Roll out the barrel (again)

The Hobart Mercury 24 May 2011

Many years ago, on a (very) quiet afternoon I sat down with a crayon and a large sheet of paper and thought my way through Tasmania’s Hare-Clark voting system. I mostly get it, it’s quite clever and as approximations of the will of the people go, it does a better job than most.

Where it gets a little tricky is with a by-election. With a multi-member electorate the idea is that rather than have another election to elect everyone again, you just recount the votes that got the departing member in. It’s a bit like holding another ballot but only inviting the people who got it right (or in fact as events will have demonstrated, wrong) the first time.

I kind of vaguely see how maybe those voters whose horse fell over should be the only ones to get a say in the replacement, but it does tend to result in the election of someone who might end up saying “Don’t you know who I am?” rather a lot.

Posted in political cartoons, The Mercury.


  1. An argument against a byelection is that it makes things very hard for minor parties. But could that be a wose result than getting someone like Sturges 91200 votes) or Olgivie who was 16th out of 17 candidates with just 600 votes ? It’s ridiculous.

  2. typo: sturges with 91,200 votes? It needa bracket of course: (1,200 votes). Imagine that awful alternative universe where a ,arke number of people DID vote for sturges ?! Arghhhh

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