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auprefs.info - A vain attempt to rescue Australian democracy with a little JavaScript

Project: auprefs.info

“Graphs are like tiny dollops of science you can hold in your hand”
- First Dog on the Moon

"Above the line" voting in the Australian Senate and State upper houses means your favourite political party can choose where preferences will be distributed, and you may not know, or like, their decisions. In 2012, Paul Foxworthy noticed that even the “how to vote” tickets for his local Council election had a long list of single-issue candidates sending second preferences to the “real” candidate.

With some analysis, you could detect clusters of candidates that seem to be co-operating. But who has the time and patience? Paul looked for, and eventually found, a way to visualise preference data.

auprefs.info is a web site and open source web application to visualise preference distribution in Australian elections. It aims to better inform voters where their vote might go. Knowledge is power - if we can see what our vote is doing, we might be more careful how we exercise it.

Paul will talk about why he did it, and how you can create force-directed graphs and other interactive visualisations using the amazing d3 graphing library.

The source code for the http://auprefs.info site is available under the Apache Licence, version 2.0 at https://bitbucket.org/ConcreteGannet/auprefs.info

Paul Foxworthy

Paul Foxworthy (@ConcreteGannet) is an open source developer and trainer living in Melbourne. He is a committer to the Apache OFBiz project and also currently serves as a director of Open Source Industry Australia. He is very pleased at this, his eighth LCA, to have finally done something just possibly cool enough to talk about.

Outside work, Paul tries to get away to his bush block in eastern Victoria, and to teach agile techniques to Ilke the German Shepherd.