On micro-parties 

John Potter writes: Re. “Lazy voters + broken system = sport, motoring lobbies in Senate” (yesterday). Tony Abbott is merely sowing what he has reaped in the form our the wacky new senate. Abbott’s relentless negativity and “people’s revolt” led to scores of frightened, confused fringe elements taking up arms against the minority government, finally convalescing in untold numbers of fringe-libertarian-sports-recreation-anti-immigration political parties obsessed with taking down the Greens for the sin of saddling them with a 0.4% increase in the cost of living and something-something-green-tape-invading-boat-people.

As Abbott was forced to abandon the placard-waving protest vote in the pursuit of appearing more prime ministerial and mainstream, Palmer and Co were perfectly placed to scoop that vote right up again and funnel them into Senate spots. As Abbott contemplates the cowboy Senate he must realise he has nobody to blame but himself, and whoever convinced him that stoking hatred and revolution was the sensible course to take.

Clinton Barnes writes: Hearing non-stop about the need for Senate reform and the outrage that these, scoff, micro-parties got any representation whatsoever needs to be measured by some cold, hard data. Has anyone actually tallied up how many people voted for micro-parties?

This is democracy. Some 21% of people voted for candidates not currently represented in the Senate. Combining the micro-party vote actually shows that a large chunk of Australians wanted micro-parties — they just couldn’t agree on which one. And that’s why we have preferential voting. Should we change the rules so that one-fifth of Australians feel disenfranchised? Please don’t.

Gary Woodman writes: What’s the matter with you people? The best result EVER for those who would like to see the dismantling of the cosy Lib-Lab duopoly, and you’re sooking about a broken system?

On the contrary, even though the preferencing system is shady and somewhat undemocratic, the people have spoken, and they have made it clear they don’t want Tony’s or Kevin’s robots in the Senate. I call that a win for the Australian people.

I’m excited! Between the increased Greens representation, the revhead, the brick with no brain, the everyone-must-have-a-gun nut, it’s going to be more fun than a minority government! With the slash-and-burn neoliberals in charge, we have to take fun where we find it.

Tweets not commentary

The ABC’s Antony Green writes: Re. “Election poll war: landline lives as mobiles fall flat” (yesterday). I was bemused to read a prediction for the 2013 election allegedly made my me and quoted in yesterday’s Crikey. Being completely unaware of having made any prediction whatsoever, I had to click the link only to find it was a tweet by The Courier-Mail referencing me. Odd given I had not spoken to anyone at the Courier-Mail, or any News publication, or any other newspaper, or radio or television organisation, nor written anything on the subject myself. Does a single tweet not made by the person referred to now correspond to a reliable source?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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