I've avoided blogging about the federal election taking place today, here in Australia. Frankly, I'm unexcited by the prospect. I feel, or felt, a lot of good will towards Julia Gillard, but she's managed to alienate me considerably as the process has gone on. She could have canned the internet censorship proposal once and for all, but didn't. She could have been positive about the prospects of recognising same-sex marriages, but took a hardline social conservative stance on the issue. She didn't have to expand the school chaplaincy program. She could have announced measures more welcoming of refugees - this whole question of who will best "stop the boats" is ugly, xenophobic, and a disgrace to the country.
I don't relish the prospect of Tony Abbott as prime minister, though he has sometimes sounded the more progressive of the two candidates. Be that as it may, deeply conservative candidates have a way of showing it once they obtain power. If it comes to a question of whether I think the country is in safer hands under Labor, with Gillard as prime minister, or under the Coalition, with Abbott as prime minister, then I'll go with the former. But not with any great enthusiasm.
This morning, I'm going to look closely at the policies of the Greens, the Sex Party, and the Secular Party. They all have something to offer. They deserve to be placed, in some order or other, above the major parties in the Senate vote, and their candidates for the House of Representatives deserve some support.
At least in your old state we get to put Conroy last if we are prepared to do the work to vote below the line. Only the Greens and Sex had the wit to put him last amongst the Labor candidates, though that isn't strong enough for me, even if I do want to keep his other baby: the NBN ridding us of Telstra wholesale.
Before getting to the booth, my intentions are:
1. No. 1 Australian Sex Party candidate
2. Glenn Shea (independent working for Koori youth justice)
3. No. 1 Secular (John Perkins)
4. No. 1 Greens (in case they are still short of a quota)
5. Joe Toscano (Group B no party, anarchist)
6. No. 1 Democrats
7. Stephen Mayne (Group U no party)
8. No. 2 Greens (being hopelessly over-optimistic)
9-55. randomised others (none of whom should still be live once they get that far down the preference allocations)
56. No. 3 Lab
57. No. 3 Lib
58. No. 1 DLP (who managed to get at MLC up on preference swaps and remind me of the Harradine effect)
If, as I half expect, Sex fails to get to 4%, I'll someday get around to donating $2.30 to the Greens.
In the Reps, I've decided in my old age to finally vote tactically to increase the appearance of two-party-preferred marginality in this safest of safe electorates, while ensuring the Greens at least get their other $2.30 from the public purse.
I think I'll tick the Sex party above the line for the Senate. From what I saw on the belowtheline website, that'll preference pretty much the way I would do it.
Sex Party!? Jeez, we are *so* behind here in Canada.
The Sex Party (ASP) is primarily a civil liberties party. The name Sex Party gains the party a pile if media time that would not perhaps be offered to something called the "Civil liberties Party". The party offers a socially progressive platform, not just on 'sex' issues, but others including a senate inquiry into church run child sex, the ending of tax concessions to religions that sell their noxious product, the decriminalisation of recreational drug use. The party sees drug use as a medical issue. They also support voluntary euthanasia. What a positive agenda. I'm not a member but support their work and handed out how to votes for them today. The feedback was 90% positive. The church over the road from the polling station weren't impressed with my party supplied yellow t-shirt with SEX in big red letters on the front.
How funny Rob - I was passing out How to vote cards today for the Sex Party too (in Bennelong). I read a comment on Pharangula from somebody else who was doing the same thing when PZ had a post about the Sex Party earlier this week so there's plenty of support among the sceptical community. Or whatever community this is...
Having said that though I'm not very optimistic about our chances of getting 4% for the senate. Hopefully a big enough primary vote just to show that the Sex Party does stand for issues that these are issues that the community care about and feel are not being addressed by the major parties at present.
Abbott would be a catastrophe, Gillard's campaign in the last few days in particular was sad and pathetic, so I am hoping we get a hung parliament with Gillard as PM, and Greens and certain independents in a stronger position.
I think Abbott would be a disaster, like Howard only more extreme.
Remember how moderate Howard sounded in the 1996 campaign, then it was a different matter when he was elected.
But I share the lack of enthusiasm about Gillard and Labor - perpetuating the myth that refugees in leaky boats are some sort of threat, instead of standing up for principle; no movement to eliminate the appalling anti-terrorism laws; ridiculous and blatant temporising over global warming, and providing no sense of vision or a future.
If Abbott does win, at least the Greens will be able to block him in the Senate, but will they know how to use the power wisely?
Alas, the Sex Party had no candidates where I live.
It's funny how the most boring election on record turned out to have the most interesting outcome on record. I'm still fascinated as I watch events unfold day by day.
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