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30.03.22

Is this democracy?

An interesting result at the South Australian election.

We have been told it was a landslide victory and, certainly, with swings to the ALP in every seat bar Finniss, Flinders, Kavel, Mount Gambier, Narungga, Playford and Stuart – seven seats out of 47.

In the other 40, the swings to Labor were phenomenal, 10, 11, 12 and 13 percent.

The Coalition was smashed.

However, all up, the vote to Labor was 40.7 percent.

But they got 27 out of 47 seats.

So, a party with 40 per cent of the vote gets 57 percent of the seats.

Is that democracy?

The Liberal Party, with 35.7 percent of the vote, have won 16 seats, or 34 percent of seats available.

Interestingly, 24.3 percent, almost a quarter of those who voted did not vote for the Liberal Party or the Labor Party, and that 24.3 percent have no seats in the Parliament.

Is this called democracy; but I am not too sure there is an awful lot about that that is democratic.

Alternatively, if it were first past the post, then the result would be no different.

None of the other parties, the Greens, Family First, One Nation, or Nick Xenephon’s SA Best, along with “others” failed to achieve enough votes, in any one seat, to finish ahead of Labor or Liberal.

The preferential argument, of course, is that “others” and SA Best and One Nation and Family First and the Greens have their votes distributed; which means they are counted again and again until they finished up with Liberal or Labor.

That prompts the question, why should one person’s vote be counted several times when a vote for the major parties is counted only once?

Perhaps Winston Churchill was right when he said “Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.”

What is not an original quote is the one often attributed to Churchill, “Democracy is the worst system except for all the other systems.”

It seems we are stuck with what we have.

The final breakdown in South Australia, out of 47 seats, Labor, 27, The Liberals, 16, and “others” 4.