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OPINION: Flawed system Labor's fault

In case you haven’t been following the news, Premier Mark McGowan and Attorney General John Quigley have been using me as their proverbial whipping boy to advance their agenda on electoral reform.

By way of background, my name is Wilson Tucker (not to be confused with former Liberal MP Wilson ‘Iron Bar’ Tuckey), and I’m the guy who recently got elected to Parliament with only 98 primary votes.

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, I did not create the electoral system that we currently have in place in Western Australia.

Specifically, I did not create Group Voting Tickets (GVTs). That’s the mechanism that allows political parties rather than voters to direct preferences.

Labor brought in that system on a federal level in 1984, and on a state level in Western Australia in 1989 as a means of reducing informal voting.

Since that time, both major parties have embraced GVTs as a means of better controlling preferences between themselves, and crowding out independents.

At the last election, I just happened to be a beneficiary of that system. And through a favourable preference deal in my region, I was able to be elected to Parliament.

Labor only started railing against GVTs when minor and micro parties started using them to their advantage. That alone should tell you a lot about their motivations on this issue.

Some people may take a pot-shot at me for using the services of people like (electoral campaigner) Glenn Druery, but Glenn is a drop in the ocean compared to the resources that the major parties have at their disposal.

Every year, the major parties receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from unions and big business. And yet I see very few people talking about the effect that this type of influence can have on our democracy.

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