Any number can play in that second poll

I followed the Senate debate on the parliamentary channel on the Constitution Amendment Bill and what was passed does not meet the UNC’s requirement that members of the House of Representatives must be elected by at least 50 per cent of the votes. I summarise my understanding of the bill approved by the Senate as follows:

1. If no candidate receives 50 per cent of the votes there shall be a second poll in which three candidates may contest.

2. If in the second poll no candidate receives 50 per cent of the votes, the one with the highest score is then declared the winner.

3. If of 10,000 votes cast, A, B and C were to get 4,900-2,600-2,500 a run-off is mandated.

4. If in the run-off with 6,000 voters A, B and C got 2,000-2,100-1,900, the seat then goes to the candidate who polled 2,100 votes.

In summary, the first poll must yield a majority candidate with 50 per cent votes. If in the second poll no 50 per cent-candidate emerges we then accept anything. I await some enlightenment that this absurdity is not for real.

Michael J Williams

via e-mail
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