The pie on the left is how Australia’s first preferences – the real popular vote – were cast. Looks like we want a Labor-Greens coalition, don’t you think? But the pie on the right is how the parliament will look after the single-member seat system “takes away the number you first thought of”.
The big winners are the big parties, the big losers are the almost 20% of Australians who voted away from the major parties, but who are represented by 3% of the seats in Parliament. Especially skewed is the single seat won by the 11% Green vote.
Tony Abbott is right to interpret the people’s verdict as a loss of legitimacy for Labor, but is thinking wishfully if he believes that this automatically confers legitimacy upon the Liberals.
Two parties are not enough to represent the diversity of our views, and it’s time we adopted a proportional, fair voting system that doesn’t simply remove that inconvenient variety.