Dear Australia; vote below the line!

Jake Farr-Wharton 8 comments
  • Australian Politics
  • Education
  • Government
Dear Australia; vote below the line!

Dear Australia,

While I acknowledge that we’re not all lazy bludgers, in the coming weeks, there will be a great opportunity to vote in a new government or vote out the substantiative government.

The importance of your vote is not just with the House of Representatives either, your senate votes count just as much - a government with a greater numbers in the House of Reps and the Senate have a greater chance of having legislation passed.

While it’s tempting, I know, to vote “above the line”, and get it over with as quickly as possible so as to get to the sausage sizzle outside the booths, but there is a very good reason why you should spend the extra 90 seconds, filling out all of the boxes: if you don’t you’ve thrown your vote away to your chosen party’s preferences.

From the site, “Vote Below the Line”:

“Did you know that ALP and Democrat voters helped elect Steven Fielding of the Family First Party to the Senate in 2004?
They may not have intended to but that's what happened when they voted above the line in the Senate. When you vote above the line, you're letting that party determine the way you vote and their preferred vote may not be what you expect. The only way to be completely sure that your vote goes the way you want is to check where your party's preferences are going and if they're not going the way you want then vote below the line.”

For your information, Senator Steven Fielding, of the Family First Party is a young earth creationist. He believes, in spite of the insurmountable evidence, that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, the Biblical Genesis account of direct creation by his god. This man will make decisions on behalf of the country, but is apparently unable to understand basic geology, let alone chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics.

So, a lazy vote ‘above the line’, does have ramifications.

Essentially, when you don’t personally spend the time to number your preferences (i.e. actually voting), you run the risk of your personal preference not matching up to those of the party you're voting for.

Why? Because when you align yourself with a party, and they give their preferences to someone else to strategically strengthen their chances of election, you let them fill in all of the boxes below the line FOR YOU.

For example, were you to vote 1 in ‘QLD Group T: Australian Labor Party’ (I am in Queensland), then your preferences will look like this (click on the link). This is because this is the sequence of preferences that the Australian Secular Party has preselected.

Another example, were you to vote in the Australian Secular Party in ‘Group L’ above the line, your preferences will actually look like this.

Filling out 80 boxes in order of your preference is necessary to ensure that your vote counts. Vote below the line.

Kim OJ

Kim OJ

Wednesday 4th August 2010 | 11:34 AM
122 total kudos

Wow, voting below the line looks horribly complicated, I can understand why people are lazy. This voting system looks like it is more complex than it would need to be.

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Jake Farr-Wharton

Jake Farr-Wharton

Wednesday 4th August 2010 | 11:39 AM
202 total kudos

Better than Voting for Al Gore and having your states Electoral College vote for Bush...

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Wednesday 4th August 2010 | 02:37 PM
98 total kudos response to this comment by Jake Farr-Wharton. So lets keep bitching about the same thing over and over again? Come on Jake, you need some new material. I am liking this Ginny/Gina style...

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Henk V

Wednesday 4th August 2010 | 03:21 PM

maybe his toaster has blown a fuse...

How can a party that considers the environmental friendly nuclear power research over ridiculous fantasies such as coal sequestration even consider... the vapid squirrels in the sex party as a reasonable senate running mate?

They have lost the secular religious (ie, those that really dont give a fuck about god till easter but like to vote for anything but idiots hat consider sexualisation of the media for everyone a fair option. The secular party may well have done better with the big pharma party or the slaughter blue whales party.

If secular means aligning with the stupid... sorry papa I have an air ticket enquiry to move in with you two..

Damn I would rather live with Tyler than get into bed with something I consider as vapid as a "sex" party or an autocratic greens party. At least Tyler would be testing my brand of bullshit... with guys like this, they would be testing no bull at all!

Secular party coup.....

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Henk V

Wednesday 4th August 2010 | 03:23 PM

Kim, on australian voting, we donate a cup of blood outside the polling stations for ink.

Its a lot better than necking a cartoonist and letting all the muslims be fingerprinted. Like most of them are innocent!

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Ellis Bell

Wednesday 4th August 2010 | 11:21 PM

There is little that is more tedious than people who consistently miss the point yet parade their ignorance like Scout merit awards. People who dismiss arguments without dealing with the substance of the argument are either stupid or deliberately employing cheap debating tactics in order to convince the stupid. I get the impression that those who engage in this tactic here are actually stupid.

PS. If you live in Victoria, put Stephen Conroy last.

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Thursday 5th August 2010 | 12:26 PM

I was considering the importance of voting and realised the importance of note voting. We live in a democracy.. ? NO. The concept of forcing people to vote in and of itself nullify any concept of democracy. Add to that we are forced to vote for individuals and parties that may or may not have any interest or relevance to us or our political views.

Vote or don;t vote. However if you're not going to vote, don't vote for a reason and make that reason count. Sitting at home on the couch is a waste of everyone's time.

Jake Farr-Wharton

Jake Farr-Wharton

Friday 6th August 2010 | 09:28 AM
202 total kudos response to this comment by Ian. Ian, firstly, democracy relies on the voice of the public. How can the public voice be considered consensus if the entirety of the public isn't heard?

Secondly, we vote for individuals either because their policy aligns with our ideology or, in the case of the growing Australian trailer-trash, because they look good, or because of how their favorite bite-sized nightly news outlet has packaged it for them.

If none of the individuals suit your needs, you have three options:

1 - Make an appointment to speak with your local members and have your voice heard; if you get together with a group of likeminded individuals, your voice will have a greater chance of being heard, especially if the message is poingiant and concise.

2 - Anyone, from anywhere, with any background can run for election at a local, state or federal level. If you are unwilling to lobby your local members, throw your hat in the ring and do it yourself. There is a $500 registration fee, and the cost associated with promotion, but if you're clever, you can get people to pay for the registration (tax deduction) and find a group of friends who will do the marketing for you.

3 - Do a 'donkey vote'. It should be called a dick-head vote, but basically, if you do anything other than what is instructed on the ballot paper, you have submitted a 'Donkey Vote' which will not be counted.

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