With the State Election rapidly approaching (it’s November 29th, for anyone who has lost track), it’s time for me to write my pre-election Field Guide to Teeny Tiny Political Parties (and Some Larger Ones)!
For those who are new to my blog, here’s how the Field Guide works. Between now and Election Day, I will read up on the policies of every single party on the Upper House ticket for Victoria, and also as many independents as I can manage in the time available (starting with those from my own Northern Metropolitan Region). I will then report back on said policies for every group except the ALP and the Liberal Party, because most people know what they stand for, and the newspapers will tell you even if I don’t. I will also all the Group Voting Tickets for each party or set of grouped independents (i.e. where their preferences will flow if you vote above the line), as this can sometimes be a more reliable indicator of what a party is about than their actual policies.
But wait – there’s more! With each political post you get a FREE set of opinions!
I’m not even going to pretend that I don’t have opinions about politics. I mean, come on, I have a politics blog! So my reporting will undoubtedly be quite partisan and occasionally frivolous. But it will also be as accurate as I can make it. Rather than pretending to an objectivity that I do not possess, I will declare my biases up-front, which should hopefully make it easier for you, my readers, to sort the facts from the opinions and draw your own conclusions. I will also link back to all the places where I’m getting policies from, so that you can see what my primary sources are and judge accordingly. This seems like the most honest way to write about politics, at least for me.
So – in case anyone reading this hadn’t figured it out yet – I hereby declare that I am a great big socialist, also a feminist, and a bit of a Greenie. I’m all about safety nets and free education and access to healthcare, and, given a choice, I’d rather pay a bit more tax and have it go to someone who was rorting the system than pay a bit less tax and risk someone who really needs help falling through the cracks.
If you disagree with me – that’s fine. My hope is that these posts will still be useful to you, if only because you will be able to go “Well, that crazy Catherine woman really liked that party, so I’d better put it at the bottom of my ballot paper”.
Quite seriously, though, my goal in writing these posts is informed choice. I want people to vote intelligently, and I want them to vote for the candidates who represent their beliefs and interests, and I want this to be the case even if I find said beliefs and interests appalling. If you really care about where your vote goes after you vote above the line, I want you to be able to find out not just which parties it goes to, but what sort of values those parties espouse. Or if, like me, you rejoice in voting below the line and deciding exactly which deeply awful party will get the prized place at the bottom of your ballot, I want you to have the tools to do that, too.
(And you really, really should vote below the line, at least once in your life. Quite apart from the fact that in so doing, you get to exercise your political will to the fullest, it’s also a fascinating exercise in discovering the true diversity of our society. Which is sometimes disheartening and sometimes inspiring and sometimes just strange, but always educational.)
So, without further ado – here are the parties and Independents on the Victorian State Election Upper House Ballot as we know them so far, with links to their websites! I will add to and amend this list once the actual Upper House ballot paper and Group Voting tickets are available, to make it easier for you to find the Independents and see where everyone is physically located on the ticket. But in the meantime, here are the parties and their websites – I’ll add links to my reviews as they become available.
Updated at 9pm on November 16th: Aha! Antony Green has the Group Voting Tickets on his website! It’s full steam ahead with the commentaries…
The full list of candidates and tickets can be found on the VEC website.
Enjoy! And don’t forget to vote on the 29th!