Earlier this week, the Australian Electoral Commission released the Senate group tickets – ie, the manner in which preferences are allocated, if you’re silly enough to vote above the line on the Senate ballot paper. I’ve analysed the Victorian group tickets below; please note that while I make every effort to be accurate, I don’t make any claim to be impartial in my commentary.
I’ll start first with the major parties. As announced last week, the Labor Party has given their immediate preferences to the Greens. This is followed by the Climate Change Coalition. Oddly enough, they’re preferencing the right-wing Liberty and Democracy Party (LDP), and the Shooters Party, above the considerably more moderate Australian Democrats. In the case of the Shooters’ party, this may well be due to some sort of deal, as they have surprisingly preferenced Labor over Liberal, but I can’t work out what the ALP thinks it is doing with the LDP. Fortunately they have learnt from their idiotic mistake in the 2004 election, and Family First is right down at the bottom of their ticket.
The Liberals and Nationals are running a joint ticket (three Libs and one lonely Nat), and their immediate preferences go to Family First, which might be off-putting to any small-l liberal voters still on the Coalition’s side – and more so given that the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) are preferenced next; this is particularly strange, as I can’t imagine that the DLP would be in favour of Workchoices.
Moving on to the not-so-major parties, the Greens have two group tickets, both of which are identical at the pointy end – preferences go to the Democrats, followed by the What Women Want party and the Carers Alliance, and eventually Labor above Liberal/National. The main differences between the two tickets appear to be the positions of Family First, the LDP and the Christian Democratic Party (CDP); presumably the Greens didn’t want to decide between the lesser of three evils.
Family First demonstrate their commitment to the so-called working families of Australia by endorsing Workchoices – they’ve preferenced the Liberals above Labor, although both well below their religious brethren, the DLP and the CDP. One Nation even rates fairly high on their ticket, which just about says it all for me. Not surprisingly, they’ve put the Greens in the absolute last spot, even below the lunar Citizens Electoral Council (CEC).
The Australian Democrats, in what is likely – and sadly – to be their last hurrah, are running two group tickets, with the only difference between the two being the position of the Labor and Liberal/National parties with respect to each other. In both cases, the Carers Alliance, the What Women Want party and the Greens are given higher preferences, and Family First, One Nation and the CEC are right at the bottom.
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have given the DLP‘s ticket a second (or even first) glance, but after their surprise win of a Victorian upper-house seat in the state election last year, once again due to ALP insanity, their newfound prominence might cause their preferences to be useful to someone here. They’ve billed the ALP above the Coalition – not a surprise – but both well below Family First.
Some other items of note from the smaller parties:
- The Carers Alliance have given preferences to the Democrats and Greens, but have put Labor below the Liberals. Odd.
- One Nation appear to be somewhat schizophrenic; there’s a One Nation ticket on the ballot paper, but there’s also a One Nation WA candidate in the independents section.
- The Citizens Electoral Council appears to be disliked by almost everyone; the only parties that didn’t put them down in the lower 60s were the Non-Custodial Parents Party, the Christian Democratic Party and One Nation. Great minds think alike.
- The Conservatives for Climate and Environment party are evidentally so committed to the environment that they’ve preferenced the Liberal Party, known climate change denialists, above the Labor Party.
- The Socialist Equality Party has three group tickets, one preferencing the Greens, one Labor and one to the Liberals. I guess the Greens are just too bourgeois now.