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August 25, 2010

Comments

Is it just me, or is Antony Green shaping up as the most responsible 'journalist' (or shall we say member of the media) in this entire election?

I believe Tony Crook said he would only back Labor if they dropped the Mining Tax. Labor stated they wouldn't, and Mr Crook then responded to that saying he would then back the Coalition.

I'm from WA and my family has a long history in both the Nationals, my father was a candidate, and the Liberal Party. Tony Crook is against the Super Profits Mining Tax so it won't be hard which side he will be on. The majority of his constituents are also conservative, but rural conservative and there is a difference. He will want money invested for country WA just as the State Nationals have wanted here, and also achieved.

I agree. Unlike other media outlets, Mr Greens election coverage and the regular updates to the electoral count is far more balanced. It is good to see there is none of the useless speculation and sensationalisation of predicted outcomes that other media outlets are conducting.

Hi Antony,
Thanks for this clarification. Obviously no-one can hold you responsible for the decisions of maverick National Party politicians!

Also, thank you for your patient explanations on the Dension posting about how preferential voting works. As a voter in Denison, I appreciate having preferential voting. If my preferred candidate isn't elected, I very much appreciate my least disliked candidate having the benefit of my vote!

I also take the opportunity for expressing my personal views by voting below the line in the Senate. The only improvement I would suggest is to allow voters to stop numbering after a point (as with the optional preferential voting used for Tasmanian House of Assembly candidates). With 24 candidates, and only 6 to be elected, I was having a lot of trouble ranking candidates I had never heard of once I got past about number 12.

COMMENT: You should have tried voting in NSW where there were 83 Senate candidates!

John, it's just you.

Antony, is it "legal" (for want of a better term) for a candidate to be listed as "Nationals" on the ballot paper and decide after he's been elected that he wants to act as an independent? Wouldn't those who voted for him be entitled to expect him to be aligned to the Nationals if that was noted on the ballot paper?

COMMENT: It is entirely legal. Constitutionally an MP is elected as free agent, though few would act so freely as to ignore the views of their constituents.

In an article in the Australian this morning (http://bit.ly/bpeLtO) WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls "urged political analysts to stop counting Mr Crook with the Coalition when calculating seat numbers in the battle to form government," saying that:

"We're certainly not in the tent of the federal Coalition," he said.

"We should definitely be in the independents column."

Antony: must be all those ALP-leaning ABC viewers querying!!! :-)

"In an email to the ABC, the WA Nationals have indicated they believe Mr Crook should be considered an independent..."

Is that enough for you to flick him to independent, or is his anti-mining tax stance still effectively pinning him on the coalition side as a guaranteed vote (at this point)?

COMMENT: The request was made to me. When I explained that it would be achieved by creating a seperate WA National Party that was not associated with the Federal National Party and would therefore not be part of the Coalition, the request was withdrawn.

Thank you your relentless work Antony. Many comments on websites here and elsewhere refer to the 'representativeness' of Independents to have a role in deciding the future government. It would be interesting to publish a list of all those elected in order of their primary vote (and their vote after preference allocation) and see how the 'representativeness' of the Independents, in terms of the votes they received from their electorate, stacks up in comparison to others?
Thanks, and keep up the great work.

Tony Crook was quite clear BEFORE the election that he "will not be part of a Federal Coalition and will vote independently".

http://www.nationalswa.com/News/MediaReleases/tabid/83/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/647/Crook-will-be-an-independent-voice-for-regional-WA.aspx

Hi Antony, with the ABC reporting that the WA Nationals have written in asking to not be counted in the Coalition column, will you now take him out?

COMMENT: After some discussion on options about how that could be achieved, the National Party withdrew the request.

John, it's not just you - Antony is in that rare position where he's employed by a major news organisation but is completely apolitical. In all the years I've watched, listened and read his analysis, I don't think I've *ever* seen him make a politically-biased statement...I'd be surprised if anyone even had a credible guess as to who he voted for.

(Although I'd laugh 'til I cried if he donkey'ed. :) )

It may well be worth noting that about an hour ago the main ABC Election page posted this paragraph:

"In an email to the ABC, the WA Nationals have indicated they believe Mr Crook should be considered an independent, at least until such time as he makes a decision in terms of who he would support to form a minority government."

On a separate note, I'd also like to add my voice to those supporting the ABC team and Antony in particular for their excellent work.

David, I like the irony. (These posts are moderated by Antony, I gather.)

Darren, I think voters in O'Connor knew they were voting against an incumbant Liberal Party candidate and for a National Party candidate. As I understand it, Tony Crook hasn't made this decision after the election, but had been upfront with it for the whole campaign (I'm not from the west, let alone O'Connor, so I don't actually know how it happened; I'm just taking Mr Crook on his word). I definitely hope he does what he thinks is best for his electorate and the whole country. (I wish I could say that for every MP, but for most I expect them to merely act in the best interest of their party.)

How come perferences are not been ing accounted for the Hasluck result

COMMENT: They are being accounted for.

I am from O'Connor and voted for Tony Crook knowing I was voting against Wilson Tuckey and the Liberal Govt. I Know Tony Crook and know he represents regional areas and issues and would prefer he remains as an independent. I was also concerned that his seat was being counted as a coalition seat. I am sure most people who voted for him (and thereby against the liberal party) would prefer him to be an independent.

@Jane : "I am sure most people who voted for him ... would prefer him to be an independent."

And perhaps he should be, but to make that happen there are 3 options:
(1) He could leave the WA Nats.
(2) The WA Nats could separate (to some degree) from the Federal Nats
(3) The Federal Nats could leave the Federal coalition.

(Technically the 2nd & 3rd don't make him "independent", but they get him away from the Liberal Party)

It seems he's not willing to do #1, the WA Nats aren't willing to do #2, and the Fed Nats aren't willing to do #3.

Now, he might choose to enter the party room, and he might cross the floor on legislation that he thinks doesn't suit his constituents, but officially he is a member of a party which is in coalition with Liberal party. If that's not what he wants, then he can leave it (the party).

What a crap voting system we have. Simple, vote for a party (tick one box) and vote for a member (tick one box). Add them up. Most number of votes win. Not real confusing is it? Then why don't we do it Antony?

COMMENT: We've had the current voting system since 1919.

Thanks for the reply Antony. Just because our voting system is 90 years old doesn't make it right. Why can't we change to a simplified and fairer system. I don't see any logic in the current system and how can the majority (popular) vote not be considered adequate to elect a candidate. Sorry to annoy, i'm just curious - and disappointed.

CDOMMENT: I think there is general support for preferential voting, though I believe a majority would prefer preferences to be optional.

Julia Gillard is reported on the main ABC election block page saying that Tony Crook called and advised her that he intends to sit on the crossbenches. So we're left, at present, with your question: "Is Tony Crook...a member of the Coalition," sitting in a rather strange position: when is a Coalition member *not* a Coalition member?

Before it's too late and Labor makes a deal... Tony Abbott, take some friendly advice; as of 5.30pm Wed 25 Aug. with 76.55% of pref. votes counted - the Coalition has won 5,020,196 (49.40%) votes against the ALP's 5,141,769 votes (50.60%)!
The Coalition seats: 44 +2 +6 +1 = 71
Non-Coalition seats: 71 +1 +4 = 76 !!
( with 2 still in doubt & excl. one rebel National )

Under Aust. time honoured tradition of always supporting the legal & moral center of the Two Party Preferred Voting System, go down in history as a true patriot, put Country before Party, and Society's well-being before ruthless political ambition.
Declare valiant defeat this time around & gracefully vow to win the next one.
The majority of Aussies DIDN'T vote for a Conservative PM.
The majority of seats won were NOT by the Coalition, indeed won by mostly anti-conservative MPs, from a Green & the ALP thru to a non-"cancer" ex-National, etc.

You may be right Antony in your reply to @Della that there is "general" support for preferential voting (which is of course better than the undemocratic first-past-the-post system) but it would clearly be more democratic to have a proportional electoral system.

At the moment we have the Greens with more than 11% of the vote with less than 1% of the seats, and the nationals with one third of the Greens vote but seven times the lower house seats!

The "general" support for preferential voting might change if there was more discussion and information about the more democratic proportional alternative.

COMMENT: The request was made to me. When I explained that it would be achieved by creating a seperate WA National Party that was not associated with the Federal National Party and would therefore not be part of the Coalition, the request was withdrawn.
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As someone who works in IT, this reads like you are explaining how you would attempt to reflect the new political reality in your system. The current system appears to not be nuanced enough to accommodate the request easily. Fair enough: the situation is unprecedented. However, a true Alpha nerd would happily refactor his program in the middle of the count to accommodate this new requirement...

Come on Anthony! What's the worst that can happen?

If we are not clear on whether Tony Cook is an Independent, as he apparently told Julia Guillard today that he was going to sit on the crossbenches, how can it be determined how many seats the Coalition will have in the final outcome. Can the ABC or the AEC please get a definitive answer from Mr Cook?

COMMENT: The problem of that what Mr Cook does once elected as an MP is his own business. However, if the WA National Party want to be in the position where its elected MP is not counted as part of the Coalition, why should its vote count as part of the Coalition vote?

Hi Antony,

Sorry to be off-topic, but why is it that in your Senate results for Tasmania, you have transferred the votes of the excluded 2nd Greens candidate to Liberal candidate Barnett rather than ALP candidate Singh? Greens preferences went to the ALP not the Libs.

COMMENT: Read the output closely. Singh was elected before the Green preferences were distributed. In the real count at that point the Green preferences would not be distributed.

It seems strange that some people still seem confused by the ABC allocation of Mr Crook's seat to the Coalition, despite the reasoning behind it being explained several times in simple terms. Surely the more important issue is why Mr Crook ran as a WA National when it appears he should have fessed up to the electorate from the very beginning and run as an Independent?

From the SMH:
Mr Crook said he had been disappointed by media coverage of the hung parliament, which has included his seat of O'Connor in the number of ''seats won'' by Mr Abbott's Coalition.

''In every news report and press report we see, my number is being allocated in with the Coalition and it shouldn't be,'' he said.

Mr Crook said that just because he had declared a deal with Labor to be unlikely, it did not mean a deal with the Coalition was likely.

''There is a third position and that is the crossbenches, and both Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott know that,'' he said.

Crook and the WA Nationals want the bargaining power of independence in a hung parliament *and* they want to keep the power of belonging to a Coalition that may form government. Sorry, that's not how it works; you're either truly independent like Katter and co., or you're not. And right now, they're not. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

tony crook will go with the coalition , thats what i believe , he does not want the tax on miners to go through !

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