Thursday, 4 August 2016

Talking About Thinking About Voting About Things

Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt your regular programming Why Keyflower is a Great Game and You Should All Buy It for this special timely report with our man-in-his-house reporter, UnwiseOwl.

In the wake of the announcement of the newly elected Australian Senators for South Australia this week, I thought it would be fun to have a detailed look at the voting and preference flows that brought us this result.

Since I am nothing if not a product of the age, I thought I would make this as a twenty-minute-long video guide rather than provide a rundown in text. I've tried to make it accessible to people that don't have a great grasp of how Australian voting works, but I didn't spend particularly long doing so as I got a little bit excited by all the numbers, so you'll need a basic understanding in order to follow along.

If I want to be a hip relevant profitable YouTube type I need a catchy slogan sing-out thingo, don't I? But hey, if we start talking about production values we could be here a while and it's obvious to everyone involved that I'm just not that type of guy.

Normal Blaugust programming will recommence tomorrow. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Blaugust prompts:
1) Is there something you know you SHOULD care about but just can't expend the effort to really focus on?
2) What do you think about your current political system? How could it be improved?
3) Hey, I'm wearing my snazzy tweed jacket in that video! Don't you wish you had a snazzy tweed jacket?


Hans 'Pichy' Stockmann said...

Why haven't I bought Keyflower? Because it goes out of print every time I can afford it!

John said...

The last part sadly cropped a bit too low - none of the just-over-the-quota candidates are visible, I'm afraid!

Also, a correction about the six-year vs three-year terms: when you identify the first six senators elected and say that they're the ones who *should* be getting six-year terms, that's the order-elected method, which has been used at every previous double dissolution - however, the method that the senate *should* be using if it's following its own (non-binding) rules is the recount method, which works so:

1) Start fresh with all of the first-preference votes for every candidate.
2) Simultaneously eliminate every candidate other than the twelve who got elected in the double dissolution count - distribute preferences normally from the eliminated candidates.
3) Now we are down to twelve candidates, elect six from those twelve using the quotas for a half-senate election (i.e., one seventh of the total vote), with preference flows working as normal.

This will give you six-year terms for the candidates who would have been elected in a half-senate election (with the obvious caveat that only those who got elected in the DD can qualify, though you need some pretty marginal cases for a candidate to get elected in a half-senate race but not a DD).

Anyway, this was very fun (even if I knew the outcome already). I quite enjoy the new senate rules, even if it is a bit horrifying to see the rate of preference exhaustion.

Thomas Diment said...

John, you are so right. Obviously turned my brain off a bit there. Serves me right for trying to make a video late at night, I guess!