Normally, I wouldn’t cover an election I can’t vote in. This is not because I don’t love my interstate friends as much as my local ones, it’s a simple matter of time. With so many political parties to read about at every election, and so many policies for each party (I must confess to a sneaking appreciation for single-issue parties – so quick to read and write about!), there just isn’t time to cover everyone else’s elections, too. Arguably, between full-time work, part-time study, and far more time-consuming hobbies than any sane person should have, there isn’t time to cover my own elections.
However, this election is a bit special. For one thing, it’s essentially the sequel to the 2013 Election (Senate Election Part 2: Attack of the Drones). Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it is, in fact, a continuation of the same event. The extra, final chapter that the author directed to be read only three years after her death. The Secret of Hanging Parliament, as it were. And boy, am I betraying my age as a child of the 80s…
The other interesting thing about this election, of course, is that because it’s part of the Federal Election, its results are going to effect everyone in Australia in a way that your standard election interstate would never do. Which is kind of fascinating and appalling. You have the power, my Western friends. Use it wisely! And to make it more fun, the Western Australian electorate gets to vote after they’ve already seen what the new government is doing. There is a sort of surreal aptness to this. I’ve heard friends from WA complain about the fact that, due to timezone differences, they can still be casting their ballots at a point when votes from the Eastern States have already decided the election.
Well, Western Australia, here’s where you get your own back! We Easterners may have thought that we had decided the election, but it turns out that you get the final say after all. And maybe, just maybe, you will change the entire face of politics in Australia for the next three years. Which is a pretty cool superpower to have, really.
Anyway, in honour of this unique situation, I am going to undertake a more modest version of my usual tiny party policy-reading madness. Looking at the Western Australian ballot, I can see thirty-three groups, plus two un-grouped Independents. Most of these parties, of course, contested the Federal Senate Election last year, and had representatives in Victoria. Given that it’s only been about six months, I’m not going to analyse all these parties again. I can’t – I’m in the final throes of rehearsal for a big concert next weekend and will be out rehearsing virtually every night next week.
Instead, I will list all the parties who contested the last election below, with links to my commentaries on them, and will write new posts about the six parties and two independents that were not on the Victorian Senate ticket last year (new parties bolded). If I have time, I will try to go back and quickly analyse group voting tickets for this election, to see if anything has changed, but honestly, I think that’s pretty unlikely to happen. Not enough hours in the day.
Good luck, Western Australians – read up on your exciting smorgasbord of political parties, and use your vote wisely! Australia is watching you…