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.

screenshot

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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thebrownstreak69 thebrownstreak69 10:22 am 06 Sep 13

In other words, don’t vote for the evil Liberal party!

FioBla FioBla 10:29 am 06 Sep 13

Hardly think about your senate vote. Gotcha.

Grimm Grimm 10:37 am 06 Sep 13

Encouraging people to vote for the watermelons? Happening on this site?
Surely you jest…

Seriously, the last thing we need is another socialist, progress halting, social engineering hippy with ANY power. Though thankfully, many people are starting to see through the greens/reds. I’m hoping they are stomped into irrelevance in this election.

thebrownstreak69 thebrownstreak69 10:38 am 06 Sep 13

johnboy said :

Not at all what I said guys.

“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.”

I’d say you’re pretty concerned about the Libs getting control of the Senate. I’m prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt by thinking you’d be saying the same thing if Labor was in this position.

Deref Deref 10:41 am 06 Sep 13

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

Thanks for the timely reminder, JB.

It’s quite frightening how many US memes get adopted by ignorant Australians. The “I x and I vote” is one, as was the situation a few years ago that had Australians dialling the US emergency number. The “I have a constitutional right to bear arms” is less prevalent but it exists.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:43 am 06 Sep 13

A wholly numbered ballot is a vote hardly wasted.

    johnboy johnboy 10:44 am 06 Sep 13

    Another worry is the rumbling about “mandate”.

    Tony Abbott has a mandate to not be Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd, and that’s about it.

Beau Locks Beau Locks 10:49 am 06 Sep 13

I accept that Tony Abbott will be PM come Sunday morn. Labor certainly deserve to lose, but I don’t know that we deserve an Abbott guvman. I read thru the Tory ‘costings’. Not very many harsh cuts, aside from ganking Ausaid, considering it’s a ‘budget emergency’. Lots of spending, in fact. I reckon they’ve gone all Keynsian with stimulus measures for the construction industry, much like the ALP did in 2009, which everyone else in the world thought was a good idea, but which they opposed. (I note Joseph Stiglitz writ a great article about just this in the SMH the other day, basically saying Aussies are fools for whinging about our economy, and that any government cuts in the current environment are mad.)

The difference between 2009 and the 2014 stimulus spending is that none of this largesse will be lavished upon the good folk of Canberra. The only mention of the ACT that I saw in their ‘costings’ is that they’ll scrap the pokies trial.

Normally there’s some benefit to living in a marginal seat, which the second Senate spot in C Town clearly is, but it seems, much like Zedwit, that the Tories have just taken the ACT for granted, yet again. I will be ecstatic if Zed fails to get in. Good luck Simon Sheikh.

Robertson Robertson 10:55 am 06 Sep 13

Let me get this straight – the Liberals have announced that they will sack 12,000 people in the ACT, which will obviously lead to a local recession with matching job losses in the private sector.

And Johnboy is worried that Canberrans will vote Liberal?!?!

He’s mad – who would be stupid enough to vote for joblessness and plummeting property values?

    johnboy johnboy 10:56 am 06 Sep 13

    Well Zed obviously thinks he can mail this one in.

davo101 davo101 10:56 am 06 Sep 13

johnboy said :

Another worry is the rumbling about “mandate”.

I do enjoy hollow arguments. Every single member elected to parliament has a mandate and everyone’s mandate is equal.

Robertson Robertson 10:57 am 06 Sep 13

johnboy said :

Another worry is the rumbling about “mandate”.

Yes – I’ve been hearing that – dodgy, dodgy, dodgy…

On the other hand, we all know that if Tony Abbott gets in, that will prove that Climate science really is crap.

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 11:07 am 06 Sep 13

One other thing to consider is that, given the likelihood of a Coalition government (albeit not guaranteed), do Canberrans want to be the only jurisdiction to not have representation within the government of the day?

I can also assure you Zed does not take this election for granted.

(I declare my bias as a Liberal.)

    johnboy johnboy 11:09 am 06 Sep 13

    So where are Zed’s Questionnaire answers then Matt?

    And you don’t think winning back that senate seat once lost will be a bit of a priority to Liberal strategists next time around?

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 11:09 am 06 Sep 13

Robertson said :

Let me get this straight – the Liberals have announced that they will sack 12,000 people in the ACT, which will obviously lead to a local recession with matching job losses in the private sector.

And Johnboy is worried that Canberrans will vote Liberal?!?!

He’s mad – who would be stupid enough to vote for joblessness and plummeting property values?

At least the Libs are heading to an election with this as part of their platform. Labor is cutting APS jobs without telling us how or how many.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:10 am 06 Sep 13

I no longer have to think hard about my senate vote. I already did that many months ago.

farout farout 11:11 am 06 Sep 13

Robertson said :

Let me get this straight – the Liberals have announced that they will sack 12,000 people in the ACT, which will obviously lead to a local recession with matching job losses in the private sector.

And Johnboy is worried that Canberrans will vote Liberal?!?!

He’s mad – who would be stupid enough to vote for joblessness and plummeting property values?

If the Libs win, they will implement their policies. The members for Canberra and Fraser will do bugger all or help or hinder.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:12 am 06 Sep 13

johnboy said :

So where are Zed’s Questionnaire answers then Matt?

And you don’t think winning back that senate seat once lost will be a bit of a priority to Liberal strategists next time around?

He’s taking the James Hird approach…

“But, but, but I’m a father, so that means I’m a good bloke and you all love me!”

bigfeet bigfeet 11:12 am 06 Sep 13

Every day on Riotact is an education.

As a result of this thread I learnt a new word and will try to work it into general conversation.

‘Psephologist’ – a sociologist who studies election trends.

Thanks Riotact!

housebound housebound 11:18 am 06 Sep 13

Long-time minor party voter here (ie anyone but Lab-Lib-Grn). Think of it as getting double the value out of your votes: your first preference directs the money and the cudos (and your actual policy preference, not that any of the parties really care about that). In a marginal electorate, your final preference could influence the outcome.

Three out of four ‘seats’ are safe Labor here (two Reps, one of the Senate seats). Whether the Liberal’s ‘seat’ is safe or marginal will be known on Saturday night. The Greens say it is safe and act as if it is marginal. The Libs say it is marginal (when they say anything at all) and act as if it is safe. Someone is going to be sadly disappointed tomorrow night.

If the Greens got in, would we get interest in the form of Commonwealth investment? Not in this Liberal Government (but we wouldn’t anyway – so no change). But would Labor, when it returns to power, ever see any point in ‘investing’ for an outcome it already has?

harvyk1 harvyk1 11:19 am 06 Sep 13

Matt_Watts said :

One other thing to consider is that, given the likelihood of a Coalition government (albeit not guaranteed), do Canberrans want to be the only jurisdiction to not have representation within the government of the day?

I can also assure you Zed does not take this election for granted.

(I declare my bias as a Liberal.)

But we will have representation in the government of the day.

The fact that people are aligned to certain political parties is convention only and form no actual real part in how our government works. (You are not voting for Rudd or Abbot tomorrow, you are simply voting for a person, and that person will decide if they want to vote for Rudd / Abbot or a 3rd person to be PM)

Besides becoming a seat which can no longer be taken for granted is probably one of the best things which could happen to us. Marginal seats are always given much higher priority from both sides than so called safe seats, simply because both sides want to attracts votes. Safe seats there is no point in giving the good stuff because it’s unlikely to change votes enough from one guy and give them to the other to make a difference.

arescarti42 arescarti42 11:22 am 06 Sep 13

Beau Locks said :

I accept that Tony Abbott will be PM come Sunday morn. Labor certainly deserve to lose, but I don’t know that we deserve an Abbott guvman. I read thru the Tory ‘costings’. Not very many harsh cuts, aside from ganking Ausaid, considering it’s a ‘budget emergency’. Lots of spending, in fact. I reckon they’ve gone all Keynsian with stimulus measures for the construction industry, much like the ALP did in 2009, which everyone else in the world thought was a good idea, but which they opposed. (I note Joseph Stiglitz writ a great article about just this in the SMH the other day, basically saying Aussies are fools for whinging about our economy, and that any government cuts in the current environment are mad.)

The difference between 2009 and the 2014 stimulus spending is that none of this largesse will be lavished upon the good folk of Canberra. The only mention of the ACT that I saw in their ‘costings’ is that they’ll scrap the pokies trial.

Normally there’s some benefit to living in a marginal seat, which the second Senate spot in C Town clearly is, but it seems, much like Zedwit, that the Tories have just taken the ACT for granted, yet again. I will be ecstatic if Zed fails to get in. Good luck Simon Sheikh.

The Greens are saying that the Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme is too generous, too expensive, and needs to be reigned in, and they are also promising a greater cut to the company tax rate than the Coalition. Not to mention the Coalition has rejected an efficient market based policy for dealing with climate change in favor of a bureaucracy heavy, inefficient, “direct action” policy.

It’s certainly a bizarre state of affairs when the left wing minority party is more fiscally conservative, free market and lower taxing than the supposedly small government conservative party.

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 11:25 am 06 Sep 13

johnboy said :

So where are Zed’s Questionnaire answers then Matt?

And you don’t think winning back that senate seat once lost will be a bit of a priority to Liberal strategists next time around?

You know very well that I have paid attention to the RiotACT over multiple elections. Zed and I haven’t discussed the RiotACT, though, so I can’t speak on his behalf on the matter of the questionnaire.

What I do know is that Zed has been out doorknocking houses and meeting people at shopping centres throughout the campaign. Sure, with the birth of his and Ros’ newborn Zed took a little time out from the campaign, yet that’s to be expected!

Winning a Senate seat in the ACT is already a priority for the Liberals. You’re suggesting it would be a greater priority at the next election if the Liberals lost it this year, yet that leaves potentially three years of being outside the tent, so to speak.

The Canberra Times this morning rued the the fact the House of Reps seats were safely ALP. To that I say vote for Elizabeth Lee in Fraser and Tom Sefton in Canberra!

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