Some thoughts on voting for the 2008 ACT election.

johnboy 18 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 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 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 Jonathon Reynolds 1:22 am 19 Oct 08

Skidbladnir said :

Jonathon, as the owner of http://www.canberravotes.com how do you feel about the Libs 9000 sms messages telling them to go to Canberravotes.mobi?

just another cheap endgame tactic from a desperate party?

Meh!

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

sepi 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 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 …

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 4:18 pm 18 Oct 08

Jonathon, as the owner of http://www.canberravotes.com how do you feel about the Libs 9000 sms messages telling them to go to Canberravotes.mobi?

just another cheap endgame tactic from a desperate party?

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 2:37 pm 18 Oct 08

Very interesting that Phil Green (on Jonathon’s video interview) says that the 30-40,000 prepoll votes should be brought into the count about 6.30pm, and that they will have the full preference distribution for those votes available also.

And that from those preferences, they were last time able to predict 16 of the 17 successful candidates.

(So I guess that means be at All Bar Nunn early or miss the most important information release?)

I’m a bit disappointed by the number of parties (through their mailed out bumpf) seeming to encourage not fully preferencing one’s vote. I wonder if there’s the chance of there not being enough preference votes to give the last person elected a full quota?

gun street girl gun street girl 12:50 pm 18 Oct 08

harley said :

Pandy said :

DO NOT VOTE FOR MAJORITY GOVERNMENT!!!!!

If you do you will gt arrogant pricks. Vote Green 1st.

If the Greens hold the balance of power, that will mean more accountability.

Or more touchy-feely happy-happy-joy-joy deals to get legistation through. I can think of nothing worse than the Greens being the only party large enough to exercise BoP on their own.

Agreed. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear that is exactly the path we are traveling down today.

harley harley 12:47 pm 18 Oct 08

Pandy said :

DO NOT VOTE FOR MAJORITY GOVERNMENT!!!!!

If you do you will gt arrogant pricks. Vote Green 1st.

If the Greens hold the balance of power, that will mean more accountability.

Or more touchy-feely happy-happy-joy-joy deals to get legistation through. I can think of nothing worse than the Greens being the only party large enough to exercise BoP on their own.

Kerces Kerces 11:36 am 18 Oct 08

GuruJ said :

I thought the Greens looked terrible. The one thing that really stuck out for me in Stateline is that they didn’t bother to cost a single one of their policies.

GuruJ, I am reliably informed that Treasury did cost the Greens’ policies, as well as those of CAP, Mulcahy, Pangallo, the Motorists and assorted other minor parties and independents.

They usually only do the major parties, but decided for this election they ought to do all of them. Indicative of the mood of the electorate, perhaps.

fnaah fnaah 10:58 am 18 Oct 08

Jonathon, well done and thank you for that interview with Phillip Green.

astrojax astrojax 9:37 am 18 Oct 08

If voters actually understand how the Hare-Clarke voting system works …

aah, well then, there’s ya problem right there… : ) pretty astute picks – do you have a quid on it?

deezagood deezagood 8:41 am 18 Oct 08

PantsMan said :

I just hope Steve Pratt is re-elected. If he’s not, he will probably start some type of underground (read spy) anti grafitti group!

Me too, but not for the reasons you detailed! I believe that Steve, despite being much-maligned on this site and elsewhere, is a really decent man who is in politics for all of the right reasons.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 6:53 am 18 Oct 08

Jonathon Reynolds said :

On the subject of voting… I undertook a video interview with Phillip Green the Electoral Commissioner this morning.

He gives an interesting (apolitical) insight in to our local voting system, the power it gives the individual and democracy in general.

If I can get it edited and up in time strongly suggest you view it before casting your vote.

The video is now available for viewing from the CanberraVotes.com website
http://www.canberravotes.com/2008/10/mr-phillip-green-act-electoral-commissioner-17-october-2008/

@JB: you may want to embed the video in the story header.

PantsMan PantsMan 4:34 am 18 Oct 08

I just hope Steve Pratt is re-elected. If he’s not, he will probably start some type of underground (read spy) anti grafitti group!

Pandy Pandy 2:38 am 18 Oct 08

DO NOT VOTE FOR MAJORITY GOVERNMENT!!!!!

If you do you will gt arrogant pricks. Vote Green 1st.

If the Greens hold the balance of power, that will mean more accountability.

PM PM 1:25 am 18 Oct 08

But Jonathon – you forgot JB’s crumpets…!

Seriously though, IMHO I don’t think one can predict quotas, and Mulchay should be dead in the water.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 1:11 am 18 Oct 08

Here is my prediction for the election outcome, order of election and guesstimate on first preference votes expressed in terms of a quota

Ginninderra:
1. Stanhope(ALP), 1.5 Quota
2. Porter(ALP), 0.75 Quota
3. Dunne(LIB), 0.3 Quota
4. Hunter(GRN), 0.3 Quota
5. Parton(IND), Myers(LIB) or Peebles(ALP) 0.25 Quota

– If my predictions are correct on Quota figures for Stanhope and Porter primary vote quotas then most likely 5th candidate to be Peebles
– Parton is in the running for the last seat based on name recognition alone – just under 1 in 5 Canberrans know him by name/radio voice.
– Myers selected on the basis of name recognition base on her previous tilt at the Senate as the 2nd candidate for Gary Humphries where there was fair emphasis on Belconnen suburbs.

Brindabella:
1. Smyth(LIB), 1.0 Quota
2. Hargreaves(ALP), 1.0 Quota
3. Gentleman(ALP), 0.5 Quota
4. Pratt(LIB) 0.3 Quota
5. Doszpot(LIB) or undetermined(ALP) 0.25 Quota

– It will be interesting to see the level of influence of the CPR group against ALP candidates in this electorate.
– I am predicting that votes for Bresnan(GRN) and Jeffrey(CAP) will collapse in this electorate.

Molonglo:
In order of Election
1. Seselja(LIB), 1.0 Quota
2. Gallagher(ALP), 0.75 Quota
3. Rattenbury(GRN), 0.5 Quota
4. Corbell(ALP), 0.5 Quota
5. Barr(ALP), 0.3 Quota
6. Burke(LIB), 0.25 Quota
7. Mulchay(CAN) or Hettinger(ALP) or undetermined(LIB) 0.25 Quota

– I am nominating Burke on the basis of name recognition.
– Barr is likely to do relatively well as groups targeting him as the Education minister (for school closures) are not Molonglo based
– In reality the last two seats in Molonglo are very hard to pick. Burke is in effect defending her seat from her running mates.
– Whilst polling might show otherwise Mulchay may do well on the basis that he comes across well as a good “old school” politician and he is likely to secure the older voter conservation preferences ahead of Liberal party candidates.

Although there is supposedly a large anti Stanhope sentiment, depending on how the preferences actually flow it is not inconceivable we could end up very close to majority government yet again (if ALP gets 3 seats each in Brindabella and Ginninderra and hold their current seats in Molonglo). Either way I predict that the ALP will ultimately hold at least one more seat than the Liberals. The minor parties, for the most part, may end up being little more than background noise in the overall equation.

If voters actually understand how the Hare-Clarke voting system works I am predicting that we may see a significant increase in “short preference” voting. This is where voters will mark only the candidates they genuinely want to see in the Assembly and leave the remained of the ballot sheet candidate boxes blank (un-preferenced)

These predictions do not reflect my personal voting… and if I’m wrong… who cares – the actual result will be set by the voters at the close of polls at 6pm Saturday night!

PM PM 12:59 am 18 Oct 08

I’ve enjoyed the coverage, too. Well balanced. Sure is better than the Crimes!

I’ll see you all Sat evening at some point after 6pm.

fhakk fhakk 12:28 am 18 Oct 08

Make those politicians fear us.

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