Infrequently asked electoral questions

For the geeks, asks and answers them. I like this one.

Well, how would you surreptitiously distort an election?

Nominations having closed, I don’t feel too bad announcing this one more broadly now.

My favoured method involves getting a terminally ill person (perhaps more than one, just to be “safe”), to run in the anchor electorate of a sub-5% party (e.g. Epsom). If an electorate candidate (even an independent) dies between the close of nominations, and the close of voting, the election for that electorate is cancelled (resulting in a by-election), and only the party votes count. That seat couldn’t then be used to get that party (e.g. ACT) into parliament by avoiding the 5% threshold, potentially swinging a close election. And as that person doesn’t need to have any formal affiliation to a party (they might claim to be doing it as a stunt to raise awareness about some aspect of the health system), you might be able to get away with it.

This is a rule we really don’t need, and I’m guessing it’s a hangover from first past the post. Which, to be honest, doesn’t need it either. Given that you’re having an election anyway, let people vote, and if the dead candidate wins, then have a by-election.

I tend to agree. If the US can elect dead politicians, so can we.

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