of the ABC's analysis of the election results last night. It may be a week or more before we have a result. It looks tight.
What I did hear however also disturbed me. One of the panel, the man who has been the Attorney-General, was complaining about the number of people who had cast postal or pre-poll votes. Postal or pre-poll votes are supposed to be available to the elderly (in nursing homes), the disabled (who find it very difficult to get to a polling booth) and those who will be away from the electorate or working such hours they cannot attend a polling booth.
Apparently many more people than that are now "voting early". Our panel member did not like this. He said it was a "life-style" choice and it had to be stopped. He wants people to turn up on the day. The reason for this is that results will be known more quickly. In a "tight" election, like this one, he sees that as an advantage. And yes, of course it would be nice to know.
But, is it democratic? No, of course it isn't. There is already an undemocratic requirement for people to attend the ballot box. (Please don't misunderstand me here. I believe people should vote and should be encouraged to vote. I don't believe they should be compelled to vote.) Requiring more people to give up time on a Saturday - when many more now work on Saturdays - or find time when they have to fit voting in to an already crowded schedule of shopping, school sport, ballet lessons etc. would not be popular.
It would add, just a little, to the queues and the time required. It adds to the pressure to mark the ballot paper just as the major parties (for whom most people vote) want in a system which not only requires compulsory attendance at the ballot box but compulsory preferencing of all candidates. If you want to take the time to do it your own way (as I do) then you are likely to feel under even more pressure.
Our electoral system needs some major changes. I don't doubt these will also be resisted by the panel member in question. He almost certainly believes that the current system benefits his party. It does. That is why it needs to change.