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How an Australian Senator Won With 0.51% Of The Vote

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Video written by Adam Chase

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  1. Yeah, ranked voting and instant runoff systems have their quirks. But do you know which system is also needlessly complicated but is basically impossible to get rid of? The Czech system for electing town council members. We do not vote for the mayors, we vote for the council, a town legislature, which elects the mayor, typically the leader of the winning party (but not always, as the current Prague mayor comes from a party that came in second since nobody really wanted to work with the Civic Democrats – so called "conservative liberals" (or is it liberal conservatives? There is another party, TOP09 that has it the other way around) a mainstay right wing party that is famous of its shady dealings, especially in the capital). But the voter doesn't have one vote, they have as many votes as there are council members and they can either cross out a party – giving it all their votes – or vote cross ballot, crossing out individual candidates. OR they can cross out a party and then start crossing out individual candidates which gives only a part of their votes to the party… I think you get why it gets complicated. So every voter has 9-65 individual votes, every party can run 9-65 candidates and so they are hard to count… Did I mention that the cities have a two level council system where you have "small" ward councils and "big" city council and you elect both at the same time? Those ballots then get trully ridiculous. A ballot equivalent of the sword of Guts from Berserk ridiculous.

  2. Like most people are saying, yeah because he was just a common guy with no experience he ended up being pretty damn good. He was what you want as a politician, somebody that came from the masses.

  3. Ricky is a pretty decent guy from a blue collar background – IIRC he lived in a small town, worked in a sawmill, grew organic veggies in his veggie patch and had never owned a suit. Then he wound up as a Senator, like some sort of sitcom; at which time he very rapidly realised 'um, actually these people are all assholes, some of this shit they want to do can f*ck right off' and was instrumental in helping to block much of the awful right wing agenda of the government at the time.

    That being said, very disappointed you didn't bring up the video of him playing a game of 'fling the kangaroo poo at your brother' that was on YouTube, filmed relatively shortly before he became a senator, and which was all over the news after he got elected.

  4. Okay, group ticket voting is *bad*, but ranked choice voting (or preferential voting) is one of the best electoral systems because it means that you can have your voice heard (i.e. vote for independents/actually decent minor parties like the Greens) while still not "wasting your vote" (by voting the two major parties — the Labor party and the L/NP second or third), which arguably sparks actual reform in Auspol. It's the perfect balance between the stability (read: stalled nothingness) of the two party system and the chaotic Canadian/arguably Israeli system. Australians are getting smarter when it comes to voting, and the May 2022 election's large "teal" independent/crossbench vote — which more often than not gets more done per MP than Labor or the L/NP — as well as the small major party vote is a clear indicator of that.

    Additionally, the politicians in Australia actually have to be agreeable with more than half of their electorate, unlike the first past the post system, where you just have to edge out your competition.

    So don't diss the Australian system, our RCV is better than first past the post, and arguably implementing FPTP elements made this mess

  5. The "Group Voting Ticket" system still is used in two Australian states which still results in equally weird outcomes. Like electing a member of the "Daylight Savings Party" in an area that has been historically opposed to daylight savings.

  6. I love most of your content, but this video just felt mean. I don't know anything about Ricky Muir beyond this video and a few comments, but those comments seem to support at least some of what he stands for. There was so much time spent in the video making him seem like an absolute fool and mock him, and that just doesn't seem right at all.

  7. That's nothing. In Spain the socialist government allied with minor extreme-left parties, independentists, criminals that had been sentenced by justice and literally ex-terrorists to rule the country. Yes, it'd make no sense in any other country to run the country with criminals and people that want to destroy it (and others just wanting to steal as much as they can from it) but in Spain anything the left does is fine.

  8. FYI: The Australian Senate is modeled after the United States Senate in that each of the six Australian states have 12 Senate seats regardless of population and two Australian territories have two Senate seats.

  9. I'd rather be ruled by the first 100 names that pop out of a huge hopper full of my fellow citizens' names that almost anyone who would actually be willing to run for office. That Muir was apparently pretty good at his job as senator reaffirms my belief.

  10. And the guy turned out to become a great representative on a range of topics. Started off difficult, but really transformed after about 6 months. It was a well known loophole that was exploited a few elections before, finally in the end everyone was in on it. A wide range of parties were elected on it before the laws were amended to limit the power of preferences.

    The new system is a lot better and still works well to elect popular smaller parties, just not random ones like before. It was amended not solely because the big parties wanted control back, but they had to act because a very similar thing happened to first elect seats to a minor party in a country called Germany back in 1924, and we all know what happened after that.

  11. As an American I'm confused. The government recognized a problem with their system and CHANGED it? That's a thing that happens? I assumed every government just rode their broken system like a flaming train into a TNT factory sternly insisting this is exactly how the train is suppose to work and saying otherwise is dangerously anti-train.

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