I have always been a committed proponent of freedom of enterprise and individual liberty and I have a lifetime of experience in political campaigning. 

My father, Douglas Darby, was the Member for Manly in NSW from 1945 to 1978.

Douglas Darby won two elections as an Independent, in 1961 and 1965, by planning and implementing a highly effective grass roots system of local representatives, each responsible for around twenty households.

Over the last five decades of campaign management, I have maximised technology to ensure that the enhanced Douglas Darby method is the most effective campaigning system available anywhere.

My goal is to promote the idea that purposeful, ethical How To Vote Recommendations (HTVRs) are fundamental to the future success of the Emerging Political Forces (EPFs), comprising conservative, anti-slavery minor parties and independents.

Under our current system of voting in Australia, careful and considered use of preferences can mean the difference between voting for who you want to win – and mistakenly voting for their polar opposite.


A.       Never allow the ALP and its Greens allies to form Government.

In the 31 October 2020 Queensland Election, candidates in the Currumbin Electorate failed to understand this simple and practical statement.

1. Any candidate who preferences Labor ahead of Liberal is making a clear statement: “I want the ALP to form Government”.

2. Some candidates produce what is known as a ‘split ticket.’ This is a ‘how to vote’ card which on one side shows how to number preferences if you prefer The Liberals. The other side shows how to number preferences if you prefer Labor.  There is no excuse for any candidate to produce a split ticket, which clearly communicates a strong message to every voter. The message is that: “You have no reason to vote for me because I am so stupid or so unprincipled that I see no difference between Labor and Liberal.”  Candidates who issued split tickets in Currumbin were: 

a.  Tracy Takacs-Thorne, a high quality candidate endorsed by Riccardo Bosi whose Australia One Party was not then registered in Queensland and who received 3.53% of the primary vote.

b)  Glen Wadsworth standing for PHON whose two-sided How to Vote Recommendation (HTVR) required careful inspection to discover that one side awarded the LNP the number 6 and the ALP number 7, with the other side reversing those numbers. Otherwise, both sides were identical. The PHON candidate customarily handed out the HTVR with the Labor Vote side upward. The PHON split ticket was a major factor in halving the PHON vote from 8% in the March 2020 by-election to just 4.01% in the general election a few months later.

B.       Never preference the Greens ahead of the ALP. 

This practice sheds current campaign volunteers, turns off potential political advocates and undermines morale.

 In 2004 in his role as State Director of the NSW Liberals, Scott Morrison began this reprehensible behaviour by preferencing Greens’ Michael Organ ahead of Labor in Cunningham. 

In October 2020 under the leadership of Deb Frecklington, LNP candidates preferencing Greens ahead of Labor included Laura Gerber MLA in Currumbin.

 C.     Australia leads the way

1.  Until 1918, members of the Australian Federal Parliament were elected on a ‘simple majority’ or ‘first–past–the–post’ basis. This meant that the candidate who had the most votes after one count was elected — even if they did not have more than half of the votes.

A major disadvantage of first past the post voting is that it allows the election of a candidate who may be vehemently opposed by a great majority of voters.  Australia therefore pioneered preferential voting which was adopted by all the State Parliaments. 

2.  “Exhaustive” voting is used by Unions to elect their leaders and commonly by political parties to select their candidates. 

3.   With exhaustive voting, in the event that there are five candidates a first ballot is held. The Candidate with the lowest number is excluded and four candidates contest in another ballot. Again the lowest candidate is excluded and three contest. Again the lowest is excluded and two contest the final ballot. This is impractical for a General Election and so the Compulsory (valid vote with all boxes having a number) Preferential Voting simplifies the need for multiple ballots if more than two candidates are contesting. 

4.  Where there are only two candidates, the issue of first past the post versus preferential voting does not arise. Contests with only two candidates have, however, become less common over the decades and for practical purposes, no longer exist.

5.  An excellent description of preferential voting may be seen at the website https://australianpolitics.com/ created by Malcolm Farnsworth. I recommend taking a moment to read it. When visiting this site, a donation can be made using the Patreon button.

6.  In summary, under a first-past-the-post system, your vote is extinguished as soon as any candidate has one more vote than the candidate for whom you voted. Under compulsory preferential voting, your vote retains its full value, right to the end of the final contest between the two electorally strongest candidates. Compulsory preferential voting VALUES YOUR VOTE. This System is the very best voting system in the world for majority view democracy. 

D.      Undermining preferential voting devalues your vote

1.  Attempts to undermine preferential voting by making the allocation of preferences optional are aimed at boosting the prospects of major parties at the expense of minor parties and independents, by denying them the opportunity of cooperating to achieve the election of one of their number.

2.  In the 17 February 2001 Queensland election the “JUST VOTE ONE” theme was pushed hard by the Labor Party, and also by the Liberal Party, on the recommendation of the then NSW Liberal State Director, Scott Morrison (AKA Scotty from Marketing, our current Prime Minister).  The result was the reduction of the Liberal-National Coalition from 32 seats to 15, the reduction of One Nation seats from 11 to 3, the reduction of City-Country Alliance seats from 5 to zero, and an increase in ALP seats from 44 to 66 (great Scott!).

3.  Compulsory Preferential Voting has returned to Queensland whilst NSW remains handicapped by optional preferential voting.

4.  A Queensland Ballot Paper shows the Candidate’s full name and whether they are endorsed by a Party authorised by the Queensland Electoral Commission as “Officially approved to be able to call themselves a Political Party,” in which case the Party name appears under the name of the Candidate. Electoral Funding is more easily obtained when the Party name is printed on the ballot paper.  Independents have a blank space under their name.

5.  For nearly 100 years Queensland has lacked an Upper House. Compulsory Preferential Voting applies for the Legislative Assembly, with voters electing 93 members representing Electorates with similar voting populations but vastly different areas. 

This voting System is called “Compulsory Preferential Voting” because for a Ballot Paper to be considered “Valid” it is compulsory that every box must have a number without the duplication of any number. 

In Queensland it is not compulsory to lodge a valid vote, as no one checks your ballot paper, but unless you register the fact that you have accepted a ballot paper the Government will attempt to fine you.  For a Valid Vote every box on the Ballot Paper requires a different number starting with the Number ONE.

It is expected that voters will number the Candidates in order of the personal preference of each voter. Candidates have the option of printing a How To Vote Recommendation (HTVR), which show the way that the candidate would like you to number your preferences. Voters may follow these cards, take note of them, or ignore them completely. 

Continued in Part 2

James Darby is the son of the Late Douglas Darby, who was MLA for Manly for over 3 Decades. At age two was hospitalised with Polio for three years. From age 7 he remembers meeting escapees from Stalin's Soviet Union as his Father was also the President of The Captive Nations Council. He has despised all forms of Socialism ever since. At age 16 being medically exempt from the Army James gave an oath to defend Australia from Socialist activity in Australia. He has worked as a Sheep Farmer and Hay Baling Contractor before selling Real Estate, Life Insurance and Cars whilst always backrooming at Election Times. At 27 he became Self Employed as Matchmaker and Courtship Coach for 40 yrs.