for everyone. I have a very substantial dividend investment credit because I worked dammed hard, saved dammed hard, didn't piss my money against a wall and instead of buying lottery tickets invested in Australian business to create jobs and provide for my old age. However, the prospect of an extremist right wing coalition of the LNP together with their now declared partnership with One Nation and Palmer scares me sufficiently to willingly sacrifice any tax credit due to me. I will probably cop some abuse for this, save your energy ì wont be reading it. Wake up Australia before it's too late.
    Golden Oldie
    6th May 2019
    9:19pm
    I don't have a problem with preferential voting for the lower house, as there are generally no more than 6 or 8 candidates. What annoys me is the 26 parties for the Senate, at least 20 of which I have no knowledge of, and do not know what there policies are. Apparently you can read about them on Google, but, at my age I doubt if I could remember the details of 20 strange, small parties. Can we not have a culling of some of these parties, or else have them join up with other parties and come out with some common policies that make sense.
    Lookfar
    7th May 2019
    6:13pm
    Driving a car is far more complex and difficult than looking at 28 parties, almost all of which you will quickly realise are not 'you'.
    Freedom does require some work, howver slavery requires full time miserable suffering work with no mercy, except the mercy of dieing younger in pain.
    Wake up to what we have achieved over hundreds of years of struggle, you may think you will be dead soon, - sure, but in that case you should not vote at all, - that is the moral position, - vote informal - easy peasy.
    Golden Oldie
    6th May 2019
    9:19pm
    I don't have a problem with preferential voting for the lower house, as there are generally no more than 6 or 8 candidates. What annoys me is the 26 parties for the Senate, at least 20 of which I have no knowledge of, and do not know what there policies are. Apparently you can read about them on Google, but, at my age I doubt if I could remember the details of 20 strange, small parties. Can we not have a culling of some of these parties, or else have them join up with other parties and come out with some common policies that make sense.
    Charles
    7th May 2019
    1:14pm
    First past the post is the fairest and simplest way to decide!! To say to the winner (first past the post) in say the Stawell Gift or Melbourne Cup is Not the winner because the favourite with the Bookies or the Punters, who came last, now should be declared the winner is ludicrous. Why should "also ran" preferences be used to short circuit the wishes of the people who by their YES indicated their choice and voted for the person/party who clearly should be declared the WINNER? Every one had the opportunity to vote so the first and final total counts. With preferential voting the 2nd,3rd or 4th have a second bite of the cherry to try and by pass the winner. You call that democracy? I guess you do if you achieve your end by manipulation, unfairness and fraud
    Lookfar
    7th May 2019
    7:16pm
    Charles, you have stated the problem with democracy from the side of the ignorant, Democracy is goverment by all, not Government by the majority to subjugate the minority, (and these days the majority are led by the Newspaper/media owners, and who do they serve?).. you are just being subjugated by the old Authoritarian ghosts that are still walking, - Christianity is each person waking to the christ within, not going out to smite root and branch on the order of the old testament Jehovah. -
    We no longer seek the Truth, the old rigidity, but the Good, which has to be adapted to the requirements of each totally different situation.
    Farside
    7th May 2019
    11:30pm
    Charles, you do understand the Stawell Gift and Melbourne Cup are both handicap races, right?
    World Prophet
    8th May 2019
    12:35pm
    Interesting thought, non-compulsory voting. My prediction is that all Green voters would turn out, driven by their zealousness. LNP voters would be the next highest turnout, due to their conservative values, The Labor voters would most likely turn over in bed and go back to sleep.

    8th May 2019
    5:17pm
    5 million have already voted...that tells me that the leadup to election day is too damn long!
    Farside
    8th May 2019
    7:21pm
    absolutely ardnher, I would like to see fixed four year terms held first Sat in November (or pick a day of your choosing) with early voting open from two weeks before.
    BillF2
    9th May 2019
    12:38am
    There are many faults with the Australian electoral system, but preferential voting is among the worst. It appears to have been designed to avoid having a run-off vote for the two highest polling candidates in the event that neither achieves 50% + 1 in the first vote. If you fill in all the boxes on a ballot paper by yourself, you have control over how the preferences are distributed. But because this takes time, and because we have very little information about the candidates (a disgusting failure on the part of the Australian Electoral Commission), many choose to take the 'soft option' of numbering boxes 'above the line' on the (senate or upper house) ballot paper. This parliamentary approved sleight of hand allows the political parties to nominate their own preferences, effectively cheating the voter out of his or her vote. Consequently, it is untrue to say that all Australians have a say in who is elected to govern.
    By the way, the next biggest fault is that there are no laws or regulations governing political parties, and the party that gains government has 'carte blanche' to do what it wants - and generally does. Power is a very powerful aphrodisiac, and something to be obtained, no matter the method.
    Lookfar
    10th May 2019
    7:59am
    Whilst i agree with many of your points BillF2, but I can't agree with your comments on Preferential voting, - electoral democracy is all about he will of the Majority, not the party that hets the most votes, which unless it gets over 50% will always be a Minority, so that unless the biggest votes are a mjority, itwould end up the winning party is a minority that the Majority have chosen Not to win. That is clearly not what Goverment by the Majority means, so preferential voting is a good attempt to allow the Majority to win Govt, not the biggest Minority.
    - I don't disagree with there being an argument that tweaking just how the forms are organised could be improved, so long as it doesn't end up having Minority Governments elected. - to argue that some could not be bothered to fill in their forms does not mean the 'couldn't be bothered' should be able to stop those who 'could be bothered' having a vote.
    Simple really, Government by the Majority of Voters = Democracy
    Pines
    9th May 2019
    11:12am
    I feel that if people do not vote they have no right to complain about which Government they get. If a person is of age and is an Australian citizen they should be obligated to vote. I do agree with all the voters against preferential voting. If they vote for a minor Party they might very well end up with the Government they do not really want, like the famous saying "be careful what you wish for" you might be very disappointed. I have already voted as I am unable to walk far and there is very little close Parking where we have to vote and there would be too many cars occupying the spots. Besides, I have already decided that I want change for many reasons.
    heemskerk2019
    21st May 2019
    7:03pm
    12 months ago I forecast the result of these elections, with a bit of doubt, on this site, mickyboy and tremor got me thrown out of life choises for attacking the a.l.p, well mickyboy the people have spoken, love to hear with abated breath your apologies to the real Australians who voted for AUSTRALIA and not for those loud minorities, such as getup, better known as labor party paid employees, I thank the true Australians for their vote to keep AUSTRALIA as the AUSTRALIA whe have known since it was formed where People could, through their own ingenuity and hard work improve their living standard and retirement without it being burdened by the socialist a.l.p lefties who are nothing more than leeches living on the backs of the hardworking AUSTRALIANS, Australia you have proved my faith in You and this beautiful Country, God bless You!


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