February 2nd 2008

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: TRANSPORT: End of the line for rail freight?

FINANCE: Sub-prime mortgage crisis paralyses credit system

EDITORIAL: East Timor's new beginning

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Economic storm facing new government

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: A stern test for multiculturalism

CULTURE AND CIVILISATION: Family values overlooked in the market-place

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Reading the signs for the New Year (Through a hedge backwards...) / Hijacking foreign aid / Sub-prime lending crisis / Was Hitler's defeat inevitable?

AFGHANISTAN: Confronting terrorists and the drug trade

WOMEN UNDER ISLAM: Silence of the "sisterhood"

EDUCATION: The threat to our literary heritage

OPINION: Who is the real Kevin Rudd?

Global warming? Stop and think! (letter)

Flaws in our voting system (letter)

Who is running the country? (letter)

Barack Obama on foreign despots (letter)

Alternative to capitalism and communism? (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Juvenile crime in Britain / Feminist magazine's anti-Israel bias

GOD AND CAESAR: Selected Essays on Religion, Politics, and Society by Cardinal George Pell

BOOKS: CULTURAL AMNESIA: Notes in the Margin of My Time, by Clive James

THE TORCH AND THE SWORD: A History of the Army Cadet Movement in Australia, by Craig A. Stockings

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Flaws in our voting system (letter)

by L.B. Loveday

News Weekly, February 2, 2008

Colin Teese has a much rosier view of the Australian electoral system than I do ("Can Rudd restore an impartial public service?", News Weekly, December 22, 2007).

Leaving aside the incorrectness of his assertion that "we require all citizens of voting age to cast a vote" (there are both exclusions and exemptions), Australia has arguably the most rortable electoral system in the world.

Nowhere else can you vote without some form of identification. Yet we have the arrogance to send monitors to other countries.

And, prior to April 16, 2007, one did not even have to produce identification when enrolling, so most enrolments have never been verified.

I can go to a polling-booth at opening-time, give my neighbour's name and address, and vote under his name, with or without his knowledge.

I can go to each polling-booth in my electorate, voting at each, up to 60, under my name, his, or someone else's, provided I am prepared to answer "no" to the naive question, "Have you voted elsewhere today?"

Would anyone answer "yes" to that question?

The Australian Electoral Commission denies this happens, but they are just hiding their heads in the sand.

If a system can be exploited, it is, and the only question is to what extent.

People of all political leanings do it; but in my experience left-wing ideologues are more inclined to do so on the basis that the ends justifies the means, and any who hold opposing views are misguided fools.

L.B. Loveday,
Randwick, NSW

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