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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Victorian Senate Group AH: And another Christian Party

There are so many Christian parties on the ballot this year!  It’s insane.  I’m Christian myself and I’m turned off by this – we really do not need a lobby group, and we certainly don’t need five of them.  Actually, I really do think religion ought to stay out of politics, except as far as it informs the principles by which one governs.  (And since this *is* a Sunday, let me just add that I personally feel that if one is a politician who likes to parade his or her Christianity, it would be nice if one also paraded a commitment to assisting and empowering the disadvantaged, the poor, rather than worrying about people’s love lives.  The Bible isn’t actually all about sexual morality, and the New Testament barely touches on it at all.)

Have your eyes glazed over yet?  I’m sorry.  I’m a little frustrated by some of these parties, and I just caught sight of something on the Australian Christians‘ website that made my blood boil.  But we’ll get to that in a bit.  Also, I really, really hate their party name.  Setting aside that it is purely silly to claim that you are the Australian Christians when there are four other loudly Christian parties on the ballot, it implies that they speak for all Australian Christians.  Well, they sure as hell don’t speak for me.  Oops, I said hell.  That really was unintentional, but now I feel compelled to leave it there.

Ooh, hello, I just went and had a look to see who, if anyone, this group were affiliated with and discovered firstly that they seem to be linked to Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats (which explains a lot), and secondly that the Melbourne Anglican Archbishop and the General Secretary of the Victorian Council of churches have much the same objection to the name that I do:

“I am concerned about the possible effects to religious harmony in Victoria if a political group which does not represent the views of the majority of Christians in Australian were to be allowed to use the name ‘Australian Christians’, with an obvious implication that it did speak for all Christians,” says a letter written by Dr Freir to the Electoral Commissioner (as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald late last week).

General secretary of the Victorian Council of Churches, Theo Mackaay told ABC’s PM program last night, “By calling themselves ‘Australian Christians’ they could very easily give the impression during an election campaign that they are speaking for all adherents to the Christian faith.

“What I know of the party, they really do not represent the broad scope of Christianity.”

Sorry to go on and on about this, but a very reasonable criticism frequently levelled at progressive Christians is why don’t they speak out against the extremists.  It seems important, therefore, to point out occasions when they do.

Anyway, let’s look at who the Australian Christians (or some of them) are preferencing in the Senate.

Oh, and another disclaimer, I suppose.  I’m quite pro-choice.  This lot really aren’t.  And they make me very, very angry with some of their claims.

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Victorian Senate Group AG: Faster than a speeding bullet (train)

I’ve been so looking forward to the Bullet Train for Australia Party.  You just know you are onto a good thing with a party name like that.  And you have to love a party that states right up front that they are ‘a not-for-profit single-issue political party.  Our sole issue is getting a Bullet Train for Australia and the benefits that a proper rail service will bring to our cities, our regional centres and Australia.’

Really, what’s not to like?

Let’s have a look at their preferences.

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Victorian Senate Group AF: In which Drug Law is Reformed

I have to say, I rather like the look of the Drug Law Reform Party.  At first glance, they look like a saner, better-thought-out version of HEMP – HEMP for the middle class, educated voter who may have dabbled in social work, or may just have had a joint or two at University and not regretted it.  They are pretty much a one-issue party, but there are worse issues to have.  Such as fishing.

The Drug Law Reform Party has two tickets, both of which start with the Australian Democrats, a sound move in my book.  And I’ve just realised that the lead candidate for Victoria is Greg Chipp… a striking coincidence, don’t you think?  Sure enough, it turns out that Greg, the party’s founder, is the son of Don Chipp, founder of the Democrats.  According to the Herald Sun he is also a former heroin addict who apparently wants to show people in the throes of addiction that they can recover and make a contribution to society.  Good on him, I say.  Now, back to those tickets…

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