Media Circus: Australia votes 2016

So the day has finally come. Obviously those of us who are politics wonks pretty much made our minds up even before the election was called, and there hasn’t really been anything unexpected arise domestically during the lengthy campaign to change many minds there. Even the Brexit clusterfuck probably hasn’t changed many minds amongst those of us who read and swear and point and laugh at political op-eds regularly, though I’m sure it rattled some complacency amongst the pollies themselves.

For those voter less generally engaged with politics between elections, I wonder how many are only making their mind up today, or who had mostly made their mind up months ago but not paid much attention to the specifics for today’s polls? The only change that’s happened for me is firming my intention to give my first preferences to small parties in BOTH Houses, not just the Senate, because the scare campaign against them gave me the pip, and I think the majors (and I include the Greens as nearly-majors) need to learn to manage a deliberative Parliament with competing cross-bench interests that more adequately represent the wider range of policy views amongst Australians. Point worth noting – the more first vote preferences the smaller parties receive, the more federal funding they receive going forward for future campaigning – the majors already have robust war chests.

If you need to generate a cheat sheet to take with you, below are some helpful links.

If you’re not entirely sure who is who in your federal electorate apart from Labor/LNP/Greens, Auntie ABC’s Election Guide has you covered with lists of candidates – check them out for every Lower House seat individually A-Z, per Electorates A-Z, or per Electorates by State. You can copy-paste the list of candidates and their parties into a text editor, print it off and put your numbers next to them. I found looking at who the majors put last in their own preference recommendations quite illuminating, just sayin’.

Now, the Upper House (Senate) parties – so many many names, many of them deliberately obscurantist or frankly deceptive. There’s a few irreverent guides which cut down the time needed to say a definite NOPE to some of these parties, and give you more time to concentrate on the real contenders for your 6 (maximum) Above-The-Line votes, or should you be feeling more energetic, your 12 (minimum) Below-The-Line votes. Know Your Parties is mostly polite, DonkeyVoties is snarkier and will generate a personal voting guide according to your personal preferences that you can take into the polling booth with you.

Finally, the Snagvotes and Democracy Sausage websites will let you know which of your local polling places is hosting a sausage-sizzle and/or cake-stall to raise funds for local community organisation. Many of them these days have vegetarian, gluten-free and halal options, so check ’em out.

Let’s see how it all shakes out this evening, eh?

Categories: ethics & philosophy, Life, media, parties and factions, Politics

Tags: , , ,

16 replies

  1. BTW, feel free to just talk up the food side of things if you’re overwhelmed by electoral ennui. I’m just about to head up to our local primary school, will let you know how they’ve done this year.

  2. Small parties are fine in principle, but I’ve struggled to find a small party with a full suite of policy that addresses the issues of particular concern to me. I’m very hesitant to vote for anyone who’s campaigning on a single issue and hasn’t publicly and thoughtfully addressed the fact that they’ll be asked to vote on the full range of issues – they’re a black box.

    • Totally agreed; I’m not voting for any single issue parties.

      There are a few small parties (in the NSW Senate ballot at least) with a broad enough range of progressive policies for me, and I’m putting them ahead of the majors.

      • Also, here in Grayndler, we have a field of 11 HoR candidates. About half of the small parties are single issue, but the rest are not, so Greens & Labor are in the middle of my numbering, then the single issue parties, then Libs and then CDP.

        ETA: this is obviously acknowledging that Albo is almost certain to be returned for Grayndler, even though this time around the Greens have a highly electable contender (he may surprise us yet). So I’m protest voting, definitely, regarding the HoR. The Senate possibilities are far more interesting.

    • As an example, the Animal Justice Party. Animal welfare and sustainability, sure. But their health policy is a scary, judgy mess, and should concern anyone in healthcare or research, or who might get sick one day. They have no disability, welfare, or refugee policy at all, and buried in their Law and Social Justice policy is a line about working toward animals having legal personhood. Their other policies, while labelled in generic/inclusive ways – “Economy”, “Domestic Violence” – only address animals. How are they going to vote on other issues? Who knows?

      • Agreed. I couldn’t vote for them.

      • Oh, I’ve awarded the Animal Justice Party the “Single Issue Tunnel Vision” award for this election (narrowly pipping the Cyclists Party of Australia for that honour, mainly because of their policy arguing for compulsory veganism as the solution to the world’s problems). I suspect they’ve forgotten homo sapiens is a member of the Animal Kingdom.

    • Oh, House of Reps, we’ve only got four. And the fourth one is the Australian “Christians”. So no!

  3. Big thumbs up to St Peters Primary School P&C fund-raising stall – extremely tasty snags on a very nice very fresh bun, with oodles of onions for those who love ’em. Also a cake stall with plenty of GF, vegetarian and vegan options alongside more “classic” cupcakes, biccies and muffins.

  4. Even Antony Green is joining the Grayndler party:

  5. I didn’t check for a response on Twitter to Wednesday’s tweet to the local high school about whether they were hosting a #democracysausage sizzle before I went to vote. So I didn’t go there to vote and so missed out on democracy sausage! Strangely the people at the local market who can usually be trusted to have sausage sangers didn’t. But I did buy a fantastic chocolate cake from the local primary school cake stall so I’m happy.

    This election is certainly closer and more interesting than expected.

  6. Just seen on Insiders, editor Huw Parkinson’s latest political mashup video – The Battle For Middle Ground (Lord Of The Rings). It’s glorious (not up on Parkinson’s YouTube channel yet, I presume he’s contractually obliged to give his employer exclusive access for a week or so).

  7. I went and voted down at Fremantle Primary School in the seat of Fremantle, because I had to be in Freo for an appointment (which made it four journeys to and fro in the course of the day, since that’s where my partner was working for the AEC). Long queues, and the primary school P&C narrowly managed to get more money out of me than the Fremantle City Council for the day ($6 for a democracy bacon and egg roll with relish, vs $5 for parking in two different locations). Nice relish, though.

    The big advantage of the senate changes as far as I’m concerned is that I could pick and choose six parties I was interested in, and not have to number the Liberals at all.

    (By the way: WA’s senate independents included – one guy who left the Liberals because they’re a bunch of pinko commies; one person who was standing as an Independent Senator because they thought WA needed/deserved one; one bloke who makes a lot of his “ordinary bloke” qualifications; and one genuine nutter (and I say this as someone undergoing treatment for mental illness myself) who believes the Apocalypse will be happening within 5000 days, and if elected he’d stop all wars by 2025. So, mixed nuts.)

  8. So, this is dragging on a bit.

    • Now there are hints they might go again. I am not keen on another election campaign. I should look to see if Antony Green has written anything about second snap elections. Like do you have to have 6 weeks of advertising.

%d bloggers like this: