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2 July 2016 / leggypeggy

Australia votes—where will it end?

Unless you are Australian or living in Australia, you probably didn’t know that our country had its federal election today—sort of like voting for the USA president, yet totally different.

The biggest difference is that our campaign lasted for eight weeks. That was the longest campaign we’ve had in many decades. Most campaigns run for about three weeks.

As I write it is almost 11pm. We don’t yet know all the winners. The results are close. We don’t even know who will govern the country—Liberal or Labor or a hung Parliament (meaning a grouping of those willing to work together).

But we do know the outcome will be fair and a reasonable reflection of what the people want (or think they want).

Let me explain. And I’ll try to keep this simple. Pull me up if I make a mistake or if you have a differing opinion.

Australia has two main seats of government—the House of Representatives (the Lower House) and the Senate (the Upper House).

Australia operates on what is called the Westminster system. Put simply, it means every votes counts.

When I vote for the House of Representatives, I have to number all the candidates in the order of my preference for them. My electorate had four choices, so I numbered the candidates from 1 to 4.

For example, if the person I put at number 1 doesn’t get many votes—certainly not enough to be considered—my vote then spills over to the candidate who my first choice person likes best (so it pays to know who your first-choice person likes most). And so on. My vote might actually end up going to my 4th choice, but only after and because my three previous choices didn’t get enough votes to be considered. This rarely happens, but it can. (It’s more complicated than this, but I hope you get the idea).


An important addition
My friend Carol found a great explanation of how votes are distributed so here it is (it’s also in her comment below):

‘When it comes to the count, all the number “1” votes are added up first, and if any candidate has more the 50 per cent of the votes, they win straight away.

‘If no candidate has more than half of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is excluded, and all the ballot papers that had that candidate as “1” are transferred to the voters’ second preferences.

‘If there’s still no candidate with more than half the votes, the candidate who now has the fewest votes is excluded and the votes are transferred to the next preference shown.

‘This process continues until one candidate has more than half the total number of formal votes and is elected.

‘So if you voted “1” Greens, “2” Nick Xenophon Team, “3” Labor and “4” Coalition, your vote might flow to Labor if Greens and NXT were excluded before anyone had more than half the votes.’


The Senate is a little different. Every state elects 12 senators, while the two territories (the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory) can elect only two.

Huge numbers of people run for the Senate. My ballot (in New South Wales) was the size of a table runner. Without going into huge detail, I had to number my choices from 1 to 6 above the line (or 1 to 12 below the line). If you are interested, you can look up the intricacies of above and below the line voting.

I won’t say how I voted.

But I will say that I vote in the seat of Gilmore. Poor John and I usually live in the seat of Fenner, but we have a beach house in the seat of Gilmore.

We could vote in Fenner, but it is a seat with such a predictable electoral outcome that we thought we’d put our vote where it might make more difference. Turns out it didn’t make a difference this time, but maybe in future.

But a few comments about Australia’s amazing voting system, and this is from the man who is America’s current ambassador to Australia. Our local radio stationed interviewed him earlier this week. He said there are three things he wants take back to America. They are:
• compulsory voting—Australians over the age of 18 are obliged to vote
• an independent body to draw the electoral boundaries
• a campaign of no more than 60 days.

If electoral practices ultimately change in the USA, maybe it started here.

So how would you change the voting system in your country?

Another important addition
I completely forgot to tell you about the cake stalls and sausage sizzles that are a major part of every Australian election.

Elections are always on a Saturday and most primary schools serve as polling stations. This provides a perfect chance for the P&C (Parents and Citizens) group at a school to fundraise. Mums and dads volunteer to make treats (ingredients have to be listed on the outside of the packaging), butter slices of bread, fry onions and sausages, and collect a fair whack of money for the school coffers.

I was vice president of our local P&C for two years in the late 1980s, which meant I was in charge of fundraising. I twisted a lot of arms those two years and we made a lot of money for frills at the school. I remember neighbour, Peter, taking the challenge to slice something like 10 kilos of onions. He wore goggles to do the job.

So if you’re ever ‘recruited’ to bake or slice or fry for a ‘cake stall’ event, here are two page-32 recipes that should make your task easier.

Apricot squares, which my daughter’s work colleagues call ‘apricot crack’.
and
Lamb, rosemary and apple sausage rolls, the most visited recipe on my cooking blog.

 

95 Comments

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  1. Joanne T Ferguson / Jul 2 2016 11:21 pm

    Each country has their own unique ways of voting and seeing you asked…1) I would like to have the election ballot paper shortened (lol) and was interesting re this year’s Hemp and Sex Parties added! lol I also think it would be interesting to know in advance which party’s votes will go to what party! Hopefully, that makes sense to you and I will be glad NOT to received the 10 pm calls re election electronic tactics!

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 8:55 am

      I agree Joanne. It would be nice to have a clearer idea of where your vote goes if it doesn’t ‘stay’ with the person you put at no. 1. My local newspaper gave a good rundown, but that’s not the case everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. alvarezgalloso / Jul 2 2016 11:29 pm

    Everything except compulsory voting unless there were other parties such as Libertarians or Greens or None of the Above. In America, the Republicans and Democrats run the show.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. ralietravels / Jul 2 2016 11:38 pm

    Interesting. I have never been concerned about voting turnout. I’d rather not have someone making decisons for me who doesn’t have the energy to vote, so I disagree with compulsory voting. I’ll have to think more on the other differences.
    But reflecting on the U.S. elections just makes one dispair.

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 8:57 am

      Compulsory voting in Australia really only means you have to turn up, have your name crossed out, take a ballot and deposit that ballot in the voting box. You can draw Tweety on the ballot paper if you want, but you have to turn up.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Derrick / Jul 2 2016 11:48 pm

    I like the idea that everyone has to vote, its what people fought for in the past

    I think it should be law you must vote (even if you just spoil the paper, at least you voted)

    That is why so few people vote in our elections

    The referendum elections attracted more votes than a lot of past elections (even though the losers never liked the out come, but its what happens in a Democracy, you win or you lose)

    If you don’t cast a vote, you cant complain who gets in, it maybe one vote, but they all count

    Not really sure I understand the voting system there or in the US, I think as I don’t know of any other voting system, first past the post does it for me

    Every country has its voting system and they do what is best and fair for them

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:03 am

      Yep, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

      Like

  5. paintdigi / Jul 2 2016 11:49 pm

    Very interesting article, for us who live far to 18,000 km from Australia.
    I’ll paste the URL of your article in my blog to help my friends to read. (If you allow)
    Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Carol Croce / Jul 2 2016 11:54 pm

    How the preferences flow in the House of Reps isn’t quite right. It still distributes by your preference, not the preference of the parties. Here’s a cut and past from a website explaining the process:

    “When it comes to the count, all the number ‘1’ votes are added up first, and if any candidate has more the 50 per cent of the votes, they win straight away.

    If no candidate has more than half of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is excluded, and all the ballot papers that had that candidate as ‘1’ are transferred to the voters’ second preferences.

    If there’s still no candidate with more than half the votes, the candidate who now has the fewest votes is excluded and the votes are transferred to the next preference shown.

    This process continues until one candidate has more than half the total number of formal votes and is elected.

    So if you voted ‘1’ Greens, ‘2’ Nick Xenophon Team, ‘3’ Labor and ‘4’ Coalition, your vote might flow to Labor if Greens and NXT were excluded before anyone had more than half the votes.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:05 am

      Thanks for that Carol. It’s a great explanation and I’m going to add it to the blog post.

      Like

  7. susan@onesmallwalk / Jul 3 2016 1:06 am

    It’s shameful in the USA (where I live and vote) that our presidential elections are not decided by the popular vote. And I would love it if the campaigns lasted 3 weeks. I like your explanation of the voting process, but have one question: how do you make voting compulsory?

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:27 am

      Compulsory means you have to turn up and have your name crossed off. You’re fined if you don’t. You don’t actually have to vote for anyone. You can draw a picture on the ballot or leave it blank.

      There are lots of exceptions and considerations. For example, we can vote in any Australian state or in any embassy in the world. We can vote by mail. We can vote up to several weeks in advance if we are going to be away. A few years back, we were going overseas (remotely). An election was called, but the ballots weren’t ready. We notified the Electoral Commission that we’d be away. So we weren’t fined, but we didn’t vote either.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Midwestern Plant Girl / Jul 3 2016 1:27 am

    I’d like to know the “compulsory vote” deal also. I’m not for that, however here in Illinois (the most corrupt state ever), everyone votes, even if you’re under 18 or dead! 😉
    Our electoral college, who really decides the president, not the people, has to go!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:40 am

      See my reply to the above comment for some detail on Australia’s compulsory voting. And I agree that the Electoral College has no place in the US voting system.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. David / Jul 3 2016 1:29 am

    All my voting life, since turning 18, I’ve felt compulsory voting is sorely needed in the U.S. as without it our government does not reflect the people of our country.
    Also dramatically shortening our election process, I think about the only people who’d miss anything by shortening the process would be TV as the ads get to a vulgar level!
    I hope he brings back the independent body idea though I’m not certain who we’d find to be impartial.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 10:58 am

      Good point about trying to find someone impartial. Maybe that person/body would need to be Australian. 🙂

      Like

  10. draliman / Jul 3 2016 2:13 am

    I’d like proportional representation rather than first past the post. At the moment it doesn’t matter if you win by 1 vote or 20,000 – you get the seat. In the cases of large majorities all the other votes are “lost”.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Mike / Jul 3 2016 3:07 am

    Amazingly informative my friend!! Wish the US could change our practices.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. daveply / Jul 3 2016 4:44 am

    Your bullet points would be a nice start, along with getting rid of the electoral college. But I suspect hell will freeze over before any of that happens.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:50 am

      Hey, there’s climate change, so who knows when hell will freeze over! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Phyllis / Jul 3 2016 4:50 am

    Hi Peggy: our new Liberal government in Canada under Justin Trudeau probably won the election on this issue. We will be changing the system and the electorate wants to change the system from “first past the post” but now the arguments begin! It is very complicated since we have a very large and diverse country with very small and very large provinces. I for one don’t see a need for change. The Conservatives got in with only 40 % of the populace vote but the Liberals overturned them last time with only 40% of the populace vote. So it worked. Whenever there is a referendum on this issue the people vote no because there are so many alternatives to choose from so I imagine the Liberals will just vote for what is advantageous to them today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:43 am

      I hadn’t realised this was an issue in the last Canadian elections. Now I’ll be watching what happens.

      Like

  14. mistermuse / Jul 3 2016 7:25 am

    How would I change the voting system in my country? For starters, by disqualifying any candidate whose name begins with DONALD and ends with TRUMP. Next, I’d outlaw pandering, gerrymandering and every other kind of andering, with the possible exception of salamandering. Last but not yeast, any politician who can’t rise above partisan politics for the good of the country would be deported to Australia. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:44 am

      Hey, wait, we don’t want them either. 🙂

      But I agree about all the ‘andering’

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Yvonne / Jul 3 2016 8:50 am

    We have an interesting system, with the preferential votes. That Senate paper was incredible. Clarke and Dawe (ABC TV), called it a hall runner.

    I wonder how in heck they correlate and checkall the various places we can vote, and find out if we neglected to vote.

    Just a tiny point: the Senate is the Upper House, the House of Reps is the Lower.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:34 am

      Thanks Yvonne. I caught that slip about the Houses. And yes, our New South Wales’ Senate ballot was almost as big as a hall runner, certainly a table runner.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. anna / Jul 3 2016 9:12 am

    That white paper!! Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Vicki / Jul 3 2016 9:39 am

    I was so fed up with the constant petty arguing and downright nasty innuendo in the media one year, I did do an invalid vote, Peggy 🙂

    I didn’t draw Tweety though.

    I didn’t do anything. I just left the papers blank and popped them through the slot in the voting box with a smile.

    Since then, I’ve made a strong vote 🙂

    I believe in compulsory voting. I wholeheartedly believe in only 3 weeks campaigning. To me, the whole flag waving, petty attacks on the other party for weeks/months on end in the U.S. are a joke!

    As an aside, in my last job, I got fed up with people complaining about the rules or procedures and keeping their mouth shut. If you don’t like ‘butter on your toast’, for #$%@&, say so ! (and stop making yourself sick because you are lactose intolerant). I got annoyed with people asking me to complain on their behalf, as “I made change happen”.

    i wrote an article on a health forum once – “How to be heard in a room full of voices”. This article comes to mind at a time like this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 9:47 am

      I agree with everything you’ve said and I’d love to read your article.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vicki / Jul 3 2016 10:12 am

        The article was about advocacy for ME/CFS/FM and similar ICI (invisible chronic illness) and written about 6-7 years – probably lost in their archives.

        Last year on the same website, I logged in and discovered some software changes had turned my (very) old articles/posts into weird symbols and sentences, for the most. Whole articles have been turned into gibberish. I wish I could delete them, but apparently when you write on such a website, your material becomes their property and you have no control when each software change happens. The new(ish) administrators also edited one of my articles heavily, deleting some of the important facts and despite my complaint asking for the whole article to be deleted and my name removed as Author, I notice it is still on the web and attributed to me. I haven’t interacted or written on that same site for some years now. Taught me to be a little more cautious on the web.

        Liked by 2 people

      • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 11:00 am

        How frustrating and infuriating. Sorry you and your work have been the victims.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Curt Mekemson / Jul 3 2016 9:40 am

    I would certainly support a shorter election campaign in the US, Peggy. I also like the idea of having an independent body create districts. Finally, I would do something about how elections are financed in the US and their tremendous cost. You either have to be extremely wealthy or sell your soul. –Curt

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Susan / Jul 3 2016 11:50 am

    60 day campaign would be great!!!! I am sick of politics here. The process does need to change.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Brian Lageose / Jul 3 2016 3:24 pm

    Well, just about all of the relevant points have been covered in the preceding comments, and I don’t want to bore anyone with a retread, so I’ll briefly hit two points: 1) If the USA elected Presidents by popular vote instead of the Electoral College, George Bush the Younger (also known as Shrub) would never have been President. (Al Gore won the popular vote in both elections.) Therefore, the Bush Wars (the war-for-profit outrages in Afghanistan and Iraq, etc) would never have happened and, it’s reasonably fair to say, that without those aggressive incursions, ISIS might not be the world threat that it is today. 2) Until the Citizens United Ruling by the US Supreme Court, a disastrous decision that has allowed folks like the Koch Brothers to buy and own almost all of the Republicans, is overturned, there simply cannot be fair and equitable elections in the USA. Okay, off soapbox…

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Andrew Petcher / Jul 3 2016 4:15 pm

    I would make sure that we get a Government with a genuine majority not 30% or so of the vote. Our recent referendum was simple and produced a democratic decision.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2016 6:44 pm

      I wonder how different the decision would have been if more people had voted.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. tony / Jul 3 2016 11:21 pm

    Nice article Peggy. Very appropriate.

    I unfortunately have to vote in Canberra. Very boring. I feel disenfranchised and the parties give the ACT electorate little time.

    Regarding voting. In the house of Reps say there are 4 candidates and you vote in order of the least likely until candidate 3 who you are really voting for and who has a good chance of winning, then your vote counts at 100% 3x. The 4th candidate can never get your vote because if they are going to win, then they’ve done so before your vote is considered.

    In the Senate I find below above the line voting an anathema. I always vote for all the candidates below the line (even 1 to 83 on one occasion). However, I am much less mathematical these days having once voted for right to life by mistake around no. 43 and felt embarrassed about it.

    There are two strategies to Senate voting. Top down or bottom up. Top down is boring and you rapidly lose out on voting for more than one candidate. Say for example you vote for one of the two major parties number 1 as per their ticket and then another party say the Greens second. Say the 1st candidate gets 1000,000 votes and a quota is 600,000 then your vote for the Greens is counted at 0.4 or 40%.

    If you want to vote bottom up and you can work out 60 candidates who will gradually be eliminated then you can get a maximum of 61 votes at 100%. So perhaps you give your 61st et seq vote to the major party you prefer and then your next vote to the major party you don’t want to win.

    I’m much more lax these days but I did vote for fast trains, sex and sustainable something before I even considered Greens, Liberal and Labor.

    I once worked as a tally clerk and was shocked at how lazy and generally incompetent most voters are.

    Tony
    http://breadtagsagas.com/

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2016 8:19 am

      We’ve been registered outside Canberra for just a few years, so I well remember the election with 83 candidates for the Senate. You could have wrapped an elephant with that ballot paper. I’d never thought of voting from the bottom up. I’ll have to school myself for the next election.

      That said, I have voted for some strange parties over the years. I think non-Australians (probably Australians too) would get a kick out of some of the party names. Two that come to mind from the past ACT elections are the Party, Party, Party Party and the Sun-Dried Warm Tomato Party.

      Like

      • tony / Jul 4 2016 11:19 am

        Yes, I remember them. Great names!

        Liked by 2 people

  23. gerard oosterman / Jul 4 2016 10:39 am

    I have no trouble with voting for the Lower House but when it comes to the Senate I lose the will to go on. It might be part of the Westminster system of voting but it is also the most incomprehensible. One wonders how many of the votes on that white paper were valid?
    Simplicity is not something that the Anglo world seems attracted to.
    Anyway, it was a great night and as the votes came in, Helvi and I kept cheering. All of a sudden the darkness lifted and the sun came back.
    All I hope for now is that the change will soon result in the refugees in Manus and Nauru to be dealt with.
    One more ‘jobs and growth,’ and I would have to be locked up.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2016 12:02 pm

      Like you, I’d had ‘jobs and growth’ up to the eyeballs.

      Like

  24. eths / Jul 4 2016 2:07 pm

    Eight weeks sounds heavenly!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2016 5:56 pm

      Eight weeks is a long one for us. We were sick of it by the end of the first week. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. heidi ruckriegel / Jul 4 2016 8:10 pm

    Everything you said about voting, so I won’t repeat it. Except for a slight complaint – for some weird reason, we did not get a sausage sizzle 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2016 9:21 pm

      What! No sausage sizzle? I’m horrified on your behalf. Next election check the map on sausagesizzle.com.au so you can decide which polling station to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • heidi ruckriegel / Jul 4 2016 9:22 pm

        We just went to the closest one we could walk to, but they did have one last time. Not fair.

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2016 9:28 pm

        Not fair at all. Someone on that school’s P&C has some explaining to do.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman / Jul 5 2016 3:54 pm

        Rumors have it that Pauline Hanson was radicalised by a Hallal certified sausage at her barbeque. It was reported to have been sneaked in by a dark man wearing a gabardine coat and sunglasses.
        The sausage was inserted in her bread roll by the use of the lubricating and copious amount of Tomato sauce imported from Syria.

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Jul 5 2016 8:42 pm

        I heard that rumour too, so it must be true. Although I didn’t know about the gabardine coat.

        Like

  26. poshbirdy / Jul 4 2016 9:48 pm

    V interesting to hear how differently it works in Aus. I think everyone should vote too

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2016 10:55 pm

      Once I was eligible, I rushed to become an Australian citizen so I could vote.

      Like

  27. gallivance.net / Jul 4 2016 11:55 pm

    A very informative and interesting post Peggy. I just assumed that Australia worked like the UK, but obviously, not so. I’d love to hear an election theorist discuss the pros and cons of your system. I agree with all the points the American Ambassador made, particularly the 60-day election cycle. America’s parched from all the hot air we’ve heard in the past 18 months. ~James

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The Whitechapel Whelk / Jul 5 2016 12:18 am

    The old clincher for me was: “apricot crack” The smutty and uncalled-for innuendo possibilities are endless 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  29. mommermom / Jul 5 2016 1:44 am

    This was so interesting and informative! I knew about the compulsory voting from another fellow Australian blogger. We could certainly use a new and improved system in the US!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 5 2016 8:24 am

      It confounds me that the US hasn’t made a serious effort to reform the voting system. I should think everyone—even the politicians—would want a fairer and more transparent outcome. I bet Al Gore does.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mommermom / Jul 5 2016 1:52 pm

        You would think so, wouldn’t you? It is very frustrating to most of us here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Jul 5 2016 2:21 pm

        It would drive me crazy,

        Like

  30. Lynz Real Cooking / Jul 5 2016 8:14 am

    It’s interesting to hear about other countries Peggy! Thanks for sharing all of this!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Brenda / Jul 5 2016 9:13 pm

    Fascinating. One of the problems in the U.S. is that media has become so polarizing that we have become politically tribal. Unless we can somehow return to open minds and rational discussion, I’m not sure that any voting system would make much of a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 6 2016 12:37 pm

      Yes, the media in the US is completely polarising. A young woman has even done a documentary called ‘The brainwashing of my dad’.

      Like

      • Brenda / Jul 6 2016 10:56 pm

        I will check out that documentary. I never really understood the power of propaganda until these past few years. It’s truly frightening.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Jul 6 2016 11:11 pm

        It is so frightening.

        Like

  32. philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 6 2016 2:56 am

    It’s cool you get to choose which location/”residence” you vote in. That way you can look, decided where your voie has more impact. Here in the US you have to pick a main residence/primary location and vote there – sad if you are outnumbered by others with different ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 6 2016 12:38 pm

      I could choose only because we have two addresses and letterboxes at both places. We use the address where our vote makes a greater difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 6 2016 10:23 pm

        We have a PO mailing address across the lake and a physical adress here. Two different areas/counties, but still have to vote with main residence. I like your chances better.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Jul 7 2016 11:00 am

        We do too.

        Like

  33. 2bcreativeblog / Jul 7 2016 9:50 am

    That is interesting. Thanks for explaining it. I wish ours was that way. I hate our system. Vote in my state doesn’t really count because we have only 2 electoral votes. Dumb system. I hope you get who you want. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 7 2016 11:17 am

      It’s so frustrating when you feel that your vote doesn’t count. Not sure the outcome is going to go my way, but at least I know my vote counted.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. theunassuminghiker / Jul 17 2016 10:36 pm

    Hi Peggy, I just stumbled upon your blog and loved this post. I am so sick of American politics. Our system is outdated – 2 parties, electoral college, and campaigns that last over 2 years is such a waste of time and money. My husband is from Germany, and now that he is a US Citizen, he is very frustrated with our system. Don’t complain about 8 weeks – that is really nothing. However, if it’s 8 weeks this year, it could grow into a longer season next time. Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 17 2016 11:15 pm

      Oh Karen, what a great comment. You are so right that I shouldn’t complain about an eight-week campaign. I grew up in the USA and know what a long campaign is like. Still, and as you so rightly said, the US system is way out-of-date. Here’s hoping someone has the guts to change it.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. marymtf / Jul 19 2016 9:46 am

    It’s not the system so much, Peggy, but the fact that all politicians are like cockroaches. Vote them out today and they spring back, fresher than ever. The two whackers who wanted the top job had to step over their colleagues’ bodies to make it. In case I haven’t made it clear, I loath politicians of all stripes.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. milliethom / Jul 19 2016 8:44 pm

    The Australian system sounds great to me. I would hate the ridiculously long campaigns they have in the US,or what sounds to be an unfair system of voting. But the system here in the UK is by no means wonderful, or completely fair. As Ali said, above, proportional representation is something to consider.
    I found this post particularly informative, Peggy. I had no idea about the Australian voting system and your post, and the many interesting comments, have given me something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 19 2016 11:06 pm

      Oh my goodness, I think the whole world is sick of the long US election campaigns. I sure am. I glad you found the post interesting and informative. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

      Like

  37. barkinginthedark / Jul 21 2016 10:21 am

    i have been advocating for this voting system here in the USA for years. here it’s known as instant run-off voting or IRV. we do use it in some localities but as a national thing the power will never let this, most fair, voting system become a reality. in fact the Republican Party tries to disenfranchise voters. oh well… great piece. continue…

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 21 2016 11:02 am

      I have read about some of the horrible actions the Republicans have taken to disenfranchise voters. It’s appalling. The first step in the right direction for USA voters would be to at least have an independent electoral commission. The policy of electing each electoral commissioner is ridiculous.

      Like

  38. hiMe / Jul 22 2016 9:37 pm

    I feel proud that you have told readers the world over about our election. Moreover, I learned that you were very active in the school activities. My Dad has been working at the poll as a polling officials for decades.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 22 2016 10:04 pm

      Tell your dad thanks for all his electoral efforts over the years. Very much appreciated.

      Like

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