Electoral Systems

Australian Senate - Queensland (2007)

Posted by Anthony at May 12, 2010 12:11 PM
Analysis of the 2007 Australian Senate election for Queensland has highlighted issues of concern in relation to the method of segmentation in the counting of the Australian Senate elections.

Each vote is not counted equally and the method of segmentation and the way in which the Surplus Transfer Value is counted distorts the proportionality and outcome of the election.

By way of example if you exclude all candidates in the 2007 Queensland senate election except the last seven candidates remaining )3 Liberal/NP; 3 Labor Party and 1 Green) in the counts and redistribute the vote as though the other candidates had not stood the Australian Green's Candidate, Larisa Waters, should have been elected instead of the Australian Labor Party third candidate.

This anomaly arose as a direct result of the method of segmentation used in counting the Australian Senate vote.

Analysis has demonstrated that using the Meek method and the Wright System the results of the election would more accurately reflected the voters intentions then the current system in use.

The current system of segmentation was designed to facilitate a manual counting process, sacrificing accuracy for a speedy count. With the use of computer aided counting the application of Meek or the Wright System is preferable. the Wright System is a linear exhaustive reiterative preferential counting method.

One transaction per candidate. if the number of vacant position is not filled then the candidate(s) with the lowest votes are excluded and the count is reset and started from scratch. All votes are distributed as a singe transaction proportionally to their original value without segmentation or distortion in the count. The estimated time in counting the Australian Senate election using computerized voting data varies between 1 to 3 hours.

More information.

Meek: http://en.wikipedia.org/[…]/Meek%27s_method#Meek.27s_method

Wright: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_system