Friday, August 20, 2010

drawing the line

My first election in which I was eligible to vote I just voted for the party my dad voted for. One mark, above the line and I was outta there. However, pretty soon I realised that I could have more power. While my single vote may not elect a party - voting below the line was the clearest message I could send saying "I like YOU the least". Oh, the fun I had choosing who I'd put last on my senate sheet. For years Mr Fred Nile got the tick. Then Pauline Hanson came along and I had to decide "Who's the least worst?" I did a bit of sleuthing, checked out a few of the party's How To Vote cards and walked out knowing that when the numbers were added up my least-liked pollies were getting a message.

That's why I was dumbfounded when I heard Mark Latham was advocating a Donkey Vote - leaving the papers blank to "Show 'em". Um, show 'em what exactly? That you don't care who runs our country? That you don't care who's in senate that can pass or block important policy? That you can't be arsed finding a political party or independent you believe will best represent you in parliament?

This matters. I want to know that my vote can send people who have similar opinions to my own to hold a position of power. Wendy from Family First? Um, she's in the "Hell No" pile. I've seen a few of her opinions retweeted on Twitter and at first giggled thinking she was a faux twit. Nope, she's just a twit in the oldest sense of the word. Scarily there are some ignorant, obstinate people out there who can hold more power than an entire political party. If my placing them at 99 on the senate sheet can help stop that then yay, the political process has power.

Now, I'll be standing on crutches filling out my how-to-vote cards tomorrow. It won't be comfortable, but I've found a site that helps. is a site where you can sit back in front of your computer, go through your options and print out your very-own How To Vote card that you can take into the polling booth and copy while you're standing there. Much less time consuming than trying to work out who's the best and worst of a very bad bunch.

We live in a democracy where we have the ability to vote and have our votes counted equally. Let's take advantage of this shall we?

PS: I customised my How To Vote in 15 minutes - and that included time spent pulling up a new window to google unfamiliar parties such as Senator On-Line and Building Australia. I made a PDF and printed it and it's ready to go - looks just like the real senate paper. Now I have that song "I've got the power!' in my head...


  1. Thanks for the tips, I still haven't decided who I am voting for yet. I do like the idea of having more power (insert evil laugh here)

  2. Excellent post. Off to work out my own 'how to vote' card now. This is especially important if it's going to be as close in the senate as they say it will.

    What if everyone said my vote won't matter? I'm sure George W and Al Gore could reassure some people that every vote counts in an election (well, actually strike that, maybe they show that some votes don't count!).

  3. Good on you. Yes we all need to make our vote count.

  4. I am feeling rather undecided....but rest assured, like you I will vote for who I like least, and take the time to vote below the line!

  5. Got mine lined up, ready to go, PPMJ. That Latham. Snort!

  6. I've found in previous years I've had a squirmy worm on my hip or at my feet and have just gone down the quickest path possible. This year, I am going alone and taking my time. Great post x

  7. Mark Latham is a nincompoop - he is so full of his own self importance that I find it amazing.

    I always vote this way for the same reasons as you - yes it might take time to do, but at least I feel I am having my say - be it only one voice.

  8. You are my new hero for providing this, thank you! I love to vote below the line but this year haven't done the research into everyone that I have done previously. Thank you!

  9. I haven't seen this link before so thanks for sharing. I'm heading off there now to do some research. May the best woman win!


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