On Elections

How people elect parliaments

Issues in Australian elections

⇒ Full list of Australia essays


A series of articles are posted here dealing with how the Australian houses of parliament are elected.

For overviews of the most recent elections of the two houses, there are election analysis pages on this site covering the House of Representatives and Senate elections of 2013.

The Senate voting system proved particularly controversial in 2013, with minor parties proving successful at exploiting the absurdities of an Senate ballot paper design feature called ‘ticket voting’. In May 2014 the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters issued a report calling for reforms which would include abolishing the ticket voting mechanism. In early 2016 the law has been amended. A page written in April 2014 is here, but the full story is being tracked at this page.

In recent years Australia’s High Court has been developing principles related to electoral enrolment and other matters which are based on the premise that the political system of the nation must retain one of ‘representative and responsible government’. Paper on the history of judicial decisions in the area and on this emerging constitutional law consider whether this judicial thinking may have more extensive impacts on the electoral law of Australia.

Another page discusses the direct impacts of electoral system design on achieving representation.

The latter three papers are based on extracts from my Submission 181 to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters inquiry into the 2013 election which took place during 2014.


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