Thursday, October 1, 2015

Voting in Melbourne City Council Elections

A report commissioned by the Electoral Regulation Research Network recommends that only residents be allowed to vote in Melbourne City Council elections, that is to say that businesses would be banned from voting in them. Presently businesses are required to vote, and corporations operating in Melbourne are allocated two votes.

The lead author of the report, Monash University Associate Professor Ken Coghill, said giving votes to corporate entities and non-resident property owners was not democratic. He rejected the idea businesses should have a vote because they pay rates.

"The cry of 'no taxation without representation' is false: it is not accepted for voting in state or Commonwealth elections or in other democracies", Professor Coghill said.

The Municipal Association of Victoria opposes the idea. They say "a dominance of residential voters could see more focus on the amenity of living in the city, possibly at the expense of economic activity and development".

And the problem is?


  1. What a delightfully revealing response from the Municipal Association of Victoria. Democracy has always been a challenge for rent seekers who rip off the rest of us. That's one of its key virtues.

  2. Of course, "giving votes to corporate entities and non-resident property owners was not democratic". As non-residents, they don't have to actually live with the results of the election, and can remove themselves personally from council decisions. Only residents really have an interest in the welfare of their city, and residents. What's a problem for residents, such as over-developments, could be a bonus, and being promoted, by businesses. It's a conflict of interests.