How to vote in the Senate: A sensible guide for sensible people

All the pundits have been banging on about how most of us don’t make up our minds about who we’ll vote for in an election until  a few days, or even hours, before we enter the little booth to leave our mark on democracy.

Well, I don’t know about you but I pretty much made up my mind at birth; I could never vote for a Tory and my class loyalty comes first.

And it’s too close to call (maybe), Labor is going to take some seats of the Coalition, a handful of Greens and independents will sit in the lower house and the Senate will be another dog’s breakfast.

So for me the least troublesome option for voting on 2 July is the simple four-word slogan that I have been hashtagging and tweeting for weeks now: #PutTheLiberalsLast.

Don't elect a Fizza #PuttheLiberalsLast

Don’t elect a Fizza
#PuttheLiberalsLast

This makes it relatively easy in most lower house seats, if the main enemy is a National, not a Liberal then a simple substitution works seamlessly.

Putting the coalition last is not such a simple matter in the Senate. It’s a smorgasbord of filth with lashings of stupids all desperate for a one issue shot at the title and a comfy spot on the red leather cross benches. If it’s a choice between putting the Liberals last or the anti-vaxxers where do you you go?

How do you make a principled decision on your senate vote when so many dribblejaws are vying for your very last vote.

You could always just follow the ‘How-to-vote’ of your number one choice (socialists, Greens, Labor), but then (as we know) you lose all control over where your preferences get directed.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not giving up my rights to a bunch of faceless party bureaucrats who do deals with the Devil in order to secure as much red leather acreage as they can. So working from 1 to 100+ in your state Senate ballot takes a bit of thinking, planning, plotting and the ability to count beyond your fingers and toes. My advice, if you read no futher, start with the highest number at the top of the column you want to put last (remember to vote below the line). Work backwards making sure you keep track of every number.

Vote backwards example:

If you want to put the Liberals last in the Senate start numbering their number one candidate with your highest number (in Victoria it’s 116). If there’s nine Lib candidates you would get to 108 at the bottom of the list and you then start on your second column with 107 at the top, etc.

This is simple if you keep track of the numbers and don’t rush it.

What about the Uglies and the Numpties?

The Senate race always tends to attract the real crazies of Australian politics and 2016 is no exception.

The Health Australia Party is the Trojan horse for the anti-vaxxers and alternative medicine types, but it has the number one spot on the NSW Senate ballot paper. In Victoria the leading HAP candidate, believes in natural immunisations “homeoprohalaxis”. Their general policies are nothing to write home about either, a boilerplate cut and paste text about “free enterprise” not being held up by “big business, big unions and big paperwork”.

if you’re worried about economic plans and competetent budget management, don’t vote for these folks.

But what do you do when the anti-vaxxers are a “least-worst” option? Well, my advice is start at the bottom with the highest number and work backwards.

I’m going to start by putting all the real hard racist numbnucks right at the bottom. My example is from Victoria, but you can apply the formula and the principles in your own state or territory race.

Victoria: Who to put last is a difficult choice.

So working from the principle of #PuttheLiberalsLast we have a difficult voting choice in the Senate.

Do we literally put the Liberals last or do we preference them above the out and out Fascists like Danny Nalliah’s Rise Up Australia and The Australian Liberty Alliance?

It’s a hard choice, both RUA and ALA are Islamophobes, Homophobes, Misogynists and general all-round bigots. Local variations my arise, for example Pauline Hanson’s One Nation group has again raised its ugly redhead. There are lots of out-and-out racists clamouring for attention this time round, but in Queensland where Hanson herself is a candidate, putting her on the very bottom of your ballot paper might be the strategically sound move.

In Victoria One Nation is perhaps less relevant than RUA and ALA who have been active in several Islamophobic anti-Mosque actions around Melbourne.

We have some high profile Senate hopefuls in Victoria, including the Human Headline. He’s a pompous, arrogant git so is perfect for a spot on the long leather bench, but what does Derryn Hinch stand for? One word: ‘Justice’. If you are into meaningless slogans and like hairy ex-convicts with feral facial hair Hinchy is the one for you.

Personally I’m going to put Ricky Muir of the Motoring Enthusiasts Party well ahead of Mr Hinch and the libertarian goon squads. Ricky the poo-chucker has actually been a good senator. He won’t let the coalition sprinkle bulldust in his eyes and he’s grown into the role. He’s also less racist than many of the others and, as far as I know, not an anti-Vaxxer.

Who gets the top vote

If the basic principle is put the most racist candidates in your state last, followed by the coalition, what do you do with your precious top 12 votes?

The choices are really between Labor, the Greens and one or two socialists here and there.

My personal preference is to vote for the most left-wing candidates, in this election that is the team from Socialist Alliance, then for me Green or ALP is up to you. My class instinct says vote Labor, but having Greens in the Senate is not such a bad thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to How to vote in the Senate: A sensible guide for sensible people

  1. 2353NM says:

    For your senate vote to be formal all you need to do is number from 1 to 12. So number the ones you support and then leave the rest blank. You don’t have to number the lot below the line.

  2. Yes, but it’s more fun to think your way through the whole ballot paper and to confuse those who want a stable two-party senate.

  3. Caro says:

    I hope the Libs are disempowered. To me it makes sense to have Labor in federal and Greens at state level?

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