Dear Crikey,

Christian Kerr is really making himself look silly with his incessant anti-Greens hysteria.

Christian
is well aware that proportional representation is the fairest type of
electoral system. To support anything else is to oppose democracy. From
Iraq to Europe to New Zealand it is the norm. It’s based on the radical
principle of one vote one value. If a party gets 6% of the vote it gets
6% of the seats, if it gets 60% of the vote it gets 60% of the seats.

It
is undeniable that political parties in Australia, as in Britain and
the US, continue to be elected to government with far less than 50% of
the vote. Proportional representation would correct this and help bust
up the political duopoly. It’s competition reform for politics.

Christian
chose to quote my letter out of context. I was responding to a claim
that the Howard government secured control of the House of
Representatives and the Senate after receiving a majority of the votes.
This simply isn’t so.

Let’s get the facts on the Senate result straight once more.

There
were 40 Senate seats decided at the 2004 election. The Greens secured
5% of the seats (two spots) on 7.67% of the national vote. The ALP won
40% of the seats on 35.02% of the national vote. The Coalition won
52.5% of the Senate seats yet received only 45.09% of the national
vote. Family First won 2.5% of the seats (1 spot) on 1.76% of the
national vote. So the Greens came off worst – mostly because of Labor’s
decision, againt the wishes of most of its voters, to preference the
Christian fundamentalists.

My letter to The Australian contained full disclosure that I am Bob Brown’s adviser. The Australian
chose not to print those details. A fact that could have been checked
with me with one simple call. But why let the facts get in the way of a
good Greens bash, eh Christian?

Ben Oquist

Peter Fray

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