Tomorrow is the big day, Howard's End. Something I've been waiting
11 years for. The day his particular breed of reactionary politics is
shown the door.
There's really only one thing you must remember when voting
tomorrow. Regardless of who wins government (and it looks like a
Labor landslide is in the offing), the most important vote is the
Senate. The conservatives, in conjunction with the hard-right
"Christian" party Family First, currently hold the balance of power.
Labor has no chance of winning control of the Senate in their own
right, so the best option is to get Greens onto those red benches.
The best outcome is a Labor government with the Greens holding the
balance in the Senate. This means the Senate becomes a house of
review again, rather than the rubber stamp it's been under Howard.
Labor will be forced to compromise to get support from the Greens, but
the threat of support from the conservatives and religious nuts will
force the Greens to be reasonable.
Only the Greens support the full reversal of Howard's divisivle
Workchoices, and we will support and hopefully strengthen Labor's
plans to dismantle it.
Both major parties are planning to build the pulp mill in
Tasmania. Only the Greens have opposed it throughout the dodgy
approval process. Both major parties also support increased uraniam
mining and nuclear power. Yes, even Peter Garrett.
The Greens support public education, not tax cuts to the rich. My
uncle (a public school teacher) had a great comment about government
funding for private schools. Just because you build a pool in your
backyard doesn't mean you should get a rebate for not using the
government-funded public pool.
Finally, The Greens are the only party that support full
equality for GLBTI relationships.
Isn't a vote for a minor party a wasted vote?
No. Unlike some other countries, Australia has a system called
Voting" or "Instant-runoff voting". You number the candidates
according to your preference and, if your first candidate isn't the
winner, your vote is transferred to your next preference. I explained
it in some detail on
my blog and there's a great
video explaining it by the Greens.
What about this <insert minor party>
Beware the little parties you've never heard of. While they might
have a nice fluffy sounding name, some of them have very sinister
Family First has a very narrow definition of "family"
and is quite obsessed with sex and sexuality, namely controlling
Non-Custodial Parents are preferencing some very dodgy
parties, so I doubt they really have the interests of most single
parents at heart.
Climate Change Coalition have done some very shonky
preference deals, including putting The Fishing Party ahead of The
Greens, with Family First and One Notion ahead of Labor!
Democratic Labor Party, to paraphrase the old joke about
the Libs, are neither democratic, nor a party. These are incredibly
conservative Catholics who are still convinced there's a red under
every bed, preferencing the Coalition, Family First and Fred Nile
ahead of Labor.
Conservatives for Climate and Environment will never get a
seat in the Senate, and their preferences go straight to the
Coalition. The only circumstance it might make sense to vote for them
is if you want to vote Coalition but also want to send a message about
climate change and the environment. I guess.
I've gone through the NSW
Senate preferences in more detail on my blog before.
If you're voting tomorrow afternoon at St Peters Public School,
you'll probably run into me. Be sure to say hello.