The past year has seen a lot of activity. We celebrated 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, we had one Federal Election and the aftermath of State and Local Government elections. There was also much activity within the Proportional Representation Society. We opened the year with a visit from our National President and progressed over the course of the year to discuss key messages of the Society. With a huge amount of work by National President, Jeremy Lawrence, two national policies were adopted by the Society. These can be found online at:
The Electoral Reform Society of South Australia is strongly opposed to the proposal in the Discussion Paper to change from using proportional representation as the method of electing local government and to replace it with the bottoms-up method.
This submission elaborates on why the Society opposes this proposal.
The Electoral Reform Society of South Australia wishes to object to the naming of one of South Australia’s electorates as ‘Spence.’
The Committee has indicated it is proposed to:
“change the name of the Division of Wakefield to ‘Spence’ in honour of Catherine Helen Spence (1825–1910) for her work as an advocate for female suffrage and electoral reform.”
Miss Spence was one of the first advocates for proportional representation in Australia (and indeed the world) and this became her main focus. She supported the quota-preferential method of proportional representation for all elections (called Hare-Spence in her day).
As proportional representation requires multi-member electorates, to name a single-member electorate after Miss Spence is an insult to both her memory and her life-long cause.
With the changes in the way that voters can vote for the Legislative Council, the Electoral Reform Society of South Australia is urging South Australians to consider carefully about the way they will vote.
If voting above the line, all voters need to do is vote ‘1’ for the party or group of their choice. However, they can now give preferences to as many of the other groups as they wish and in the order they themselves choose.
This submission concentrates on public funding, and the need for these funds to be used towards providing necessary information for voters.
The Society recommended that the Adelaide Hills Council not be divided into wards and that all elected members of Council be elected across the whole Council area.
The Electoral Reform Society of South Australia was pleased with the recent changes to the method of electing the Senate, particularly getting rid of voting tickets and allowing some degree of optional preferential voting.
There are still aspects that the Society would like to see changed, including:
- removing the line on the Senate ballot paper
- with the introduction of optional preferential voting there need to be changes to accommodate the resultant increase in exhausted votes.
- introducing the Robson rotation.