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Your views: on voting, Mark Parnell, homelessness and defence

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on preferential v first-past-the-post voting, an MP’s retirement, housing the homeless, and defence and diplomacy.

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Commenting on the story: Preferential voting in Govt’s sights as electoral shake-up looms

Preferential voting ensures that the wider population determines which minority representative is elected.

That is the way it should remain – decision by majority.

Optional preferential voting is little more than a sanitised version of branch stacking – entrenching power in the elite at the expense of diverse opinion.

It is disenfranchisement and a direct attack on the value of each individual elector’s vote. It must be opposed. Rick Davies

Australia has a fair voting system unlike the USA where only those who can be bothered, vote.

Compulsory preferential voting ensures the least involved are compelled to think about the future and therefore their opinion is included, even if it was reluctantly given.

If all the population is included it must be more democratic and an accurate reflection of views. – Phil and Marg Lawrence

First past the post will lead to polarised two-party parliaments where the government of the day is a form of dictatorship, which might, for instance, try to dragoon FPP voting through parliament without hope of amendment.

Where is the public consultation on a matter so crucial to our democracy?

I typically vote for one major political party but know there is another, minor, party I can turn to if my party falls victim to a Trump.

The effect of the Australian Democrats and the Greens has often been beneficial to the operation of our democracy.

In a State where the National Party is all but non-existent and where fringe right wing parties like One Nation and the Shooter’s Party gain little traction, the current party in government sees this as a winner. We will lose. – David Griffin

Optional preference voting is the only system that allows the voter to ensure their vote will go to the candidate of their choice and not filter down to another candidate through the distribution of preferences.

If, say, a voter wants to vote (1) ALP and (2) the Greens, and the first preference (ALP) is eliminated, the second preference, the Greens, is counted.

If that party doesn’t attract enough votes, it goes no further. Thus, the vote goes as far as the voter wanted and does  not end up, through preference distribution, to the last number on the list, say the National Party. It’s the fairest voting system. – Peter Baker

Optional preferential voting? No, no, no! Sheila Jarmain 

Commenting on the story: Greens pioneer stands aside as party charts new trail

It’s sad to see the announced retirement of the most widely-respected member of the SA Parliament.  

He is a wonderful mixture of principle, commonsense and lightheartedness.

Parliament and especially the Greens will be poorer without him. – Ian Radbone

I fully support Mark Parnell’s push to abolish the SA Oath of Allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors, according to law by our MPs, judges and police officers.

Allegiance should be to the people of Australia. The Queen is not Australian but (sadly) our constitution means that she is our Head of State. That role should be done by one of us. Deborah Crossing , Australian Republic Movement

Commenting on the opinion piece: Bringing the homeless in from the cold

Gerald Matthews’ take on the role of all sectors of society in solving homelessness is very welcome.

If the Covid pandemic has taught us anything, it is that homelessness can and does happen to anyone, no matter their background.

We think that our lives are secure, but it turns out that actually life can be quite precarious.

Public domain architecture can be more welcoming, but it should be a last resort. Short term shelters are important to keep people safe and alive while they are on the streets. But the solution to homelessness is housing, and support services to help them recover permanently and move on with their lives.

To expect them to settle for less – to live without safety, dignity or hope – is a poverty of ambition.

Local government has a role to play, as do State and Federal Governments, the NFP sector, business – and everyone one of us who share this community. 

It is $13,000 a year cheaper to provide someone with social housing and support services, than it is to support them to live on the streets. 

Let’s invest our public monies where it can make real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable in the community. Louise Miller Frost, CEO St Vincent De Paul Society SA Inc

Commenting on the story: PM’s $270b for defence in “poorer, more dangerous” post-pandemic world

Quiet diplomacy with any likely enemies would be the safest way for our Government  to proceed.

Instead, we have shades of ‘1984’ – where the threat of another war is the best way to unite an uncritical country.  

What magnificent peacetime benefits could we all enjoy if the money for weapons were diverted to the arts, housing, health, education and energy. – Julanne Sweeney

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