Think very hard about your Senate vote

johnboy 6 September 2013 128
senate

We’re not in the business of telling our readers how to vote.

But we do share information which may colour that decision.

Canberra voters can usually be taken for granted to deliver one Liberal Senator and two Labor MP’s and one Labor Senator.

But with Tony Abbott so far ahead in this race that he’s putting policy lead in his saddlebag just to carry it over the line you all need to at least consider your Senate vote. (The strange birth and death of the internet filter being an illuminating case in point.)

If the ACT were to reject Zed Seselja in favour of Simon Sheikh it would very likely rob the Coalition of control in the Senate.

This website asks exactly one thing of Candidates for elections. That they take the time to answer ten questions put by our readers.

You can see the answers from candidates of all hues who respect you enough to have done so.

According to Google we had 173,287 unique visitors in the last month, almost all of them from the ACT.

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A candidate that does not take the opportunity to address, in as much length and detail as they choose, this audience is, in my opinion, treating the ACT electorate with contempt.

And remember, voting for a minor party will not waste your vote in Australia.

The Canberra Times has a much more long winded editorial on the subject if you’d like more detail:

The upper-house election gives Canberrans another opportunity to disrupt political norms. Psephologist Malcolm Mackerras said last month that a Senate vote in the ACT might be ”the most valuable vote in the country”; the only ballot that has the potential to prevent Mr Abbott from wielding complete power. At the same time, Canberrans will lose an experienced senator and proud advocate for the ACT, Gary Humphries, who was defeated in a messy and controversial preselection. He was the only Liberal to vote against the Howard government on a party-mandated ballot (on the matter of same-sex civil unions), because he refused to violate the ACT’s rights.

With Senator Humphries’s departure, Canberrans now have the perfect opportunity to break up the ACT’s cosy Labor-Liberal duopoly in the upper house, and in doing so place a cautionary brake on a likely Abbott government. A lack of a Senate majority is no barrier to good government; indeed, Mr Abbott must embrace compromise if he is to lead well.


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128 Responses to Think very hard about your Senate vote
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Darkfalz Darkfalz 12:26 pm 09 Sep 13

watto23 said :

Apparently according to DarkFalz, that gay marriage ruins the family unit of a man, a woman and children…. yet we are still awaiting how gay marriage affects this, because right now, legally gay people can have children and live together. Just like straight couples don’t have to get married and have children, or single people raise children, some with the help of their parents/siblings. He has some bee in his bonnet and would rather the country became a society of intolerant people quite happy to see others suffer.

Again, disagreeing with someone’s desire to change the law does make one “intolerant” of them.

Do you believe in what Muslims believe? Would you be okay with having Sharia or Sharia type laws introduced here? No? So you’re happy for me to call you a Muslim hating bigot then?

This is essentially the same guilt inducing argument many of you gay marriage proponents are running. I suggest you give it a rest. And if you really think gays who are unable to get a marriage certificate are “suffering” I suggest you look at how they are treated in many parts of the world.

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 12:07 pm 09 Sep 13

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Whatever.

Thanks Matt. Exactly the kind of open and accountable discourse I’ve come to expect from the Libs.

Open and accountable discourse was precisely what I was doing. The fact you keep petulantly skewing my responses only serves to diminish your reputation.

switch switch 9:17 am 09 Sep 13

housebound said :

Whether or not the Libs sneezed in our direction this time around is another question entirely.

The Liberals are going to sneeze in our direction and Canberra is definitely going to catch a cold.

watto23 watto23 9:02 am 09 Sep 13

simsim said :

Darkfalz said :

7captains said :

Meanwhile over the border there are 232 votes that separate the ALP (Mike Kelly) and LNP (Peter Hendy).

Pre and postal tend to favour coalition so hopefully Mike “Sandy Mountains” Kelly will be history.

Impressed that Greens vote dropped ~6% in Canberra. Some hope for the city after all. But I guess when Labor take up their pet causes of gay marriage and global warming, there’s not much room left for them (and doubly good, because Labor are also punished for this idiocy).

In July this year, the Queen signed off on gay Marriage in the UK. THE QUEEN. Are you suggesting the Queen is an idiot? And how quickly would you like your treason trial to take place?

Apparently according to DarkFalz, that gay marriage ruins the family unit of a man, a woman and children…. yet we are still awaiting how gay marriage affects this, because right now, legally gay people can have children and live together. Just like straight couples don’t have to get married and have children, or single people raise children, some with the help of their parents/siblings. He has some bee in his bonnet and would rather the country became a society of intolerant people quite happy to see others suffer.

Roundhead89 Roundhead89 2:36 am 09 Sep 13

simsim said :

Darkfalz said :

7captains said :

Meanwhile over the border there are 232 votes that separate the ALP (Mike Kelly) and LNP (Peter Hendy).

Pre and postal tend to favour coalition so hopefully Mike “Sandy Mountains” Kelly will be history.

Impressed that Greens vote dropped ~6% in Canberra. Some hope for the city after all. But I guess when Labor take up their pet causes of gay marriage and global warming, there’s not much room left for them (and doubly good, because Labor are also punished for this idiocy).

In July this year, the Queen signed off on gay Marriage in the UK. THE QUEEN. Are you suggesting the Queen is an idiot? And how quickly would you like your treason trial to take place?

So what. Sir John Kerr in 1976 signed off on gay law reform in the ACT. Sir Walter Campbell (appointed by Joh) signed off on gay law reform in Qld in 1990. The Queen or GG must sign off on every bill returned from the parliament otherwise they are sacked. That’s what happens in Australia and in the UK it certainly wouldn’t be a good look for the Queen not to sign off on a government bill. The doctrine of the separation of powers holds the democratically elected parliament and prime minister as the legislators and the monarchy is a figurehead or a rubber stamp, if you like. That’s why the Queen and the GG and state governors here open the parliament by reading speeches saying “My government will do such and such”.

Darkfalz Darkfalz 11:36 pm 08 Sep 13

simsim said :

In July this year, the Queen signed off on gay Marriage in the UK. THE QUEEN. Are you suggesting the Queen is an idiot? And how quickly would you like your treason trial to take place?

There were many protests. This law was passed without it being part of the platform in the previous election, which is not on. I would hate to see it snuck through here in the same way.

housebound housebound 10:00 pm 08 Sep 13

Darkfalz said :

BimboGeek said :

Do they count the above-the-line votes first? They are predicting Zed to beat Simon by less than 0.01 quota when it comes down to the final two for the second spot, and apparently the animal justice preferences are just enough to make the difference, but maybe it could change if there’s a big number of below-the-line votes?

They will flow preferences one by one until someone achieves a quota. Zed has just got over the line on second preferences, but it’s all he needed.

We won’t know until later this week. As a below-the-line, minor-party voter, my vote hasn’t even been counted yet.

But the more I think about it, the least-bad result for the ACT would be for Zed to squeak in by, say, 20 votes. I can’t think of any other way to make our new masters think of us as anything other than a leftie electorate not worth even a sneeze come the next election. (Whether or not the Libs sneezed in our direction this time around is another question entirely.)

The way things are shaping up, a choice of Zed/Sheikh won’t change the outcome at all. Despite the Greens’ promises/threats of total devastation if a liberal is elected, the balance of power in the Senate will be not be held by the Greens alone, but by the ALP, Greens and others. It’s a pity we didn’t have enough collective intelligence to do that, or god forbid, vote someone, anyone, other than the safe-sitting MPs into the reps.

simsim simsim 6:31 pm 08 Sep 13

Darkfalz said :

7captains said :

Meanwhile over the border there are 232 votes that separate the ALP (Mike Kelly) and LNP (Peter Hendy).

Pre and postal tend to favour coalition so hopefully Mike “Sandy Mountains” Kelly will be history.

Impressed that Greens vote dropped ~6% in Canberra. Some hope for the city after all. But I guess when Labor take up their pet causes of gay marriage and global warming, there’s not much room left for them (and doubly good, because Labor are also punished for this idiocy).

In July this year, the Queen signed off on gay Marriage in the UK. THE QUEEN. Are you suggesting the Queen is an idiot? And how quickly would you like your treason trial to take place?

willo willo 6:16 pm 08 Sep 13
Darkfalz Darkfalz 5:44 pm 08 Sep 13

7captains said :

Meanwhile over the border there are 232 votes that separate the ALP (Mike Kelly) and LNP (Peter Hendy).

Pre and postal tend to favour coalition so hopefully Mike “Sandy Mountains” Kelly will be history.

Impressed that Greens vote dropped ~6% in Canberra. Some hope for the city after all. But I guess when Labor take up their pet causes of gay marriage and global warming, there’s not much room left for them (and doubly good, because Labor are also punished for this idiocy).

7captains 7captains 12:49 pm 08 Sep 13

Meanwhile over the border there are 232 votes that separate the ALP (Mike Kelly) and LNP (Peter Hendy).

caf caf 9:31 am 08 Sep 13

Darkfalz said :

BimboGeek said :

Do they count the above-the-line votes first? They are predicting Zed to beat Simon by less than 0.01 quota when it comes down to the final two for the second spot, and apparently the animal justice preferences are just enough to make the difference, but maybe it could change if there’s a big number of below-the-line votes?

They will flow preferences one by one until someone achieves a quota. Zed has just got over the line on second preferences, but it’s all he needed.

The interim preference distribution has him only achieving a quota at the exclusion of the Bullet Train for Australia lead candidate, when it’s just Zed and Simon remaining in the count. That means that it’s not just second preferences, but also a lot of much lower (21st, 22nd, 23rd) preferences that Zed is relying on. I’m not saying this to be pedantic, but because I think it illustrates the point that in the Senate, every preference can count, not just the first few.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 9:30 am 08 Sep 13

Whatever.

Thanks Matt. Exactly the kind of open and accountable discourse I’ve come to expect from the Libs.

caf caf 9:04 am 08 Sep 13

BimboGeek said :

Do they count the above-the-line votes first? They are predicting Zed to beat Simon by less than 0.01 quota when it comes down to the final two for the second spot, and apparently the animal justice preferences are just enough to make the difference, but maybe it could change if there’s a big number of below-the-line votes?

The initial indicative count is of all ballot papers, but they only count the “1” preferences whether above or below the line.

A full preference distribution isn’t done until the AEC data-enters every single below-the-line ballot paper, which won’t happen until sometime during the week.

dpm dpm 9:04 am 08 Sep 13

It looks like if they had of had the Animal Justice Party prefs, the Greens actually would have beaten Zed. I bet Mayor Rattenbury is feeling pretty special right about now! Hahaha!

Mysteryman Mysteryman 8:50 am 08 Sep 13

Thankfully that’s all done with. Now can we ship Simon Shiek back to wherever he came before he parachuted into Canberra?

JC JC 8:31 am 08 Sep 13

BimboGeek said :

Do they count the above-the-line votes first? They are predicting Zed to beat Simon by less than 0.01 quota when it comes down to the final two for the second spot, and apparently the animal justice preferences are just enough to make the difference, but maybe it could change if there’s a big number of below-the-line votes?

That is not quite how it works. What happens is every party has a ticket that instructs how the votes are distributed if someone votes above the line. So what they do is count all the below the line 1 votes and add the above the line 1 votes as per the ticket. So in the case of the Liberals an above the line vote is the same as a 1 below the line for Zed.

To be elected they need to get a quota which is about 53000 votes in the ACT. Once someone has a quota that person is elected and then their votes are disturbed according to preferences, but these votes are not full value but have a percentage basis based on how much over the quota the person received.

Now whilst as of now it is showing Kate Lundy and old mate Zed as being elected, it is worth nothing that the pre-pole and postal votes have not be counted. So really the final outcome won’t be known until all those votes are also counted and factored in especially as the gap between Zed and the greens is not very big.

JC JC 8:21 am 08 Sep 13

milkman said :

I like how you pretended you would actually vote liberal.

I voted Liberal when I lived in Sydney in 1995 as I happened to like John Fahey, they lost of course.

I also voted Liberal in the ACT election in 1998.

This time around your right I wouldn’t vote the Liberals, they have had 3 years to show my good cause to change and they didn’t and as far as I am concerned Labor (contracy to the 6 years of chaos line the libs were pushing did a good job). They got us through the GFC without the pain the rest of the developed world went through, with only a minor debit in the grand scheme of things. The last parliament despite being minority was one of the most active in Australia’s history in terms of bills presented and passed. So hardly chaos, except at leadership level. My feeling is Rudd should have pissed off for good after being rolled by Gillard, however with a choice between Rudd and Abbott, there was no way in the world I was going to vote for Lee and hence help make Abbott PM.

With Zed in particular I dislike the man profusly, so my vote yesterday in the Senate didn’t got to Labor it went to the greens instead, and I see they stand a chance, with pre-pole voting of rolling Zed for the 2nd Senate seat in the ACT. Wouldn’t have got that if I had of voted Labor, and no didn’t get the green idea from reading the riot act either.

Clearly others don’t share my view and like it or not that is democracy in action. I accept the peoples vote, but heaven help this country is all I can see. Welcome to 1950 white Australia where men are men and women know their places, and gays can go to hell.

IrishPete IrishPete 6:45 am 08 Sep 13

breda said :

I would rather 2 Labor, or 2 Coalition, senators than even a quarter of a Green. And one of those two options is a long way from ideal for me.

If you are a Labor supporter, thank the Greens for undermining the current government’s credibility with the public and stirring up internal divisions in the ALP. If you are a Coalition supporter – well, no explanation is necessary.

Or put another way, if you are a Greens supporter, you can thank the ALP for your reduced vote because you have been tarnished with the ALP brush (do I need to mention Obeid?). Those who lie with dogs catch fleas.

ALP will look for anyone to blame but themselves. There has been virtually no swing to the Liberals, but there has been a substantial swing against Labor (and the Greens). But at time of writing the Greens vote is still higher than the 2007 election, so the increase at the 2010 election has not been completely reversed. I suspect (and yes I am a member) that the trend is still upwards, we have just got to a point where it is no longer a steady increase. It will have interruptions.

Pre-polling results will be interesting, as early pre-polls may work in Labor’s favour (as they got more and more disorganised in the last few days).

IP

Darkfalz Darkfalz 1:07 am 08 Sep 13

BimboGeek said :

Do they count the above-the-line votes first? They are predicting Zed to beat Simon by less than 0.01 quota when it comes down to the final two for the second spot, and apparently the animal justice preferences are just enough to make the difference, but maybe it could change if there’s a big number of below-the-line votes?

They will flow preferences one by one until someone achieves a quota. Zed has just got over the line on second preferences, but it’s all he needed.

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