"If we don’t vote, we are ignoring history and giving away the future." - ANDRA CHANTIM

  A group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office and responsibilities is known as an Election. 

Since the 17th-century elections are the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated. Elections always fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government. 

1.  Elections and voting

How often are federal elections held in Australia?

Federal elections are generally held every three years.  A Parliament is for three years, the Constitution had specified the term and there is only a short period after the expiry of the parliamentary term before elections must be held. The election timings are up to the Prime Minister, who formally requests the dissolution of Parliament from the Governor-General. Generally, the governor can refuse a request for an early dissolution of Parliament. Elections are always held on a Saturday in Australia. 

Is it compulsory to vote?

In Australia, there is a compulsory voting system in which all citizens over the age of eighteen are required to vote in elections.  There are Only nineteen countries in the world that have compulsory voting. Compulsory voting was introduced by Australia in 1924 – at the election held two years previously, only 59.39% of eligible voters had voted. The turnout has never been lower than 90% in subsequent elections.

Any person must be at least eighteen years old on the day of the election and an Australian citizen, to vote in Australia.  A voter must be registered on the Electoral Roll in order to vote – it is an offense for an eligible voter not to register.

How does Australia’s voting system work?

Australia uses a voting system called preferential voting. Voters can rank each candidate in order of their preference, under this system. If no candidate has a majority of votes, the candidate with the fewest first preferences is eliminated from the count, and his or her votes are redistributed according to the preferences on the ballot papers when votes are tallied. The same process is repeated until one candidate receives a majority of all votes cast, at which point they are declared elected.  In total 14% of votes represent a quota, but this can vary. This is known as the single transferable vote system.

When did women win the right to vote?

Over a period of two decades, women won voting rights at the colony or state level. These were the first colony to grant women the vote was South Australia in 1893, while the last was Victoria in 1908. Since 1903 Women have been able to vote in, federal elections due to the Franchise Act of 1902. To grant universal suffrage to women and the first in which women had the right to stand for the national Parliament Australia was one of the first countries.

2. Types of Elections

During the second half of the nineteenth century, The post was used for the first Australian parliamentary elections held in 1843 for the New South Wales Legislative Council and for most colonial elections. Since that time only there have been alterations to the various electoral systems in use around the country. Such amazing alterations have been motivated by three factors: a desire to find the perfect system, to gain political advantage, or by the need to deal with faulty electoral system arrangements.

In all Australian parliamentary elections used two variants of Preferential Voting and two variants of Proportional Representation.

Each candidate is given a preference by the voter, under Full Preferential Voting. This system favors the major parties; can sometimes award an election to the party that wins fewer votes than its major opponent; usually awards the party with the largest number of seats. By this system, they can produce similar outcomes to full Preferential Voting, but can also produce results where the winning candidate wins with less than half of the votes.

This system is used in Senate elections increases the chances of minor parties and independents winning seats, produces closer results in the struggle between the major parties, and it makes difficult for a major party to gain control of the Senate.

No seat is safe, creates an electoral system where party members fight each other as much as their external opponents and operate in such a way that minority governments are more common than when Preferential Voting is used, the Hare-Clark system ensures this thing.

3. Voting—a public affair

Finally, there is the rhythm of election night. When elections and drinking are reunited, it's election night. Political parties offering alcohol—the old crime of treating—at meetings these days were not that common. Since 1902, forbidden voting on the licensed parts of premises even though, in some small towns, the pub has always been the one and only public venue, But well-lubricated election night parties remain the climax of the ritual for many.

Tiwi Islands polling place during the 2010 election, Australian Electoral Commission. It evolved from the practice of newspapers setting up giant tally boards on election night. A National Tally Room was born out of a desire to have a public focus for election results. The National Tally Room became an institution: overseen by the Electoral Commission, open to all citizens, and a tangible symbol of democracy. 

The public space of election night has been, at least since the mid-twentieth century, a mediated one for most people. Electronic voting in time will transform the public rhythm of election night, with its parties, live crosses, and schadenfreude. With e-voting, the results can all be known instantly, then dumped en masse into a supercomputer, rather than unfolding with suspense.



Written By
Alice Smith in Politics
11 Feb 2021