I don’t have time to read all of this!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheNationalsVic/
Themes: Better infrastructure and more money for regional Australia. Very, very tough on crime. Strangely obsessed with fishing.
With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket
Basically, see my comments on the Liberal Party. Because the Nationals are the other half of the Coalition (something many people, including the Liberal Party, often forget), they share a group voting ticket. So we have the same array of conservative religious parties (hello, DLP!) and pro-gun parties (let’s hear it for the LDP, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, and the Australian Country Party!) at the top of the ticket, with all those lefty environmentalist types placed firmly at the bottom of the ticket.
I’m somewhat less irate at this ticket coming from the Nationals, however, mostly because guns actually make somewhat more sense in rural areas (i.e., there are actually some reasonable uses for them) and this is something their electorate is likely to want, whereas I suspect most urban Liberal voters like gun control nearly as much as I do. So where it feels like sleight of hand coming from the Liberal Party, it feels appropriate coming from the Nationals. I mean, I wouldn’t vote above the line for them, either, but at least it is consistent with their brand and stated beliefs.
(I also have a bit more tolerance for the Nationals’ preferences because they are the junior party in the Coalition, and probably got less say on the preferencing anyway.)
The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations
Sometimes, I feel a bit sad for the National Party of Australia. As the smaller half of the Coalition – the country cousin, you might say – they do seem to get the short end of the stick in Government with the Liberal Party. While lip-service is paid by the Coalition to the needs of rural and regional Australians, it seems, at least to me, that the Nationals don’t tend to see many of their policies put into practice. I’m not entirely sure what is in this Coalition for them – but perhaps even minor influence is better than no influence at all?
As the Nationals are fairly well-known to the Australian public, I’ll keep this post short and sweet, and just focus on the policies they’ve highlighted for the coming election. I’ve talked about the Coalition’s preferences on my Liberal Party write-up, so rather than go through the same tickets again, I’ll simply note that yes, they really did put the Greens last, after Labor, and that the Coalition has tended to preference the religious right, the Shooters and Fishers, and the Country Alliance high on their ballot paper.
The Nationals’ Victorian website simply has the slogan “For Regional Victoria”, and the main thing you see on arrival is an invitation to join the party “If you’re passionate about the future of regional Victoria”.
Scrolling down, there are how to vote cards and information about the team, a link to ‘OUr Plan for a Better Victoria”, and then “Our Stories”, which appears to be the four major policy platforms for this election. And there is a bit ‘Get Involved’ banner, soliciting for members, volunteers and donations. I have to say, this banner makes me feel sad again – such eagerness for people to *care* is a hallmark of the smaller parties – and the Nationals seem to be falling back into that category.