AEC Twitter experiment outrages election conspiracy theorists

The Australian Electoral Commission has logged on, and both drips and antivaxxers are outside the window shouting at them to log off. (Show yourselves, cowards!)

Misinformation about voting is clearly at the top of the minds of election administrators around the world. The culture war is truly transnational and nonsense about Dominion voting machines, elections being a big scam, and people intentionally voting more than once is increasingly infecting the Australian discourse just as they have ruined America’s.

The Australian Electoral Commission, the independent government agency that runs federal elections, is acutely aware of this trend and have become extremely online — as the conspiracists are — in response. Earlier this year, they have taken advantage of YouTube’s Shorts feature to make shareable videos debunking common misconceptions. Since October, they have also become active on Twitter responding to the public’s takes on the procedures governing the upcoming election.

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The Crisis in Samoa

Last month’s election in the small Pacific Island nation and the constitutional crisis that continues into this week has me asking: Was Samoa ever a democracy? By any intuitive account, yes. It has free elections for a parliament from which ministers are appointed and a head of state is elected, and the Samoan constitution grants several civil liberties, namely freedom of expression.

For some people, namely political scientists, these intuitive accounts are not enough. This post will take a more analytical approach, comparing a number of democracy indices, the background to the election campaign, analysis of the results, the myth of ‘dominant-party’ democracy, and remarking on the aftermath.

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