Here is an example of what happens when you try to fight the system, especially using “from the inside out” type methods.
Posting it here b/c there are so many ways that this decision contradicts CF that it’s hard to list them all.
Summary of background/events (simplified to keep it relatively concise, note that the quote at the bottom is probably enough to get the gist if you want to skip):
iswas a political party in Australia that I founded with a friend in 2015/16 (full name:
VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy!) – this was before I was told about FI, and actually learning about FI was due to a blog post I wrote about Popper’s Criterion. BoI inspired my going through with establishing the party; I mixed in ideas that I had before reading BoI, too.
- Political parties register by proving to the Aus Electoral Commission (AEC) that they have >1500 members (it was 500 members back then, it was increased mostly with no grace period in Sept 2021 – that’s not the AEC’s fault, that was when a new bill was passed).
- The bill was supported by our 4 major parties: the Liberals (generally: conservative, right wing, not the good kind), Nationals (similar to the liberals but they get the rural vote; in a coalition with the libs), Labor (our major left-wing party, often holds government on its own), the Greens (a small party comparatively, ~1/150 seats in the lower house, but they have like ~10/70 seats in the senate). There are only ~6-12 members of the senate that aren’t members of major parties, and a few independents in the lower house.
- Membership testing:
- Parties are allowed to submit 1650 members maximum as evidence of validity. (Excess members are discarded)
- A statistical test is done to ascertain membership eligibility – members are contacted and asked to confirm membership.
- If a threshold is passed for membership denials then this means the party fails the test; if there are that many denials or fewer then the party passes. At best, a 9.09% denial rate is tolerated.
- If a party fails then it’s deregistered (taken off the register of political parties; the party can’t run in elections)
- In Jan 2022 Flux was notified that we’d failed our membership test (undertaken December 2021).
- this test is only for non-parliamentary parties (those that don’t have a member of parliament in either the lower or upper house – only 1 member is required)
- When this happens the party gets a chance to respond, which often results in a second membership test.
- After either the party response is rejected or the conclusion of the 2nd membership test, the AEC publishes a statement of reasons that explains their decision, along with the decision.
- Flux responded in Feb, and another membership testing procedure was initiated.
- Flux failed its second membership test too.
- Flux was deregistered on March 24th (I was not notified – it’s likely that someone was, but probably only 1 person)
I omitted the points we raised in the response b/c the statement of reasons explains enough.
Source (authored by Ms Reid): https://web.archive.org/web/20220326093243/https://www.aec.gov.au/Parties_and_Representatives/Party_Registration/Deregistered_parties/files/statement-of-reasons-voteflux-org-upgrade-democracy-s137-deregistration.pdf (this contains membership test results and other miscellany)
Select quotes from the AEC’s statement of reasons (note: under point
a): Reid omitted a
> before the second paragraph, so it is a quote in the orig doc even though it doesn’t look like it below.
The document that Reid cited is actually for the old testing method (prior to Sept 2021) that used 500 members, not 1500. So I wonder if it was her expert knowledge of statistics (which she implicitly rejects having) that enabled her to judge whether the new method was equally valid.
The objections Flux raised are one’s that other parties have tried to but didn’t have the statistical knowledge to know what was wrong. Like the respondents (from political parties) knew something was wrong, but didn’t know how to word it very well.
Also note WRT the first point under
c) (“The statistical method used fails ~10% of the time for borderline cases.”), it failed 10.5% of the time (the maths are in Flux’s response), and the AEC has, in the past, claimed the method has a >90% confidence. (It’s unclear how they count or calculate this, they’ve never said.)
edit: I missed this quote and screenshot which provides more context:
- The membership list submitted by the Party on 13 February 2022 contained 4,680 names of
individuals that the Party considers to be current members (referred to as ‘members’ below).
As a delegate of the Electoral Commission, I instructed that the top 1,650 names be tested
to conform with the AEC’s membership testing parameters. The following results were found
after initial membership testing against the electoral roll.
I don’t mind criticism for this post, but I’m posting it in #other deliberately. Thought it was worth sharing.
If it’s appropriate to move to #unbounded that’s okay, but I don’t think it matters much.
I have more to say but this is enough for now.