Our New Senate

This is obviously not set in stone yet, but putting together what the ABC website is predicting with the list of current senators who will be staying around until 2017, and always assuming that I’m adding everything up correctly, the picture looks like this:

33 Coalition

25 Labor

10 Green

2 Palmer

1 Democratic Labor Party

1 Family First

1 Liberal Democratic Party (oh, NSW, what were you thinking?)

1 Australian Motor Enthusiasts Party (oh, Victoria…)

1 Australian Sports Party (this would be WA’s contribution to the madness)

1 Independent (Nick Xenophon of South Australia, possibly the only state that hasn’t gone off its head this time around)

Good grief.

I need to take a few days off from politics, on the grounds that I do actually have a life outside this blog (even if I have forgotten what it is), but I’ll be back once the Senate is settled to take a closer look at the newer, madder parties joining us in the Senate.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, if you can…

Polling Day in Moreland

So the election seems to have been called for the Coalition, though to be fair, they’ve been calling it since 10:00 am, which is ridiculous.

I’m not going to speculate on the awfulness of Abbott, and it’s too early to get into any really interesting conversations about the Senate.  Instead, I thought it might be fun to give you a day in the life of the sort of person who likes to keep herself busy on polling day…

My husband, in fact, is keeping himself even busier this year.  He’s working for the AEC, assisting with pre-polling and postal votes, and this evening, he is one of the people counting votes over in the Gellibrand electorate.

I stuck to Moreland, my home electorate, where I’ve been helping out the Greens, on the grounds that they are my preferred option of the three parties that have a reasonable chance of winning seats in the Lower House (I am, perhaps, being a little optimistic, but it looks like Bandt is going to hold his seat, so I’m clearly not entirely beyond the bounds of sense).

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Vote Early, Vote Often, but above all, Vote

By tomorrow evening, we will hopefully have at least some idea what our new government will look like.

Or not.  I started a post this way three years ago, and look what happened then.

Myself, I’m hoping it won’t look like Tony Abbott gets control of both houses of Parliament, and in my ideal world, he wouldn’t get either of them.  Ideally, I’m hoping that the Senate will maintain a distinct greenish tinge (though not the kind one gets from contemplating the prospect of the Mad Monk as PM). There are many things we cannot afford as a country, and a PM who doesn’t think that science is real is one of them.

But all that is in the future. Between now and then, if you are Australian, there’s something quite important you should be doing.

Please, vote.

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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…)

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Victorian Senate Ungrouped Independent: Darrell Scott Morrison

Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay, I have reached the last person on the senate ballot paper!  After this, of course, I will then need to go back and actually read what I have written in order to figure out who I’m voting for.  It’s all been a bit of a blur recently.

Darrell Scott Morrison is another un-grouped independent, originally from Portland.  He gives us his mobile phone number *and* his date and time of birth, which is perhaps a bit more sharing than is necessary, but I do appreciate his enthusiasm.  Something about his website feels very enthusiastic indeed…

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Victorian Senate Ungrouped Independent: Lyn Gunter

At the extreme right-hand edge of the table cloth that we like to pretend is the Victorian Senate ballot paper, we find two un-grouped Independent candidates, Lyn Gunter and Darrell Scott Morrison.  Since each of them has been polite enough to create an actual website for me to look at, they will get one post each, starting with Lyn Gunter, a JP from Flowerdale and the former Murrindindi Shire Mayor.

I used to work with someone who needed everyone to know that she was a JP, so I’m cringing a little in anticipation, but I shall endeavour to set unfortunate memories aside and give Lyn a fair go.  Because that’s the Australian way!  Oh dear Lord, I have read *far too many political websites*.

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Victorian Senate Group AM: When the Labour Party becomes Democratic

Last party!  Though there are still two ungrouped independents to go, of course, but still, the end is in sight!  And now we get to meet the Democratic Labour Party, which informs me that it is “Putting YOU back into Labour”.

The Democratic Labour Party actually is related to the ALP (though they could certainly not be considered to be allies), being a Catholic off-shoot of the party, founded in 1955 as a reaction to a perceived Communist takeover of the Labor Party.  Their original name was the Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist), because you wouldn’t want to be too subtle about this, but they eventually changed their name to the Democratic Labor Party.  In the past, their policies in areas of have been a weird mix of the very well thought-out and the intensely reactionary, but they seem to evolve a bit every election, so it’s hard to say where they will go this time.

Let’s look at their Group Voting Ticket for some clues…

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Victorian Senate Group AL: In which our Timbers are Shivered

Ahoy there, me hearties, it’s the Pirate Party!  Arrr! I have been looking forward to this one for *weeks*.  I have no idea what it’s going to be about, but I have high hopes that Johnny Depp will be involved.  Or better still, Geoffrey Rush…

It must be acknowledged that the Pirate Party Australia clearly wins the prize for the most amusing political party name on this year’s ballot.  Good show!  But since I have scrupulously avoided finding out what they stand for up until now (because I was saving this party as a reward for being nearly at the end of my tiny parties project), I really have nothing more to add in this preamble, so let’s get straight on to seeing who they like on the Group Voting Ticket.

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Victorian Senate Group AJ: Bob & Kylie Nicholls, Peter Webb

We now come to another collection of independents, and one of whom I know nothing, which is always refreshing.  The independents are Bob Nicholls, Kylie Nicholls and Peter Webb, and they have kindly provided me with a website to look at, bobnicholls.com.au.  And we know it’s going to be good, because it has a Eureka flag on it.  That’s three parties invoking Eureka so far that I’m aware of…

Let’s see who Bob and Team, as they occasionally like to call themselves, have preferenced in the Senate.

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Victorian Senate Group AI: In which a Council of Citizens is Elected

I have to admit, I always rather look forward to the Citizens Electoral Council, because you never know quite what will be on the policy list this time, but you can be sure there will be something magnificently grandiose and just a little bit mad.  I like that in a political party.

Also, the CEC are local – our Senate Candidate also runs in our local government elections sometimes, so I feel a certain neighbourly affection.  We have our very own Coburg crazies and now, we get to export them to the world!  Or at least, to the rest of Victoria.

Sadly, not too many of the major parties share my affectionate feelings for the CEC, so they don’t tend to get very far in the Senate.  If I’m being sensible, I have to acknowledge that this is probably a good thing.

So let’s see what the CEC thinks of everyone else on the Group Voting Ticket…

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