Why an Independent?
A community Independent represents their electorate directly and isn’t constrained by the factions and power brokers of political parties.
They stay in touch with the views in their electorate and represent them in the media and in Parliament. What they say to the media will align with how they vote in Parliament because they do not have to follow a Party line.
An Independent can propose Legislation and work on committees to examine issues/legislation and report to parliament.Community Independents tend to be centrists who promote evidence-based policies, and have not come from the extremes of the political spectrum.
How do preferences work?
In Australia’s preferential voting system, voters rank candidates in order of preference. They say who they put first, and who they put last, and everyone else in between.
The votes are counted in rounds. In Round 1 all the first preferences are counted. This is called the Primaryvote.
In Round 2, the weakest candidate is removed and their votes are allocated according to the voters’ second preference.
Rounds 3, 4, 5 … continue the same way with the weakest candidate removed and their votes reallocated according to preferences.
The number of rounds depends on the number of candidates because counting continues till there are only two left. This is called the Two Party Preferred vote.
In the 2019 election in Bradfield, Paul Fletcher got 60% of the Primary vote, and 67% of the Two Party Preferred vote. More than half his additional votes came from people who put Greens first.
Will an Independent split the vote?
No. In Australia’s preferential voting system it is not possible to split the vote.
Splitting the vote happens in first past the post systems, when several candidates appeal to the same group of voters. Members of this group of voters spread their votes across several candidates, splitting the total power of these voters. This can allow an alternate candidate to win.In the preferential system, votes are not divided between candidates on an either/or basis. In the tallying, candidates drop out in successive counts, but their votes are not lost, they are carried over to the voters’ second preferences. The total power of a group of voters is not diluted because their votes are carried forward in the next round of counting.