And once again The Greens betray another of their “principles”.
Now they have gone even further: conspiring with the ultra conservative Liberal government to give up our “unsophisticated” democracy by introducing so-called “senate voting reforms”.
Let us admit firstly that we do have a somewhat rather ancient democratic voting system.
This regressive primitive voting system allowed the two parties, for more than a century, to continue governing this nation with little opposition.
The system allowed at one stage the survival of a 3rd party when convenient. “For decoration purposes”, these were the exact words used by a Labor heavyweight.
The voting system in need of an urgent fix is the house of representatives and not the senate. If you examine any senate since the federation, you will find some representation of small parties or independents. The house of representatives on the other hand, has always less representation of small parties or independents.
The few “independents” who managed to win seats, were only able to do so, by being at first candidates from a major party then later defecting to declare independence.
The parliament system is extremely undemocratic as it lacks a proportional representation. To win any given seat, a candidate needs 50% +1. This is extremely hard.
On the other hand to win a seat in electoral area in a proportional system, a candidate will need smaller quota. Eg. If the electoral area consists of 4 seats, the candidate will need less than 20% of the votes.
Another issue which needs to be addressed is the representation of minorities and marginalised communities. In our parliaments, more than 95% of politicians are White Anglo-Saxons. The representation of Indigenous, Non-English Speaking and people with disabilities is almost NIL, comparing to the actual numbers of these marginalised communities.
The Greens which have become only recently a relevant party, have been studying ways to obstruct any smaller parties for their political advantage.
The Greens party were well aware of the fact that the only reason they rose to relevancy was thanks to the disintegration of the Democrats party. Without the current system (which they want to abolish), The Greens would never have had the chance to beat the Democrats.
The first Greens politician to win a seat was Bob Brown in 1996. He won merely on preferences. He got in with just around 6% of the votes (the quota is 14.5%).
The same happened with Kerry Nettle. She won her senate seat in 2001 on less than 4.5% (quota is 14.5%), despite the fact that the candidate for the Democrats got more primary votes than her.
The Greens deeply regressive Bob Brown, started to study ways to sabotage small parties in order to prevent any scenario similar to what happened to the Democrats by the hands of the Greens.
In order to achieve this, they demanded the tightening of regulations needed to register a political party. The only state where their demands were met was in NSW. The Greens conspired with regressive Labor’s Bob Carr and the Liberals and made it very difficult to register a state party.
According to this legislation, a party should register 1 year before the election. The party needs to have at least 700 members (when in fact a party needs only 500 members to be registered as federal party and a few members to be registered in all other states).
Conniving with the Liberals is now the other legacy of the Greens in their bid to suffocate small parties to change the senate voting system and make it impossible for smaller parties to swap preference and win a seat.
In the last elections, Glenn Druery was crucified by The Greens after they lost some seats due to Motor Enthusiasts party winning less than 0.6% in the primaries.
Let us discuss the philosophy of Glenn and see if it is evil or progressive.
A decade ago, more than 80% of Australians would vote for either one of the 2 major parties.
More than 95% of Australians will choose one of the candidates of the 3 established parties (Labor-Liberal/National-Democrats and then Labor-Liberals/National-Greens).
In the last election this percentage was significantly reduced. See below parcentages:
Total votes for the candidates of the three established parties: 67%
Informal votes: 3%
The above numbers are worrying for the “gang-of-three major parties”.
This is the reason why the Greens, who are more vulnerable to any loss of votes, are so desperate to suffocate any small parties competing with the Greens for the limited numbers of available votes.
Let us go back to Glenn’s philosophy. Glenn noticed the large numbers of unhappy voters (dissatisfied from the gang-of-three). This dissatisfaction is translated in the large numbers of new small and micro political parties registered to run any the last 2 elections (around 47 parties and the list is still open to be increased till the next election).
Glenn also noted that despite the fact that most of these parties will get less than 1% of the primary vote, if added up it could reach 25% of primaries. So he ingeniously invented a method to add up all these small percentages to win a seat in each state.
In conclusion, Glenn did not cheat the system. He did not deceive anyone. And he did not use any illegal methods.
In any election, the small primaries won by micro parties will be swallowed at early stage of counting the votes by one of the three established parties. So dissatisfied voters will still be dissatisfied because their protest votes ended up in the party they wished to punish in the first place.
The genius method of Glenn saw the “dissatisfied” votes add up to win a seat for a party outside the “mafia”.
This is why the Greens are unhappy. The Greens want the dissatisfied voters to hit their heads on the nearest brick wall. Contrary to all facts and data, The Greens still want to continue to claim that they represent dissatisfied voters.
The Greens should pay dearly for this undemocratic conniving with one of the worst conservative governments in Australian contemporary history. Such scheme could see the Liberals winning both houses and this could mean the end of “fair go” Australia we all know.