Sunday, March 22, 2009

An undeserved victory

Queensland went to the polls yesterday to elect a new state government. The state Labour party - in power for over a decade - was initially widely expected to sleepwalk to victory, then to defeat as the wheels came off their campaign, and then finally managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat somehow to win with a solid majority. But only because of Queensland's unfair electoral system. The results speak for themselves:

  • Labour got 42.7% of the vote, and 59.6% of the seats;
  • The Liberal-National Party got 41.1% of the vote, and 36% of the seats;
  • The Greens got 8.2% of the vote, and 0% of the seats.
So, just as under FPP, a tiny shift in the vote produces a massive shift in the result, while significant chunks of the electorate go entirely unrepresented. Like Western Australia before it, its a poster child for electoral reform. Preferential voting is not enough - Australia needs proportional representation.