Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Kathy Majdlik!

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The Basics

Website: https://www.melton.vic.gov.au/Council/About-Council/Councillors/Cr-Kathy-Majdlik
Themes: Serving the community, disability services.  Somewhat conservative.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

As an ungrouped independent, Majdlik does not get a group voting ticket, but it’s always interesting to see where the independents are placed by other parties.

Unfortunately, we don’t get much of use here.  Majdlik is usually grouped with her fellow Ungrouped independent somewhere toward the bottom of the ticket, though Hinch and the ALP rank both the independents fairly highly, with Hinch putting Majdlik at 13th and the ALP putting her at 14th.

Only the Greens and the Australian Liberty Alliance bother to place the two independents separately on their ticket, and in both cases, this placement does not favour Majdlik.  The Greens put her in the middle of her ticket, with Grima quite high; and the ALA put her dead last, with Grima in the lower third of the ticket.  I suspect the Greens have put her in the ‘don’t know / don’t care’ basket, while deciding that they actively do like Grima; the ALA have almost certainly done the opposite, putting Grima on the ticket wherever, and putting the woman with the foreign-sounding name at the very end of the ticket…

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Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Diana Grima

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The Basics

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/diana.hogg.79
Themes: Not taking the Western Suburbs for granted! Mental health, transport, infrastructure, petrol prices, environment.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

As an ungrouped independent, Grima does not get a group voting ticket, but it’s always interesting to see where the independents are placed by other parties.

The Greens put Grima at 10th on their ticket, directly after the Victorian Socialists and the Animal Justice.  This is clearly not a random choice, since fellow ungrouped independent Kathy Majdlik is only at 26th.

Hinch and the ALP put Grima at 14th and 15th, respectively (directly after Majdlik in both cases).

Most other parties put them low down the ballot, but it’s worth noting that the Australian Liberty Alliance makes a point of distinguishing between the two, putting Grima at 32, well ahead of Majdlik at 48.

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Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Transport Matters!

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The Basics

transport

Website: https://www.transportmatters.org.au/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TMPVic/
Themes: Taxi lobby group, but fairly interested in public transport and pro-electric cars and hybrids.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

This ticket looks like a Druery special, with 12 different parties appearing in the top five, ranging from the Australian Liberty Alliance and the Batty Battlers to Animal Justice and Health Australia. LDP, the Sustainable Australia, Shooters and Fishers and Hinch’s Justice Party. I really can’t see any rhyme or reason in this, ideologically speaking, especially as some of these parties also appear in the bottom five.

The one thing that is absolutely consistent on Transport Matters’ ticket is that Labor is always last, for reasons that will quickly become evident, unless there are ungrouped independents around. The Liberals and the Greens are always right before Labor, with the Liberals usually, but not always, higher than the Greens.  The other most frequent flyer at the bottom of this ticket is Fiona Patten’s Reason Party.

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Victorian State Election 2018: Meet the Sustainable Australia Party!

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The Basics

sustainable

Website: https://www.sustainableaustralia.org.au/vic
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VoteSustainable/
Themes: Overpopulation, sustainability, the environment, jobs, anti-immigration.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

This is another confusing ticket, probably brought to you by Glenn Druery.  The top of the ticket favours the Battlers, Transport Australia and Hinch’s Justice Party, but there are a lot of frequent flyers here, and about all you can say for it is that at least the Australian Liberty Alliance is never in the top five.

The foot of their ticket is always reserved for the three major parties, followed by the Victorian Socialists and the Democratic Labour Party.  Of the three majors, Labor and the Greens alternate in first place, and Liberal is always last.  Where there are ungrouped independents, these are always last of all.

I will note that on both their website and their Facebook they are encouraging their voters to direct their own preferences, and advocate an end to group voting tickets, so it will be interesting to see how many of their voters actually do vote above the line.  I have to say, while I have always enjoyed using group voting tickets to get an insight into voting blocs, this time round, it’s been less than useful, so I am sadly inclined to agree with them.  (Thanks, Glenn Druery, for ruining my fun.  Don’t you understand that the best part of above the line voting is playing Upper House Roulette?  Rigging the wheel is just not fair…)

Of course, they then say of their own ticket that because of the way the major parties game the system, they need to game it too, in order to ensure fairness:

We need to end ‘business as usual’ major party politics, even if it means some less than ideal minor parties are preferenced before the major parties. 

So there’s that.

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Victorian State Election 2018: Meet the Aussie Battlers Part 2-3 – now with added xenophobia and a bait-and-switch

battlers

So remember how last week I wrote about the Aussie Battlers and really couldn’t get a read on them, because on the one hand, they had an alarming number of Australian flags all over the place, and a party leader who was so fair dinkum that he was waltzing not just with Matilda, but also with the jumbuck and probably the squatter and the billabong too – and on the other hand, they had all sorts of well-meaning, but poorly-written and somewhat misguided policies about homelessness?

Well, sometime in the last week, they redesigned their whole website, removed almost all the Australian flags, got rid of all their policies, and wrote new ones. Which are terrible.

And I was about to go and read them and tell you all about them, but guess what?  They’ve changed their policies again since last night – changed them completely, as far as I can tell.  Unfortunately, I only glanced at them briefly, planning to tackle them today.  Equally unfortunately, this all happened too fast for the Wayback machine to archive them.  But fortunately for us, the Age did a piece on them on Thursday, when the second round of policies were still in place, so you don’t just have to take my word for it that they were there.  Also, I did find one screenshot of one of their policies on Twitter.

For those who find that writing too small to read comfortably, it says:

Immigrants: Violent crimes, multiple crimes, no age restriction. One-way ticket to where you came from. Any further offence from your immediate family, and the family gets a one-way ticket.  The parents understanding this risk will soon rein in their wayward kids!

Incidentally, if you think that this is maybe a little racist but contains the seeds of a good idea, consider how that’s going to pan out for anyone reporting domestic violence.  Or how helpful this kind of legislation is for for child abusers: ‘You’d better keep this a secret, or it will be your fault if we all get sent back…’

The Age also reported that

Only 30 per cent of students at public schools could come from “non-English speaking backgrounds” in a bid to “eliminate educational deficits generated by lack of proficiency in English language”.

Also, they described the Safe Schools Program as ‘pro-pedophilia’ and ‘grooming’.

So what does the current suite of policies look like?

Basically sane, if slightly to the right of centre. I’m honestly not sure what value there is in analysing them, since the most generous possible interpretation of this party is that it is deeply confused and can’t make up its mind about its policies from one day to the next.  There is no reason to believe that these policies will still be the same tomorrow or on election day, or that any elected representatives will follow them if they are.

And frankly, I’m not inclined to be generous.  This looks to me like a bait-and-switch.  Draw people in (and potentially recruit people to help the party get above-the-line representation) by looking harmless, then show their true colours, then get worried about the backlash and change again?  This does not look like a party with integrity, frankly.

But just in case you want to know what they stand for this weekend, there are seven policies.

On child abuse – they are concerned about institutional child sex trafficking, want mandatory prison for child rape, whistle-blower protection for victims, and a public child sex offender register.  Safe Schools is no longer mentioned.

On country transport – this hasn’t changed materially from their first policy.  They want more of it.

On depression – banks need to have counsellors on staff ‘to share the file with the collections department if the person in hardship displays symptoms of depression or self harm and advised they are experiences mental health difficulties.’.  And they want care plans not to have capped appointments.

On environment – they want to protect the environment, have more humane farming methods, reduce pollution, etc.

On healthier foods more affordable – they want more humane farming methods, free range eggs, and no more rapid growth hormone.

On Our firearms regulations are ok – our firearms regulations are ok.

On VEAC must be stopped – they want to keep state forests open to the public.  And they are into recreational fossicking, which I think they stole from the Country Party.  This is their longest policy, if you care.  I don’t, because I don’t believe anything they say any more.

Look, at this point, I can’t think of any reason why you would vote for this mob.  They clearly have no consistent policy on anything (except possibly shuttle buses for country towns, so I guess if that’s your pet issue, go for it?).  Walter Mikac has done some admirable work on gun control and on the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, and might deserve your vote on but I have no idea what he is thinking associating himself with this rubbish.

Frankly, at this point the Aussie Battlers look as crooked as hell. I don’t generally say outright that you shouldn’t vote for someone, but seriously, don’t vote for this lot.  You don’t know where they’ve been.  Or where they will go next.

PS – and if you do happen to have screenshots of what they were doing earlier this week, please share them.  I’d really like to know what they were up to before they got spooked by the media attention.

Victorian State Election: Meet the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party

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The Basics

shootersandfishers

Website: https://www.vicshootersandfishers.org.au/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SFPVIC/
Themes: Hunters’ rights, outdoor sports, guns, the great outdoors.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

The Shooters and Fishers have put the Liberal Democrats either first or second on every ticket, and Transport Matters in their top five in every region.  The DLP and Hinch’s Justice Party are also popular.

The Animal Justice Party, unsurprisingly, can be found at the very bottom of every ticket.  Directly above them are Labor, Liberal and the Greens, all jumbled up together in an order that I suspect is random.  Fifth from the bottom is usually the Victorian Socialists, but they make an exception for the ungrouped independents in Western Victoria and Western Metropolitan, and in Northern Metropolitan, where Walter Mikac is running on the Aussie Battler ticket, they make a point of putting him in their final five.

Given that apparently Druery has been heavily involved in putting together some of these tickets, I’m no longer sure just what we can learn from these, but I do think the LDP is a philosophical match, and I have no doubt whatsoever that the AJP didn’t find their way to the bottom of the ticket by accident.

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Victorian State Election 2018: Meet the National Party of Australia!

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The Basics

nationals

Website: http://vic.nationals.org.au/
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.)

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Victorian State Election 2018: Meet the Liberal Democrats

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The Basics

LDP

Website: https://www.ldp.org.au/victoria
Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/LibDemVIC/
Themes: Libertarians.  Free speech, right to bear arms, small government, cutting welfare, privatising everything.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

Bizarrely, the most favoured party in the LDP’s top five is the Democratic Labour Party, which on the face of it, should have nothing in common with the LDP’s libertarian principles.  I mean, the DLP has a pretty strong emphasis on both conservative social values and universal access to things like healthcare.  About all they have in common is a desire to repeal 18C.  Sustainable Australia and Transport Matters also appear in the top five six times each, and Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, the Aussie Battlers and the Shooters and Fishers are also popular.

The Australian Liberty Alliance features twice in their top five, so clearly the LDP has no problem with right-wing nutters.

Left wing nutters are clearly another story, because the bottom of the ticket always runs Animal Justice, the Victorian Socialists, Liberal or Labor (usually mixed up in such a way as to help neither), and last of all, the Greens.

Not, of course, that I am calling the Greens left-wing nutters.  But I’m pretty sure the LDP is.

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Victorian State Election: Meet Karl Josef Pongracic!

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The Basics

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KMECBallarat
Themes: Education. Vagueness.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

As an ungrouped independent, Karl Pongracic doesn’t have a group voting ticket of his own.  But it’s sometimes illuminating to see how others see our independents.

In this instance, however, there isn’t much to learn.  He’s scoring worst with the hard left parties, who are all putting him 40th or later out of a possible 46 places on the ticket, with the exception of the Greens, who put him 25th.  He’s faring slightly better with the right wing parties, but he’s usually still somewhere in the 30s. His best result is being placed at 13th by Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, but Hinch seems to like all the independents, so that doesn’t tell us much.

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Victorian State Election 2018 – Meet the Liberal Party!

I don’t have time to read all of this!
The Basics

libs

Website: https://vic.liberal.org.au/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/liberalvictoria/
Current leader: Matthew Guy
Campaign Website: https://getbackincontrol.com.au/
Themes: Centre right heading further right by the moment.  Tough on crime.  Christian, of a very conservative stripe.  Pro-religious instruction in schools.  Getting a lot of support from the gun lobby, which is concerning.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

I’m going to start by saying that this ticket absolutely enrages me.  I expect bloody-minded, irresponsible Group Voting Tickets from small, right wing parties who either embrace the bloody mindedness or don’t know better.  But the Liberal Party is one of our two largest parties, and while I don’t expect much from them, I would have hoped that they would be responsible with their preferencing and their Group Voting tickets.

But no such luck.  I can cope with them putting the Democratic Labor Party in their top two on every ticket, because this is a clear shout out to the conservative voters who are their base.  But the Australian Country Party, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers, and the Liberal Democratic Party each appear in their top five on seven out of eight tickets, and I think the Liberal Party have an absolute hide to go around talking about Labor being soft on crime (and exploiting tragedies / fostering racism to increase their votes) while supporting parties whose main goals are to loosen our gun restrictions.

No wonder the the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, which aims to relax gun laws, is targeting the Andrews government with a major advertising campaign, but giving the Liberal Party a pass. It looks to me suspiciously as though the Coalition is entirely willing to negotiate with people who want to trash our gun laws if they think it might get them votes, which is utterly irresponsible of them.

Hinch, Health and Transport Matters are also getting the occasional top five appearance on the Coalition ticket, and I can’t help noticing that a lot of people in South Eastern Metropolitan are putting Transport Matters second in South Eastern Metropolitan.  I think they are going to get up.  Which annoys me, because they are probably going to push out those lovely grouped independents who want to end violence against women.

And speaking of Chawla and Lee, let me tell you about the bottom end of the Coalition ticket.

In most regions, the last five parties on the ticket are the Voluntary Euthanasia Party, followed by Labor, the Greens, the Victorian Socialists, and last of all, the Australian Liberty Alliance.  I will acknowledge that the ALA is precisely where it should be on a Group Voting ticket, so at least the Liberal Party has one scruple.  In Eastern Metropolitan,  Fiona Patten’s Reason Party replaces the VEP – evidently they’ve done something to annoy the Liberals there, and I’m currently in the mood to applaud this.

And in South Eastern Metropolitan they have put Chawla and Lee second last, followed only by the Australian Liberty Alliance.  Chawla has, by his own report, attempted to get Matthew Guy to say whether or not he will follow the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, but Guy has avoided answering, and has now blocked Chawla on social media.

(Was Chawla being obnoxious?  Maybe.  Though from what I was able to see, he was asking Guy the same things he was asking all the other candidates he could find.)

In short, the Liberal Party in Victoria does not appear to have a problem with parties that want to loosen gun laws.  But it has a big problem with independents who want to stop violence against women.

It’s good to know that the Liberal Party doesn’t have a ‘woman problem’, isn’t it?

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