How to vote in the 2007 Australian Federal Election
This is a voting guide for the upcoming Federal election. It reflects how I personally will be voting, but others may find it useful to avoid hidden evil preferences and another disaster as big as the last federal election.
Here's my objectives:
- Avoid electing majority for either major party in the Senate
- Avoid electing the Liberal party (and coalition) with a majority in the House of Representatives
- Give absolutely no votes or preferences to the Family First Party
House of Representatives
In general, for the the House of Representatives, vote for the following (in order):
- The Greens
- Australian Labor Party
- Australian Democrats
- other parties
- One Nation
- Family First
Note: Not all parties listed above may appear on your voting form.
In general, for the the Senate, vote for the following above the line:
- The Greens
Quite straight-forward, really.
Before continuing, some disclaimers: I am not a member of any Australian political party. While I have done some research to back up this guide, it may contain errors, omissions and sub-optimal ordering of preferences. If you spot any, please email me: email@example.com.
Objectives and Strategy
Looking at my general recommendations above, you might be excused for thinking I'm some rabid environmentalist. To some degree that is true - I do believe environmental sustainability is a critical issue, but I mostly vote for the Greens because after the fall of the Australian Democrats, there is no other party left with enough clout to keep the big two in line. This is the primary basis for this guide.
So, let's look at the objectives in more detail:
Avoid electing majority for either major party in the Senate
Oversight is essential for the correct functioning of democratic systems. The last Federal term has been a disaster for Australia as the incumbent Liberal party has had full control of the upper and lower houses. In situations like this, one party can pass bills without any of the checks and balances that would normally be the case. This must stop.
Thus, given this first priority, it is essential that a minor party hold sufficient seats in the Senate to keep it real.
Avoid electing the Liberal party (and coalition) with a majority in the House of Representatives
The Australian Liberal party seems to have managed the economy well since defeating Labor in 1996. Some would argue they have just been steering the ship in the same direction former Treasurer Paul Keating set it heading, however. Certainly, that seems to be the reason why most people vote for them.
On the other hand, they have a terrible record on seemingly every other angle: handling of indigenous affairs, mandatory detention of refugees, following the United States into the second Iraq War and other foreign policy gaffes, curtailing civil liberties and privacy in the name of "defeating" terrorism, ignoring problems with environmental sustainability, dismantling and cutting funding for social welfare and education.
Great, they made everyone rich at the cost of humanity and human dignity. Time to kick them out, I think.
Give absolutely no votes or preferences for the Family First Party
The "Family First" party are fascist, fundamentalist Christians who deserve no place in such a noble institution as the Australian Federal Parliament. Unless you want to regress human civilisation back to the 1800's and pin it there, do not vote for these fuckers.
On a similar note, One Nation are racist, xenophobic fascists. As such, don't vote for these assholes either.
For the upper house, we primarily want to make sure strong candidates not running under one of the big two parties get elected. Also, we should make sure preferences go to the Labor Party, not the Liberals.
As mentioned above, the Australian Democrats (who were formed for this specific reason, to keep the bastards honest) have lost much of their appeal in this decade. The only remaining minor party with sufficient clout at the moment is the Greens, thus they need to be voted for first in the Senate. Happily, they are also giving preferences to Labor, thus is a win-win vote.
After that, voting for the Democrats would be the next best choice - they are giving their preferences to the Liberals, but we are taking take care of that by voting below the line. Vote then for the Labor party, they're better than the Liberals. Choose any wacky independents and small parties that take your fancy next (excluding Family First and One Nation). See the ordering below for South Australia to get an idea what order is reasonable for the remaining small parties and independents in the rest of the country.
Next, vote for Liberal (they suck, but are better than what follows), then One Nation, then Family First, in that order.
For the House of Reps, we want to ensure Labor gets elected over the Liberal party. A neat way of doing that is by voting for the Greens first, then for Labor. Remember, party preferences do not count in the lower house, it's up to you to specify preferences.
Then, in the same way as for the Senate, vote for whatever wacky independents and small parties next, then the Liberal party, One Nation, then Family First.
How to Vote in Adelaide and South Australia
For the seat of Adelaide in the lower house, vote for the following:
- SOLLY, Peter: The Greens
- ELLIS, Kate: Labor Party
- BIAR, Sandy: Australian Democrats
- MARSH, Tracy: Liberal
- SLAPE, Dennis: Family First Party
For the upper house, vote at least above the line, but preferably both above and below. Voting below the line takes precedence, but if you make a mistake below the line, what you vote above will used instead. It is like a little insurance.
So, vote above the line:
- The greens
Then, below the line, vote for:
- HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah: The Greens (Group F)
- MORTIER, Nikki: The Greens (Group F)
- RIGNEY, Matt: The Greens (Group F)
- DRUMMOND, Michelle (ungrouped)
- RUSSELL, Ruth: Australian Democrats (Group P)
- BAUMANN, Max: Australian Democrats (Group P)
- WAY, Richard: Australian Democrats (Group P)
- FARRELL, Don: Australian Labor Party (Group K)
- WONG, Penny: Australian Labor Party (Group K)
- PERRY, Cathy: Australian Labor Party (Group K)
- CLARK, Joel Michael: Senator On-Line (Group N)
- CLARKE, Courtney: Senator On-Line (Group N)
- NEUMANN, Emma: What Women Want (Group J)
- McINTOSH, Morag: What Women Want (Group J)
- ENDEAN, Colin Andrew: Climate Change Coalition (Group L)
- KUBILIUS, Vidas: Climate Change Coalition (Group L)
- CLARKE, Renfrey: Socialist Alliance (Group O)
- LAZAROU, Liah: Socialist Alliance (Group O)
- XENOPHON, Nick (Group S)
- PATERSON, Brian M (Group B)
- BROOK, A (Group B)
- GLASS, Stewart (ungrouped)
- McALARY, David: LDP (Group R)
- HILL, Mark: LDP (Group R)
- BORUN, Basil C P: The Australian Shooters Party (Group E)
- HAHN, John: The Australian Shooters Party (Group E)
- TIPPINS, Paul Anthony: Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party (Group D)
- ARMSTRONG, Neil: Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party (Group D)
- SIEBERT, Paul G: Citizens Electoral Council (Group M)
- VINCENT, Martin: Citizens Electoral Council (Group M)
- HUNT, Noelene: Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) (Group C)
- COLANGELO, Bruno: Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) (Group C)
- CUTHBERTSON, Mark: National Party (Group G)
- HOWARD, Rob: National Party (Group G)
- McCABE, David: Democratic Labor Party (Group H)
- HARDY, Garry N J: Democratic Labor Party (Group H)
- KOURTESIS, Maria: Liberal (Group I)
- CHAPMAN, Grant: Liberal (Group I)
- BIRMINGHAM, Simon: Liberal (Group I)
- BERNARDI, Cory: Liberal (Group I)
- BRYSON, Roger: (Group S)
- DWYER, David: One Nation (Group A)
- ALDRIDGE, Mark: One Nation (Group A)
- GIBSON, Colin: Family First Party (Group Q)
- TURNBULL, Toni: Family First Party (Group Q)
- BATES, Tony: Family First Party (Group Q)
References and Resources
Don't agree with me? Work out who you really want to vote for: www.howshouldivote.com.au
I would love to hear your comments about this matter: email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I used the ABC Elections website extensively when researching this, including their How To Vote (for the tip about voting both above and below the line for the Senate) and Anthony Green's Election Guide for preferences information.
For the final word, consult the Australian Electoral Commission's Election 2007 website.
Enroll, and don't forget to vote!