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General Discussion >> General Board >> Who did your Senate vote go to?
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Message started by freediver on Sep 21st, 2016 at 9:46pm

Title: Who did your Senate vote go to?
Post by freediver on Sep 21st, 2016 at 9:46pm
http://www.ozpolitic.com/electoral-reform/who-did-your-senate-vote-go-to.html

If you live in one of the six Australian states, it can be difficult to determine where your senate vote ended up. This is because your vote can contribute to the election of more than one senator. Alternatively, it may not contribute to the election of any senators. The results are always presented in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to figure out who you helped to elect. In addition, the delay in finding the results means many people forget the details of what order they voted in. The 2016 election made this even more complicated by doubling the number of senators up for election.

This article is intended to help you figure out who your vote ended up with. The first section (background) is intended as an explanation of how the system works, and the second section contains explicit instructions for figuring out who your vote ended up with. Note that several simplifying assumptions were made in this analysis. The AEC publishes detailed results of the order in which candidates are elected or excluded from the ballot, but the detail can be overwhelming.

It is also my hope that this article alerts you to the possibility that your vote ended up with someone very far down your list of preferences. This should be taken as encouragement to rank all, or the vast majority of candidates. Note in particular that your vote can skip candidates not just because they get excluded from the running, but because they get elected before your vote reaches them. Thus, if you rank a few minor parties first then a major party, your vote may not stick with the major party because the major party candidates are already elected by the time your preferences get distributed. Whether the remaining candidates for that party get excluded early (before they can receive your preference) is somewhat arbitrary in the sense that it depends on how far over a whole number of quotas the party gets. Although there are plenty of micro parties getting excluded first, if your party happened to get 2.0001 quotas of first preferences, it may have two senators elected and then see its remaining candidates excluded before any other preferences are distributed to it.

Note also that failing to rank all or most candidates may mean your vote is discarded early and you miss the opportunity to help decide who holds crucial balance-of-power seats in the Senate. That is, all minor parties with even a slight chance of gaining a seat should be ranked. Although your vote may seem like a drop in the ocean, many crucial decisions are made during the vote counting based on tight margins.

http://www.ozpolitic.com/electoral-reform/who-did-your-senate-vote-go-to.html

Title: Re: Who did your Senate vote go to?
Post by bogarde73 on Sep 22nd, 2016 at 9:24am
Well bugger me!
Seems if you vote above the line some ?% of your vote goes to someone you never voted for.
Is that right?

Title: Re: Who did your Senate vote go to?
Post by Belgarion on Sep 22nd, 2016 at 10:16am
I never vote above the line. That way I decide where my vote goes and no one else.

Title: Re: Who did your Senate vote go to?
Post by bogarde73 on Sep 22nd, 2016 at 11:48am
I'm lazy.

Title: Re: Who did your Senate vote go to?
Post by freediver on Sep 22nd, 2016 at 1:06pm

bogarde73 wrote on Sep 22nd, 2016 at 9:24am:
Well bugger me!
Seems if you vote above the line some ?% of your vote goes to someone you never voted for.
Is that right?


It makes no difference if you vote above or below the line. Both outcomes reflect your intention in ranking candidates, unless I am misinterpreting your intention somehow.

Furthermore, your vote can only end up with candidates that you rank, and can only work in your favour, assuming you rank them honestly (and not ranking candidates means they are your least preferred). It can go a long way down the list, but only if the candidates higher up your list have already been elected or excluded.

The point, I guess, is that deciding whether to rank two candidates 20th or 21st can make a difference to where your vote ends up. This does not mean that your vote helps those candidates at the expense of whoever you ranked 19th, or 1st. It just makes a difference to whether the final seat is given to number 20 or 21 on your list.

If you give a major party your first preference, a fairly small percentage of your vote will get passed down. If you give your first preference to anyone else, 100% of the value of your vote can make it a long way down your list.

Title: Re: Who did your Senate vote go to?
Post by freediver on Sep 24th, 2016 at 12:15pm
I just realised that the tables of results left out the far right column, showing the residual value of votes after they contribute to the election of each Senator. This has now been fixed, so hopefully the division into two groups makes more sense.

I have also added a column showing whether each Senator got a 6 or 3 year term.

Title: Re: Who did your Senate vote go to?
Post by Dnarever on Sep 24th, 2016 at 7:35pm
Interesting I never thought about it like that before.

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