My personal How to Vote Card…

Just for fun, and since I’m making notes for myself anyway, I thought I’d share with you my own How To Vote Card, and the process I’ve used to get there.  Feel free to ignore it.  But before I hide all my musings behind a cut, here, just for fun, are three other takes on the Senate Ticket for Victoria:

Humble Wonderful has provided a two-part ‘Biased Guide to the Victorian Senate Election’.  Very funny, very incisive, and much more concise than mine!  Part One / Part Two

Scott Lewis has a whole series of YouTube video posts on the different tiny parties, including a bunch that aren’t running candidates in Victoria.  They are good fun and informative, and much less biased than mine, and they also have silly musical intros.  What’s not to like?

Daniel Elkington, who actually lives in the same electorate as me, has written his own how to vote card.  This is a particularly interesting one for me to read, because Daniel and I agree on the environment and refugees, but disagree on religion and abortion.  The similarities between our tickets are as interesting as the disagreements, if not more so.

And here, without further ado, is the officially endorsed Cate Speaks how to vote card!

(nobody in their right mind would endorse this card, but that still lets me out…)

I am, as I believe I mention in my manifesto, a lefty, feminist, social-justice, greenie type, and my preferences express this.  I also don’t think religion belongs in politics, or at least, not the kind of religion that focuses primarily on who is sleeping with whom.  A bit more attention to justice, caring for our neighbour, and showing solidarity with the oppressed would be a fine thing to see in politics, frankly.

In any case, my core issues this election are

  • refugees – we need to start treating them like we would treat anyone who has come through a harrowing experience and lost their home, i.e., with compassion
  • climate change and renewable energy – it’s real, and we need to do something about it
  • education – everyone should have access to a good quality one, regardless of their parents’ income
  • medical and dental care – ditto
  • marriage equality – I’m for it
  • misogyny – I’m against it
  • farmers and food security – a new one for me, but I really liked all those policies about labelling where foods come from, giving shelf space to Australian products and protecting our own farmers with tariffs, so that they can better compete with food that is being flown in from overseas.

Already, that’s probably too many issues. So let’s start with the bottom of the ticket, where the wild things are…

Category 5: Mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

Much like a category 5 hurricane, you really don’t want these parties anywhere near where you are.  My strategy for ranking this group of parties is simple: there are crazy parties, mean-spirited crazy parties, and mean-spirited crazy parties who like guns.  I put the armed crazies last.

96-97: The Liberal Democratic Party

Dog-eat-dog libertarianism is not my style.  Actually, it’s dog-eat-wombat, because these are the ones who want to preserve wildlife by hunting it.  I have a huge problem with anyone who doesn’t feel that healthcare is a human right, and their desire to get rid of restrictions on guns is the final straw.  These are selfish, selfish people and I do not like them, even if they are pro-marriage equality.

94-95: Shooters and Fishers Party

They like to shoot things, and they advocate for the politically incorrect, which suggests that they are probably either sexist or racist, and also armed.  Think the Greens are terrorists, view climate change as a fiction and don’t like refugees.  They are also more or less a single issue party, and it’s not a nice issue.  This entitles them to the second-lowest spot on my ticket.

92-93: The Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens)

Possibly a front for the LDP, but not a very competent one.  Libertarians who specifically like shooting things and believe that the Greens are terrorists.  Climate change is obviously unscientific. Ooh, and they also want to get rid of speed limits!  Welcome to the third-worst place on my ballot!  And you only have that, because you didn’t actually say anything about refugees, though I’m pretty sure I know what you would say if you could.

90-91: Rise Up Australia Party

Anti-muslim, anti-multicultural, anti-gay marriage, and they don’t believe in climate change.  Nasty-minded people who give my country and my religion a bad name, but not actually armed, so far as I can tell, and they want to eliminate homelessness and establish fair wages, so they rank above the parties who just want to shoot things.

88-89: One Nation

Horrible immigration policies and also anti-multiculturalism, but they’re sort of famous for that.  Convinced that immigrants and refugees are coming in and stealing our health-services, which puts them squarely in the mean-spirited camp.  They used to be into guns, but if they are now, they are not admitting it.  Don’t believe in climate change.  Somehow still less obnoxious than Rise Up Australia, though I don’t know how they manage that.

86-87: Australian Smokers’ Rights Party

Only one policy, and it’s a bad one.  Probably a front for big tobacco. But on the upside, they don’t seem to care either way about refugees or global warming, and they don’t want to shoot things.

84-85: Citizens Electoral Council

Climate change is a fraud and solar cells are genocide, and these people really are more than slightly bonkers.  However, while they have drunk the ‘multiculturalism is racist’ Koolaid, they are also pro-immigration, and look, I just can’t truly hate a party that thinks that the answer to our economic problems is a space program.

82-83: No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics

They do not understand science, and their only good policy is on satellite cities and housing affordability.  Still, this actually is a good policy, and so many parties don’t have one, so they are doing better than some.

80-81: Australian Christians

Un-Christian.  But at least they support the NDIS.  They do make me very angry, though.

Category 4: May contain traces of nuts

78-79: Country Alliance

Good rural policies, but awfully keen on shooting things, and they think the Greens are terrorists.  But again, good rural policies.  Scrape into this category by a hair…

76-77: Democratic Labour Party

Quite good social policies, provided you aren’t gay, female or a refugee.

74-75: Fishing and Lifestyle Party

Really only interested in fishing, but have the occasional nice sentiment in there about letting all Australians reach their potential.

71-73: Liberal Party

I do not like their little plans
I do not like them, Sam I am.

Honestly, even setting aside Abbott and his stupid sexist remarks, I don’t trust this lot with our economy, I don’t trust them with the environment, and their refugee policy is absolutely vile.  And I’m sorry my little ditty doesn’t rhyme properly, but every time I started using policy platform, well, let’s just say I know exactly what ‘climate fix’ rhymes with and I’m trying to keep this blog free of profanity.

69-70: Family First

Very honest about what they are and what they represent.  Good on poverty, health and disability; bad on marriage equality; pro-life.  Climate change is natural and good.  Sigh.

67-68: Australian Voice

Quite good on health and protecting farmers, but horrible on refugees and afraid to say anything useful about climate change.

65-66: Socialist Equality Party

The very definition of the loony left. Lovely policies, but would prefer to get them via revolution. You don’t need an election to have a revolution, so they probably don’t need my vote.

Category 3: Well I have no opinion about this… and I have no opinion about that…

These are the parties I really don’t care much about either way.  They are single issue parties with an issue that fails to interest me, or they are parties which are crazy but harmless, or parties where my feelings are so mixed I don’t know where to put them, or parites that are just a bit uninspiring.  This turns out to be my largest category of political parties…

63-64: Joseph Toscano and Beth Matthews

Anarchists!  They actually say on their policy that they don’t want to be elected.  I shall oblige them by putting them last in this bracket.

61-62: Senator Online

Their policy is that we determine their policy.  It’s hard to really care about a party that is quite that neutral itself!

59-60: Animal Justice

Fundamentalist vegans, who nonetheless have some pretty decent policies about conservation and animal protection.  Just don’t get them started on medical research.  Since I think their attitude to medical research is potentially dangerous, they come low in this bracket.

57-58: Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party

A single issue party.  They want to do cool stuff with cars.  And improve road safety.  I don’t want to do cool stuff with cars, and I still don’t understand ‘motoring culture’, so they aren’t getting much from me.  Also, they don’t seem to like the Greens much, which is a bad sign.

55-56: Australian Republicans

Another single issue party, and they also seem to be part of the LDP group, which is a strike against them.  I don’t really care about the republic issue, either. Sorry.

52-54: Palmer United Party

I love their education policy, but they want to refund the carbon tax, and to stop the boats by putting people on planes, and I don’t think that’s going to work.  Also, they are extremely yellow.

50-51: Katter’s Australian Party

Surprisingly appealing, with good policies on farming and indigenous Australians.  Not too appalling on the environment, though about ten years behind the times. Dreadful on refugees.  A pity – they were doing so well.

48-49: Building Australia Party

They want to build stuff.  Some of it is very good stuff.  Surprisingly non-horrible on the environment.

46-47: Help End Marijuana Prohibition

Peace, man.

45: The National Party

If only they didn’t ally themselves with the Liberals, I’d like them a lot more.  Good policies for country Australia.

Category 2: It’s time!

These are not my all-time favourite parties, but I’d be happy to see any of them get a seat in the senate.  They have good policies, they seem like decent people.  We could do a lot worse.

39-44: The Australian Labor Party

Slightly to the left of the Liberal Party.  Would be higher on my ballot if it weren’t for their shameful refugee policy.

37-38: Wikileaks Party

Good, lefty policies, good on refugees and on climate change, but perhaps a bit libertarian for my liking. If only they didn’t have Julian Assange.  Incidentally, I’m treating Leslie Cannold as an independent for the purposes of this ticket, because that’s what she effectively is at this point.

35-36: Australian Sex Party

Funny and good on marriage equality, but a bit libertarian for my liking, and seem to be primarily a lobby group for the sex industry.  I should probably have put them at 69, though.

34: Lyn Gunter

Seems like a lovely person, but light on for policies.

32-33: Australian Independents

Christian, but in a good way.  Mildly feminist, very good on the environment, healthcare and education, ambiguous on marriage equality.  Kindly but totally impractical on refugees.

30-31: Secular Party

Nice lefty party, good on climate change and marriage equality.  A little shifty on refugees, because they really don’t trust muslims.  Then again, they don’t much like any religious groups.  I don’t think they have fully considered the consequences of their more stringent anti-religion policies.

28-29: Stop CSG

A one issue party, but it’s a fairly good issue.

26-27: Bank Reform Party

Breaking the monopoly (tetrapoly?) of the Big Four.

Category 1: O joy, O rapture unforeseen!

If I’m honest with myself, I’ll admit that I can’t see any of these parties or individuals getting into our senate.  But wouldn’t it be lovely if they did?  This is where it gets really hard to choose, incidentally.  Do I pick a party with a full range of good policies, or one with just one incredibly good policy?  Do I give an independent a chance?  Decisions, decisions…

24-25: Pirate Party

I never thought I’d say this, but I think this lot have the most well-thought-out set of policies yet.  They are good on all my key areas, and on several of my optional-but-good areas.

Edited to add: Drat, apparently they may not be quite as delightful as I thought, at least on the feminism front.  This article is about a recent rather unfortunate set of conversations in the German branch, and reading down into the comment threads is even more concerning.  On the one hand, this isn’t in Australia.  On the other hand, the parties are affiliated.  I’m therefore keeping them in my top bracket, but dropping them to the end of it.

Edited further to add: But please see comment below from a party member.  I’m not going to switch my card around again here, because I don’t have time, and also, if I’m honest, all the parties in this bracket are shifting around constantly in my thinking, and aside from my first preference, I’m not too sure how I will order these few parties when I get to the booth tomorrow.  They are all pretty good bets.

23: Leslie Cannold

I would love to put Leslie Cannold first on my ticket.  She’s an amazing, interesting, intelligent feminist.  She has also said, on resigning from the WikiLeaks party, that she is no longer campaigning, so I’m not sure that she actually wants the seat.  I’m therefore reluctantly putting her towards the end of this bracket.

21-22: Stable Population Party

Stop the births, not the boats.  And they are good on the environment and refugees, too.  A nice, solid party.

10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20: The Greens

This is where I’m pretty sure my vote will actually end up, after wending its way down through the assortment of independents and single policy parties.  And, really, this is where I want it to end up.  The Greens have good policies in all my key areas, and if they are becoming more major partyish in their presentation, well, that’s not a bad thing.

9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19: The Australian Democrats

I love the Democrats.  Equally excellent policies on environment and refugees.  I may wind up alternating them with the Greens down my ticket, actually – it’s really hard to choose between them. In fact, there’s a distinct possibility that I will be sprinkling Greens and Democrats all the way from here to the top of the ticket.  The AEC is going to just love me…

7-8: Drug Law Reform Party

These people are all about harm minimisation and are really good.  They do not have other policies, however, and have said they will vote their consciences on other issues.  This could go anywhere, so I can’t quite bring myself to put them first.

5-6: Bullet Train for Australia

Another one policy party, but this is the best policy *ever*.  I love these people.  They have said they will abstain from voting on other issues, so I can feel free to put them quite high.

4: Darrell Morrison

Lovely policy on refugees and a lovely apology to Indigenous Australia.  Good policies generally, in fact.  And he seems like a nice bloke.  And I always like to put some independents up the top of my ticket if I can.

1-3: Bob Nicholls & Team

I started off saying that this was going to be all about climate and refugees and such, but you know what?  I’ve changed my mind.  The level of misogyny in the most recent parliament, particularly towards the end of Gillard’s Prime Ministership was appalling and distressing.  It got to me on a visceral level.  Reading the newspapers – and particularly the comments online, I felt honestly hated just for the fact that I was female and pro-Gillard.  It made me feel physically ill.  It also made me wish that I wasn’t female.  Or born, sometimes.  I’m not a particularly angry feminist in general, but this really upset me.  And it infuriates me that Abbott and Rudd are effectively being rewarded for their part in enabling this truly unpleasant culture.

Bob Nicholls doesn’t say much about climate or refugees on his website, but he does say this:

Misogyny stops with me!! 

To reach a point where there can be mutual respect between genders we need to:

  • Collectively uncover and root out misogynistic tendencies hidden in our cultural background
  • Individually examine our attitudes and be determined to make a conscious change
  • The men particularly must take up the challenge. Say “NO” to the smutty jokes that degrade women.

                             ” Be a real man, stand up and be counted”.

I’m done with seeing misogyny rewarded.  I’m done with reading articles suggesting that men just wouldn’t vote for Gillard because she was female (but women, of course, don’t mind voting for Abbott or Rudd, because that’s entirely different).

Just occasionally, there has to be a reward for standing up and claiming your feminism in public.  Bob Nicholls and team are getting my vote in this election.

(But since this is about feminism – maybe I’ll put Bob’s daughter, Kylie, first…)

27 thoughts on “My personal How to Vote Card…

  1. When I forwarded this link to la professora [who loved shopping with you, btw], the subject line I used was:

    Snark & insight ahoy!


  2. Catherine, thanks so much for sharing all your efforts- I’m enrolled in NSW, but there was a huge amount of overlap so you have officially saved me from going insane 🙂

  3. Hi Catherine, I’ve very much enjoyed your write-ups (although I’m enrolled in the ACT). Thought you might like to know, though: Smokers Rights is another LDP front. You can tell because their leader, Clinton Mead, is a Liberal Democrats councillor on Campbelltown Council. So while they may not mention it, I’m pretty sure they do want gun stuff too. (Stop the Greens is also unquestionably a front – it even has the same registered officer as the LDP. Both parties’ candidates are sprinkled liberally with previous LDP candidates.)

  4. The problems of a global movement… I feel obligated to point out that projecting the conversations in Europe onto Australian Pirates misunderstands the nature of the affiliation. It would be somewhat akin to projecting conversations from members of British Labour onto the ALP.

    Part of the reason we put time and effort into policies is the hope that people might prefer a type of politics based around policy and evidence rather than scandal and implication. On that front I’d point to our policies on education (particularly teaching respect between genders), removing the blocks on affordable BRCA treatments, restoring parenting payments, and trying to take the edges off our nasty politics as signs of good faith. There’s more to come.

    I understand your concern, but for what it’s worth I’ve been involved with the Australian pirates for a while and never heard a single gender-hostile comment from anyone. It’s a very progressive movement.

    • Thanks for the clarification, Mark. To be honest, it’s incredibly difficult to choose between my top few parties. I’ve edited the post again to direct people to your clarification, but since I’m at work, I’m not going to try to do more with this just now!

  5. Again, so helpful and a great summary. My standpoint is so very similar to yours, so I’m going to crib a lot from this! Except I have to drop the Pirate Party further down – I’m an author and my copyright is very valuable to me and 15 years is nothing in fiction terms. I’m still seeing red from reading their website!

    Also, your distinction between “nuts with guns” and “just nuts” is helpful too. But, as a mum who tries to parent as gently as possible, I’m going to put Rise Up last after seeing their pro-smacking stance.

    And Lyn Gunter hits a nerve being on the nursing and midwifery board. Too much bullying going on lately of midwives who truly support homebirth…

    Some decisions just need to be emotional 🙂

    Anyway, it’s been great getting to know you over the past couple of days 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Elle! I’m glad you found them useful.

      And yes, I agree, 15 years is too short – I can think of more than one series that has been going for longer than that, and it’s not right that authors would not get to keep the copyright. Lifetime plus fifteen years seems fairer.

      Totally understand where you are coming from on the rest, and thanks for popping in and introducing yourself, too.


      PS – your books look like great fun!

  6. Thanks Catherine, you have made voting below the line so much easier for me! Such an entertaining read too. FYI – I am a fellow Coburger. Long live the Republic!

  7. I have returned from living in the UK for many years, and tho I am pleased to be able to distribute my preferences myself again have been very annoyed with thye whole group voting ticket thing… so I’m definitely a below-the-line person. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is very heartening to know that others care enough to use our democratic power as responsibly as we can.

  8. Catherine, thanks again for making voting day something to look forward to.
    I really like below the line voting, when we we can pick something close to our hearts as number 1 (like misogyny for you) and pass on the vote via a couple of other interests to something more mainstream (if I can call Greens mainstream now?!)
    OK, one last re-org and Im ready for my first australian voting experience 🙂

  9. Hi, thanks for mentioning me!

    Hey, you split the Greens and the Democrats as well! It’s very hard to decide between them. And well done for putting Liberal Democrats last.

    Those Motoring Enthusiasts were really surprising. I’m thinking the vote may be decided by Below the Line voters, who I don’t think the electoral commission has started counting yet. At the polling booth I went to (at about 8am in the morning when all the enthusiastic people were there), it looked like half the room was voting below the line.

    Well done on coming up with a well researched and rather excellent below the line vote.

    • Hi Daniel,

      You’re very welcome – it really was interesting reading your comments and seeing what we had in common and what we didn’t, and I’ve enjoyed making your virtual acquaintance!

      In the end, I did put the Greens and Democrats in blocks, having read Antony Green’s comments about alternating like this being a very good way to get neither party in. I still can’t quite work out in my head how the flow would work that way, but I can think of a few possibilities. I didn’t want to risk it.

      I certainly got the impression, scrutineering, that there were more below the line votes than usual. Some of the people counting talked about voting below the line, and quite a few people handing out HTV cards, ironically, seemed to have done the same!

      As for the LDP, they have been raising my blood pressure for several years now. Terrifying people. The whole bit about it being more dignified to receive charity than rely on the government for healthcare fills me with utter revulsion – it’s so easy for charity to be conditional on behaviours or beliefs unrelated to the actual thing needed, and aside from that, charities don’t tend to have the same buying power as governments, which can harness economies of scale.

      (But then, I always worry a bit about the unspoken bargains that can occur when someone gives you something or pays for something…)

  10. Hi Catherine
    Lyn Gunter here.
    I would like to let the person know that said I was on the Midwifery Board etc I have never been on such a Board and am really sorry they had such a bad experience with whoever it was as. I can only say they have mistaken me for someone else.
    kind regards

  11. Hi Catherine,

    Nice to have validation that we were on the right track from someone so well informed in the political debate.

    So, when the dust settles would love to meet you for a coffee and a chat.

    Bob Nicholls

    P.S. It’s a small world!!

    • Hi Bob,

      Thanks for dropping by – I’m glad you enjoyed my commentary, though I would hesitate to call myself well-informed (the more I read about all these policies and parties, the more I realise that there are huge gaps in my knowledge).

      Yes, it would definitely be fun to meet up sometime, once everyone has recovered from election fever.

      Kind regards,


  12. Hi Catherine,

    Great review and readers’ feedback !
    Love your analysis, and yes I am biased as I was the Australian Democrat #2


  13. Catherine, thank you for your insightful meta-analyses of the choices we face in the morning. I particularly enjoyed your exposé of the anti-vax HPA. Please be aware that the Citizens Electoral Council are quite keen to be perceived as ‘slightly bonkers” but nonetheless endearing proponents of the space age, but are in fact an extremely dangerous far-right front. They have links to the US-based Lyndon Larouche movement that even Gerard Henderson describes as the “lunar right”. They are virulently anti-Semitic (and not in any progressive anti-Zionist sense), white-supremacist and full of hate for the Left of any hue. Larouche supplied the nonsensical idea for a “cascade tax” put forward by Pauline Hanson years ago, and this was one of his “better” ideas…

    • Thank you for your comment, Dean! I did know about their Lyndon Larouche stuff and anti-semitism, but hadn’t realised that they want to be seen as endearing crazies (bizarre strategy). Rest assured that they are never going to get a high place on my ballot paper – though this year, they really do have some serious competition at the foot…

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