21 November, 2007

three more sleeps

...or, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

I spent over two hours yesterday working out exactly how I'm going to vote in the Senate. It was a rather complex process involving tallying up and averaging the group preferences of the ALP, Democrats and Greens, combined with my own personal research about some of the more obscure groups (for those playing at home, Citizens Electoral Council = fruitloops) all woven into a humungous but simple spreadsheet of my own design, and of which I'm rather proud.

Unless this is your first election, you'll know that the Senate ballot can be incredibly intimidating. In my home state of Victoria, there are a whopping
sixty-eight candidates. That ballot paper is gonna be the size of a freakin bed-sheet.

Nevertheless, I decided at this election I am not going to take the easy way out and just place a single "1" above the line (not that I blame anyone else for doing so - it makes it much easier, and removes the highly upsetting prospect of misplacing a single digit and invalidating your entire vote). Yes, I am going to number every one of those sixty-eight little boxes below the line, and truly exercise the intricate might of my full democratic muscle. I'm under no delusions that my choice for twenty-seventh preference is going to change the future of this country - but the point, to be honest, is more symbolic than practical. I'm not entirely happy with any of the Senate group preference flows (the ALP, for example, are preferencing the Democrats way too low for my liking), and I want my vote to reflect my true personal preference.

Although largely overlooked in all the talk over the last few months, the Senate is incredibly important. For the last few years, the Coalition has enjoyed a free romp through both Houses of Parliament (not to mention a stacked High Court). This negates the entire purpose of having two Houses. Even if my mythological "ideal party" held government, I would want the balance of power in the Senate to be held by someone
different. That second level of scrutiny on any legislation a government proposes is absolutely essential; it's because that second level was basically missing that widely unpopular legislation such as WorkChoices managed to get passed.

So don't underestimate the importance of the Senate vote. Basically, regardless of who wins government, if the Liberals manage to hold their majority in the Senate, we're still screwed (and don't even get me started on Family Fucking First).


ELSEWHERE: Possum has me creaming my jeans with this post, while Sam the Penguin has me pooping my pants with this one. I can honestly appreciate the likelihood of both scenarios. O! the emotional roller-coaster. I can't take it much longer. Bring on Saturday!



Blogger Sam said...

Oh believe me, it makes my pants stinky too to say (type) it out loud. I think really I'm just trying some karmic reverse psychology. 'C'mon universe, prove me wrong, I DARES ya!' That sort of thing.

Re Senate: Hope springs internal here, I think. No extra Fundies First to deal with as Labor finally grew some testiclay re Green/FF preferences. Bring on the 7 Green senators, I say.

November 21, 2007 2:00 pm  
Anonymous flowery said...

CEC! They sound so reasonable until you actually go and find out what they think, and who they give their preferences to. My local CEC guy is the guy I bought my house from: no way he was ever getting my vote (which went to Greens, by the way, every bit counts).

November 25, 2007 11:46 am  

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