Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Australia Votes

It's that time of the year again when we have to vote ourselves a new federal government, and the question is - who should we vote for? Should we vote for the spineless woman that just promised $222,000,000 (!) to fund extra chaplains in state schools and who wants to have a committee made of ordinary people decide Australia's policy on climate change when science is pretty clear on the matter? Or should we vote for the ignorant Pope guided bigot on the other side?
The answer is, obviously, neither. Lucky for us there are some good parties to vote for, and if these good parties get the balance of power in the senate then all the bigots and the spineless can go to hell. This post is all about telling you how I have voted. Yes, I voted already, in the comfort of my own home and with the aid of the Internet to help me check the policies of all the parties so I can make an educated choice. This post is here to tell you of the considerations I have taken in my voting process, and consideration is what I did as I voted below the line to rate all Victorian senate candidates from 1 to 60.
So here they are, my considerations:
  1. The good guys:
    My starting point was the parties I really like. There are three of those: The Secular Party, whose policies are pretty much a carbon copy of my political opinions; The Greens, the largest good doer in Aussie politics; and the Sex Party, a flag bearer of civil libertarian values.
    As good as these are, they all have their disadvantages. The Secular Party is a minor player with no chance of getting a seat; since a party needs 4% of first choice votes to receive public funding, a vote for them is a bit of a waste. The Greens, on the other hand, have a strong religious core in them, which prevents them from doing good when it comes to certain matters of civil liberties. The Sex Party has acquired quite a lot of following with its agendas, but it's short in other respects: for example, as hard as I have tried, I was unable to find what their policies on climate change are. Since I consider climate change to be an issue of potentially apocalyptic repercussions, I require my party of choice to have a firm policy there.
    I therefore chose to start my senate vote with a mix the candidates from the above three parties, starting with the specific people I like in particular: Richard Di Natale from the Greens and Fiona Patten from the Sex Party.
  2. The other do gooders:
    I continued my voting preferences with the other parties I like (but not as much). These include the rather surprising Joseph Toscano, Socialist Alliance (they're naive but positively so), and the Democrats (a party that likes to shoot itself in the leg; lately they have been doing so in order to differentiate themselves from the Greens).
  3. The neutrals:
    I moved on to rate parties that are generally useless to mildly bad. Not that I like them that much, it's just that they're too small to make much of a difference, so I'd prefer them over the corrupt Labor or Liberals. And if they do get their seat, then at least they'd be able to play hard to get and make life harder for the Stephen Conroys out there that want to make the lives of all Australians harder through the draconian legislation that's backed by their big party power. More about Conroy later...
  4. The big idiots:
    Then, as far away down the list as I can put them, come the big parties (separated by DLP). Naturally, I prefer Labor over the Liberals; sure, Labor has its internet censorship agenda which is more than enough to have it blacklisted, but it's not like the Liberals are going to make my life better. For example, they support pretty harsh copyright legislations.
  5. The scum:
    Closing down the list are the parties that simply should not be there, period. These include mostly Christian fundamentalists (e.g., Family First) as well as the Shooters and the racists (e.g., One Nation).
  6. The penultimate idiot:
    The honor of being #59 in my voting preferences went to the current senate's clown, Steven Fielding: the guy who had to hide from the media for a fortnight after Richard Dawkins had him for breakfast on ABC's Q&A.
  7. The honorary last:
    The guy I want to get rid of the most is the one and only Stephen Conroy, Labor's Catholic agent for all matters of Censorship, and the only person I know to call me a pedophile. May he long be forgotten after these elections!
I hope the above was helpful. If there is anything I can say in conclusion, it's this: Do make the effort to vote below the line and rate the politicians exactly as you see fit. You only vote once in three years, so don't let the politicians determine your fate for you; make the most of this, the most effective and easiest to use tool you have to shape the face of Australia's future.

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