Confusion: The Making of the Australian Two-Party System

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And even worse that a conservative party is allowed to call itself "Liberal", and a confused rural socialist rabble can call itself "National". If we get this law, and truth-in-advertising legislation which would take precedence? What's in a name? I didn't vote for the Liberal Democrats because I assumed it would be the same as or very like the UK rabble of the same name, but I might next time. At least their attitude to global warming is sound and to me that is enough of an issue to even drag my vote to Abbott. In Germany, political parties appear on the ballot paper in the order of their last election's result -- and at the end new entrants in first-come-first-serve basis.

Yes, this favours the established parties, guaranteeing them the donkey vote. I don't think such a system would make it too much harder for an independent to get to the top. But at least someone who wants to vote for one of the two or three or four wouldn't have to worry about which of the "Labours" and "Librals" is which. I can't help but bristle at the proposed changes - mostly because we know they aren't in place to make voting a better process, but because one or both!

It also raises the very thorny question of how far it can go, as Anthony Green alluded to. Are the Liberals a 'liberal' party? What about say "Libertarians Australia" - are they similar enough to be ruled out? Should Coles be punished because their shelves are stacked with home-brand products whose packaging is clearly designed to be confusingly similar to a brand name product?

The order in which parties appear on the ballot paper is easily fixed by randomising the order in the printing process. That way, the order on each ballot paper printed is a random and not a standard arrangement.


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It's already done in some state ballots I think in the ACT? Haven't fact checked this. The issue of naming is more fraught but I doubt that the Liberal Democrat candidate would have been voted in, despite the use of the Liberal 'brand', if they had not been first on the paper, so the first solution would go some way to resolving this. And, yes, the 'liberal' party is anything but a 'liberal' party these days if their comments on the free press, i.

Not to mention restrictions on freedom of association in trying to restrict union access to workplaces. Just a couple of examples of why the 'brand' doesn't reflect the product. Just a bit. Random allocation per ballot is a nice idea, but there are too many parties for it to work feasibly - we're not going to explore much of the space of possibilities doing it. Sorry, James. Actually, I think the ACT system isn't random after all. It's more that you have a set order but you use equal numbers of ballot papers where it's 1, 2, So, there's only 45 different options used in equal amounts across polling booths.

However, I also think random distribution could work too.

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I mean, it's used now, but it's only one random allocation that's used. What I'm suggesting is that the number of random allocations could be equal to the number of ballots printed. The real problem with randomisation is that it would make counting the papers much harder to do accurately. Of course counting wouldn't be a problem if we had electronic voting This is not an issue.

Require candidates to run under their real names, not a party moniker. No way that there can be any confusion and it has has the benefit that only those with sufficient knowledge will be able to vote effectively. Eliminating party names from the ballots will only increase the donkey vote. Exactly what we're trying to avoid. The whole concept of parties is at the root of a great deal of our political problems. The supremely avaricious and egotistical creatures known as politicians are supposedly elected to represent the will of the people in their electorate not the will of the party, things such as voting on legislation following party doctrine or conscience voting should never come into it.

Unfortunately as this would lead to true representation and political accountability, it's about as likely to happen as Abbott telling the truth. One other change we need to the electoral process is the option to vote for "None Of The Above" rather than forcing us to vote for the candidate for whom we have the least contempt.

Speaking as someone with professional experience in dealing with trade marks and comparison thereof, there are some pretty simple rules that can be applied to the situation. You consider the effect of the proposed name on ordinary voters, both more and less able than average. You consider the meaning, appearance and sound of the proposed name, giving particular importance to appearance. The first word has particular importance. The test is, would a reasonable voter be caused to wonder whether there was a connection between the proposed name and any other registered name.

Names have to proposed in advance of the election and registered, and there is a process of other parties to object. So, in the example given, the liberal democrats is a no go. If they want to be democratic liberals, fine. For the DLP, make them use the acronym, not include the word Labor. That is what everyone knows them as in any case. These are rules that the courts well understand, as they regularly apply them for trade marks. You'd be laughed out of court if you submitted that a name which a company had used for itself for nearly 70 years, must be changed to its acronym only, merely because one word of it and not even the first word is used colloquially and unofficially to refer to another company.

Especially when the DLP claims at least plausibly that its basic principles and policies are just what the ALP used to stand for from to , and that it is the true successor party to the "Labor" party of old. Ronk: Really??? It that's the case, why is Abbott a right-wing conservative? If we want to really eliminate confusion, the Liberal Party should be asked to relinquish their name as inconsistent with their conservative policy platform. If they're proud of being conservative, they should have no problem with renaming themselves as the Conservative Party.

This approach seems to work well in the UK. Reallocation of the Liberal Party name could then be decided by a fair and transparent process or, if a significant number of liberal members of the Liberal Party were to leave to form a separate liberal party as happened in the formation of the Australian Democrats , the name could be reserved for them. This would be a good idea even if the newly formed Liberal Party was to form an immediate coalition with the Conservative Party and National Party to retain their majority in the House of Representatives. My friends from the USA really struggle with the concept of a conservative party being named the Liberal Party because supporters those two political philosophies are fierce opponents in the USA.

We speak three different varieties of English. Your USA friends would be even more puzzled if they knew anything at all about the politics of their next door neighbour Canada, where the "Liberal" party in some provinces is the branch of the national "Conservative" party. If we're going to remove party names then why don't we go the extra step and get rid of parties?

Confusion: The Making of the Australian Two-Party System - Nicholas Dyrenfurth - Google книги

Better yet, why don't we elect the Senate and HoR via random lottery? If it's good enough for jury duty then why not parliament? Since so much governance is actually performed by public servants, it ought to be true members of the public who debate policy rather than an increasingly stagnant portion of the 'political class'.

They don't call it a donkey vote for nothing if you cant even copy a how to vote card from your intended party what hope is there. This question of variant spelling could be relevant to the proposed quarantining, if specific terms are off-limits. That there was little confusion between ALP and DLP back in the day may well have owed something to candidate recognition and the absence of party names on ballots, but surely it was mainly because anyone with the slightest awareness of current affairs would have been well aware of the implacable enmity between the parties.

With that wound having long been cauterised other than in the minds of some Cold Warriors, bless 'em the potential for confusion emerges.

UC_008 The Two Party Scam

Why not a variant, or extension, of the "Robson Rotation" used in Tasmania where the names of candidates within each party are printed randomly on each ballot paper, thus evening out the donkey vote? If this randomness could be extended to the parties as well as to the candidates within each party it would at least even out the donkey vote between the parties; and it might possibly force voters to think about the parties for which they're voting. Gosh, what a thought! In this age of internet news-browsing and online papers crossing boarders, I wonder how many people thought the Liberal Democrats were an Australian version of the UK's Liberal Democrats there's no connection between them, and the Australian party is considerably more conservative?

Paul Strangio

Or perhaps some may have confused them with the Australian Democrats? This seems like little other than another attempt by the majors to protect themselves from competition. Were this a genuine attempt to prevent name confusion on ballot papers it would extend to protecting the significant portion of the names of all existing parties from use by new ones. While it would protect Liberals from the use of Liberal Democrats, and Labor from the use of Democratic Labor Party, there is no protection of other parties from similar name usage.

Instead of getting hung up about party names, why not reserve the prime space on the ballot paper that is, the left hand columns to those parties who have Parliamentary members.

Edited by Robert E. Goodin

That way voters can easily find the parties that the overwhelming majority chose to vote for. And if at the next NSW Senate election, the ballot positions of the Liberal party and the sitting Liberal Democrat are adjacent to each other, it is more likely that voters will correctly distinguish between them. This would already have been discussed in Cabinet and the party name exercise is merely a front for the more drastic change. M2M, That prompts a question: are the Liberals really so dumb that they would support a change to the Senate voting system to give their enemies, the Greens, an almost permanent lock on the balance of power?

This question is not rhetorical. The German mixed-member system would be unconstitutional here because it is partly a party list system and our senators must be? G'day Antony. Thanks for your article. When you add this to a very complex system of preferential voting, is it surprising that so many "donkeys" get elected? Regards, Cobber. If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the standards ABC journalists and content makers follow.