EYE-BALL Opinion – Referendum Discussion No 1 – Compulsory Voting – “None of the Above” Campaign –
Latest ‘EYE-BALL Opinion’ Posts:
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20th Oct – The White-ants have taken over – Parliamentary Foundations are under threat –
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– 8th Oct – Carr’s Lunacy – Suggests Assassination to end Syria’s Civil War –
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– 25th Sept – Alas, Hedley Thomas has returned – Not to Sink Gillard, but to sink Campbell Newman’s Wivenhoe Dam coverup –
To see more EYE-BALL ‘Opinion’ posts:
– Referendum Discussion Part 1 –
– Compulsory Voting –
– Eye-Ball’s – “None of the Above Campaign” –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 4th Nov 2012 |
Link to the Eye-Ball – ‘None of the Above’ campaign Front Page …
Referendum’s in Australia:
When it comes to referendums in Australia there have only been 44, of which only 8 have been carried or the ‘yes’ vote was the victor. A list of those Referendums is provided below – link to source data –
Another full listing of these Referendum’s is provided on the Australian Electoral Commission website – linked here. The information on this site is well worth the read including expanded explanations for all the referendums and plebiscites.
As can be seen from the list above the last 20 odd years has only seen one referendum – in 1999 and a vote for the establishment of a Republic – defeated as we recall.
From 1988 and before the subject of the referendums has been to do with Government Administrative issues in how the Government functions going back to 1974. The only National Interest referendum was the ‘National Song’ in 1977 – and to find the next National Interest matter you’d have to go back to 1967 on Aboriginals.
Prior to 1974 referendums on specifics issues like, control over rents, prices, and the like were defeated on fears of handing too much control to Government.
A question arising from this history, encompassing the massive changes in how politics has now infused itself into our society, i.e. the influence of vision media, televised press conferences and Question Time, and the polarisation of political choices becoming focused on – ‘top of the ticket’ voting – all of what was most feared in earlier Referendums has now become the ‘grey area’ of political policy. Policy no longer has an electorate mandate when Government can change its policy during a term that is against the mandate it went to the electorate with to win the election.
This surely brings into question the legitimacy of the Government when the people are marginalised and have no say to these policy changes. Does an elected Government have the right to change its policies on serious issues after they’ve been elected?
I believe this is of great importance to many Australians – I challenge and ask all Australians to question their political beliefs and express their opinions on how they feel about the Government of the day – and whether they believe they have ‘carte blanche’ to do any and everything they want to do with respect to their stated policies, and alterations to those policies whilst in Government that inflame the emotive debate within the electorate – e.g. –
The issue is that these policy changes by this Government during its current term have resulted in a ‘shifting-sands’ of the policy process and the opinion is that the Government has no mandate to do what it has done, and that it is making it up as it goes along.
Should Governments be allowed to mislead the electorate in order to win Government – then be allowed to reverse their position because their policies have failed and the elected few are then allowed to ‘run with the bulls’ to make new policy without the electorates approval.
It’s a major issue – do Government’s run back to the electorate every time they have a policy shift – of should the policies be scrutinised and be subjected to extreme accountability before they can be announced … to me there is no right answer in these terms – but there has to be a better way to give Government a message that they cannot deceive the electorate nor exceed their mandate.
Both these issues listed above will become a part of the ‘discussion’ and ‘debate’ opportunity this page seeks to provide over the months ahead and leading up to the 2013 federal election. This post is about Compulsory Voting …
– Compulsory Voting –
– The G-20 – List of member Nations: [map of Member Nations]
[Click on map to open in a new window – click Ctr+ to enlarge.]
The above map showing the G-20 list of Nations represent the most advanced economies in the world. Not all have a democratic form of Government – i.e. China, Saudi Arabia. Of the remaining Western Democracy Nations within this G-20 group – Australia stands alone as the only Nation where Compulsory Voting is enforced by the law of the land.
The base arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ the legislation for Compulsory Voting can be read in detail at the Wikipedia source – linked here.
In Australia compulsory voting has been in vogue since 1924. A Wikipedia page titled – Electoral system of Australia – linked here – provides interesting history in how and why compulsory voting was introduced during 1924. Part of the page is copied below:
– Electoral Vote Refunds
What is not mentioned above is the Electoral Vote Refund system Australia has and how it has been a part of Australian history since the early 1920’s.
Pasted from the Australian Electoral Commission [AEC] –
The AEC provides a 30 odd year history of the electoral refund value –
In Mar 2012 there was a report tabled titled – Current Commonwealth political financing arrangements – linked here – and very good reading. The report gives examples of situations where candidates/Political Parties could profit from the public purse vote refund system, when the refund due is greater then the amount spent on election campaigns.
The last two federal elections, 2007 and 2010, cost taxpayers $54.2 and $49 million a piece in electoral vote refunds. The two major parties each received –
Most important is the rise in the informal vote in the 2010 election – up to near 12% when the ‘no-shows’ are added to the registered informal vote. This number registered third on the first preference list – beating the Greens.
In a submission to the – Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters [JSCEM] by this author after the 2010 Federal election – JSCEM submission linked here – a number of issues were raised with the committee including the electoral vote refund system, and why ‘compulsory voting’ feeds to the higher refunds paid for by taxpayers. If compulsory voting was not the law – the value of refunds to political candidates and political parties would diminish. The electoral vote refund would only apply to those who wanted to vote formally.
In a direct sense as it stands now – those who vote without real interest in who they vote for – ‘gift’s to the candidate/political party monies they would never receive if compulsory voting was abolished. They are linked in an adverse way that impacts on taxpayers.
– Political Parties forcing electioneering costs onto taxpayers:
Political Parties are responsible for all electioneering costs after the Parties have their official launch of their election campaigns.
In recent elections, this Campaign Launch has been delayed and this has pushed the ‘gray’ area of electioneering costs onto the taxpayer via Ministerial expenditures before the Campaign Launch.
A full listing of Federal Election costs since 1901 is provided by the AEC and can be accessed using – this link.
An example of a by-election cost contained in the table provided via the link provided shows that when Peter Costello resigned from the Opposition in 2008 – the cost for the by-election was a $710k expense dumped on the taxpayer.
History now reminds us that if Mr Costello had sat on the Opposition benches, became Opposition Leader, and given the turmoil leading into the 2010 election, the Coalition would most likely have won in a landslide and he would have been PM.
The cost of that by-election should be for the sitting member to cover unless mitigating circumstances prevails – i.e. medical, personal crisis etc. Just not wanting to be there anymore because you lost Government is not a reason. The same applies to state elections and the recent Anna Bligh dummy-spit.
The biggest embarrassment is that every other democracy in the G-20 who once had compulsory voting have now rescinded the Law and now have a voluntary voting system.
Failing a referendum on the ‘compulsory voting’ issue – vote ‘None of the Above’ at the next election – [i.e. draw a new box on the ballot, call it ‘None of the Above’ and place your mark in that box.] – unless of course you know your candidate and want to pledge your vote … do not vote the top of the ticket or the leader because you think their cute, or have your interest’s at heart … all recent evidence to the contrary.
Make a statement at the next election – it will only take a single election protest to make politicians and political parties change and alter the contempt they have for the electorate.
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Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.
Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s
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