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Old 08-18-2013, 06:01 AM   #101
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Or which micro-party will they infiltrate?

Speaking of micro-parties, I was looking at the 1999 NSW state election where some nutter registered about twenty parties and worked the preferences in a very clever way to get his mate from one of those Outdoor Recreation "let's shit on national parks" parties elected. Some of the micro-parties there are just absolutely hilarious. I don't know if these were all his, but there were parties such as Jobs For Everyone, the Four Wheel Drive Party, Against Promotion of Homosexuality, Three Day Weekend Party, People Against Paedophiles, and my personal favourite Make Billionaires Pay More Tax! (The exclamation mark being part of their name.) The bulk of the micro-parties outpolled the CEC too, haha. Voting below the line must've been exhausting at that election.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:20 AM   #102
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Hey Vlad, who do you prefer out of the Socialist Alternative, the Socialist Alliance, and the Socialist Equality Party?

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Disclosure: I've never voted below the line. Sometimes I think I should, but it seems an insurmountable task. In fairness though, I'm reasonably comfortable that the above-the-line tickets I've gone with aren't too dodgy, in most of the elections I recall.

It's hard enough trying to find a way to put the Coalition's candidate dead-last - or as near as - for the house of representatives (hard when you realise who else is on offer; League of Rights, Family First, CEC, Get It Up Ya Austraya etc).
It seems to me that the dodgiest shit in the GVTs tends to occur in Victoria and NSW. I find voting below the line immensely satisfying; even though I can't put every Nutcase Fundie Party last, I still get the satisfaction of pencilling in 62 beside one, 64 by another, etc. And the CEC dead last. I imagine this time around it'll be CEC dead last again, because I figure that out of all the crazies, the CECs would do the worst harm if they ever somehow achieved power. They have the biggest disconnect with reality of any political party in Australia.

But I totally get why most people just can't be arsed.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:11 AM   #103
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I suspect that if the CEC actually got someone up they'd probably defect to the DLP or Katter's Party in about five minutes. The smaller they are, the more unstable. Even with La Rouche's cultish influence, I can't imagine it's quite the intensity it is in the US.

Look what happened with Pauline Hanson's 1998 landslide in the Queensland parliament. By the following election even the parliamentary leader had gone rouge rogue.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:22 AM   #104
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Hey Vlad, who do you prefer out of the Socialist Alternative, the Socialist Alliance, and the Socialist Equality Party?
I think I heard that the former two were considering a merger. I know the Socialist Alternative (although you told me they're rather abusive/unfriendly?) and the Socialist Alliance (who seem half decent but not really attractive, even if they're not I do think they have a bit of a 'hippy' image but they seem generally pretty active and greenleft is not a bad site). I hadn't heard of the Socialist Equality Party before a few days ago but seeing as they two candidates running for the senate I think I'll vote for them even if it is hopeless.

If there's any problem I have with any self proclaimed socialist parties in Australia it's that they don't seem like 'attractive' prospects to join/participate in. And I'm sceptical of most of these sorts of parties since often enough you'll get a whole bunch of folks who aren't really socialists but are there only to get some sort of influence.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:45 AM   #105
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Or which micro-party will they infiltrate?

Speaking of micro-parties, I was looking at the 1999 NSW state election where some nutter registered about twenty parties and worked the preferences in a very clever way to get his mate from one of those Outdoor Recreation "let's shit on national parks" parties elected. Some of the micro-parties there are just absolutely hilarious. I don't know if these were all his, but there were parties such as Jobs For Everyone, the Four Wheel Drive Party, Against Promotion of Homosexuality, Three Day Weekend Party, People Against Paedophiles, and my personal favourite Make Billionaires Pay More Tax! (The exclamation mark being part of their name.) The bulk of the micro-parties outpolled the CEC too, haha. Voting below the line must've been exhausting at that election.



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Voting – The Senate - Australian Electoral Commission

Basically, if you vote above the line, you simply put 1 in the box of your preferred party. You are allocated preferences according to whatever Group Voting Ticket (or preference flow) the party has registered with the AEC for your state. If the party registers multiple GVTs, they are allocated evenly; i.e. if they register two GVTs, half their votes receive one of them and the other half receive the second.

If you vote below the line, then it's like how you vote for the House of Representatives: you number every single box. At normal elections, that tends to mean numbering about 40-60 candidates representing about 15-25 groups. These numbers vary by state; NSW always has the largest Senate ballot closely followed by Victoria; those in most other states and especially the territories tend to be more modest. This year the Senate ballots everywhere are at record lengths. The Victorian Senate ballot will run to 97 individual candidates standing for 40 separate groups (it's the second-largest federal Senate ballot ever, exceeded only by this year's NSW Senate ballot - 110 candidates in 45 groups).

So if you're a political junkie like me, you're going to take forever at the polling station while you number the Senate 1-97; I am, of course, preparing my vote beforehand to just copy out onto the official ballot paper in the booth. If you're not that keen, you owe it to yourself to at least check your favoured party's Group Voting Ticket to make sure that when you vote above the line, you are given preferences that accord with your interests and intent. Victorians who couldn't be bothered checking what they were voting for when they voted above the line were the fools that elected a Family First Senator in 2004 off the back of ALP and Democrat preferences. Now I'm worried that NSW voters who can't be arsed checking GVTs will vote for the Sex Party, not knowing that their preferences go to Pauline Hanson and One Nation ahead of the three major parties - and Pauline may well be in contention for the final NSW Senate place. We don't need that woman making a political comeback.
Right, thanks! No fucking way I'll be doing that.

Wouldn't mind seeing an explanation for the Sex Party preferencing One Nation though... why would they do that? And do the preferences keep sliding? Like a vote for the Sex Party preferences One Nation which preferences Liberal? I was going to vote for Sex Party...
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #106
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I would figure that preferences only keep sliding until they exhaust themselves. Like if the One Nation candidate is coming out ahead of the Liberal candidate anyway. If that's the case, well, yeah.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #107
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I'm going to vote for the candidates with hotmail email contacts, and whose occupation is unemployed. it's the only way to keep things stable. Nothing will change, nothing will get done.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:06 AM   #108
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:23 AM   #109
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That's going to be shortly before the election, too.

Maybe Albo should bring a cask of Stanley's to the lounge with him. Really get into it.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:55 AM   #110
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The Liberal Democratic Party is liking my posts on Tumblr and I don't like it one bit.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:59 AM   #111
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Are you posting as Clive?
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:21 AM   #112
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:43 AM   #113
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I'd say yes, but... well, actually, ok.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:46 AM   #114
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Jeff Goldblum not included, just a heads up.

By the way, has anyone here received the Clive Palmer free DVD? I heard it's a barrel of laughs.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #115
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I actually got something in my mailbox this afternoon. It was dvd-sized. I threw it in the garbage.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #116
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I think I heard that the former two were considering a merger. I know the Socialist Alternative (although you told me they're rather abusive/unfriendly?) and the Socialist Alliance (who seem half decent but not really attractive, even if they're not I do think they have a bit of a 'hippy' image but they seem generally pretty active and greenleft is not a bad site). I hadn't heard of the Socialist Equality Party before a few days ago but seeing as they two candidates running for the senate I think I'll vote for them even if it is hopeless.

If there's any problem I have with any self proclaimed socialist parties in Australia it's that they don't seem like 'attractive' prospects to join/participate in. And I'm sceptical of most of these sorts of parties since often enough you'll get a whole bunch of folks who aren't really socialists but are there only to get some sort of influence.
Yeah I've just generally found a lot of the Socialist Alternative people on campus to be a frustration, seemingly more interested in harassing people with a form of populist socialism or cheap stunts than with putting forward, well, a meaningful socialist alternative. I see they don't think they're strong enough to contest state or federal elections though, which I respect; the Socialist Alliance this time around is running a handful of candidates for the House of Representatives but none for the Senate in Victoria (I haven't checked other states). That surprises me.

I'm really not keen on the Socialist Equality Party after digging around on their website. They are full of unconstructive vitriol and even conspiracy theories about Rudd and Obama (whatever problems I may have with their policies, there's a difference between a measured critique and off-the-wall ranting that would - in parts - not be out of place on Fox News). Worse, they go on and on about the "pseudo-left" Socialist Alliance, Greens, and whoever else is leftwing but doesn't say exactly what they do. It's reflective of a problem that shits me about the left: we seem to spend so much time bickering amongst ourselves that we forget our common enemy. Defeat laissez-faire capitalism and social conservatism first, and then let's talk about our internal divisions and what sorts of compromises and arrangements we can reach.

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Right, thanks! No fucking way I'll be doing that.

Wouldn't mind seeing an explanation for the Sex Party preferencing One Nation though... why would they do that? And do the preferences keep sliding? Like a vote for the Sex Party preferences One Nation which preferences Liberal? I was going to vote for Sex Party...
The Sex Party's official line is that all the nutty right-wingers had to go somewhere and that preferences won't flow that far. The argument's specious, especially in NSW. Pauline Hanson will likely be in contention for the last NSW Senate seat. Sex Party preferences will reach her before they reach the Greens, ALP, or even the Libs. If Pauline is elected, Sex Party preferences will have helped.

As for how preferences keep flowing in the Senate, the AEC website really is very helpful for most questions: How the Senate votes are counted - Australian Electoral Commission

Essentially, a candidate has to achieve a quota of votes. If a candidate achieves a quota, they are elected; it is also almost certain that if a candidate achieves a quota, they will have a surplus of votes (i.e. if the quota is 117,221, it's very unlikely their first preference votes will be exactly that figure - they might be 142,003). Since it is impossible to determine which votes elected the candidate and which are surplus, ALL votes are transferred at a reduced value. To use the AEC's example, if a candidate receives 1,000,000 votes and 500,000 are surplus, all of the 1,000,000 votes are transferred at half value. Votes keep being transferred to other candidates until either 1. all six positions are filled or 2. preferences are exhausted with positions unfilled. In the case of the latter, which is what usually happens for the last position or two, unsuccessful candidates are eliminated and their votes redistributed until a candidate DOES achieve a quota and all the positions are filled. (Votes are only transferred at reduced value if they have elected a candidate who has a surplus; until they do so, they are transferred at full value like in the House.)

Clear as mud? The Senate is complicated. In short, assume your preferences will keep going all the way.

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I'm going to vote for the candidates with hotmail email contacts, and whose occupation is unemployed. it's the only way to keep things stable. Nothing will change, nothing will get done.


I notice that practically everybody whose occupation is "retired" is standing for a crazy right wing micro-party.

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By the way, has anyone here received the Clive Palmer free DVD? I heard it's a barrel of laughs.
I so badly want to receive this for the lulz.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:48 PM   #117
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I think the splintering and 'lefter than thou' tendencies are a big part of the problem for the left in Australia (and elsewhere probably). In a country of this size, realistically, there should be one 'Socialist Party of Australia'. One. And they should be the prickly conscience to the Labor and Green parties, not the enemy.

With all resources combined and coordinated, maybe they would actually get up a modest but sustainable voting bloc in the Senate.

Sure there are similar tendencies on the right but they are pretty quickly coopted (see for eg. One Nation 1.0), at least in the good times. When a Liberal/Nat/LNP coalition is out of power for 9 years to a decade, that's when the wheels really start to come off.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:54 AM   #118
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I completely agree. The right generally does a much better job of maintaining internal unity, and keeping peaceful relations between separate parties. Even when they co-opt each other, they generally do it peacefully rather than falling into unseemly disputes - One Nation, as you say, is a good example. Whenever I talk to ALP hacks at the moment, they struggle to conceive of the idea of working with the Greens in some sort of coalition arrangement or even maintaining peaceful co-existence; their political imagination cannot seem to extend to the Liberal/National coalition that was effected after those two parties realised how damaging competition was for them. How many three-cornered contests between the ALP, Greens, and Liberals in inner city electorates will have to go the way of the Liberals before morons in the ALP realise they need to work with, not against, the Greens? It doesn't even have to be a formal coalition; just an acknowledgement that if the ALP leaves part of the left to the Greens, both parties can focus their resources on defeating the Liberals. The ALP vs Greens battle for the seat of Melbourne is a colossal waste of time and money that could be put to better use saving or winning marginal outer suburban seats for the ALP.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:01 AM   #119
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I agree that there should be one prime anti-capitalist/socialist party with a strong and attractive image. But what would the 'prickly conscience' to the Greens/Labor do? Entice them to move back to anything resembling left in Labor's case? Make the Greens up their game?
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:34 AM   #120
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I agree that there should be one prime anti-capitalist/socialist party with a strong and attractive image. But what would the 'prickly conscience' to the Greens/Labor do? Entice them to move back to anything resembling left in Labor's case? Make the Greens up their game?
If a Labor government depends on a(n entirely hypothetical) Socialist and/or Green bloc to pass basic legislation, then, maybe, yes.

Doesn't the last parliament, for all the bad blood and bullshit on both sides, provide an example of a policy that a free-agent Labor administration would probably have avoided (carbon tax)? The pokie reforms, had they been an agreed demand among the whole suite of independents, probably would have had a happier fate too. Maybe Wilkie should consider that.
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