So – it looks like it could be a close one. And whilst the Greens’ task in concentrating enough of their vote in a single electorate to win a seat in the lower house looks like a tall order, it’s not impossible. And every vote, even in a “safe” electorate, counts towards the upper house vote (where they are in with a very good chance) and funding for next time – do the big parties really deserve the support that comes with your first preference vote?
If the big parties piss you off, but you vote for one of them anyway, why would you expect them to change?
And where I was fairly blase about Ted Baillieu for a long time – he’s hardly the worst or most objectionable Liberal leader in history – the promises he’s been making throughout the campaign have been consistently awful. In particular, clumsily smashing around with the sentencing system and policing to placate badly misinformed tabloid newspaper readers (which will cause REAL harm, and increase the threat of serious crime), and squandering huge sums of public money on cutting stamp duty in order to make buying a first home even more difficult for young people (because first homebuyers will still bid each other up the same amount: the difference will be the investors, who’ll now have more equity in their existing properties with which to beat those trying to enter the market).
Thus, based on the limited changes he’s planning to make, a Baillieu victory tomorrow would be a real step backwards – particularly for many of the most vulnerable people in our community. And Labor winning a majority in its own right would simply guarantee more of the same. Obviously the Greens aren’t going to go from no lower house seats to government in their own right – but I’ll be hoping they get the balance of power so neither big party can run roughshod over the state for the next four years.
I’ll be doing my part to help the Greens, handing out HTVs at a booth in Wantirna from the moment the polls open to the moment they close. We shall see what happens.
PS: If there’s a problem with your enrolment, you’ll still be able to vote if you show up with proper ID.