Monday, 19 November 2007

note to self: senate

I vote below the line in the senate. There are lots of reasons for this, the biggest being that parties often set down their preferences in order to get elected, rather than based on policy alignment. John is particularly culpable, doing unthinkable things with LDP preferences. Another reason is that I'm a sucker for numbers and things like voting systems.

So, mostly for my benefit, here is my first cut at a voting order for the senate:
  1. Dems (grp I), John H (Grp B), Waters (Grp M), ALP (O), Greens (M)
  2. LDP (B), CCC (C), Carers (D), WWW (A), Secular (W)
  3. Coalition (J)
  4. Unaligned independents
  5. RR (K), NCP (U), SOL (E), Baker (X), Couper/Brown (N), FF (H)
  6. Fishing (G), Fishing & Lifestyle (P), Shooters (L), Socialists (F), CDP (T), One Nation (Q), DLP (V), CEC (S), Pauline (R)
I guess the list items correspond roughly to:
  1. people I'd quite like to see get elected
  2. people I wouldn't really object to seeing elected in that they're mostly harmless
  3. the incumbents who have abused the senate and thus don't deserve election
  4. independents I know little about
  5. people whose election I would consider somewhat dangerous
  6. people whose election I would consider distinctly dangerous
Pauline gets to go last, not because she's the worst candidate (she isn't), but because she was a significant part of the shift of the Australian electorate a few years ago towards narrow-mindedness, xenophobia, parochialism and other such silly things. I'm not above being petty.

Update: I've been thinking about why senate preference deals matter, in light of the "just vote below the line" argument. If at some point in the STV count, my preferred candidate is elected, I get a bonus part vote. This is because that candidate's surplus votes are redistributed to other candidates, proportionally to the preferences of all those who voted for that candidate. Now, because 95% of votes are above the line, basically my bonus part vote is redistributed according to the party's preferences, not mine. So, if I vote for John, and he gets in (unlikely though that is), then my bonus part vote is going to go to Pauline Hanson and the DLP before Andrew Bartlett, which I couldn't stomach.

No comments: