Just to recap.
The AEC conducted the election for Senators in Western Australia. It assembled its Widget.
It counted votes and the candidates with the most votes won Senate seats. It produced its Widget.
'The result was too close,' some people said. 'The Widget isn't right. Make another one.'
'The Widget's fine,' the Western Australian Electoral Commissioner said.
Some of the losing candidates complained. 'We don't like the Widget because we didn't get elected...er, no...because it's not the Widget we wanted...er, no...because there's too much doubt about the democratic process!'
'I agree that the Widget hasn't turned out the way that it should,' the Federal Electoral Commissioner said upholding the appeal and ordering a re-count. 'Not for the reasons given by the losers, but because our customers ordered a Confidence coloured Widget and its colour is flaking and fading. We have to remake it.'
The re-count began and found that votes were missing. The AEC searched and could not find them. It appointed an independent investigator.
Before the investigator could report back, the AEC said 'We know enough already. Our Widget is so important that we have to get it right. We think it's not good enough. We're not going to wait for someone else to complain about our Widget. We're going to do it. Let's ask the High Court to confirm that we failed and tell us what we need to do fix it.'
This rare integrity in decision making is only possible when a decision maker has Widget authenticity and clarity.
Every organisation claims to be 'committed to...' something. Committed to excellence in... Committed to the welfare of... Committed to the safety of... Committed to our customers...
'Committed to' implies that we've leapt. The bullet has been fired. The train has left the station. We won't be satisfied until we've produced excellence, welfare, safety, customer satisfaction. Nothing will stop us. There is nothing foreseen or unforeseen that will cause us to waver us from what we have committed ourselves to do. We have no choice now.
Yet the reality for most organisations is that Committed To is the excited language of the salesman and the marketer and the PR person being put into the mouth of the Widget maker to get people to buy the Widget. It rarely comes off the assembly line in that colour. It's too hard.
Which is why the decision making of the AEC is so extraordinary and very reassuring, as its role is:
to deliver the franchise: that is, an Australian citizen's right to vote, as established by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.