The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Wondering how to vote?

With just a few days to go before the end of election madness, I figure I should act like a political party and tell y’all how to vote. Or more to the point, how best to take advantage of the preferential system on Saturday.

There’ll be two forms to fill out, the little green House of Reps ballot and the big white Senate ballot. Consider first the little green one.

My advice here is to not put the number 1 in front of a Labor, Liberal, or National candidate. Instead, vote for a small party, perhaps even one of the tiny obscure parties like the Citizens’ Electoral Council. Then put your real vote as number 2. Whoever you mark first will almost certainly lose, which means your vote will then be passed on to whoever you put second.

There are two advantages to this. The first is symbolic: even though your vote ends up with one of the big parties, they’re not your first preference, so you can legitimately claim that you don’t support the bastards and their big-spending ways. The second is hip-pocket: parties get money from the AEC based on how many votes they receive, so by putting that 1 in a different box you’re directing about $3 to a party that may well need the money more than the big two would.

The big Senate paper is a different matter, since you just have to put 1 in a box above the line. (I won’t explain what to do below the line; I’m assuming that if you’re crazy enough to do that, you’re enough like me to know what to do. Just make sure to get the numbering right!)

Each above-the-line box represents a party, but if the party you choose doesn’t get enough votes, your vote will be passed on to one of the big two (as decided by each party). So again, I strongly recommend that you vote for one of the smaller parties rather than Liberal or Labor.

No matter who wins the election overall, Australian democracy tends to work better when the Senate isn’t controlled by one of the big parties. And as long as you choose a minor party that’s aligned with your interests (e.g. the Greens if you like Labor, maybe Family First if you support Liberal) then your vote will still be headed in the right direction if they lose.

Thus, Hourann’s Sure-Fire Voting Technique:

  • pick a small party you like
  • on the green paper, put 1 for that party, then 2 for the big party you prefer
  • on the white paper, put 1 in that party’s above-the-line box

Whoever said this was hard?

  1. Family First??? Are you serious????? Do you want to have your blog taken down because your views don’t exactly match the fundamentalist views of their party??

  2. Do not vote for the CEC, they are certified nutfucks.

  3. Also, your openid support doesn’t work.

  4. I am voting Labor cos the Libs put GST on fishing gear!

  5. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for The Family Fisters under ANY circumstances.

  6. Aww, guys, just because Family First and the CEC are a little crazy (which I don’t deny at all!) doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have a preference thrown their way once in a while. Would you also deny throwing a coin at a beggar on the street?*

    James: will look into OpenID, was working last time I tried :-(

    * don’t answer this; no, really, don’t.

  7. Having spent an hour or so “discussing” things with a CEC candidate last week (in my defence, I knew him from elsewhere and so couldn’t not say hello, and besides, it was entertaining), I second the “CEC are insane” sentiment.

  8. But if everyone did that, wouldn’t the little party win?

  9. nony, if everybody does it, then yes, the little party will win. But that’s like saying if everybody ate bread at the same time the country would run out of bread.

    On the green House of Reps form, small-party candidates never win (with only a few exceptions in the past fifty years or so, all of them down to strange regional factors). On the white Senate form, they’ve never won more than two out of six seats up for offer at any given time … and as I was trying to explain, more small parties in the Senate is generally better.

Care to leave a comment?