Australia: Accidental Senator a Kingmaker in Australia Micro Party Era | Bloomberg

David Leyonhjelm realized he could win an Australian Senate seat when his small Liberal Democratic Party scored the plum spot for the Sept. 7 election — the top, left-hand corner of the ballot sheet in New South Wales state. “That was just complete luck,” said the 61-year-old former veterinarian, who said he wants to broker deals with the Liberal-National coalition government if his place in the 76-seat upper house is confirmed. Some “confused” voters may have mixed up his group with the Liberal party of Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott, he added. Leyonhjelm and six others from tiny, mostly center-right parties are set to hold the balance of power in the upper house from July 1, complicating Abbott’s legislative agenda even as his coalition won a majority in the lower house. While they may back Abbott on his promise to repeal the previous Labor government’s carbon price mechanism and mining tax, his maternity-leave plan costing A$5.5 billion ($5.1 billion) a year could be blocked.

Australia: Let voters dump bad government, experts decide | Sydney Morning Herald

Voters should be given the power to force early elections in NSW with a view to dumping unpopular governments, a majority of experts has advised the Premier, Barry O’Farrell. But an early election could only be called with the support of 35 per cent of eligible voters, including at least 5 per cent from half the state’s electorates, under the model for ”recall” elections preferred by a panel commissioned by the government in June.

The panel’s report

The possibility of introducing a recall system emerged during the lead-up to this year’s election amid demands for an early poll due to the soaring unpopularity of the Labor government. Under the present system of fixed four-year terms, an early election could only have happened if the government effectively sacked itself with a vote in the Parliament.

Voting Blogs: How easy is it to rig the outcome of a New South Wales Australia Electronic Election? | Poll Blogger

Question need to be asked “Just how easy is it to rig the NSW Legislative Council election? The reality is its quite easy if you have access to the data file and no one else has copies of the data so a comparison cannot be made.

The NSW “Below-the-line” preference data fiels that habve just been released exclude preferences recorded as being informal. Votes where a preference has been omitted or duplicated. This could be as a result of a data-entry or voter error. Without access to the missing data it is impossible to verify the quality of the data recorded.

What’s even more scary is that if a person had access to the original data file they could easily run a simple query against the data set, removing preferences for a given candidate where that candidate has a higher preference than another candidate. The number of primary votes would still be the same but the ballot paper would exhaust during the count if the preference order had been altered in any way.