Hurray for democracy

icon_senateballotpaperI like to follow politics. Mostly its a long procession of frustrations, disappointments and failures, but every now and again there’s something positive to cheer about. Today is one of those days.

Back in September 2013 after the last federal election I blogged about the broken Senate voting process, and suggested three ways that it could be improved. Well today, thanks to an epic all-night 28 hour debate in the Senate, my wishes came true, when the parliament passed electoral reform laws that will allow preferential voting ‘above the line’ on the Senate ballot paper, as well as only requiring 12 preferences to be indicated if voting ‘below the line’.

Hurray for democracy!

The only sour note is why on earth the Australian Labor Party were so dogged about wanting to retain the existing system where political parties distribute preferences in complex and opaque ways in back rooms before an election, instead of the system passed today where preferences are decided by the voters, in the ballot box, on election day.

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