MARK M ALDRIDGE - "voice of the Community" Community Advocate
INDEPENDENT CALLS FOR A THOROUGH OVER HAUL OF OUR “ELECTORAL SYSTEM”  

Over the past decade my calls for an Independent commission to deal with both electoral reforms and election conduct has fallen on death ears, says Mark Aldridge Independent. 

With out doubt you all ways hear the minor parties and Independents complain about the fairness of the system, as the entrenched 2 party system, leaves little hope of exposure for those running on their own finances, but that is the least of our problems.  

The electoral system should be all about empowering the voters of this fine country and state, to ensure every elector knows how to vote, their rights and obligations under the Act’s, who their choices are and what they stand for, there fore ensuring our representatives are chosen by the free will of an informed electorate.  

We have drifted so far from ideal democracy, we now find elections more about being forced to attend, preference candidates we do not know or in fact oppose, many do not know how the electoral system works, and we endure an increasing range of dodgy practices, from the usual false promise to misleading advertising and out right criminal activity, says Mark  

I have lobbied for many years to fix the broken system, and with every election, more and more damage is being done, I started fighting for a booklet that explains how to vote, who the candidates are and what they stand for, to be provided to every house hold, not a hard ask says Mark.  

Since then even the original booklet we all received on “How to vote” has gone missing, even the legislative provisions to ensure such information is in the polling booths, like how to vote information and voting tickets, is ignored with impunity, what a bloody disgrace screams Mark  

This recent federal election showed TV coverage of Candidates handing out their own “How to vote cards” openly breaking the electoral laws as if they do not exist.  

Political parties dressing up as other parties, handing out dodgy how to vote information, should be a criminal offence, the issue of postal ballot applications that have a replied paid address of the Political Parties head office is in deed dodgy, even worse so registering opposition parties leaders names as a reply paid address, is an offence against democracy and the peoples rights.  

Handing voters a bloody pencil and a piece of paper to vote is a disgrace in the year 2010, let alone allowing the polling staff to carry rubbers, booth managers avert their eyes to deliberate breaches of the Act like those handing out how to vote information and the placement of electoral signs, as if the rules to protect the integrity of elections mean absolutely nothing! 

The August 21 Federal election has been marred by many offences against the protections voters have under the electoral Act, the South Australian March 2010 election seemed totally ignorant of any Ideal of a fair go for voters, yet it seems the media condone such actions by way of their silence, so what is in store for our future? 

I will repeat this just once more, 77,000 South Australian voters found them selves no longer on the electoral roll, therefore denied their entitlement to vote, many who have voted from the same address for many prior elections, over 16,500 postal ballots simply went missing, over 7500 postal vote applications were found to be dodgy, and we now have a government that won by how many votes? Only a couple of thousand votes, and I haven’t even started on the worst issues with the conduct.  

Polling booths ran out of ballot papers in both the federal and state elections, people were denied a replacement ballot paper in the state election, and handed rubbers in the federal, this is nothing more than abuse of the corner stone of society, democracy says Mark. 

Candidates being denied access to important contact information, prior to doing their preference deals, election posters illegally erected, candidates names being left of ballot papers, declared institutions like nursing homes and hospitals being ignored by mobile polling, reports of undue influence on our elderly, and all this is acceptable? 

I risked all I own, to take the fight to the court of disputed returns, to bring those who would deny democracy to the people of my state to account, and it seems even the court encourages such actions, even the best law firm in the state could not help me bring the bastards to account, well it will not bloody happen again.  

I will get together a group of patriotic Australians before the next election, educate them on the laws in place to protect our rights, and we will bring all the offenders to account. 

Until the day we have representatives freely chosen by an informed electorate, and an independent body to police electoral conduct and much needed reform, not one government deserves our support full stop.  


Mark M AldridgeIndependent 
08 82847482 / 0403379500 
 

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