Post by YL on May 27, 2022 17:53:45 GMT
In Brisbane, the Greens appear to be ahead of Labor, so will win the seat; Macnamara is close three-way, but Labor are in the lead and should win on transfers unless they come third. Labor only need one of these for a majority.
Brisbane is a classic illustration of what's wrong with a voting system that rewards not who comes first but whoever avoids coming last.
Thus the eventual outcome rests on a desperate struggle between Labor and the Greens not to come last.
As already pointed out neither is going to come last.
What is effectively happening here is that there is a Labor/Green bloc which between the two parties commands well over half the vote, and that it does indeed function as a bloc as far as the votes cast are concerned is demonstrated by the preference flow between the two parties. The system ensures that whichever party comes out on top within that bloc will win, and given that the bloc has considerably more votes than the Liberals that seems entirely reasonable. Indeed AIUI AV was originally introducted in Australia to ensure that the bloc formed by the predecessor parties to the current Liberals and Nationals was able to behave in this way without losing out to Labor.
If Australia used FPTP then a likely situation would be that the bulk of the voters for the Labor/Green bloc would tactically settle on one of the two parties, very likely Labor as the established party, and then that party would probably have enough to win. I don't see why that is preferable to the way that the election works under AV, where Labor and the Greens should have to make a case for why voters should prefer one of them over the other. There are of course still tactical scenarios (e.g. if you're a right-winger who particularly hates the Greens there's a case you should give your first preference to Labor rather that the Liberals if you think the Liberals can't win) but I don't think they're quite as pervasive.
You could argue that the requirement for full preferencing in Australian style AV strengthens these blocs: if you're a Green supporter who really doesn't care for either of the two bigger parties you can't just vote 1. Green 2. Animal Justice (or whatever) and leave everything else blank, you have to put one of Labor or the Liberals above the other. Also, the fact that Australian parties give their voters a suggested ranking of the other parties ("How To Vote" cards) must strengthen the tendency to form blocs. But I suspect that in this case the Liberals are far enough behind Labor + Greens that those things don't matter.