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The Australian National University

Alice Springs’ Unrepresentative Council: Cause for Intervention?

Working Paper 76 / 2011



The paper explains how the vote counting system used in Northern Territory local government leads to very poor electoral outcomes which concentrate representation rather than spread it. It discusses how, in the case of Alice Springs, this has produced a narrowly based council with no representation from town camps. It argues that this vote counting system should be changed and notes that it is currently under review by the Northern Territory Government, partly because of this critique. However it also notes that some, including Alice Springs Town Council, are defending the existing system and that change is by no means assured, hence the question of the subtitle.

Keywords: Northern Territory local government electoral system, exhaustive preferential vote counting, Alice Springs Town Council.


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