pathology_doc: Ginny Weasley (film) clutching Riddle's diary: Ginny/Horcrux OTP (Default)
All results courtesy of the ABC and the Electoral Commission - I merely report what I see.

At 7pm AEST - ALP 41, Liberals/Nationals (abbr LNP) 45, other (independents, non-Green minor parties) 4.

Needed to form government: 76.

Virtual tally room (official Australian Electoral Commission figures): http://vtr.aec.gov.au/

At 7:03, ALP42, LNP48, Oth 4.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Government station): http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2010/ running total, far faster than I can do it.

I note that the ABC's TV coverage and the tally given on the website seem to differ. I don't know what to make of this. At this stage of the night, not much of the vote has been counted (we are discussing trends based on single-figure percentages in some cases) and indeed Western Australia is still voting.

The ABC's coverage is excellent, and the ABC's site offers a watch-live option.

All of the interest is on the lower house - the House of Representatives - because the majority party there (or the plurality if things go all wonky) determines who formally forms the government. However, the real excitement is going to be in the Senate, where the Australian Greens are probably going to hold the balance of power. This could be a very bad thing - they are very much against CO2-producing industries but they are also ideologically opposed to new hydroelectric systems and nuclear. They are also a party of very, VERY far-left (bordering on insane) social and foreign policy, a fact which voters using them to lodge a protest or who blindly vote for them "for the environment's sake" appear not to understand.

7:26 - an overall swing against Labor of nearly 6%, much of which has been slurped up by the Greens and the rest by the Libs/Nats and independents. The Greens aren't numerous enough in any lower house seat (except possibly Melbourne) to win it; distribution of preferences will decide close contests, and Labor and the Greens are understood to have done a deal in some (but not all) electorates in this regard. Some of the Labor gains (where they've made them) have been absorbed by swings TO their own sitting members, which adds up to wasted votes.

ETA 7:33, Maxine McKew, the journalist who beat Howard (on Greens preferences!) has just been nailed by the Liberal contender. Howard is avenged. :p ETA 9:30: Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, eulogising her, calls her "a good local member" - but I beg to differ - IMO if she'd been that, her electorate would have returned her.

9:12pm - Looking like a hung parliament, one Green who has already sold his soul to Labor, one independent who used to be a Green (and will possibly run home to mama if things get politically brutal) and three relatively conservative Independents who will not necessarily go with the Coalition.

9:30pm, the TV screen is showing ALP 68, L/NP 69, Greens 1, Other 5, doubt 8. If those eight ALL go the Coalition's way, it will form government in its own right, probably buffered by the conservative independents. If it comes out in front, all I can conclude is that Tony Abbott will be offered the chance to form a minority government (and of course vice versa for Julia Gillard). If it goes right down to the wire all the way, the incumbent will probably get the first shot.

Wait... ALP 68, L/NP 70. OMFG this is a nailbiter.
pathology_doc: (controversy)
Young voters silenced as they fall through electoral cracks.

Waa waa waa, rage rage rage, nasty government blah blah, oppressed young people blah blah blah.

In less than two weeks time, while the majority of Australians flock to the polls and cast their ballots, young people across the country will sit in silence, stripped of their democratic rights by our cumbersome and anachronistic electoral system.

Um... no, you're stripped of your democratic rights when a heavy with a gun or truncheon stands outside the polling booth and turns you away because of your sex or race, or because they recognised you from the Opposition electoral rally last weekend (the one which was disrupted by police violence).

Last Friday, the High Court overturned the Howard government’s 2006 changes to the Electoral Act. The amendments had resulted in the electoral roll being closed a matter of hours after the writs were issued.

I've hardened my previous stance. Shortly after dumping Rudd, PM Gillard said quite plainly and clearly that she would be going to an election in the near future. So why weren't these politically motivated youths, who now feel so shut-out, running to the AEC as fast as their legs could carry them as soon as she made that comment? Don't know about you, but that was my cue to update my enrolment. And I did so. Tell you how afterwards.

In an action brought by political advocacy group GetUp!, the court held these changes to be unconstitutional, thereby restoring the original seven day grace period in which individuals may place themselves on the roll.

As a consequence, an estimated 100,000 additional Australians, predominately youth, are now able to take part in this year’s election.


Predominantly idiots who didn't realise that one of the responsibilities of adulthood is ensuring that you are enrolled to vote.

Although this decision represents immense progress, systemic limitations in our electoral system still persist. In particular, the lack of an automatic enrolment mechanism causes widespread and ongoing disenfranchisement among Australia’s youth.

What fucking bullshit. The lack of an automatic enrolment mechanism does nothing of the sort. Disenfranchisement? That means you no longer have the right to vote. Disenfranchisement would be the ripping up of their applications and a letter in the post informing them of the same, or the absence of their names on the roll despite having put the papers in. What we have here is simply a failure of these brainless twits to place themselves on the roll the instant they turned eighteen.

Recent statistics from the Australian Electoral Commission reveal an alarmingly high proportion of eligible young people are absent from the electoral roll. At the beginning of July, over half a million people aged between 18-24 had not enrolled to vote, including one in two 18 year olds and one in three 19 year olds. Similar levels of disengagement were recorded during the 2007 election.

And who exactly is stopping them? Why weren't GetUp out there screaming their heads off as soon as Gillard replaced Rudd, that we were likely heading for a general election and it'd be good if people got out there and placed themselves on the roll? Why weren't they doing this as far back as late 2009, when a double-dissolution election was in the air? Because those "disenfranchised youths" weren't needed in view of what GetUp thought was going to be either a landslide loss (by Rudd to Abbott) or a landslide win (by Rudd over Turnbull)?

It would be easy to dismiss these figures as evidence that Australian youth are simply lazy and apathetic. Young people, however, vehemently deny this claim. Instead, they point to the high burden of the current enrolment process, which involves completing and signing a physical enrolment form and sending it to the AEC, as well as advising the commission of any changes in address.

The high burden of what? Filling out a form and mailing a fucking letter? Pig's arse. If you're going to whine about that, you fucking don't deserve the bloody vote. I don't see them whining about the effort they have to go through to get their bloody fucking drivers' licences!!!

This requirement of material postage constitutes a barrier to the political participation of today’s youth - a generation which has grown up relying on new technologies such as mobile phones and the internet. Similarly, the obligation to inform the AEC of residential movements weighs heavily upon young people, many of whom move states following secondary school, leave the family home for the first time, or shift between rental accommodations.

Oh, Christ on a fucking cracker. Now you're going to blame the internet and mobile phones? Typical namby-pamby soft-Left bullshit - blame everything but yourself; push the locus of control outward; show how pathetic and helpless you are. Half the problem is that probably none of these kids has even written a fucking letter in their lives. Do schools still teach that? It wouldn't surprise me to know they didn't. If you're too hopeless to fill out a form and shove it in a pre-addressed, postage-paid envelope, are you actually competent to vote?

Furthermore, given Australia’s status as the only English-speaking country in the world with enforced compulsory voting, many young people assume they are automatically placed on the electoral roll when they turn 18. The lack of adequate education concerning the enrolment process serves to perpetuate such misunderstandings.

I repeat my comments about GetUp dropping the ball in the shadow of the threatened double dissolution election in late '09.

Here it is for the masses: No, you are NOT automatically placed on the roll when you turn eighteen.

Why not? Because this is not Hogwarts, where a magical quill writes your name in the book when you're born, for the offer of a place to go out when you're eleven. Because the AEC is not Big Brother; is not watching you; and does not necessarily know where you are in order to put you on the roll. And if it were, you'd probably be screaming about the invasion of your privacy and the degree to which everyone knows everything about you, blah blah blah.

In light of this, it has been suggested that a system of automatic enrolment should be introduced. This proposal was put to the government by the AEC itself in 2007, was a recommendation arising from the Australia 2020 Youth Summit in 2008, and is a key policy of the Greens in the impending election.

Despite this, Labor did nothing in the three years intervening since the AEC proposal and nothing since the Youth Summit, and the Greens as much as GetUp must own part of the failure to warn the unenrolled that they should pull their fingers out and do something about it.

Under such a model, voters would be automatically entered onto the electoral roll as soon as they are eligible. The information required to do this would flow from Medicare, Centrelink, Australia Post, state education offices, driving license registration centres or other government departments. Additionally, a capacity for automatic updating may also exist, eliminating the need to declare variations in address.

If we're going to do that, we should link to the Department of Immigration too. Just to make sure the person who is being enrolled is actually an Australian citizen.

Interestingly, the AEC has operated a Continuous Roll Update process since 1999, which allows information obtained from various government agencies to be used to strike individuals from the electoral roll. Utilising the same resources to add and update people on the roll seems to be the reasonable next step.

The only reason you are struck from the roll AFAIK is when you are dead. In that case you MUST come off, lest someone use your name.

Both New South Wales and Victoria have now adopted systems of automatic enrolment for state elections. Such a mechanism is employed nationally in Canada, and is common throughout countries in Europe.

Such a system relies on centralised government data-sharing that a lot of left-wing groups find uncomfortable. So do I, and I'm not exactly a leftie. No, if you're going to go on the rolls it should be through YOUR writing and YOUR signature on a paper form that can't be faked by a bot or malware, and the Electoral Commission computers containing the rolls should be independent of all others. By law. Inefficient? Yes. But also somewhat more secure.

As we move towards 21 August, we must also consider the future of our democracy and the ways in which we might improve it. Moreover, as this Thursday marks the beginning of the International Year of Youth, it is more important than ever to focus on empowering the young people who will shape our nation’s future.

I don't want the future of my nation shaped by some dimwitted fuckhead who couldn't be bothered to watch the news, sniff an election in the air and IMMEDIATELY ensure that his or her enrolment details were up to date; or who found themselves incapable of filling out a form, putting it in an envelope (postage-paid, IIRC) and shoving it in a mailbox. Such persons don't seem like the sorts of people who should be given the right to 'shape the nation's future' even if their apparent terminal helplessness didn't stop them from doing so.

Implementing automatic enrolment on a federal level is not only logical, it is necessary. Doing so would ensure the integrity of our elections, facilitate the enfranchisement of our youth, and strengthen our democracy.

These youth ARE NOT DISENFRANCHISED. They are just lazy and ignorant. Not very long after Gillard hinted that she would be going to the polls sooner rather than later, I filled out a form (one page, if that), put it in a pre-addressed, post-paid envelope that the Electoral Commission had provided me, walked down to the post-box and shoved it in. It was that easy. Don't fucking try to tell me that an eighteen year old who has just completed twelve years of compulsory schooling, and who has probably gone through far more bureaucratic hoops to get a driver's licence or even a library card, is not capable of doing the same thing.
pathology_doc: Ginny Weasley (film) clutching Riddle's diary: Ginny/Horcrux OTP (Default)
High Court decision could change election result. Basically the argument was that the current rules made the electoral roll close too early after the election was called. I've blogged about this before, and it turns out that the rule-change was made by the previous government. Again, I'm of mixed feelings. On the one hand, one should have more than just one working day to get one's papers in to enrol. On the other hand, enrolling to vote is one of those things which any sane person of the appropriate age should be responsible enough to do of their own accord.

It's been obvious since Julia Gillard deposed Kevin Rudd that we'd be going to the polls in the near future. That should have been a tipoff to the unenrolled to pull their fingers out and get the job done.

So while I'm pleased that this case has been brought and won, I despise the snotty little twentysomethings who brought it. They're intelligent enough to bring and win their case, but somehow not intelligent enough to read the political scene and ensure they were registered. One of them is twenty three years old, which means he should have been enrolled at the last federal election. I know I got a reminder (sent to my current address) to change my enrolment address (at my previous address) weeks before this election was called. So why did someone who should have been on the rolls for the last five years miss out?

Negligence and political blindness. Either that or deliberate failure to register on the part of an activist who planned to make a fight of it. You decide.

2. Bungling the education revolution: The facts are inescapable: the BER, particularly in NSW, has been an obscene waste of taxpayers' money. The graph on page 29 of Mr Orgill's report showing a state-by-state comparison of project management fees makes it clear that in NSW these fees were, as The Australian has reported, highly inflated.

Sixteen billion on school buildings, and not one cent for books or computers or lab equipment or anything of the like to fill them. The Catholic and Private (i.e. independent) schools managed their own projects and got value for money. The public schools had it managed for them and got royally shafted. The interesting bit is that there are a lot of polling booths located at schools (their halls are useful for this), and every one of those schools now has a sign in front of it advertising what the Government has supposedly done. Free election advertising, at taxpayers' expense. The person who presided over this is currently the Prime Minister of this nation. I would not be voting for her or her party if I held the welfare of my nation to be of any importance.

3. Meanwhile, it seems ex-PM Kevin Rudd's return to prominence in an attempt to help his party in the polls is not going well at all.

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