Thursday, 25 July 2013

Vote to deny the parties taxpayer dollars!

A few days ago, I suggested that voting informal was not a responsible option for the upcoming election, however hard it might be to decide which is the least worst party and direct your preferences accordingly.  Ultimately, even an informal vote is a vote one way or another.

Today I want to direct your attention to a useful post on the importance of who you give your first preference to, by Greg Jericho.

Preferences and first preferences

In Australia's complex voting system, your first preference vote is actually important if you are lucky enough to live in one of those very few seats where a minority party or independent candidate actually has a chance of being elected.

But for most of us, especially those like myself who live in safe seats, our first (and second, and x) of preferences might be about sending a message, but the order of our preferences will dictate how our vote is actually counted to towards the final result.

Mr Jericho's post over at The Drum, however, points out another important consideration, in the form of one of those delightful rorts pollies have voted themselves in past years, viz funding to the political parties based on the number of first preference votes they receive.

Your votes fund the parties...

In effect, he suggests, your first preference vote is worth $2.49 to whoever you vote for.

And it adds up to a tidy sum for the parties - at the 2010 election, the ALP all up received $21.2 million, the Liberal and National Parties combined received $23.58 million, and the Greens got $7.2 million.

The only way of avoiding the dollars flowing, he suggests, is to vote for someone whose party polls less than 4% of the overall vote in your division or State in the case of the Senate.

That's another good reason for putting your pro-life and/or pro-family candidate first, even if they don't have any hope of getting elected...


HolyCatholicApostoli said...

Never say never, a pro-life candidate could be elected.
cf. Senator John Madigan (Democratic Labour Party (DLP))

jeff said...

I've never voted Labor or Liberal. I've only ever preferences. One of the Christian parties has always received my first vote