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1902 and the Origins of Preferential Electoral Systems in Australia *

1902 and the Origins of Preferential Electoral Systems in Australia * Australia is the birthplace of the two main forms of preferential electoral voting — the Alternative Vote (AV) and the Single Transferable Vote (STV) methods. Accident and force of circumstances largely explain their introduction. The Hughes Government introduced the AV system in 1918 in an attempt to prevent the right‐of‐centre parties from splitting their support to the benefit of the ALP. In 1948 the Chifley Government moved to replace the Senate's preferential block system with the STV method in an attempt to electorally contain Menzies. Yet credit also needs be given to the deliberate efforts and clear intentions of their designers. The electoral systems proposed in 1902 were ahead of their time. Indeed, 1902 marked an important step in the design of Australia's electoral system. Once the debate had crystallized around the relative merits of preferential methods, it was only a matter of time before the Commonwealth would see their adoption. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian Journal of Politics and History Wiley

1902 and the Origins of Preferential Electoral Systems in Australia *

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0004-9522
eISSN
1467-8497
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-8497.2005.00368.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Australia is the birthplace of the two main forms of preferential electoral voting — the Alternative Vote (AV) and the Single Transferable Vote (STV) methods. Accident and force of circumstances largely explain their introduction. The Hughes Government introduced the AV system in 1918 in an attempt to prevent the right‐of‐centre parties from splitting their support to the benefit of the ALP. In 1948 the Chifley Government moved to replace the Senate's preferential block system with the STV method in an attempt to electorally contain Menzies. Yet credit also needs be given to the deliberate efforts and clear intentions of their designers. The electoral systems proposed in 1902 were ahead of their time. Indeed, 1902 marked an important step in the design of Australia's electoral system. Once the debate had crystallized around the relative merits of preferential methods, it was only a matter of time before the Commonwealth would see their adoption.

Journal

Australian Journal of Politics and HistoryWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2005

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