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MARK ALDRIDGE

Lead Senate candidate for the "GREAT AUSTRALIAN PARTY"

The down fall of democracy continues…….dodgy back room deals.

Having followed our electoral system in detail, I was already appalled at how electoral law was applied and who was allowed to write it, it became worse when I studied the conduct of elections, but the back room deals make me sick to the stomach.

Dodgy deals, secret meetings, money changing hands, false promise, lies and deceit, and all this by people chasing the title of honorable.

Over 90% of electors, voting in the upper house, vote above the line, but where there vote ends up, is the result of all sorts of underhanded tricks and back room deals, that would embarrass the devil himself.


Voters never know where their vote will end up, and many of the parties and candidates show no respect to their supporter’s intent during these negotiations.


Meeting in secret the dealing starts, paid experts sell the ideal of all the minor players working together, but they are paid by whom?


Promises and handshakes hold no value, neither do the ideals of the players, the phones ring hard for days, offers are made, prefer me and I will shaft them, all part of the game. Very little concern is given to political agendas or even policy ideals; it is all about winning a seat by playing the system for 80% of the candidates or their representatives.


The minority who dare uphold their values and promises hold little chance of being elected.

Some of the candidates don’t even have a say, faceless people we never meet, make the final decision, or just maybe that is simply an excuse to cover up for their indiscretions.


I have opposed the full preferential system for over a decade; in some sort of vain believe that democracy in relation to the election of representatives should be decided by the people, not in the back rooms of party premises hidden from the public’s eye, when that ideal ended, who can be sure?


The organiser brags the ability to elect groups who attract very little voter support, by gaming the system, ironically a system written the major parties to control the vote; I am not sure which is worse.


Maybe it is fair play in the eyes of the groups, because they are only trying to beat a corrupt system in the first place, but when did two wrongs make a right, well other than in politics.


I have opposed the electoral system in its current format since my first campaign over a decade ago, and I have to say, it has spiraled downhill since then, to a stage that it is abusive to use the word democracy to describe the conduct of most if not all recent elections.


It appears I am now alone in my quest to bring democratic practice back into the electoral system, because these nasty back room deals are the least of our problems, not just because these are hidden from the public’s eye.


In my humble opinion, the worst abuses of the system are carried out right in front of our eyes, yet they have developed over such a long period, very few even notice.


Lack of identity checks, third world security of the ballot, ingrained bias within electoral law, dodgy practices, false promise, the omission of accountability, even the occasional legal corruption.


At this very moment, I am ashamed to be a candidate, and even more ashamed that those asking for the public’s support, dare start their campaign by being involved in such a deceitful and abhorrent process.


I suppose this part of the process is over tomorrow, and we can move on to all the other dodgy practices, and leave this one behind us, well as candidates, but the sad fact is, the franchise awarded to the Australian people in respect of their precious vote, is already undermined.


Now it will be the thousands of voters who turn up to find their names no longer on the rolls, the multiple voting, the false promises by the candidates and their parties, missing ballot papers, and all the other regular nasties that have become a part of the process, that people dare label democracy.


After this election I give up, I have tried to expose the many shortfalls, lobbied for reform, and tried to work with the system while maintaining honorable intent, and it simply appears impossible to achieve, and if winning is reliant on deceit, lies and dishonor, I want no part of it.


When Australia’s electoral commissions marketing brags the use of a pencil and a piece of paper as ballot security, you know you are in big trouble.


Mark Aldridge


Independent MLC candidate