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Some thoughts on voting for the 2008 ACT election.

By johnboy - 17 October 2008 65
    “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal well meaning but without understanding.” – Louis D. Brandeis

Normally I approach an ACT ballot box full of vim, with at least a clear understanding of who I’m going to put last.

Sadly this year that field is so crowded that I just don’t know where to begin even that dismal task.

But before we go further I’d like to thank the political parties that have seen fit to advertise with us. ACT Labor, the LDP, and Matthew Watts (the Liberal candidate for Ginninderra). Purely aside from the financial gain to us, they held the RiotACT readership in enough esteem as to court your opinion.

Moving on…

Sim Challenge

The candidates who were willing to come before us and try their hand at Sim City deserve some recognition, in order of appearance:

All of these candidates at least proved they had the composure and judgment to stick to a demanding three hour task and cared for the good opinion of you the reader. In my view they deserve considerable credit for it.

Candidate Questionaire

Considering how candidates belly-ache about how hard it is to get a run in the media we were surprised that so few took up the opportunity to answer your questions. Especially considering our commitment to print their answers in full. It seems a couple of niggly commenters are a bit much for the precious petals seeking elected office who did not respond.

This candidates who could be bothered answering your questions were, in the order in which they were returned:

So who to vote for?

Every single candidate running for office means well. But good intentions are what they paved the road to hell with.

There are good people in every party.

There is very little difference between the stated policies of any of the parties.

So, if you’re in the market for advice, vote for who you think the good people are. Not just the well intentioned, but the intelligent and the principled.

A possible exception to this is the Motorists Party. Between their ties to One Nation and their penchant for appearing in uniform white shirts I, personally, wouldn’t recommend letting them up near the top of your ballot. History teaches us that political parties in uniforms end in tears.

I’d also recommend voting against anyone who tells you your vote will be wasted unless you give it to them.

Good luck tomorrow, and may god have mercy on us all.

(On a happier note don’t forget to drop by All Bar Nun after to six to enjoy watching the Canberra electorate vaporise political careers – 86 go in, 17 come out)

UPDATE: Jon Reynolds from Canberra Votes has interviewed the Electoral Commissioner, Phillip Green, on how the ballot paper actually works. All is explained in the video below:

Mr. Phillip Green – ACT Electoral Commissioner – 17 October 2008 from Jonathon Reynolds on Vimeo

What’s Your opinion?

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65 Responses to
Some thoughts on voting for the 2008 ACT election.
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sepi 10:22 am 20 Oct 08

Nice that the greens trust me to pick people they think they would want then.

I suppose there is some kind of logic in it.

Gungahlin Al 8:58 am 19 Oct 08

“I noticed the greens flyer said number greens one to three, then number as many more boxes as you can – why would they say that?”

Because sepi your vote continues to have value right up until you leave boxes blank. Your vote helps to get your primary candidate in, maybe a few more, and then helps influence other outcomes down the line along a “lesser of two evils” approach.

If you leave those other boxes blank, then you throw away your chance to ‘mitigate the potential damage’ of worse candidates. And some would argue that you also throw away your right to complain if one of those ‘greater evils’ gets in…

Jonathon Reynolds 1:22 am 19 Oct 08

Skidbladnir said :

Jonathon, as the owner of how do you feel about the Libs 9000 sms messages telling them to go to

just another cheap endgame tactic from a desperate party?


“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

sepi 9:52 pm 18 Oct 08

Jimbocool – thanks for the preferences info.

If you’re still here – can you tell me what an ‘exhausted vote’ is?
And if one is voting for front runners, is there any need to number more than 7 boxes.
And, can we number any amount, or is it 7 (or 5), or the whole lot?

I noticed the greens flyer said number greens one to three, then number as many more boxes as you can – why would they say that?

I-filed 5:42 pm 18 Oct 08

Unprofessional handling of the Turner pollplace over lunchtime: there was an officious little martinet woman at the Turner Primary School poll place today – patrolling the exit (it wasn’t clear where the entrance was), preventing people from climbing the steps next to her which led to the correct entrance, and making them walk back a few metres and up the ramp instead (she physically intervened when I innocently attempted to walk past her). She was apparently there to hand out sausage sizzle flyers for the school and was not an electoral officer of any kind …

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