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Some Notes On How RCV Has Made Australia A Paradise
by blues
Tuesday Jul 9th, 2019 5:01 AM
With a few changes in our voting system, we can enjoy the benefits of Australian freedom and democracy right here in the US.
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Center for Range Voting -- Australian politics circa 2006 -- By Warren Smith & Jan Kok

We shall here argue that IRV [now called 'RCV'] leads to 2-party domination, and Australia is evidence of that. However, the situation is somewhat more complicated than that; Australia uses several voting systems for different purposes – IRV is only one of them – and because of the other multiparty-genic nature of some of the other systems (especially 10-winner reweighted-STV PR for Senators) Australia is not entirely 2-party dominated. [Present writer's note: Australia has a de facto two-party system between Labor and a coalition of the Liberal Party, the National Party and the County Liberal Party.]


Instant Runoff Voting (IRV, also called preferential voting; single winner) is used to elect the Australian federal House of representatives [system enacted 1918]
Multiwinner Proportional Representation based on Hare/Droop reweighted single transferable vote (STV) is used ot elect Australian federal Senate.


According to the Australian analysts at

(1) It is more complicated to administer and count.
(2) It can produce a higher level of informal voting.
(3) It promotes a two-party system to the detriment of minor parties and independents.
(4) Voters are forced to express a preference for candidates they may not wish to support in any way. (The use of optional preferential voting, as used in New South Wales State elections, is a solution to this problem.)
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Truthout [website] -- Australia Threatens to Jail Citizens Who Embarrass Repressive Governments -- July 30, 2014

If you’re in Australia, you could go to prison for tweeting this piece. On July 30,WikiLeaks released an unprecedented gag order by the Australian Supreme Court in Melbourne, Victoria, forbidding anyone (including the Australian press) from talking about a multimillion-dollar corruption case involving leaders and senior officials from Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.


The gag is a superinjunction, meaning the terms of the gag are secret, and it is a criminal offense to reveal them. That means, theoretically, anyone sharing the order or linking to it – including news organizations and social media users – could face jail time.
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World Socialist Website -- Australian government uses Bali atrocity to demand new repressive powers -- 19 October 2002

“In effectively responding to terrorism there is sometimes a need for all of us to accept that what might have been the extent of our traditional freedoms need to be modified in these circumstances,” he told the Senate on Monday. The next day, the government re-introduced into the Senate its previously blocked ASIO (Terrorism) Bill, which will allow the political police of ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) to detain people for interrogation without charge, simply because they might have information relevant to alleged terrorist activity.


Under the guise of combatting terrorists, the laws contain sweeping definitions of terrorism and treason, both now punishable by life imprisonment, which could outlaw many forms of political protest and industrial action. The legislation reverses the burden of proof for some “terrorist” offences, effectively requiring defendants to prove their innocence, and imposes extensive powers to proscribe political parties, via UN listing, and jail their sympathisers up to 25 years for alleged support for terrorism. Other provisions give law enforcement agencies broader powers to tap phones.
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Democracy: A Journal of Ideas -- Ranked-Choice Voting Is Not the Solution -- November 3, 2016

And it is hard to ignore the resemblance between the Australian and U.S. governments, as far as partisan divisions go. Despite RCV, just two governments have led in Australia for almost the entire history of the current Federal Parliament: Labor and Liberal-National. (Technically the Liberal and National parties are separate, but they have been allied since the 1920s, and, at least at the national level, a vote for one is effectively a vote for the other.) Every time there is a federal election in Australia, one of the two major parties wins, RCV be damned.
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EPDF.PUB. [website] -- Thinking about Democracy: Power Sharing and Majority Rule in Theory and Practice

"the alternative vote (AV), now more frequently called the instant-runoff vote (IRV)"


"Douglas W. Rae (1967: 108) does make this comparison in his well known systematic analysis of electoral systems, and he concludes that 'the Australian system behaves in all its particulars, including its degree of disproportionality, as if it were a singlemember district plurality [FPTP] formula.'"
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AREssays [website] -- Effect of Australia’s Two Party System on Liberal Democracy

In the past the two-party system has proved to be extraordinarily robust. The Australian major parties are required to be more pluralistic (Winner takes all) than any other democracy as a consequence of being such a stable bipolar system. Minor parties find it very difficult to gain a foothold in the lower house due to the combination of preferential voting and single-member electorates. The preferential system means minor parties vacuum up discontented voters to deliver back to one of the major parties.
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Australian Electoral System [website] -- Advantages and Disadvantages of the Voting Systems

'Due to the process of elimination that occurs in preferential voting ['RCV'/'IRV'], we are left with a 2-party system, which, in Australia, are traditionally Liberal and Labor. Due to this, stability is ensured within the House of Representatives, as we can be certain that it will be one of those two popular parties. These parties are not very different when it comes down to it, as both are rather central parties (although Liberal is a little more right-wing), which means that the system is not changed too much within the three year term that a party forms the government. This ensures much more stability than other systems, such as in proportional voting where the quota is much lower, meaning smaller parties may form government.
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Just imagine how wonderful it will be to have this here!
by Retired Union Worker
Tuesday Jul 9th, 2019 7:28 PM
As the Wobblies said many decades ago "If voting could change anything fundamental they would have made it illegal" To make fundamental changes in the U.S. and any imperialist country we need a social revolution that ends capitalism and embraces a socialist future. The age of reform is over! We have to make a new and better world and voting won't secure that for us and the coming generations.

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