Preference shenanigans

There’s a lot of absolute garbage being talked about preferences at the moment, but I’d just like to make some points:

  1. Every party issues preferences in the Senate and HTVs in the lower house. Failure to do this guarantees that you will lose votes, with – for example – people who are not aware of the intricacies of the system just marking “1” and having their votes discarded as informal.
  2. The Greens preferencing Labor over the Liberals no more makes them a puppet of the ALP than, say, the Liberals are a puppet of Family First for preferencing them above Labor.
  3. It’s a damn shame voters can’t preference above the line in the Senate: if you don’t want to trust to a party’s ticket, you have to number 90% of the boxes below the line – usually more than 70. The Greens have proposed allowing voters to preference above the line, but both old parties have voted against it. The Greens have promised to try again – the more votes they get, the better their chance of succeeding in this.
  4. It is not inconsistent for a party to issue preferences for those who wish to just rely on them, whilst telling their voters they’d much prefer they made up their own minds.

Which ridiculous misunderstandings of the preference system – and cynical capitalisation on same – have you seen this week?

6 responses to “Preference shenanigans

  1. jordanrastrick

    1. The Federal system should follow NSW in allowing votes with incomplete preferences to be counted as formal. Certainly the discrepancy between the two systems can only add to any voter confusion in this state.

    2. Agreed. Hopefully people idiotic enough to argue otherwise consider expressing their own preferences for the parties a form of “selling out”, or whatever, and vote informally; there’s a point at which I think voters should be allowed to disenfranchise themselves via their own stupidity…

    3. Massive agreement. It still shits me I had to vote below the line last time to stop my preferences going to Family First over the Greens. Thankfully that’s not an issue for me this time, but there’s no good reason for this reform not to be made.

    4. Of course its not. Again, people trying to argue that it is are idiots.

  2. Apparently Fielding’s making some claim about dodgy back room preference deals (when applied to Labor and the Green hippies!!!111) being bad. I breathed my cereal out through my nostrils when I heard this…

  3. Pingback: “Just paint your face” the shadows smile… The policies of the Greens, part 2 « Only The Sangfroid

  4. @chade:
    yes, that was in the herald-sun yesterday:

    “Preferences can be critical in the Senate, as shown in 2004 when Labor favoured Family First’s Steve Fielding and helped him to be elected with just 1.88% of the vote.

    Senator Fielding said the Labor-Greens pact was “a dirty deal that will increase the cost of living” through new taxes.

    “This is a deal which Labor will live to regret as it will be held to ransom if it wins government by Bob Brown and his gang of hippie friends,” he said.”

    Self-Aware FAIL

  5. oops, that Self-Aware FAIL line wasn’t in the Herald-Sun, that was my addition.

  6. He’s obviously still only doing it for the lulz.

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