The One and Only Cate Speaks Endorsed How to Vote Card!

So, we have reached the end of my explorations into the psyches of our various tiny political parties, and it is time to answer the all-important question: who should I vote for?

I must admit, I’m having a harder time with this than usual. In most previous elections, there has been at least one party or independent who I have been truly excited about. And this makes all the other parties more palatable – essentially, I still know, deep down, that I’m compromising, but I don’t actually have to admit it out loud because the person who is number one on my ticket is genuinely awesome.

This time… well, I’m excited by Chawla and Lee, but they aren’t actually on the ballot in my region, so I’m out of luck.

Beyond that… I like the Socialists, but they are a bit flaky (which is not unexpected, but there were a couple of elections where they were looking unexpectedly sane and I enjoyed that); I want to like Reason, but I’m not entirely sold on it; both the Greens and Labor are fine, but let’s face it, having just spent two weeks analysing all the minor parties it feels like a bit of cop-out if I then vote for one of the majors.   I mean, I will if that’s how it pans out, but it’s a bit depressing!

So I’m going to start at the bottom of the ticket, where things may be ugly, but at least they are clear, and work my way up from there. Who knows where this journey will end? (Truly – not me. I’m hoping that inspiration will strike in the course of writing this.)  I’ve divided parties into categories.  Much like Cyclones, you really want to avoid a Category 4 or 5, but a Category 2 or 3 is basically survivable.  (My metaphor breaks down at Category 1, unless you really, really like storms or are really not fully delighted by any of these political parties.  Hmm… maybe it’s not such a bad metaphor after all…)

Incidentally, I’m using the numbers and names appropriate to Northern Metropolitan Region.  Since we do, in fact, have representatives from every party except the Nationals, this is pretty easily adapted to your are.

Having said that… while this is approximately how I intend to vote (I invariably change my mind about *someone* between here and the ballot box), and I’m including it because I know some people find it useful, my true How to Vote card is simply this: Vote below the line, numbering at least five squares, but ideally all of them (there is much satisfaction to be had in putting terrible people at the bottom of your ticket).

Who you vote for is important, don’t get me wrong, and I ABSOLUTELY have opinions on that (you may have noticed this…).  But I truly believe that the best thing you can do as a citizen is inform yourself about who is on the ballot and vote for the things you care about.  Vote with your brain, vote with your heart, and don’t let anyone else decide where your vote should go – not your party, not Glenn Druery, and not me.

Continue reading

Simplified voting below the line

Just interrupting the seemingly endless flow of political parties with a couple of items that may be of interest to dedicated Legislative Council voters.

First, thanks to a new rule, if you vote below the line in this election, you only need to fill out your first five preferences for your vote to be considered formal (this is called Optional Preferential Voting).  Any numbers beyond that will still count, but if you are worried about losing track of your numbering, worry no more – just make sure you get the first five right, and then you can rest easy that your vote will be counted.

Do be aware that if you do only number your first five preferences below the line, there is a chance that your vote will become ‘exhausted’ – which is to say, if your favourite five candidates are all excluded from the count at some point, due to insufficient quotas, there will be nowhere for your preferences to go, and so your vote will be out of play at that point.  But this is still better than getting things mixed up and winding up with no vote at all.

Personally, I wish we had the option of numbering parties according to preference above the line, but we don’t, so please do not do that.  If you do, the party with a (1) next to its name will get your vote, and your preferences will then follow that party’s Group Voting Ticket.

And do be aware that if you number things both above and below the line, your below-the-line vote will be given priority over your above-the line vote.  So, provided your below-the-line vote is formal (i.e., has the first five numbers marked), this will be what is counted for you, not whatever you wrote above the line.  If your below-the-line vote isn’t formal, your above the line vote will be counted instead.  And yes, I know people who do both, just for the sake of insurance, though the VEC does not encourage this.

And finally, here’s a resource for those who feel that optional preferential voting is all very well, but we still like to vote our way down the entire list of candidates.  It’s called Cluey Voter, and allows you to first rank your parties in a general sort of order of preference, and then swap numbers around on the actual ballot paper.  If you press ‘check’ it will tell you if you have duplicated or missed out any numbers.  When you are done, you can print out your ticket, ready to take to your polling booth, so that you have a cheat sheet when you go to vote.  Please do not vote with the printout, as this is *not* a valid vote (do I even have to say that?).  The idea is that you can quickly copy numbers across and not worry about missing things.

PS – the alert among you will have noticed that my review of the Basics Rock ‘n’ Roll Party has disappeared.  This is because I screwed up in a big way, and confused them with a similarly-named party.  I will re-do this post tonight, and hopefully get to the DLP as well.  (I’m a bit sick this week, and it’s slowing me down)

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…)

Continue reading