Revelations of a “election fixer” working to secure seats in favour of the Andrews Government have spurred the other major parties to call for an overhaul of Victoria’s voting system.
The Victorian Liberals and Greens are calling for an inquiry into the state’s voting system after revelations of an “election fixer” that claims he can control who is elected into Victoria’s upper house for a $55,000 fee at next week’s polls.
The Herald Sun has reported that Glenn Druery – dubbed the “preference whisperer” – allegedly has influence across the parties to manipulate where votes get preferences and elect candidates that suit the Andrews Government.
Victoria’s upper house electoral system is the only state using a group voting system (GVT), which effectively means that voters preferences are decided by the party they place as ‘1’ above the line.
Regardless of whether the voter has multiple preferences above the line their choices are ignored and decided by the party, which is a loophole Mr Druery is claiming to have exploited in Labor’s favour.
The Herald has obtained video footage of Mr Druery explaining how he takes a fee from minority parties to fix candidates in seats beneficial to the Labor government.
“We’ve got to give the government, which will be the Andrews Government, we’ve got to give them a crossbench they can work with,” he said.
“The rest I control. Everybody … I’ve got more balls in the air than a vasectomy doctor.”
Mr Druery claims that he struck a deal with Labor-aligned CFMEU in 2018 to get a candidate elected in the Upper House, at the expense of other Green candidates in that seat.
According to the Greens, this distorted the will of the voters who had put 13 per cent of their votes towards the party as opposed to the 1.3 per cent of votes received by Mr Druery’s candidate.
Mr Druery details how he expects $55,000 from minority parties that sign up to join his “family” and whom he helps win a seat.
The voting system flaw – which has been scrapped in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia – allows minor parties to concentrate their preferences to snowball from a tiny primary vote to a winning position.
Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam has called the “corrupt” system as “undemocratic” and urged the Andrews Government to dismantle it.
“Victoria is the only state that continues to use the undemocratic group voting tickets, and this is why,” she said in a statement on Thursday.
“While it is clear Labor and AJP did deals in 2018 with Glenn Druery to lock the Greens out, the revelations open up serious questions as to the integrity of those involved.
“The Premier must answer whether he or Labor gave a commitment to Mr Druery to keep group voting tickets in exchange for preferable deals.”
Greens MP Samantha Ratnam is calling for Mr Andrews to answers questions around integrity of the voting system. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling
Shadow government scrutiny MP Louise Staley is calling for an IBAC inquiry into the matter. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Daniel Pockett
Shadow minister for government scrutiny Louise Staley has agreed that the system is rigged and called for another IBAC investigation into the Andrews Government.
“Premier Daniel Andrews has presided over a culture of corruption and cover-ups within his government, and this will undoubtedly be a sixth IBAC investigation,” Ms Staley said.
For voters concerned about their preferences being distorted, the only way to get around the loophole during this state election is to number at least one to five below the line.
Source – https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/politics/liberals-and-greens-call-for-inquiry-into-gvt-preference-voting-after-allegations-of-fixing-seats-in-victorian-election/news-story/bbb6cf427b5291227ecddabcd21aecff