Preferring not to preference

Preferring not to preference, by Simon Morgan.

There is only one way to do away with preference deals –- and that is to do away with full preferential voting.

When the small percentage of Australians capable of being conned by Clive Palmer’s platitudinous advertising cast their vote, they will still have to send their preferences somewhere. Full preferential voting forces them to indicate a preference for the major parties they profess to despise.

Greens voters may like to think they are changing politics. Yet in the vast bulk of cases, all they are doing is forcing the count to take a little longer before their ballot ends up in the ALP pile.

For the three-quarters of Australians who plan to vote for a major party in the House of Representatives, standing in the booth and numbering every box is nothing more than a colossal waste of time. Save for a handful of seats, the preferences of the major parties are never distributed.

The past week’s fulmination from those demanding to know if Cabinet ministers are comfortable with their party’s how-to-vote cards recommending voters give their second preference to Clive Palmer is laughable. Why wouldn’t they be? It has no practical electoral effect whatsoever.

In the vast bulk of seats, it wouldn’t matter if the Liberal party’s how-to-vote card recommended that voters put the HEMP Party second. Absent very unusual circumstances, if you vote for a major, your preference allocations will never get even a momentary glance when the the votes are counted. …

Why note simply allow voters to make a single choice if that is what they want to do, whilst still permitting people who wish to number every box to do so?