Ludlam seeks recount after losing Senate seat

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Ludlam seeks recount after losing Senate seat

Preferences push Greens out of WA.

Greens senator and party communications spokesperson Scott Ludlam will seek a recount after losing his Western Australian seat in the Senate election.

Ludlam was elected to the Senate in 2007. Australian Electoral Commission results today indicated he had lost his seat by just 14 votes.

Ludlam said the Greens had requested a recount, and the AEC would require 24 hours to consider the request.

At the current count he would leave the Senate at the end of June next year before the sitting of the new Senate in July. The six WA seats went to three Liberal MPs, two Labor MPs and a Palmer United Party candidate. 

The Greens Party came third with 9 percent, or 124,268, of the total votes. In comparison the Palmer United Party nabbed 65,511, or 5 percent, of total votes, coming in fifth position.

A complex system of minor party preferencing means the PUP’s Zhenya Wang will take over Ludlam’s seat despite the PUP recording almost half the Greens’ vote.

Ludlam told ABC Perth radio Australia’s electoral system needed urgent reform. 

“It is an elegant system that is now being expertly gamed and manipulated,'' he said.

"The whole purpose of an electoral system is to as accurately as possible represent the voting will of the Australian people, and it has actually let us down in this instance.''

He said he would like to continue working in politics in some form following the end of his term.

Ludlam has been a vocal advocate of IT policy during his tenure in the Senate.

He became known for sharp attacks on both major parties for various communications related policies during Senate estimates, particular with Labor’s plans to introduce an internet filter and implement data retention

More recently, when the Coalition released and then hastily retracted its own internet filter policy, Ludlam called it a “misconceived brain-snap”.

Ludlam was similarly critical of the Attorney-General’s department and its attitude to surveillance, accusing the AGD and other agencies of "vacuuming" huge quantities of personally-identifiable telecommunications and internet data.

The Greens and Ludlam subsequently introduced the Telecommunications Interception and Access Act (Get A Warrant) Bill 2013, which was scrapped by the committee investigating it due to the federal election.

Ludlam has been an advocate for the Labor Government’s fibre-to-the-home national broadband network and sat on the NBN Parliamentary Committee in 2009-10 and later from 2011.

He similarly constantly defended the actions of Wikileaks in Parliament. The Wikileaks party controversially allocated its preferences to the Nationals over Ludlam in the September federal election.

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