Australia’s Rigged elections the cure

AUSTRALIAS RIGGED ELECTIONS “What the media do not want you to know!”

Elections in Australia over the past decade alone have endured many an attack on what we would hope is our most democratic right, that of a “free and informed vote”, so what really goes on?

As Australia’s most avid fighter for reform and a Fair Go for democracy, I have uncovered dodgier practices than any one of us would believe existed, yet most of the important issues are very much out in the open.

I will take the August 2010 Federal election as a perfect example, chief justice of the high court Murray Gleeson once said, “If change be necessary, it must be by the free will of an informed electorate” so lets look at the words “Free” and “Informed”.

A free vote is one not tainted by “You must attend” and “You must preference every candidate” the sole reason for such measures, is that in a 2 party preferred system, it is paramount that the ill informed attend, and mark their ballot, because the 2 party count then ensures the desired 2 party outcome, simply because they write the laws in their favor.

When and if this bias fails, they simply write new laws to combat the problem, as we have seen over the past decade, in the federal election, you will find blank boxes above the line, no chance the word Independent will be found, many minor parties were recently de-registered, the common law of elections regarding our rights have been attacked, and even laws to prevent us talking about elections on line were introduced.

Road safety initiatives for road side signs are ignored during elections, legislation has been written to ensure election promises do not have to be kept, and even worse the protections for we voters under the electoral acts, are now simply ignored on an increasing basis, as if compliance is some how optional.

So lets look at the conduct we now enjoy, your right to be informed is now out the window, neither the electoral commission nor the media are forced in any way to let you know who the candidates are, when it comes to knowing “how to vote” and what your rights and obligations are under the electoral acts, the Act does say the commission MUST ensure you do understand, but they simply ignore this obligation.

In the polling booths, the Act states there must be prominently displayed how to vote information, and also voting tickets (preference information), but the last two elections, none could be found. In any case there is not a chance in hell that many Australians could consider the electoral commissions have up held the law in regards to the public being adequately informed of their rights and obligations.

So now let us look at the conduct we have come to expect, Mobile polling is a service to aid our sick and elderly, in the state election 77 institutions were denied service, and I have several affidavits confirming undue influence and dodgy practices where service did occur, in plain English, our most vulnerable voters were denied their most basic rights, some telling us from the door to their room being asked Labor or Liberal, and the polling staff marking their ballot for them, they did not even get to see the ballot, 1 lady asked to vote greens, the response was they are not running, her grand daughter was a candidate.

Postal vote applications are now sent by the hundreds of thousands, and the return address in most is a major party head office, not the electoral commissioner, in the South Australian State election, such applications doubled, the affidavit I bluffed out of the electoral commissioner in court, shows over 7500 applications were found to be dodgy, and get this over 16,500 ballots simply went missing in SA alone.

When considering these numbers remember this, the state Labor party sent out many thousands of letters to the public, inside they had a reply paid envelope with the name of the opposition leader “Isobel Redmond”, so many voters sent back information they thought was going to the Liberal party, but every one ended back at the Labor parties head office, ask your self why.

So lets get down to the most sickening dodgy practices, Labor were caught dressing up as another party, and handing out dodgy “how to vote cards” but this has now become the norm, and the same happened at the federal election, is nothing bloody sacred.

Over 77,000 South Australian voters found their names no longer on the electoral roll, when they attended to vote, in most cases non were offered a declaration vote, seems the electoral commission sent out letters mid year, and if their was no reply, their names were removed from the roll, denying their right to vote, whoops entitlement, we have no enforceable rights in Australia.

Reports of dead people remaining on the roll were a concern, and the commission ignored people registered at non-existing addresses, and dare I go into the issues of multiple voting?

The many polling booth staff that confided in me after the state election, showed a clear picture that many of the tens of thousands of informal votes, were more so the result of mistakes rather than deliberately wanting their votes not to count, a direct result of demanding we preference every candidate, or the fact that how to vote information was absent.

What makes matters worse for our democratic freedoms is even the candidates themselves are denied contact details to ensure we can make informed preference deals, so even a vote for me, can end up where even I would not liked them to go.

Polling booth staff are meant to assist and police conduct on the day of an election, to ensure you are empowered to cast a valid vote, they have adequate stationary, all the polling booths have the required posters and that those handing out “how to vote cards” adhere to the law, but none of this happens.

No how to vote information or the prescribed posters were in the booths, in either the state or Federal elections from reports I received, and what I personally saw, how to vote cards were let in cubicles against the law, posters and those handing out how to vote information were doing so in defiance of the law, and booths at both elections ran out of ballot papers.

In the state election people simply missed out on voting, but here is an interesting new story about election conduct, in the state election if you made a mistake you could simply cross it out, during the federal election voters were handed a rubber.

So ask your self why we are handed a piece of paper and a pencil, rather than say a pen, or a secure electronic devise?

The laws will be re-written again in the next couple of years, to ensure more power to the 2 party system, and the JSCEM (Joint standing committee on electoral matters) will probably again find the people are not happy, and as usual the parties will ignore their recommendations and the reform we the people demand.

So what do we do about it, the media WILL NOT make this public, not a single provable fact, the only ones who can now back my ideals for reform, are the people, but how do we get their attention?

So here are the simple reforms we need;

  • A Booklet to every home that explains how to vote, who the candidates are, their contact details and a brief of their ideals
  • Bring in optional preferential voting, so we do not have to preference those we oppose
  • Modify the counting of ballot papers to favor the most preferred rather than the current 2 party count.
  • Demand an Independent body to oversea electoral reforms and police the conduct of elections
  • Bring those who are involved in dodgy practices to account
  • Supply the electorate with Pens, and do not allow mistakes to be crossed out, rather replacement ballot papers, so the voters intention is clear.
  • Ensure adequate stationary and equipment is in the polling booths, and ensure it is displayed correctly.

How simple is that? The major parties will still enjoy media favoritism, and huge taxpayer dollars to out perform the minor players, but at least the results will be democratic, so ask yourselves, why I doubt we will ever see such reforms?

I bet you guessed it right!

Mark M Aldridge

INDEPENDENT & fighter for democracy.

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