Something for Cate

Continuing in the spirit of Cate Speaks

‘Twas the night before polling…

Well, folks, we made it! We survived six weeks of wall to wall ads, stupid gotcha questions, Scott Morrison’s refusal to appear on any media platform that wasn’t on his side, and a truly monumental amount of misinformation and scare-mongering regarding Independent candidates. We’ve seen policy on the run and policy that falls at the first hurdle (dear me, athletic metaphors, I don’t even know who I am anymore). There were stunts and photo-ops, gaffes and unnecessarily rough play (shout out to Luca – how’s your head feeling?), hi-vis and dirty tricks and some of the most bizarre candidate statements I’ve ever read.

And now all that’s left to do is vote, if you haven’t already (at last check, over 40% of Australians had voted early, which says … something), and claim the democracy sausage of your choice.

If you have been unlucky enough to test positive for Covid-19 and are isolating, you are able to vote by phone if you haven’t already received a postal vote.

Remember, in the House of Representatives: number every box in your preferred order.

In the Senate, you have two choices:

  • Number 6 boxes above the line in your preferred order
  • Number at least 12 boxes below the line in your preferred order. Beyond that, number as many as you like – if you have the stamina for the entire New South Wales or Victoria ballot, good on you!

This link will aid you in your quest for your Democracy Sausage. These people are true patriots who perform a great service for all Australia. And please, add to the map if you find somewhere new that’s providing this important part of Australian society.

In the interests of full transparency, here’s how we voted.

In the Lower House, my electorate is Cooper. I voted Labor at number 1. I considered putting the Greens first, but when it comes right down to it, there are a few Greens policies that just don’t work for me. Some are impractical in the extreme, and some just… miss the mark. Of all the parties, Labor’s platform has the most of what I want to see in a new government. The Greens came in at number 2, followed by Fusion, the Victorian Socialists and the Animal Justice Party. Then it was a struggle to work out who would go last. Ultimately, two parties were worse than the Liberals – One Nation, and the United Australia Party respectively.

For the Senate, I voted below the line, as I have always done. Reason got the top spot for me. I was incredibly impressed by its policies, and by its record as part of the Victorian State Parliament. Socialist Alliance ended up at number 2; despite some of its frankly impossible promises, the fact that it had even bothered with an Arts policy counted for a lot (not to mention its welfare platform). Australian Progressives at 3, and Independents Neal Smith at 4 and Max Dicks at 5. These two impressed me as being compassionate, thoughtful, and having a firm grasp on what it means to be an Independent in a system still dominated by two major parties. The Australian Democrats came in at 6, and Fusion at 7, followed by the Greens and Labor. And that’s where I stopped. The rest either had policies I didn’t support, didn’t provide enough information, or were loopy anti-vaxers obsessed with the Constitution and secret tunnels under Canberra..

Living in the Lower House electorate of Macnamara, where it’s basically a race between the Greens and the ALP (last election, the Liberal candidate got the most first preferences, about 40%. The ALP and Greens tend to get about 25-28% each, and whichever of them gets the higher tends to get the other’s preferences and wind up winning the seat.) Mindful of this, I have given my first preference to the Greens, followed by the ALP at 2, because while obviously the Greens will not get the numbers to form a government, giving them a little more weight if the ALP wins or a larger thorn in their side if the Coalition does appeals to me). These are followed by Animal Justice at 3, the Liberals at 4, the UAP at 5, the LibDems at 6, PHON at 7 and finally, independent John Myers at 8. Or in other words, the bottom half of my ballot are anti-vaxxer loons of one stripe or another – and the PHON candidate doesn’t even live here.

In the Senate, I am voting below the line, because it’s the right thing to do, but even so, I’ve put Reason first, followed by Max Dicks, Neal Smith and Susan Benedyka. After them are the Australian Progressives, then the Greens, then the Australian Democrats, Joe Toscano, Fusion, and finally the ALP. And there’s not much point in numbering below that. I suspect my vote will go to electing a Greens Senator in the end, but Reason probably have the best chance outside of the top four parties to get someone across the line, and I’d like to see it happen.

And so, finally, we come to an end of our pre-election coverage!

Going through all the parties and Independents to review their policies has been a labour of love, but wow, was there a lot to read! Thanks so much for coming on this journey with us, and for all your helpful, insightful comments. We had each other to help us keep going, but our dearest Cate did this all on her own – her dedication was nothing short of phenomenal! We’d like to think she’s sitting up in her brightly-coloured heaven right now, kicking back with a cat on her lap and a glass of chilled ginger beer in her hand, tapping her toe to Eurovision’s greatest hits, watching what we’ve done.

This is for you, Catherine.
We love you.

Neal Smith speaks!

A little bonus for you, faithful readers!

In my review of Independent Neal Smith’s policies, I noted that I didn’t have much to go on, and offered him the opportunity to expand on his policy platform. Well, he’s taken up the opportunity, and given us some real meat to chew on. Here’s the Q&A – enjoy!
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The Reason Party


Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Previous Names: Australian Sex Party & Fiona Patten’s Reason Party
Slogans: Vote for the voice of Reason
Electorates: Upper House: New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria
Lower House: Higgins
Preferences: It’s a semi-random run through the left wing parties: Animal Justice at 2, Fusion at 3, followed by Labor, the Greens and Legalise Cannabis. It’s a weird mix, really.
Previous Reviews: 20192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010 (VIC)

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National Party of Australia


Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Previous Names: Australian Country Party, National Country Party
Slogans: Getting it Done for Regional Australia
Themes: We’re the less popular friend of the liberals
Electorates: Upper House: New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria
Lower House: Barker, Calare, Capricornia, Cowper, Durack, Gippsland, Hinkler, Hunter, Indi, Lyne, Malle, Maranoa, New England, Nicholls, Page, Parkes, Richmond, Riverina & Wide Bay
Preferences: It’s a right-wing roll call in most places. The United Australia Party has replaced One Nation as the preferred number 2 vote in New South Wales and Victoria. Queensland is sticking with One Nation, while South Australia has the Liberals in that spot. In the Northern Territory, it’s the Liberal Democrats. Going further down the ticket, the Northern Territory surprisingly preferences Labor at number 3, but in all other Senate races minor, right-leaning parties get the nod.
Previous Reviews: 20192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010

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Australian Labor Party


Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Previous Names: none
Slogans: A Better Future
Medicare, Childcare, Aged Care, Labor Cares
Themes: We do hold a hose
Electorates: Upper House: All
Lower House: All
Preferences: A mixed bag. Greens get the coveted number 2 spot in most states. Tasmania directs preferences to Jacquie Lambie Network, and ACT to David Pocock. The next preference changes depending on the state: Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party in Victoria; Shooters Fishers and Farmers in NSW; Animal Justice in Queensland, SA, and WA; Greens in Tasmania and ACT; and Liberal Democrats in NT.
Previous Reviews: 2019201820142013

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Animal Justice Party


Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Previous Names: none
Slogans: A better world for Animals, People & Planet
Themes: A better world for Animals, People & Planet, with emphasis on the first of those three
Electorates: Upper House: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and West Australia
Lower House: Bass, Blair, Boothby, Brisbane, Braddon, Casey, Chisholm, Clark, Cooper, Corangamite, Corio, Cowan, Deakin, Dunkley, Fairfax, Fisher, Flinders, Franklin, Grayndler, Herbert, Higgins, Hindmarsh, Indi, Isaacs, Kooyong, La Trobe, Leichhardt, Longman, Lyons, Macnamara, Macquarie, Mayo, Melbourne, Moncrieff, Newcastle, Parramatta, Perth, Petrie, Robertson, Ryan, Shortland, Sturt, Swan, Warringah & Wills
Preferences: Somewhat surprisingly, the AJP’s highest preference goes to the Labor Party. Following them are, in order, are Reason, the Greens, Socialist Alliance and Legalise Cannabis. Unsurprisingly left leaning, although most of the parties in this group put the ALP at #6, not #2.
Previous Reviews: 2019201820142013

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Victorian Socialists


Social Media: Facebook
Previous Names: none
Slogans: People before Profits
Electorates: Upper House: Victoria
Lower House: Calwell, Cooper, Fraser, Gellibrand, Gorton, Hawke, Lalor, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Scullin & Wills
Preferences: In a show of Socialist communality, the number two spot in the VS preferences goes to Socialist Alliance, with the Greens, the Australian Progressives and the Animal Justice Party following in that order. Bringing up the rear is the ALP. No great mysteries here – 2-5 are all left-leaning parties who are broadly in agreement with VS, while the ALP is party able to form a government that they least dislike.
Previous Reviews: 20192018 (VIC)

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Australian Federation Party


Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramVimeo
Previous Names: Country Alliance, Australian Country Party and Australian Country Party: Give it Back!
Slogans: Change is Here
Electorates: Upper House: Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and West Australia
Lower House: Adelaide, Ballarat, Barker, Berowra, Boothby, Brand, Burt, Calwell, Canning, Casey, Chisholm, Corangamite, Corio, Cowan, Curtin, Deakin, Dunkley, Durack, Flinders, Forrest, Fremantle, Gellibrand, Gorton, Grey, Groom, Hasluck, Hawke, Higgins, Hindmarsh, Holt, Jagajaga, Kingston, La Trobe, Lalor, Leichhardt, Makin, Maranoa, Maribyrnong, McEwen, McPherson, Menzies, Monash, Moncrief, Moore, Moreton, Newcastle, Nicholls, O’Connor, Oxley, Page, Pearce, Perth, Robertson, Ryan, Spence, Sturt, Swan, Tangney, Wide Bay, Wills & Wright
Preferences: Not yet available
Previous Reviews: 2019 (as the Australian Country Party) — 2018 (VIC, as the Australian Country Party: Give it Back!) — 2014 (VIC, as the Australian Country Alliance) — 2013 (as the Australian Country Alliance)

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Sustainable Australia Party


Social Media: FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram
Previous Names: Sustainable Population Party, before that the Stable Population Party
Slogans: Redefining Growth
Themes: Protect our environment. Stop over-development. Stop corruption.
Electorates: Upper House: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and West Australia
Lower House: Eden-Monaro, Goldstein & North Sydney
Preferences: Sustainable Australia is another party that doesn’t want to suggest how you should direct your preferences. As long as you vote for them first, you can do what you like with the rest of the choices.
Previous Reviews: 201920182013

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