Let's found an organization to oppose IRV

LAYTON Craig Craig.LAYTON at add.nsw.gov.au
Thu Nov 23 19:44:30 PST 2000

Bart Ingles wrote:

> > I might re-iterate the importance of how-to-vote cards in elections
> > than simple plurality (the parties instruct their voters how to vote).
> > majority of voters follow the how to vote cards, so a shift need only be
> > made by the party strategists.
>I don't believe many U.S. voters follow how-to cards.  That this
>practice is common in Australia may have to do with ranked ballots,
>along with the requirement to rank every candidate on the ballot (does
>this requirement apply to lower-house IRV elections as well as the

That was actually my point.  How to vote cards will make their appearance
once you introduce ranked elections (and possibly approval, because it seems
that there might be preference swapping deals there, too), meaning that
voting strategy (for ranked elections) is engineered by the parties, rather
than blocks of individual voters all deciding to change their preferences at

Umm, in relation to your quesiton about the voting rules in Australia: the
rules are complex and bound up in strangely worded legislation and
regulations.  In my state elections, (New South Wales), truncated votes are
allowed for lower house and pr upper house elections, with the proviso that
you must number at least fifteen candidates for the upper house.  However,
there is quasi list in our upper house elections (State & Federal), so that
most voters mark a single party box, corresponding to a full list of
preferences, rather than individual candidates.

For Federal elections, you must number all candidates in lower house
elections.  For Senate elections, they instruct you to number all
candidates, but it is not strictly true.  I know that you don't have to
number the final candidate, and I also suspect that as long as you number
enough candidates so that your vote will not be exhausted, then I think that
the vote counts.

There is an interesting recent case, where (for lower house elections) a man
was advocating putting both the major parties equal last.  It turns out
(after some major court cases) that our electoral laws are phrased in such a
way that you can number candidates like that (ie, for a ten candidate
election, number 5 candidates 1-5 and number 5 candidates '6').  However, it
is also illegal to tell people to vote like that, so the guy was given a big
fine.  The Australian Electoral Commission has a wierd monopoly on
interpreting legislation and instructing voters, so we often get things like
this happening.

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