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Anarchists Claim Credit For Victorian Senate Informal Vote

November 13, 2001

Dr Joseph Toscano, an Anarchist Senate candidate, today claimed an examination of the informal vote has shown that the number of Australians who have voted informal has increased by nearly thirty percent, and the informal vote in the Victorian Senate election has increased by nearly 100%.


This is the text of a press release from Toscano:

In the euphoria about the Prime Minister's electoral hat trick, a much more interesting and worrying phenomena for those who support the parliamentary system, has occurred. An examination of the informal vote has shown that the number of Australians who have voted informal has increased by nearly thirty percent.

The informal vote in the Victorian Senate election has increased by nearly 100%.

At the close of counting on Saturday night, 7.08% - 182, 662 ballots cast were informal. This figure is 70% greater than the figure in any other State.

  • NSW - 4.41%
  • Qld - 3.81%
  • WA - 4.29%
  • SA - 3.9%
  • TAS - 4.43%
  • ACT - 2.7%
  • NT - 3.64%
The difference between the Victorian Senate Election and the Senate Election in other States, is that two Anarchists, Dr. Joseph Toscano and Mr Stephen Reghenzani, stood as Senate candidates and conducted a vigorous election campaign using the slogan - 'Parliamentary Democracy, Two Minutes of Illusory Power'. In their campaign they encouraged electors to vote informal or consider not voting at all.

Their campaign, a campaign which bypassed the mainstream media, was conducted using the Internet and alternative media sources. It will be interesting to see whether the abstention rate in Victoria is higher than in other States and whether the national abstention rate has increased during this election. Currently, 20% of votes still remain to be counted, this includes pre-poll, postal, absent and provisional votes as well as those who abstained. The A.E.C will have the final figures within the next ten days.

Compulsory voting or no compulsory voting, an increasing number of Australians are not participating in parliamentary elections. They do not want to be forced to participate in a system of government they have no belief in. I'm 49 and have never voted at a local, State or Federal election, am not on the electoral roll, but was able to stand as a Victorian Senate candidate. There are an increasing number of people like myself who are no longer willing to give blank cheques to parliamentarians to make decisions for us. The struggle for direct democracy, a struggle to create a system of government, where the people involved in a decision, make that decision, is one which crosses old political divisions and which encompasses the apolitical as well as the politically aware.

Our candidature have given people who have voted informal, or have not voted at all, a philosophical basis and a respectability that they have not enjoyed in the past. We can no longer be dismissed as apathetic, we have made a significant political statement that challenges the myths and assumptions that the parliamentary system is based on.

Dr. Joseph Toscano/Spokesperson
Anarchist Media Institute.
Web-Site: http://www.vicnet.net.au/~anarchist/
Email: anarchistage@yahoo.com

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