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 "Preferential 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 agendas.
- Family First has a very narrow definition of "family" and is quite obsessed with sex and sexuality, namely controlling yours.
- 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.