Continuing in the spirit of Cate Speaks

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The Democracy Sausage at the End of Time

It’s almost over. Finally. One more evening blessedly free of election advertising, a day of voting accompanied by traditional election food1And here’s your link to a live map of polling booths where you can get your democracy sausage and maybe a tasty cake or two, and at least a glimmer of a result by the time we all go to bed tomorrow night. It’s only been two weeks, but wow, it seems so, so much longer. Part of it is that we’ve been living in a state of shadow campaign for months. Mostly, though, is that the sheer ugliness that’s been on display has contributed to a feeling that it was never going to end. That somehow time stopped and we were going to be caught forever in an endless cycle of photo ops, promises, attack ads, lies, and hate. But thankfully, we finally get to move on. It may not be the actual end of time, but hopefully it’ll at least be the end of some of the worst behaviour I’ve ever seen or experienced during an election campaign.

Investigating the policies of those who would govern us is usually fun for me. I love the research, I love digging through the rhetoric, talking to experts, and writing all of it up in the hope that it might provide some help to voters. This election campaign, though, has not been fun. It has been day after day after wading through relentless bigotry. I’ve read thousands of words vilifying already marginalised groups, recommending that it would be a great thing if those people were further abused. I’ve forced myself to examine even the most hateful of policies, the ones calling for me and my friends to be actively persecuted, and tried to provide perspective. There was no way to keep my feelings out of this, but I wasn’t going to make a pretence of objectivity about issues that were based on a tissue of easily provable lies.

I’ve lost count of how many times I read policies or heard people say that Premier Dan Andrews and his government should be jailed, attacked, and even killed. I watched a candidate pursue a young person handing out election flyers for another party even after they tried to walk away, and I watched her get right in his face and then complain that he’d “pushed” her. A Labor Party volunteer ended up in hospital requiring surgery after he was knocked down by someone who was upset about past lockdowns. Centrist candidates were subjected to some really disgusting comments by social media trolls. All the while, the loudest media voices acted even worse than they normally do. Not content with the usual spin and distortion, they conducted a smear campaign full of hit pieces that were utterly hysterical and riddled with lies and bias.

Right now, there are probably people reading this who are saying to themselves, “Well if Dan wasn’t such a dictator, we wouldn’t have to act this way”. Or maybe, “But we are just doing what God wants us to do”2And yes, I’ve heard these exact sentiments from many groups – anti-vaxers, paranoid sovereign citizens, certain media outlets, anti-LGBTQIA+ people who claim to be Christian, just to name a few.. To them I say this: no one forced you to assault people. No one forced you to lie. No one held a gun to your head and told you to harass, vilify, and abuse people. You have always had the option to disagree and criticise, but that doesn’t give you a licence to throw any form of respect or decent behaviour out the window. And it doesn’t give you the right to try and silence other voices with violence and hate.

I want to believe that the outcome of this election will make some of this vile behaviour die down, I really do. I fear that it won’t, no matter who wins. I fear that if Labor wins again, there could be reactionary violence from certain quarters. And I fear that if unhinged, hateful parties hold the balance of power, that Victoria could start to look very much like certain states of the USA.

I desperately, desperately, want to be wrong about that.

For the record, this is how I voted.

Legislative Assembly: The Reason Party received my first preference, followed by Labor and the Greens.

Legislative Council: I numbered 15 boxes below the line. Reason was first, followed by Labor, the Victorian Socialists, and the Greens.

I will not tell you who to vote for. I’ll simply ask that, when you step into that booth, you think about which parties and Independents are providing concrete policies aimed at the good of all Victorians, and which are promising divisiveness and inequality.

Good luck out there. And may your democracy sausage be tasty, and your onions be appropriately placed.

The Liberal Party

Summary

Website: vic.liberal.org.au
Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagram
Slogans: Real Solutions for All Victorians
Themes: Some really great ideas undermined by short-sighted and vindictive thinking
Electorates: Upper House: Eastern Victoria, North-East Metropolitan, Northern Metropolitan, Northern Victoria, South-East Metropolitan, Southern Metropolitan, Western Metropolitan, Western Victoria Region
Lower House: Albert Park, Ashwood, Bass, Bellarine, Bendigo East, Bendigo West, Bentleigh, Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Bundoora, Carrum, Clarinda, Cranbourne, Dandenong, Eltham, Essendon, Eureka, Euroa, Footscray, Frankston, Geelong, Greenvale, Hastings, Hawthorn, Ivanhoe, Kalkallo, Kororoit, Lara, Laverton, Macedon, Melbourne, Melton, Mildura, Monbulk, Mordialloc, Mornington, Morwell, Mulgrave, Narracan, Narre Warren North, Nepean, Niddrie, Northcote, Oakleigh, Pakenham, Pascoe Vale, Point Cook, Prahran, Preston, Richmond, Ringwood, Shepparton, South Barwon, St Albans, Sunbury, Sydenham, Tarneit, Thomastown, Wendouree, Werribee, Williamstown, Yan Yean
Preferences: The Coalition are keeping it in-house in the rural Regions with LP preferencing the Nationals candidates, followed up by other Liberals. In the Metropolitan Regions, it’s a grab bag of parties even further to the Right than the LP itself. United Australia, DLP, and Family First get second preferences, followed by a mix of One Nation, Liberal Democrats, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, and the New Democrats. That’s rounded out by Angry Victorians and the Freedom Party.
Previous Reviews: 202220192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010

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The Greens

Summary

Website: greens.org.au
Social Media: FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram
Slogans: The Time Is Now
Themes: Socially progressive, economically left wing, pro-environment. Urgent need for climate action.
Electorates: Upper House: Eastern Victoria, North Eastern Metropolitan, Northern Metropolitan, Northern Victoria, Southern Metropolitan, South Eastern Metropolitan, Western Metropolitan, Western Victoria
Lower House: Albert Park, Ashwood, Bass, Bayswater, Bellarine, Benambra, Bendigo East, Bendigo West, Bentleigh, Berwick, Box Hill, Brighton, Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Bulleen, Bundoora, Carrum, Caulfield, Clarinda, Cranbourne, Croydon, Dandenong, Eildon, Eltham, Essendon, Eureka, Euroa, Evelyn, Footscray, Frankston, Geelong, Gippsland East, Gippsland South, Glen Waverley, Greenvale, Hastings, Hawthorn, Ivanhoe, Kalkallo, Kew, Kororoit, Lara, Laverton, Lowan, Macedon, Malvern, Melbourne, Melton, Mildura, Mill Park, Monbulk, Mordialloc, Mornington, Morwell, Mulgrave, Murray Plains, Narre Warren North, Narre Warren South, Nepean, Niddrie, Northcote, Oakliegh, Ovens Valley, Pakenham, Pascoe Vale, Point Cook, Polwarth, Prahran, Preston, Richmond, Ringwood, Ripon, Rowville, Sandringham, Shepparton, South Barwon, South West Coast, St Albans, Sunbury, Sydenham, Tarneit, Thomastown, Warrandyte, Wendouree, Werribee, Williamstown, Yan Yean
Preferences: In various orders, the first four preferences of the Greens are Reason, Legalise Cannabis, Animal Justice and Victorian Socialists. They are followed, always, by Transport Matters and the ALP.
Previous Reviews: 202220192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010>

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Legalise Cannabis Party

Summary

Website: legalisecannabis.org.au/td>
Social Media: FacebookTwitter<
Previous Names: Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
Slogans: Look for the Leaf
Themes: Hemp can save everything from health to the economy to the environment to agriculture
Electorates: Upper House: Eastern Victoria Region, North-East Metropolitan Region, Northern Metropolitan Region, Northern Victoria Region, South-East Metropolitan Region, Southern Metropolitan Region, Western Metropolitan Region, Western Victoria Region
Lower House: Bayswater, Bendigo West, Pakenham
Preferences: Either Animal Justice or the Reason Party receive LC’s second preference in every Region, with Victorian Socialists coming in at third. The exception is the Western Metropolitan Region, where the second spot is occupied by the Victorian Socialists. Fourth preferences go to the Greens except in Eastern and Northern Victoria, where LC has nominated Labor.
Previous Reviews: 202220192013

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Australian Labor Party

Summary

Website: viclabor.com.au
Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Previous Names: none
Slogans: Delivering for all Victorians
Themes:
Electorates: Upper House: All
Lower House: All
Preferences: The ALP has preferenced Reason, Animal Justice or Legalise Cannabis first, and then there’s a bit of a shuffle going on, with those three parties, the Greens, Transport Matters, Victorian Socialists, Shooters Fishers and Farmers, and Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party all in the mix, and no consistency between regions, so check your HTV card carefully before voting above the line. You’ll know you’ve reached the end of these musical chairs when you hit the Liberal Democrats. The parties after that are listed in the same order every time, with Sack Dan Andrews, the UAP and One Nation bringing up the rear.
Previous Reviews: 20222019201820142013

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Victorian Socialists

Summary

Website: www.victoriansocialists.org.au
Social Media: Facebook
Previous Names: none
Slogans: For real change Vote Socialist
Themes: …for real change vote Socialist
Electorates: Upper House: Eastern Victoria Region, North-Eastern Metropolitan Region, Northern Metropolitan Region, South-Eastern Metropolitan Region, Southern Metropolitan Region, Western Metropolitan Region, Western Victoria Region
Lower House: Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Essendon, Footscray, Greenvale, Kalkallo, Kororoit, Laverton, Melbourne, Niddrie, Northcote, Pascoe Vale, Point Cook, Preston, Richmond, St Albans, Sunbury, Sydenham, Tarneit, Thomastown, Werribee, Williamstown
Preferences: Like pretty much everyone else, the Vic Socialists are mixing it up from region to region. But their top four preferences always go to some combination of Animal Justice, Legalise Cannibis, Reason and the Greens, inevitably followed by the ALP and Transport Matters in that order. The rest of their ticket is fairly unsurprising, although the DLP ranks higher than you might expect, and CAP is always near the bottom, although ahead of UAP, One Nation and Freedom.
Previous Reviews: 202220192018 (VIC)

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The Reason Party

Summary

Website: reason.org.au
Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Previous Names: Australian Sex Party & Fiona Patten’s Reason Party
Slogans: A Voice of Reason
Themes: Collaboration, support, and an end to discrimination
Community based policies with a local Victorian focus
Electorates: Upper House: Eastern Victoria, North-Eastern Metropolitan, Northern Metropolitan, Northern Victoria, South-Eastern Metropolitan, Southern Metropolitan, Western Metropolitan, Western Victoria
Lower House: Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Essendon, Melbourne, Northcote, Pascoe Vale, Preston, Richmond
Preferences: In most regions, Reason have tapped Legalise Cannabis for their second preference, followed by Animal Justice and Victorian Socialists. The Greens follow these in Northern-Eastern, Northern, South-Eastern, and Western Metro, and the ALP in Eastern and Northern Victoria. Northern Metro, where Reason are standing five candidates, preferences Victorian Socialists first, and Southern Metro preferences the Greens. For no adequately explained reason, given circumstances surrounding debate over the pandemic bill and recent events, Angry Victorians receive Reason’s fifth preference in Western Victoria.
Previous Reviews: 202220192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010 (VIC)

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Labour DLP

Summary

Website: dlp.org.au
Social Media: FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedIn
Previous Names: Democratic Labour Party, Democratic Labor Party, Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist)
Slogans: Labour, the Way it Should Be
Themes: Freedom for those we think should be allowed to have it.
No pink commie wokeness here, we’re the real Labour Party
Electorates: Upper House: Eastern Victoria Region, North-Eastern Metropolitan Region, Northern Metropolitan Region, South-Eastern Metropolitan Region, Southern Metropolitan Region, Western Metropolitan Region, Western Victoria Region
Lower House: Bass, Bayswater, Box Hill, Cranbourne, Croydon, Eltham, Eureka, Footscray, Glen Waverley, Hastings, Hawthorn, Kororoit, Laverton, Melton, Mildura, Mulgrave, Narre Warren North, Nepean, Niddrie, Pakenham, Point Cook, Ringwood, Sandringham, Shepparton, South Barwon, St Albans, Sunbury, Sydenham, Wendouree, Werribee, Williamstown, Yan Yean
Preferences: DLP preferences clearly show their involvement in the deal organised by Glenn Druery. Without exception, their third, fourth, and fifth preferences flow to Family First, Freedom Party, and Angry Victorians, in that order. Their second preferences are also mostly drawn from parties involved in the deal. The exception is in the Western Metropolitan Region, where DLP have nominated the Independent group of Sam Alcordo and Walter Villagonzalo.
Previous Reviews: 20192018 VIC2014 VIC2013

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National Party

Summary

Website: nationals.org.au
Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Previous Names: Australian Country Party, National Country Party
Slogans: The Nationals for Regional Victoria
Themes: We’re the less popular, less cool friend of the Liberals
Electorates: Upper House: Eastern Victoria, Northern Victoria, Western Victoria
Lower House: Bass, Euroa, Gippsland East, Gippsland South, Lowan, Mildura, Morwell, Murray Plains, Narracan, Ovens Valley, Shepparton
Preferences: It’s a right-wing roll call in most places, although a very jumbled one – you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a Druery special, but Transport Matters would be further up if that were the case (while Angry Victorians and Companions & Pets would be further down). So the top half of the ticket (or tickets, in South Eastern Metro, where for some reason the Coalition has two), is a roll call of Freedom, the Shooters Fishers & Farmers, Angry Victorians, Sustainable Australia, Family First, the DLP, One Nation, United Australia, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, Liberal Democrats and Sack Dan Andrews. Under them, in the same order every time, are the New Democrats, Health Australia, Transport Matters, Animal Justice, Legalise Cannabis, Reason, Greens, Victorian Socialists and last of all the ALP.
Previous Reviews: 202220192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010

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Restore Democracy Sack Dan Andrews Party

Summary

Website: viclabor.org
Social Media: Twitter
Slogans: Blow the Whistle on Corruption
Themes: We may not be real, but we don’t like Dan
Electorates: Upper House: Eastern Victorian, North Eastern Metropolitan, Northern Metropolitan, Northern Victorian, South Eastern Metropolitan, Southern Metropolitan, Western Metropolitan, Western Victorian
Lower House: none
Preferences: RDSD’s preferences, for the most part, reflect their membership in the preference deals organised by Glenn Druery. In every seat, they’ve listed some combination of Health Australia, Shooters Fishers and Farmers, Hinch’s Justice, Labour DLP, Liberal Democrats, Sustainable Australia, Transport Matters, New Democrats, and the Angry Victorians. The Freedom Party also attracts third or fourth preferences in several regions. What’s curious, though – given RDSD’s purported motivation – is that they’ve given a Labor candidate their fourth preference in Finnigan’s own seat of Western Victoria.
Previous Reviews: none

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