Australians Prefer First-Past-the-Post

An interesting poll here commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs, a Melbourne thinktank.

The Newspoll survey finds that most Australians (57%) support a first-past-the-post (FPP) voting system compared with 37% who support Australia’s current preferential system.

Both systems are constituency-based compared with MMP, which is a proportional system – the make-up of parliament is essentially determined by the party vote.

Both FPP and a preferential voting (PV) system will be on the ballot paper for next year’s MMP referendum.  The two systems will also be the subject of a referendum next year in the United Kingdom.

PV can encourage strategic voting and is not necessarily an accurate reflection of voters’ preferences.  All voting systems have pros and cons.  The great political philosopher Karl Popper considered the key feature of a good democratic system was the ability it gave voters to throw out a government it disliked.  FPP does that decisively whereas PR systems like MMP don’t.

The full study is here

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Australians Prefer First-Past-the-Post

  1. “key feature of a good democratic system was the ability it gave voters to throw out a government it disliked. FPP does that decisively whereas PR systems like MMP don’t.”

    I have gone through the results of every election since 1978 (http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/). During the 1996 – 2008 period, every political part which won the greater amount of the total vote have formed the government. Although there has been a period where it was not clear which party would form government (1996, 2005), the most popular major party was able to form government

    During the years of FPP (Analysis 1978 – 1993), there were two elections (1978, 1981) where the most popular major party did not form government. The voters in those elections clearly wanted (albeit by a margin of only one percent) to kick the government out. But, because of the distortions of FPP, they were unable to.

    Surely NZ’s history suggests that MMP has a better track record of kicking unwanted governments (1999, 2008) out, than FPP?

  2. The fundamental problem with NZ’s political system isn’t the voting method:
    it’s the franchise. So long as bludgers, bennies, WWFers, Superannuitants (codger-bludgers), students, teachers, nurses and civil servants are able to choose the government that best suits them then there should be no surprise that these are the governments we get.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s