Victoria is the only Australian jurisdiction that continues to elect its upper house using the discredited Group Voting Ticket (GVT) system.
GVTs in Victoria give parties almost total control over the distribution of preferences, which flows through to controlling who wins the balance of power in the Legislative Council.
GVTs have been abolished in every state and for the Senate because they can be manipulated to elect parties with only a tiny percentage of the vote, a result that distorts the intended proportionality of the chamber’s electoral system.
In the lower house voters control preferences. Parties and candidates can only try to influence voters in how they complete their preferences. It is the same for the reformed Senate electoral system where voters now control the flow of between-party preferences, not parties.
As I explain in this post, the rottenness of GVTs is revealed when you examine the proportion of ‘above-the-line’ (ATL) votes that are under party control at Victorian Legislative Council elections compared to the related data for non-GVT Senate elections.
In Victoria, 100% of every ATL vote for every party, whether big or small, flows according to the party ticket.
In contrast, the 2022 Senate election saw major parties lucky to influence even the second preference of 50% of ATL votes, and the rate dropped precipitously for smaller parties.
It is without doubt that the reformed Senate system delivers an outcome that reflects the preferences of voters, where in Victoria the use of GVTs means the result reflects the decisions made by the tiny cabal of officials who negotiate the preference deals.Read More »The Victorian Legislative Council’s Rotten Electoral System – part 1