....To vote for an MP in your seat, you must fill out your ballot paper by numbering all the candidates in order of preference.
If you like the Labor candidate best, write 1 in their box. If you like the Greens second best, put them as no 2. You must number every candidate; if you do not, the vote becomes “informal” (spoiled) and does not count.
The major political parties produce “how to vote” cards recommending the order in which they think you should list the candidates. For example at this election the Liberal party have said they will advise their voters to put the Greens last. Voters do not have to follow these cards, but many do.
If any candidate gets 50% of the primary vote (the number of boxes marked 1) plus one, he or she is elected.
If not, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the other preferences on his or her ballot papers are redistributed to the other candidates. This continues until one candidate has 50% plus one, at which point he or she is elected for that seat.
Voting is compulsory both at federal elections and at elections for the state and territory legislatures. In the states of South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia voting at local elections is not compulsory. About 5% of enrolled voters fail to vote at most elections. People in this situation are asked to explain their failure to vote. If no satisfactory reason is provided (for example, illness or religious prohibition), a fine of up to $170 is imposed, and failure to pay the fine may result in a court hearing.
Electoral system of Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (external - login to view)
Now going back to the first part of this post regarding how you vote for who and marking of preferences, etc.:
What is the difference between two candidate preferred or two party preferred?
These are different terms, though they can often, but not always be interchanged. The term 'two candidate preferred' (TCP) refers to a distribution of preferences (votes) between two candidates who are expected to come first and second in the election. Often the two candidates for the TCP process will be from the ALP and the Coalition, but it could also be candidates from minor parties or independent candidates depending on who is expected to gain the majority of votes.
The term 'two party preferred' (TPP) refers to a distribution of preferences (votes) between the two major parties – the ALP and the Coalition (Liberal/National parties). This comparison is usually used to try to predict the possibilities of forming a government. It is a tool that examines the proportion of votes that will go to the major parties after all preferences have been taken into consideration.
Why does the AEC conduct a full distribution of preferences where a candidate has won an absolute majority?
A distribution of preferences takes place in every division and is used to calculate the two party preferred statistics for divisions that have ALP and Coalition as the final two candidates. In divisions that do not have the ALP and Coalition as the final two candidates, a Scrutiny for Information is conducted to determine the two party preferred result. A scrutiny for Information in such cases is a notional distribution of preferences to find the results of preference flows to the ALP and Coalition candidates.
It's all pretty damn convoluted for my simple Canadian brain, or am I missing something?
So for voting in Canada, you get something like this to fill out:
^ Mark in one with an X and only one.... done.
Here in Australia, you get this:
If you have to vote for a Senator:
Or if you have to vote for the Legislative Council:
So just as an outsider looking in, I figured I would share this information with other fellow outsiders and get your opinions on this democratic process.
Do you feel it is a better system than Canada's or the US's.... is it worse.... or is it about equal in pros and cons??