On Elections

How people elect parliaments



The author of this site is Malcolm Baalman, currently of Narraburra, NSW, Australia.

image - MBaalman face1.jpg

I am an Australian with nearly 30 years professional experience working in and around legislatures, the public sector at federal, state and local government levels in Australia, and non-government organisations.

Throughout my working life I have regularly dealt with issues relating to elections, electoral law, public administration, political science, practical politics, parliaments and legislators.

The rough CV is:

  • Studied at Australian National University (Arts and Law) (1988-93)
  • Advisor to independent MLA at the ACT Legislative Assembly (1995-2001); Senior Adviser/chief-of-staff to independent Minister for Health, Community Care, Housing and Corrections (1998-2001)
  • Consulting work for NGOs (2002-05)
  • Victorian state public servant (transport and infrastructure departments) (2005-2015)
  • Consulting again (2016-17)
  • Policy advice with Public Health Association of Australia (2016-)

I’m interested in the interaction of the theory and practice of political science, the mechanics of voting methods, and the constitutional law surrounding elections and parliaments. Writing on this site is my outlet for these interests.

Welcome to the site, and I hope you find this material useful and enjoyable.

Please cite links or references to this site on your own work in an appropriate manner, and also get involved in any way you like through comments on posts, or through the contact form.

Finally, if you are interested in becoming a writing contributor you are most welcome to contact me.

(launched) May 2016

The blogposts

I assume most people will enter it through the homepage, which highlights the blogposts. The posts here will be reports on current electoral events, and comments on the state of electoral systems around the world.

The main scope of voting systems covered by this site is the voting and vote counting methods by which we elect politicians into parliaments. The focus will be on how such methods achieve the goal of representation, which is the core promise of democratic assemblies.

This site is not directly concerned with related issues such as the timing of elections, electoral administration, integrity and fairness of elections, freedom of the press at election times, and other political issues. But we may stray into such material from time to time.

This blog is not really intended to be a political debate space; commentary on wider political current affairs – especially partisan comments – should ideally be kept to the minimum necessary to illuminate electoral systems.

However comments relating to the electoral system design policies of past and current legislators and political parties – including partisan motivations in legislating to change voting systems – and of course comments on actual legislative decisions, are certainly appropriate subjects for discussion.

Licensing, images, graphics etc

This is not a commercial site – it is a creative endeavour aimed at sharing knowledge.

Many of the graphics on this site were generated by myself – in particular there are a large number of SVG-generated maps. My attitude to re-use by others is that reasonable, non-commercial republication in the spirit of fair usage is fine. Attribution of myself or of this website is an appropriate thing to do.

I have made use of various images and graphics to enliven the material, especially the blog posts. Where possible I have used sources such as Wikimedia Commons. Wherever known I have included attributions. I hope that all inclusion of material will be seen as fair usage. If any copyright owner objects to any usage of material please contact me directly and I will address the matter.

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