Scrapping Vote 1 in Qld: Why we all should care
MANY Queenslanders won't care much about changes to our voting system rushed through Parliament last night.
But they should.
Labor has gained a huge - and arguably unfair - advantage by introducing compulsory preferential voting.
It effectively ends the simplicity of 'Vote 1' for many punters - and according to some, is the sort of gerrymander that former Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen would be proud of.
What is particularly offensive is the way the change was introduced by Labor.
There was no public consultation.
It was an addition to a bill that sought to increase the number of MPs in Queensland by four.
Given Queensland had just voted on four year terms in a referendum, it is a fair expectation that such a fundamental change in our voting system would have been put to the people then.
While preferential voting is a good option for those who want to carefully consider the merits of each candidate, the reality is many voters couldn't be bothered researching the options.
Do you support the changes to voting?
This poll ended on 29 April 2016.
Yes. It will end the confusion with the federal election
No. It will make voting more complicated
No. It will give Labor an unfair advantage
I will just cast a donkey vote
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
According to the ABC's election analyst, the new system would have delivered Labor nine more seats at last year's election.
Optional preferential voting was introduced by Labor in wake of the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
Now that it is compulsory, Labor can expect to be bolstered by the support of the Greens.
Conservative forces, if they are to succeed, will have to work a lot harder at forming alliances with other conservatives.
But given many independents and minor parties have been borne out of dissatisfaction with the LNP, that will be a difficult challenge for the Liberals.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath argues the change will end the confusion between federal and state voting practices.
"We've already brought ourself into line with other states with the four-year fixed terms; we believe this is another opportunity to deal with that confusion," she said.
Opposition justice spokesman Ian Walker said Labor assaulted every principle it claimed to support to manipulate voting laws to its advantage.
"Here we are going in the teeth of the Fitzgerald inquiry, no consultation with the members of this House and zero consultation with the people of Queensland," he said.
"It's a disgrace."
Meanwhile, taxpayers will fork out an extra $2 million a year for four new MPs on top of the costs of setting up their offices.
Given the number of politicians now representing Australians, at state, federal and local level, surely it's time for looking at cutting the fat, not adding to it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS? SHOULD THE CHANGES HAVE BEEN PUT TO THE PEOPLE FIRST?
What you're saying on Facebook:
Ron James: "Ha Ha ... this is what the plebs get ... We voted in Newman to do a list of things ... and when he did them we complained, and voted him out. One of them, the most important, was to get the books back in the black and yep, he got rid of a lot of (obviously) unnecessary public servants. Along comes an election and the party with no policies was so shocked at the stupidity of the voters it had to go quiet for a long while to try and write policies AFTER the election ... Come to thing of it ... do they have any policies, yet? Anyway, then along comes this woman who can't even pronounce her own last name, or is so ashamed of her Polish heritage that she refuses to use it (prounounced pal-ash-took), and guess what, we're further in debt AND her Labor mates have helped her hide a bit of unemployment by rehiring all the public servants back ... we're screwed. And now she wants to play, unconsulted, with the voting systen ...Just make sure that her mob is clearly marked on the form so i can really tell them what I think."
Daniel Jean: "Any system that keeps filthy conservatives out of office for a bit longer is more than welcome. Should go one step further and have the LNP declared a criminal organisation as they are and its members rounded up and tried for treason. Workers of the world unite for you have nothing to lose but your chains."
Clint Healy: "The gov needs to listen to the people not large companies."
Marie Palmer: "No no no that's how Clive Palmer got in on preferences."