In episode eight of season three of the podcast, I'm speaking with Therese Arseneau about the introduction of a mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system.
Therese was an expert advisor to the New Zealand Electoral Commission between 2010 and 2016. She is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Therese sets out
The story of New Zealand's radical change to their electoral system and it's broad impacts is a fascinating one.
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The next podcast episode will be about electoral systems in South East Asia.
In this episode, I’m talking with Antony Green about the Australian electoral system and Vote Compass, a tool which allows voters to explore how their views align with the major parties.
Antony is an Australian psephologist and commentator. He is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's election analyst. As well as being an Adjunct Professor University of Sydney in the School of Social and Political Sciences.
I spoke with Antony about how he came to be Australia’s best-known election analyst - he said he was in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills.
He identified three institutions which define Australian politics:
And highlighted a couple of institutional challenges in Australia
I also asked Antony what he thought of the idea of a Citizens’ Senate. He noted that it would be difficult in practice due to the need to amend the Australian Constitution and that there would be many questions to be answered about how it might work in practice.
Anthony has been involved in the development of Vote Compass here in Australia and I asked him about the benefits and limitations of the tool.
My interview with Antony was recorded some time ago and we are currently in the midst of a Federal Election here in Australia. As Antony suggested in his comments on Vote Compass, it has been extended to include the ultra-conservative party One Nation. It will be interesting to see the impact of a party to the right of the Liberal/Nationals on where people’s policy preferences align.
If you would like to see how your policy preferences align with four of the political parties contesting the upcoming 2019 Federal Election visit the ABC’s Vote Compass.
Despite the range of cultures and contexts in which deliberation occurs John believes that 'we can't simply wait' until we understand these different approaches before we develop global deliberative processes or we could be waiting forever.
He noted that there are lots of reasons why doing these things is hard.
How would you define the term ‘electoral system’? [1:45]How do you approach comparing so many different approaches to electoral systems around the world? [4:20]How do you characterise different families of electoral systems? [5.00]Could you provide an overview of the key elements of different electoral systems? [6:00]How can everyday people evaluate the different options? [15:05]Are there electoral reforms that warrant serious consideration that are still only theoretical i.e. they haven’t been used anywhere? [20:25]What do you think about the idea of using sortition to select a house of review? [22:15]If you were asked to re-design the Irish electoral system what would it look like? [25:25]