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.


  1. Benjamin Cronshaw

    Great work to get all the analysis and rundowns for the candidates and parties, that was very informative and helpful overall! Also love the witty humour, and the honesty and transparency in what you personally think of them (or how you voted). Everyone will naturally have a point of view (which is a good thing) – though I think what you wrote was quite clear and fair, which makes for a good contribution to our democracy and learning more.

    Learning about some of the independents was a highlight too (such as Neil Smith or Max Dicks, or even James Bond – or some of the crazier ones to avoid). I suspect they will get knocked out before my vote gets to them, but I respect their involvement and good to give them some coverage. 🙂

    I am going for the full 79 in Victoria BTL – which does end up feeling like Dumbledore drinking the Potion of Despair in “The Half-Blood Prince” – though I do also find it somewhat cathartic to rank them all.

    I only came across this blog this election (though I went back to the Cate Speaks for historical reference). As an observer I think you are well and truly honouring her legacy.

    • reynardo

      Hail Fellow 79-er! Considering that in the last election there were only 3 in our local booth that did so (me, my husband and … who knows ??!) I respect your dedication to true Democracy.

      And making the AEC earn their money 🙂

      • Benjamin Cronshaw

        Appreciate that. Will have a look at the Senate results in depth when they come out. 🙂

    • SANDY

      I do hope you read Cate’s Hijab posts. They are very informative.

  2. Ruth Weston

    Thank you for your comments. Note that there is a very simple and fun tool to help you create your own Senate Voting Card (for voting below the line): Congratulations to the author Kenneth Tsang (I don’t know him, but I think he is brilliant).

  3. Gelfling

    Thank you. I read it all! So much hard work and done so well. It has been a crazy few weeks. But I think more than ever before, people feel invested in the political process. Whether that gives us a good or bad outcome… we’ll see soon enough. Love to you both! ^_^

  4. Lara

    Thank you ❤️🌈💜

  5. LSN

    Thank you. I am really missing Catherine today, and reading this (and her original commentary) over the past few weeks has helped. If nothing else I hope we can vote the bastards out and get a competent, sane, preferably not corrupt government in.

  6. DragoCubed

    HOLY SHIT I FORGOT TO VOTE FOR THE FUSION PARTY. I had one job. It was my first election.

    The senate voting card was incredibly huge so I missed them. They really need to improve it. I’m glad I got to tell AEC staff how the senate voting card’s division between parties and independent candidates create a bias towards party machines. The AEC staff was like “no, it counts”, and then were all like “wait a minute, you’re right?!”. The senate voting card really needs to be worked on.

    Thanks for all of the info Loki and Maz! Great work.

    • Loki

      I have been saying that myself for years. The Senate voting card is a mess.

    • Benjamin Cronshaw

      The Senate card certainly can be confusing. I did find it interesting how Independents can run as a group (with an above-the-line box) compared to the single independents in death alley in the Ungrouped section.

  7. Chakae


  8. Sandy

    With the greatest respect, I thank you both and all on your team (if you have one).
    I was feeling the loss of Cate. Not as you were, I did not know her. Her wonderful contribution to my political education was phenomenal. That you could pick up the baton and continue her work, as difficult as that would have been, is a tremendous tribute to her and a deep acknowledgement of her reach to the general population.
    Thank you Loki and Maz.

  9. Deon Ware

    This was beautiful Admin. Thank you for your reflections.

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