The Microparasite Scandal: The Liberal Democratic Party is on track to win a NSW Senate Seat they don’t deserve

UPDATE: David Leyonhjelm, the LDP’s winning Senate candidate, said today:

many punters had confused his fledgling party with the Liberals but said he was happy to take their votes.

“I don’t think everybody who voted for us though they were voting for the Liberal Democrats – maybe some thought they were voting for the Democrats, or even the Liberal party,” he said.

“We are not going to kid ourselves that 8.5 per cent of NSW thinks they were voting for the Liberal Democrats.”

It looks like the leading candidate and registered officer of the tiny, “libertarian” Liberal Democratic Party, David Leyonhjelm, has used a behind-the-scenes preference deal, a misleading party name and a very lucky spot on the ballot paper to win a Senate seat from New South Wales (see below for the maths). This is a scandal, and the rules need to be changed so that minor parties can no longer take control of people’s Senate votes.

Why is this a scandal?

First of all, the only reason the Liberal Democratic Party are in a position to do this is that they got about 8.7% of the vote in New South Wales. And the only way they could possibly have got a vote that high is by confusing voters into thinking they were actually the Liberal Party. The Liberal Democrats were in the very first spot on the riduculously-wide NSW Senate ballot paper:

Long Senate ballot paper is long
Photo by stilgherrian, thanks for using a Creative Commons licence.

and it would clearly have been easy for voters to think they were the Liberals. The most obvious evidence for this is to look at the LDP’s votes in other states, as of 11pm on election night:

Victoria: 0.06%
Queensland: 0.64%
WA: 3.21%
SA: 3.5%
TAS: 2.29%

In 2010, the Liberal Democrats got 2.31% of the Senate vote in NSW. There is quite simply no way a 7% swing in favour of a political party would not have been picked up by Australia’s overly-busy polling industry. The only reasonable explanation is that voters were mistaken.

Secondly, Leyonhjelm has already tried to deliberately manipulate the minor-party system to get themselves into office. He is not only the registered officer of the Liberal Democrats, but also holds the same job in a totally different party, the Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop The Greens). The Smokers’ Rights Party and the Republican Party of Australia also had their preferences controlled by Leyonhjeim, as revealed by Andrew Crook in Crikey on August 22. So we have a candidate for one party controlling the preference deals of *four* different parties. Leyonjhelm was ready to make a deal with the devil to win his seat; three of those four parties made a deal with Pauline Hanson that could have seen her elected. Instead, Leyonhjelm is going to use Hanson’s votes to win.

A political party is supposed to represent a group of people who want to see some change or other in the way we are governed. It’s not meant to be a front group for a Dodgy Brothers operator with an eye for the main chance.

At the moment, the Group Voting Ticket system of Senate voting is a breeding ground for this sort of corruption of democracy. When presented with 110 candidates, most voters will choose to vote “above the line” – that is, just tick ONE box instead of writing in 1-110 next to every single candidate. When they do that, they hand their votes over to unknown backroom-artists like Leyonhjelm: the political party you vote for gets to say where the votes go if they don’t win. This encourages more and more fake parties to set up.

We need to change the rules. There is one simple rule change that could get rid of most of these parasites. All we need to do is say that if you just vote ‘1’ in the Senate for a party, they get to use your vote, but no one else does unless you clearly say so. You would say so by writing a ‘2’ in the box next to your second favourite party, if you want, and so on. If you didn’t write a ‘2’ then your vote would go no-where. This takes the power away from people you’ve never met, and puts it where it belongs, back in your own hands.

If you also think this is a scandal and it needs to stop, please say so here. Let’s raise our voices and get this issue on the agenda of the big parties.

The maths:

HOW are the Liberal Democrats going to win?

When you run for the Senate, you need about 14.7% of the vote to win a seat. When the votes are counted, they look at the percentage each party got and work out how many “quotas” each party got 1 quota is exactly the amount of votes needed to get 1 Senator elected, so in the table below you can see the ALP got 2.23 quotas and the Coalition got 2.41 quotas. This means they will each get 2 Senators elected. There are 6 seats up for grabs, so we need to figure out the last two winners.

ALP 2.23 quotas, 31.9%
Coalition (COA) 2.41 quotas 34.5%
Liberal Democrats (LDP) 0.61 quotas, 8.72%
Greens (GRN) 0.54 quotas, 7.82%
Palmer United Party (PUP) 0.25 quotas, 3.62%
Democratic Labor Party (DLP), 0.10 quotas, 1.51%
Christian Democratic Party (CDP), 0.11 quotas, 1.68%
Shooters and Fishers Party (SFP) 0.09 quotas, 1.30%
One Nation (ONP), 0.08 quotas, 1.19%

The One Nation and Shooters and Fishers Party candidates will get knocked out of the race first, and their votes will got to the CDP. Then the DLP will get knocked out, and their votes will also go to the CDP, leaving ALP, Coalition, LDP, CDP, Green and PUP in the race. The ALP and Palmer United will be the next to drop out; The ALP’s votes go straight to the LDP, and the PUP votes will go to the Coalition.

This will leave four candidates running for two spots. From highest to lowest vote, they will be LDP, Coalition, Greens and CDP. The CDP will drop out, and about 0.3 of a quota will go to the LDP, and that will be enough to elect them. Then the Coalition will win the last seat.

Now these figures are early. I’m writing this on election night, and the exact amounts will change. But, as long as the total LDP vote stays higher than the combined vote of the DLP, CDP, SFP and ONP, I can’t see any way this preference flow is going to change.


  1. LDP Voter September 8, 2013 2:25 am 

    HAHAHAHA sour grapes. We got an LDP Senator and you can deal with it.

    HAHAHHAHAHA makes me very happy to see you sore losers moan.

    The funny thing is the LDP supports the abolition of compulsory voting, so how does that line up with your views?

    It was within the AEC rules to have the LDP guy involved in multiple parties, if you don’t like the rules, democratically change them I couldn’t give a care, but accept the result, that legally lies within the current system.

    I sure accept it.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 8:03 am 

      And here, people, we have a perfect example of the sort of person who benefits from being able to crawl around in the shadows and manipulate your vote. Doesn’t even have the guts to use a real name.

      Abolishing compulsory voting is of course less democratic not more. It makes it easier to bully people out of voting. But it suits people who are already trying to climb over other people to make more money, which pretty much describes the Liberal Democrats.

      And yes, this anonymous troll is correct: everything that has happened is within the rules of the Australian Electoral Commission. That just shows us that the rules are anti-democratic and need to change. We need to get rid of the power these small parties have to take our votes and make deals with them. Do you want someone like the person who left this comment deciding where your vote goes?

      • Anonymous Leftie September 9, 2013 9:15 am 

        At least the LDP’s “Stop the boats” strategy is the most likely to succeed: If you remove all tax-funded social security programs (medicare, dole); abolish compulsory self-protection controls (ciggies tax, voting); encourage and facilitate Machiavellian gaming of governmental power structures…
        Well then Australia could aspire to be a genuine 3rd-world basket-case and NO-ONE would ever want to come here.

        Then again, I live in hope the proletariat will wake-up and notice their short-sighted game-playing before it’s too late. More likely one of the bigger parties will notice and shut them down through similar skulduggery.

    • Graeme September 8, 2013 6:23 pm 

      Well done to “ALP” voter, it is people like you who give reactionary morons a bad name. Whether you agree or disagree read the more measured responses from the others. Well done to others with much more measured and imformative responses.

  2. Solomon Birch September 8, 2013 9:38 am 

    Well, I’ll use my real name and I’m an LDP voter. It does sound like sour grapes; the Liberal party never complained when a similar thing happened with the ALP and DLP.

    Given that the party holds very similar principles to the Liberals, I can’t see a practical problem with having to deal with him in the senate. While there are plenty of policy differences, the entire party wouldn’t have existed in the first place if Howard hadn’t abandoned libertarian voters who voted for his party in good faith with his gun laws and middle class welfare.

    Small parties like the LDP are disadvantaged by people not knowing who they are. If you actually go and speak to tonnes of Australians, particularly on the rural urban fringe, you discover that their beliefs actually align quite closely with the LDP’s, but they don’t know there’s a political party that represents them. This is an isolated example where not being well known has benefited a small party instead of the ubiquitous disadvantage it normally is.

    It looks an awful lot like sour grapes from here.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 10:35 am 

      The Liberal Party loved the DLP; it helped keep the Liberals in government for decades. And DLP voters knew exactly what they were voting for. Most supposedly “Liberal Democrat” voters this time around clearly thought they were voting for the Liberals. That’s deceptive in itself. I understand that libertarian ideology is supposed to be opposed to fraud as well as force?

      More to the point, the issue is not about practical problems. It’s about the principle of small, parasitical parties run by undemocratic people being able to manipulate their way into Parliament through preference deals. We need to abolish the system where a party gets to pass on votes on your behalf. As I said weeks before the election, and will keep on saying.

  3. CraigS September 8, 2013 10:23 am 

    How are the rules undemocratic?

    Because they elect someone you don’t like?

    Democracy is about choice and transparency the structure of the parties, their preference deals the whole lot is in the public eye, if the public choose not to investigate or show an interest that is the public exercising their democratic choice.

    If you want to talk fair and democratic how is it that the smaller parties offering a real choice have to compete with electoral monopolies funded by the state, that is neither fair or democratic.

    Everyone knows how the system works, every party tries it’s damnedest to manipulate the system to their advantage, employing ‘preference whisperers’ and using some pretty dodgy tactics to get their way.

    In terms of that you have not demonstrated how this example is different from any other party or any other election.

    Just sounds like sour grapes.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 11:02 am 

      The system is undemocratic because, as you say, “every party tries it’s damnedest to manipulate the system to their advantage, employing ‘preference whisperers’ and using some pretty dodgy tactics to get their way”.

      It’s quite simple.

      Take away the minor parties’ power to make deals with my vote. That means my vote only goes to someone who I explictly say it should go to. If I don’t explicitly say that, then it should go nowhere. I was saying this, as I said above, weeks before this election, before any results were known.

      If you want to complain about electoral monopolies, good, I agree with you. Electoral funding should be abolished, and all parties, big and small, should get free TV time etc to promote themselves. But I won’t think you’re in any way sincere about making a change for the better unless you agree that minor parties shouldn’t be able to make deals with my vote.

  4. Libertarian Joe September 8, 2013 12:31 pm 

    Agree with the general gist of your article, but a few things first up: (1) why the scare quotes around “libertarian”?, (2) all Senate preference deals are “behind the scenes”, especially those used by the major parties, and group voting tickets are available online for ages before the election, (3) “misleading party name” – I don’t think this is at all the case. Classical liberalism, effectively the forerunner of libertarianism, has been around since the mid-19th-century, and is the original meaning of “liberal” (with a small “l”). Our current Liberal Party is very much a conservative party, completely opposite to the LDP on social ideology. If anything, the Liberals ought to change their name to better reflect their conservative ideology.

    Okay now, to the results. The LDP’s vote in Victoria is a result of laziness by the party’s administrators, which resulted in them not being allocated a box above the line (hence the –1.78% swing). The LDP is by no means an extremely minor party (unlike the Australian Sports Party, which looks like getting into the WA Senate with 0.2% of the primary, blergh), and finished sixth overall in the 2010 Senate results, with 1.81% nationally. If we discount unusually low and unusually high votes in Victoria and New South Wales, respectively, we get an average of around 2.40% per state (obviously not weighted for population), which equates to a swing of 0.60%. The LDP polled 2.31% to finish fifth in NSW in 2010, so I would have conservatively extrapolated a result of around 3% this time around. This, of course, leaves somewhere in the region of 5.5% of first preferences unaccounted. It seems unbelievable to me that somewhere around 1 in 20 NSW voters would be stupid enough to vote for the wrong party, but it’s not completely impossible. Anyhoo, given there are 76 Senators, each senator represents around 1.32% of the population, so it’s certainly not a “corruption of democracy” for the Liberal Democrats to get elected, even in the way they did.

    The simple solution to “minor parties shouldn’t be able to make deals with my vote” is to vote below the line, as tedious as it may be. I don’t “take away the minor parties’ power to make deals with my vote” is a very sensible idea, unless you extend it to “take away *all* parties’ power to make deals with my vote”. Again, everyone should vote below the line.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 1:10 pm 

      The quotes around “libertarian” are for two reasons. One, it is not a commonly-known term in Australia. Two, Leyonhjeim, the Party’s likely new Senator, seems pretty hyporcritical if he thinks he’s a libertarian. He’s using deception by registering other microparties and using them to funnel votes to himself. This is not the act of someone who thinks fraud has no place in politics. It’s sharp behaviour that leaves people less-informed and less-powerful. This violates libertarian principles, does it not?

      Yes, all Senate preference deals are done behind the scenes, except of course for the Pirate Party, who have gone to great lengths to make their preference allocation transparent and democratic. Group voting tickets are difficult to navigate for anyone. I’ve been wrangling and studying how Senate preferences for twenty years now. The information is there, but it’s not easy for me, so it’s certainly not easy for most people to work out. And even if it were easy, the principle that any party should get to use my vote to make a deal that I didn’t want them to is simply undemocratic.

      Your argument about the name is true in itself, but misses the point. People know roughly what the Liberal Party stands for, and that’s what they were voting for when they accidentally voted for the Liberal Democratic Party. People weren’t thinking “Oh, yes, classical liberalism as advanced by Adam Smith from the mid-eighteenth century onwards, that’s what I’m voting for”.

      The idea that 1 in 20 NSW voters chose the very first name on an enormously-long ballot paper because they thought it was the party they wanted to vote for sounds quite reasonable. The Liberal Party only suffered a 0.18% swing based on the 2010 results in the House of Reps in NSW. Why would they lose at least 4.3% of the Senate vote?

      Saying “vote below the line” isn’t good enough. It’s simply ridiculous to expect any voter to have a real opinion on more than four or five parties. Demanding that a voter rank candidates for Senator from 1 to 110 is ridiculous, and a way of ensuring most people will just vote above the line. The solution is clear: optional preferential voting for the Senate. And yes, I *do* mean that ALL parties should lose the ability to do deals with my vote, not just minor parties.

      • AJ September 8, 2013 3:36 pm 

        Can’t really blame the LDP for doing “whatever it takes” if it’s within the law and then fluking position A on the Ballot paper. Don’t overly like the LDP but it’s the law that needs to change.

  5. Mark Johnson September 8, 2013 12:37 pm 

    Huh. It never occurred to me before. But “sour grapes” is quite a whiney phrase, isn’t it?

  6. Dermott Banana September 8, 2013 1:09 pm 

    I don’t agree with the author’s proposed way to fix the problem. But I do think rule changes are necessary.
    Even if there is no rule banning an individual from being the registered officer of multiple parties, are there rules against the creation of political parties for such purposes?
    This is an interesting development considering I asked the LDP’s Treasurer months ago to outline why he needed so much money raised for ‘candidate registration’, he failed to answer and became belligerent.

  7. John Humphreys September 8, 2013 1:15 pm 

    It seems there are a few different complaints:

    1. The LDP did preference deals… but all parties do this (Greens-Palmer, Katter-Labor, etc) and it is a normal strategy that people have accepted in other circumstances.

    2. That LDP could be confused with the “Liberals”, but it would be more wrong to pretend that the Liberals have a monopoly on generic political terms, and if anything it is the Liberal Party that is doing false advetising since they are not liberal. It is quite possible that people actually want an economically & socially liberal alternative, and it is perfectly legitimate for a liberal party to advertise their ideology in their name. Also, the LDP has been around for 12 years now… not to mention the existence of the DLP and other such parties that are allowed (without complaint) to share words with other parties.

    3. The LDP were advantaged by having the first column on the ballot paper. This is undoubtedly true, but so what? Some party has to be first, and you can’t seriously suggest that the LDP should refuse the first spot, or has cheated by getting the first spot.

    4. There is concern that micro parties get into parliament with an insignificant amount of the vote. But the LDP averaged over 3% of the vote, and would have got more if they had an above-the-line option in Victoria. It is the 5th biggest party in the country. Surely that is enough to justify one seat in a parliament of 226 people.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 1:27 pm 

      1) Yes, all parties do these deals. They are inherently undemocratic in the Senate, because they let parties take control of people’s votes, and should be abolished.

      2) Splitting hairs. The simple fact is that the Liberal Democrats are using a name which led to people vote for a different party from the one they intended to. That is in no way democratic. If you want to insist that the DLP go back to calling themselves the Anti-Communist Labor Party or whatever, fine by me.

      3) The LDP got far more votes than merely being first on the ballot paper gave them. In Victoria Rise Up Australia were first on the paper and got 0.98%. In Queensland, the Animal Justice Party were first; they got 1%. There’s no way the Liberal Democrats’ vote (currently sitting at 8.8%) was just because they had first spot.

      4) If you think the LDP is big enough to deserve one seat, write a set of rules that let them win a seat without this sort of undemocratic nonsense. It’s ridiculous to say “We haven’t got a seat under the current rules, so using deception and undemocratic deals to win one is OK”.

      • STEVE September 8, 2013 7:06 pm 

        We have mandatory voting so
        over 50% of votes are effectively coerced anyway.
        The Liberal Democratip party are more libertarian and liberal than the “Liberal Party” consider lower taxes, less red tape, marijuana legalisation, ending mandatory helmet laws supporting marriage equality etc.
        Having the Liberal Party before the LDP on the election paper would trick millions to vote for a party which is far from liberal or libertarian.
        On this occasion LDP maybe picked up many coerced votes just like Labor and Liberal have been for decades.
        People who are forced to vote under mandatory voting would rather not be voting for anyone better a libertarian party get their favour than one that is not.

        The victorian .06% is due to not having any above the line option (badly organised preferences return) and is hardly indicative of the result which would probably have been between 2 to 4% otherwise.

    • Dermott Banana September 8, 2013 6:26 pm 

      Interesting John you chose to ignore the allegation which smells the worst – that your candidate registered multiple parties.
      I’ve not read the AEC’s rules in detail yet, but the registration requirements are certainly worth examining to see if what he did was legal.

  8. Doug N September 8, 2013 1:24 pm 

    So you just insulted 8.7% of voters in NSW, insinuating they are all too stupid to know who they were voting for.

    And you think giving people options (voting), goes against the principles of democracy?

    It reads to me as though you want to tell people what to do, instead of ensuring Politicians do what the people want.

    You are the kind of person that wants to be a politician for the power, not to do what your voters want.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 1:34 pm 

      No, I didn’t insult them. I said they made a mistake and voted incorrectly,thinking they were voting for the Liberal Party when in fact they voted for the Liberal Democratic Party.

      Micro-parasite don’t give people options, they take them away. There should be plenty of parties. Those parties just shouldn’t be able to hijack my vote once they’ve finished with it.

      I assume you think the new Liberal Democratic Senator should do what his Liberal Party voters want?

  9. Shem Bennett September 8, 2013 1:51 pm 

    I do think compulsory voting can lead to undemocratic outcomes.

    Read through this, I definitely think it’s appropriate that the Liberal Democrats be allowed to keep their name. But I do think that some people made hasty decisions because of the intimidating 110 candidate long ballot paper.

    The AEC recently started allowing political parties to register based on members that join the party online. This is okay, but I do think the membership threshold should increase from 500 to somewhere around 2000.

    This would cut out a lot of the single issue groups, keep the ballot smaller and stop so many disinterested voters from making hasty choices.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 1:57 pm 

      Yes, I read that today, along with this: the legal advice on which the AEC is basing that decision.

      While the AEC did (probably) the procedurally-correct thing under the current law, this just shows the law needs to be changed to avoid results like this.

      I personally would prefer to to keep the limit at 500, but have full optional-preferential voting above and below the line, so that no party ever gets to pass on your vote. That in itself would go a long way to getting rid of all the small parties who are there just to make deals and don’t actually represent anyone.

  10. James September 8, 2013 2:15 pm 

    I made a very deliberate decision to put Liberal Democrats first in my below-the-line vote.

    Why? Because federal government runs amok, stealing power from the states, and the LDP are the only party that emphasises the constitutional distribution of power.

    I know there are some Australians who want a Labor or Greens government, and I think if that’s what they want, that’s what they should have. But why do they have to impose that philosophy on the entire country? That’s why I favour a mixture of different governments across the land. I believe in live and let live, and so did the framers of our constitution. But today, the LDP is the only party in Australia that believes in it.

    Bob Day from Family First may also pick up a seat in South Australia. Before you go stereotyping them you should check out Bob Day. If he gets the seat he will be one of the most fair-minded and intelligent Senators we’ve ever had.

  11. LDP Voter September 8, 2013 2:38 pm 

    “Abolishing compulsory voting is of course less democratic not more.”


    Doesn’t like the LDP Senator you’re stuck with for six years. Doesn’t like my anonymity. HAHAHAH

    Thinks threatening people with prison and fines if they don’t turn up to an election is ‘more democratic’ than having only people who want to vote.

    Your whole beef, is with how people you are threatening with a fine if they don’t turn up to a polling place, wind up not being ‘informed’ enough about where their vote goes. The entire root of the alleged problem you have allegedly diagnosed, is uninformed voters, yet you’re still for using force to cram every single Australian of voting age into the election lines, It’s hilarious.

    The most hilarious part? It will be mid 2020 before you can even possibly not be living without an LDP senator.

    If you don’t parties making deal with ‘your vote’, you have the right to vote below the line, as did every single Australian, only they were too lazy to do it.

    I voted below the line, you don’t see me whinging and moaning. It was Bob Hawke who brought in ‘above the line’ blame him if you think too many Australians take ‘the easy way out’ in senate voting.

    Any other libertarians reading this far left socialist site or whatever it is, don’t bother arguing with this person. He’s just a bitter person who has so much contempt for the voters of Australia he would threaten them with a fine or prison if they don’t vote. Then he complains when they are not informed. Then he complains about the AEC approving the name of a party. Then he complains some more. You can keep complaining until 2020 when the LDP senate seat next comes up for election HAHAHAHA.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 2:43 pm 

      No, I support compulsory voting because it means we can’t get the dodgy tricks here we see in the USA, like call centres dedicated to calling people and lying about the election date. Tricks designed to make sure people don’t vote. Compulsory voting means no-one can be bullied out of not voting.

      I blame Bob Hawke for a lot of things, including destroying the union movement in Australia.

      I voted below the line, and encouraged anyone else I could to do so. But it’s quite simple. All we need to do is change the rules so if I vote ‘1’ in a party’s box, they cant use my vote unless I tell them it’s ok. All your bullying, all your bluster, can’t change the fact that it’s undemocratic for any party to make a deal with my vote.

    • Max Riethmuller September 8, 2013 4:44 pm 

      LDP Voter, David has very magnanimously ignored your name calling, but I won’t. Altmax Media does not tolerate name calling or abuse. Your comments will be edited to remove any such infringements of our policy. The intent is not to censor, and if you feel the meaning of your post is affected by any such edits, you are free to re-edit your post to reflect your intent, providing you do not resort to further name calling or abuse. Repeated abuses of this policy will earn comment deletion and eventually you will be blocked completely.

      Altmax Media policy, Section 1. Personal Abuse of other users is unacceptable. Comments containing abusive language, intimidation or threat, or racist, sexist or discriminatory language will be deleted. Repeat offences will incur a ban of the offending user.

      • CraigS September 8, 2013 8:40 pm 

        But it’s okay for David to call people, tricksters, dodgy and manipulators?

        Nice to see you apply the standards evenly.

        • Max Riethmuller September 8, 2013 9:12 pm 

          Craig, David has backed up his claims. But more importantly, he has not attacked the other people on this thread. Notice how when I edited LDP Voter’s post, I only deleted the abuse. For example, use of the c word and the f word. I have left the comments where he calls us sore losers, bitter, moaning and whinging, etc. So you will see my actions have been consistent. After several more posts by LDP Voter, which were essentially just LDP Voter yelling c..ts and basically going apoplectic because I refused to let his/her comments stand, I decided to delete their comments until and if they decide to calm down and speak civilly to people. I have no problem whatsoever with heated discussion, but not when people resort to swearing and name calling.

          If you did not see LDP Voter’s earlier comments, then please be reassured that they were unsuitable.

  12. David September 8, 2013 2:52 pm 

    Does sound like someone pissed in his pocket and very upset about it.

    There was no misconception it Said Liberal Democratic party on the paper.

    The ORP has been registered since 1999 and was started by 4wders. they had a senator in the upper house who only got 0.6% of the primary vote. the rules were changed after the deals behind the scene.

    If you do not like the vote 1 above the line senate, then tell your readers to vote below the line so there peferences go where they want them to go.

    I know that David is the treasurer of the ORP. Does it bother me? No. Peter whelan is the president of both groups and i worried? No.

    Why are you worried? Is it because someone stood up to the bullshit that we have between labor and liberals. This year Australia had enough of the lies and the back stabbing and internal bickering.

    Next federal election why don’t you put your hand up run for a seat and deal with the peference deals you have to do so parties of the same values have a chance to get in

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 2:57 pm 

      There was clearly a misconception. People thought they were voting Liberal, not Liberal Democrat.

      Yes, the rules in Federal Senate elections should be changed just like the rules in NSW were changed to keep microparasites like the Outdoor Recreation Party from making deals with other people’s votes.

      There’s no point replacing Labor and Liberal bullshit with more bullshit from minor party sneaks who pretend to be on our side while manipulating the system for a cushy job. And when the rules are changed, the small parties won’t have to make the preference deals any more. Easy.

  13. Shem Bennett September 8, 2013 2:58 pm 

    Optional preferential based on the current number would still have seen an LDP Senator. After 2 LNP and 2 ALP are elected he had the highest vote count.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 3:06 pm 

      Based on current numbers, yes. But with optional preferential NSW wouldn’t have had 110 candidates because there would be no incentive for the microparties to run if they can’t trade preferences. So there would have been less confusion and the LDP vote would have been lower.

  14. Ari September 8, 2013 4:54 pm 

    I think it’s brilliant that there will finally be a Senator representing my vote. I am sure if more people knew about the party’s principles they would get the support they deserve.

    If people cared about their vote they should take the time to vote below the line or, at the very least, read the party names…

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 5:13 pm 

      If people like you cared, they’d work to make the system more democratic.

      • Ari September 8, 2013 5:44 pm 

        What do you mean people like me?

        LDP voters? Brown people? Or people who believe if you’re going to vote you should take it seriously…?

        Trying to work out your comment.

        • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 9:09 pm 

          I mean people who uses phrases like “If people cared about their vote they should take the time to vote below the line”.

  15. John Mc September 8, 2013 5:00 pm 

    So, “A political party is supposed to represent a group of people who want to see some change or other in the way we are governed.”

    I don’t see how you can claim this doesn’t apply to the LDP.

    The LDP has had dedicated supporters across Australia who have been going for 12 years to promote classical ideas and get this party up and running. We’re talking countless unpaid work hours, thousands of dollars of their personal savings, and people who have a natural aversion to bureaucracy and self-promotion on a steep learning curve on dealing with our political machinery and a hostile media.

    All of this, out of nothing more than a real belief that classical liberal ideas are a means to better government for all Australians.

    If that doesn’t earn them the right to be legitimate players in our democracy, what does?

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 5:12 pm 

      Then why have they resorted to cheap tricks to get elected? Either you think the system is fine, or it is broken.

      If you think it’s fine, I disagree with you.

      If you think it’s broken, why is it good when your party does well out of it? Why do you need to mislead 4-6% of the voters to win?

  16. John Mc September 8, 2013 5:01 pm 

    That should read “classical liberal ideas”.

  17. Solomon Birch September 8, 2013 5:14 pm 

    Do you have an alternative solution that will allow more than 2-3 parties to have a say in politics?

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 5:25 pm 

      Yes. I’ve already said it here several times:

      Optional Preferential voting above and below the line in the Senate. If you just put a ‘1’ in a box, it’s a vote for that person or that party only. If that person drops out, no one else gets to use your vote unless you’ve voted ‘2’ for someone. And so on. It takes all the control away from the parties and gives it back to the voter, where it belongs, without forcing a voter to number 110 boxes to vote correctly.

  18. Max Riethmuller September 8, 2013 6:12 pm 

    I sympathise with your intent in that suggestion David, but a part of me feels this would mean fewer parties would be able to benefit from preferences (since lazy people who couldn’t be bothered, as opposed to people who actively want to prevent their preferences from going to anyone) would just put 1 in the box of their choice.

    Some people might think this is a good thing; to weaken the ability of parties to call upon preferences. Especially Tony Abbott, who openly says of independents and minor parties: “”Sure they might be fun, sure they might be different, but they will damage our country and damage our government if they play the same role in the next parliament that they played in the last parliament,” then calls voting for them a “waste” of a vote.

    But personally I still have faith in preferential voting, in the Senate as well as in the Lower House.

    I feel the issue is more about trying to define whether the name Liberal Democratic Party sufficiently differentiates itself from the Liberal Party. Otherwise we are running around changing the preferential system because some people can’t get their party names straight. Maybe it’s that the naming convention needs firming up.

    There is also the Democratic Labour Party, are they any less confusing? Admittedly they probably weren’t involved in quite so many backroom preference deals.

    If I was to agree to changing the way people vote in the senate to reduce the ability of parties to do preference deals, I’d be more inclined to make preferential voting compulsory, ie: if voting above the line, all boxes must be filled in.

  19. Billious September 8, 2013 6:14 pm 

    David Jackmanson said…
    “There was clearly a misconception. People thought they were voting Liberal, not Liberal Democrat. ”

    Evidence please David, FACTS not opinion.

    and said further…
    “Then why have they resorted to cheap tricks to get elected? ”

    David, ever underwritten a political campaign with your own money? Yes, it dos cost a bundle, not only to get registered as a party but for each candidate as well. Nothing cheap in outfoxing the others in a game where we all know the rules.

    but said earlier…
    “they made a mistake and voted incorrectly, thinking they were voting for the Liberal Party when in fact they voted for the Liberal Democratic Party. ”

    Again, evidence please David, FACTS not opinion.

    Then again am sure if you want my opinion, you will give it to me.

    Great day for the country… back to sleep for another three or four years… but look out for that wrecker Abbott bringing on a double dissolution by putting up obnoxious legislation.

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 8:59 pm 

      The evidence was already clear. Even on the facts we’ve shown, there is no other reasonable explanation other than that voters were misled.

      But as Max has said below, the candidate himself, David Leyonhjelm:

      admitted many punters had confused his fledgling party with the Liberals but said he was happy to take their votes.

      “I don’t think everybody who voted for us though they were voting for the Liberal Democrats – maybe some thought they were voting for the Democrats, or even the Liberal party,” he said.

      “We are not going to kid ourselves that 8.5 per cent of NSW thinks they were voting for the Liberal Democrats.”

  20. Max Riethmuller September 8, 2013 7:01 pm 

    Comments are getting a little heated. I will continue to delete or edit comments that constitute attacks, slurs or abuse, regardless of the “side” of the argument the comment is coming from. I suggest you do not reply to abuse with further abuse as this will just inflame the situation.

  21. Vinay Kolhatkar September 8, 2013 7:13 pm 

    Hi David J,

    Your sentiments about the removal of deception are in the right place; I always love to speak with people who are inclined toward absolute honesty. The LDP did not breach any rules, it gamed the rules. You can argue that gaming is not quite cricket. It’s not within the spirit of the game, or democracy, as the game is called. So then the question is, just how honest is the whole process? Should we who like absolute justice focus on serial murderers or folks who are not forthcoming about a past drinking problem? That is the scale issue we need to deal with. We have a global carbon racket. Science cannot predict to any reasonable degree of reliability the future surface temperature of the Earth. Governments manufacture consensus by monopolising research funds. Economic booms and busts are caused by governments who manipulate money supply, and yet university professors and textbooks proclaim that such a thing as ‘stimulus’ actually has a scholarly basis behind it. Quackery is also taught in high-school courses on economics, environmental science, and philosophy, because the Government controls curricula under the guise of equal opportunity schooling. The world is headed for a Greater Depression as a result of these lies, grand deception, and Machiavellianism. If someone falsely cries fire as a means to an end, as a means to be finally given attention so that the truth can be spoken, is that person a deceptive being who only seeks power? I believe David Leyonhjelm is a person who seeks to spread the truth even though he grabbed the microphone n a way that isn’t quite cricket. It may seem, at first glance, to those who do not know him, is that he is merely an opportunist who seeks power for its own sake. Time will tell. Let’s wait and see, shall we? I think my view will be vindicated. In the meantime, we in the alternate media at least, people like you and I, ought to concentrate on exposing the serial murderers of the truth—the economic quacks, the climate scientologists, the politicians who use labels like extremists deliberately as a smear, and so on. I invite you to join me on a crusade for the real truth. You can take the blue pill, Neo, and continue to believe the do-gooders who tell you that large-scale government debt will work itself out, and that the trees are burning. Or you can take red pill, and I will show you just how deep the ravine of deception really is, and why the means justify the ends.

    Vinay Kolhatkar

    • David Jackmanson September 8, 2013 9:03 pm 

      You speak of blue pills and red pills. Well to continue that metaphor, someone who takes the red pill but then lies and manipulates to get what they want will probably turn out to be like Cypher.

  22. Max Riethmuller September 8, 2013 7:23 pm 

    The Age also noted the unusual swing towards LDP:
    “In NSW, many voters facing a ballot paper of 45 party columns and 110 names responded by putting a 1 in the first box on the ballot paper, which belonged to a party calling itself “Liberal Democrats”. An astonishing 8.88 per cent of voters voted for the Liberal Democrats, which will see the right-wing party’s candidate and gun rights supporter David Leyonhjelm take a seat from Labor.”

  23. Max Riethmuller September 8, 2013 8:17 pm 

    From the mouth of the LDP Senator himself:

    “I don’t think everybody who voted for us thought they were voting for the Liberal Democrats – maybe some thought they were voting for the Democrats, or even the Liberal party,” he said. ” We are not going to kid ourselves that 8.5 per cent of NSW thinks they were voting for the Liberal Democrats.”

  24. David September 8, 2013 11:30 pm 

    Hi david,

    Have you looked into the minor party alliance that effectively locked myself and the LDP out of preferencing? Hvae you looked our those parties that where in the alliance allowed a party with 0.6% to get a seat over the LDP with 3.42% and the nationls with 4.5%? have you looked into the background of Glen druery and how he set up the preference deals for the other mirco parasite parties? How he shafted some of those in the alliance and how some of them now wish they never got involved with him.

    David has acknowledge that people might of thought it was the liberal party but no way did David actively do this to mislead people. this name has been this way since 2010. I would put it down to people just want to get the hell out of there!

    I also know that the LDP has been a party name that has been bought up on alot of forums over the past year. One of those is one of the largest car forum in the country ( or the largest) and has a large segment of its membership in Sydney. From the discussion with the admin of the car site alot of them joined the party. These are people totally dissatisfied with the major two parties and need a party that is in line with there beliefs.

    Or maybe this would be a case to show that the australian education system is failing if people can not tell the difference between the liberals and the liberal democrats?

    • David Jackmanson September 9, 2013 12:07 am 

      Given that Christian Democrat, Shooters and Fishers and Democratic Labour Party preferences are going to help elect Leyonhjelm, I don’t see how the Minor Party Alliance “effectively locked out” the LDP. The Shooters and Fishers are in fact in the Alliance. So while the Alliance and its hidden hand Glenn Druery are definitely undemocratic and deserve a lot of attention, I don’t think the LDP has a lot to complain about there. (Incidentally, Wikipedia notes Druery was an LDP Senate candidate in 2010. Perhaps you can help out with some background on him?).

      Yes, our education system, which teaches us to be passive and to accept the lousy choices we are offered has a big role to play in a) making sure people are more informed about politics and parties and b) encouraging a more democratic attitude that would make this sort of preference harvesting much harder.

  25. David September 9, 2013 12:57 am 

    This is from gabriel buckley’s page

    For anyone wondering why our preference deals may not be as ideologically pure as possible, roughly forty parties froze us out of the process in a giant preference-harvesting scheme.

    maybe locked out but froze would be the better word.

    Back when i was in school. it was a quick introduction to the electrol system where most focus was on the lower house and not the upper. It was just put simply put 1 above the line and hand in your vote.

    With the scrutiny the LDP will get in the new senate sitting in 2014. I hope the LNP gets the same level.

  26. Nadia Weiner Bloom September 9, 2013 10:30 pm 

    I found your site yesterday and cannot understand why you write about the party I voted for as a “parasite”. I find it pretty rude, as well as inaccurate.

    The LDP is a NSW based legitimate political party, well established, a veteran of several elections, and having a platform that I have thoughtfully voted for. I am delighted that a libertarian party – a liberal and democratic party – is on track to provide a voice for the many voters who are opposed to the “Nanny State”.

    As some of the writers here have indicated, the name Liberal Democratic Party is an excellent description of their party platform.

    I note that Tony Abbott has written a book to establish that he is in fact a “conservative”.

    I am thrilled that the hard-working and committed founders and members of the so-called microparasites” – the minor parties – have been smart enough to finally outwit the rule-makers who generally ensure that we have no real choice.

    Now you are advocating rule change – again. No comment.

    A lot of people in this country gave first preference votes to your so-called “microparasites”, parties often with unusual “protest” names. Since this seems the time for speculation as to motives, my own guess is that a lot of voters, subject to compulsory voting laws, have been desperate to be heard. About SOMETHING. Include the phenomenon of the PUP here, too.

    For a change, I am looking forward to the Senate from July 2014!

    • Max Riethmuller September 9, 2013 10:58 pm 

      Thanks for commenting Nadia. Please note that each author’s interpretations of the facts are their own views and do not necessarily reflect the view of other authors or of the site itself. Our main concern is that our authors do quality research to back up their claims. This doesn’t mean everyone is always going to agree with them; most issues, especially political issues, will have various interpretations no matter how stringent the research. We value any alternative views expressed in the comments sections.

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