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Facts in the debate on electoral systems

03 July 2015


From the Revd Dr John Bunyan

Sir, - Voting for the Commonwealth and state parliaments in Australia is not strictly compulsory ( Letters, 29 May). It is compulsory to have one's name checked off on an electoral roll. Elections are held conveniently on Saturdays, and I think most Australians enjoy this community activity, and churches and charities often have stalls near by providing refreshments.

Unfortunately, voting systems differ for state and federal elections and for lower- and upper-house elections, but we do not suffer from first-past-the-post decisions.


Colenso Corner, PO Box N109,
Campbelltown North, NSW 2560


From Mr Christopher Wain

Sir, - Michael Cavaghan-Pack ( Letters, 29 May) cannot be allowed to get away with his assertion that proportional representation was on the ballot paper in the 2011 referendum. It was, of course, simply a "choice" between the unproportional alternative vote and first-past-the-post.

As for demanding a rerun, I know - and I am sure Bishop Martyn Jarrett would agree - that a vote on proper electoral reform, whether it is for the additional-member system, the list system or, ideally, the single transferable vote, will have to be had one day; but, unfortunately, the beneficiaries of the present lottery system, whereby only 100,000 voters in marginal constituencies are given any significant choice, are again thoroughly ensconced in power.

Even the Scots are not asking for a rerun until they think they have earned a different result.


52 Sutton Avenue, Silverdale
Staffordshire ST5 6TB

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