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This election – you do have a say

By 2353NM

As you walk into a polling booth next Saturday remember this – despite the media harassing some candidates to outline who they are ‘giving preferences to’ or party workers trying to shove how to vote cards in your hands as you turn up at the booth, no political party controls the preferences that you distribute. There is absolutely no reason why you have to follow the instructions of a political party unless you happen to believe that the order suggested is the best result you could wish for. If you feel like voting for a conservative ‘anti-vax’ party and making a party with a socialist agenda your second preference there is nothing wrong with that. Voting is secret in this country, the party workers can’t check up on you, there is no surveillance in the cardboard stalls and the pencils don’t have a 5G chip to work out you are a closet communist or neo-nazi.

At most polling booths, observers from a number of political parties will be present when the votes are counted and that is an important part of the demonstration of independence of the election. While the observers can ensure that ‘the authorities’ don’t drop off boxes of ballot papers to achieve a pre-ordained outcome while the count is underway, the result and the trends are reported back to the various political parties’ headquarters. If the reports going back to HQ say that no one is following the ‘how to vote cards’, hopefully they will stop printing them and wasting an enormous amount of paper!

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is claiming if you vote for any other candidate than the one from his Coalition, you run the risk of a ‘hung parliament’. By Morrison’s definition, every Australian Coalition Government since World War 2 has been a ‘hung parliament’ as he and his Liberal Prime Ministerial predecessors have relied on various other political parties (including the Nationals, the Queensland LNP and the Territory’s CLP) to remain in power. Apparently there is an agreement between the Coalition Partners which we are not allowed to see.

If either party to the Coalition agreements over the years decided at any stage to remove themselves from the agreement, the Prime Minister of the day would be fighting to gain the confidence of Parliament. The agreement between Morrison and National Party Leader Barnaby Joyce is not in the public realm, although it’s a pretty good bet that the Deputy Prime Ministership is part of it along with decisions such as providing $5.4 Billion in the 2022/3 budget to build the Hells Gate Dam in North Queensland, despite the business case not being finished and there being significant doubt on the economic benefit.

In 2018 former Prime Minister Turnbull spent $87,000 in legal fees to deny the ALP from accessing the Coalition Agreement. Unlike the $1.7 million donation Turnbull made to the Liberal Party during the 2016 election, the $87,000 was provided by the taxpayer.

Recently retired and well-regarded Angela Merkel was Germany’s Chancellor from 2005 until late 2021. She never had a Parliamentary majority so by Morrison’s definition, her government was emasculated because of the ‘hung parliament’. It seems that Germany can operate very well for a decade and a half with a consensus politician that has to consider the views of a number of different groups to get legislation through the Parliament. A large number of other countries have also been in a similar position with ‘Coalition Governments’ for decades, including Australia.

For Morrison to claim that a ‘hung parliament’ is a concern is simply duplicitous. If there was any accuracy to the claim, he has to count all the Coalition Governments in Australian back to at least the post-war Menzies Government as failures. In fact, the last ‘hung parliament’ where the Liberals and Nationals didn’t form Government was that of the Gillard Government. Data demonstrates the Gillard Government (with Albanese as ‘Leader of the House’) as being one of the most productive Australian parliaments ever. To survive they had to seek opinion from those outside their own political party and agree on a way forward, certainly nothing to be scared of from our perspective.

Deception seems to be part of the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Coalition Governments’ DNA. Did you know that Australia ranks 18th (out of 180) on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. According to The Conversation, the Index is the world’s most widely cited ranking of how clean or corrupt every country’s public sector is believed to be. A top 20 result isn’t bad you would think, except a decade ago we ranked equal 7th with Norway. Norway is now 4th. The Conversation reported

These surveys focus on levels of public sector corruption, as well as the strength of mechanisms for preventing and controlling corruption. This makes the index not simply a list of which countries are more or less corrupt, but also an evaluation of their current anti-corruption efforts.

The CPI is recognised as a key indicator of Australia’s integrity performance – not only by reform advocates, but by the federal government itself.

It’s not hard to understand how Australia’s ranking has fallen so quickly. We have a Prime Minister that calls the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) a ‘kangaroo court’ despite promising to implement an ‘anti-corruption commission’ during the 2019 election campaign. As Crikey recently reported

Morrison says integrity bodies shouldn’t be allowed to investigate pork-barrelling and rorting of public funds for partisan purposes, telling Liberal donor Nine: “If we are going to so disempower our elected representatives to do things about what is needed in their communities, then what is the point? We can’t just hand government over to faceless officials to make decisions that impact [sic] the lives of Australians from one end of the country to the other. I actually think there’s a great danger in that.”

Government is about making decisions that impact the lives of Australians in a fair, equitable, transparent and compassionate manner.

If you are over 18, voting is compulsory in Australia. So when you go to cast your vote this week, consider this: No political party controls your ‘preferences’, you do. Follow the instructions on the ballot papers you are given and you will cast a valid vote. If a Coalition Government is so bad why has Morrison been part of one for almost a decade and do we really want to have three more years of a Government that is more concerned with staying in power than demonstrating accountability and transparency? Maybe that’s one reason why many Australians have lost faith in the political system.

What do you think?


This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. Albos Elbow

    Don’t be fooled by the BULLSHIT about “another election victory miracle like 2019.” from the greatest, corrupt liars in Australian political history.

    By this time in 2019 Scummo’s vote was increasing and Shorten’s falling.

    5 days out from this election and there has been no movement in the polls for the last 2 weeks with Labor still leading 54.5% to Coal-NP 45.5% in the 2 party preferred vote.

    With preferences, Antony Green’s Election Calculator is predicting 89 seats Labor, 56 Coal-NP and 6 Independent seats and others.
    Similar margin in the Senate.

    Why else would they be coming up with the desperate bullshit that Scummo and COAL-NP “will change”.
    There is no fuckin chance of that ever happening. Scummo will never change.
    The only way to get change for the better is to vote Scummo and COAL-NP out of office.

  2. Kerri

    Early voted today. I have Interstitial Lung Disease so I am not only bad with crowds but struggle with a mask.
    The advice given by the official who hands you the voting forms is spot on and totally accurate.
    Listen closely to what they say and the rest is simple.
    My voting method for the House of Reps is simple.
    Start at both ends.
    List the party/politicians you MOST want first.
    When you run out of preferred pollies, count the boxes that need filling and start from the bottom.
    Eg Josh Frydenberg number 13.
    The seats in between won’t make a huge difference but it is something of a message to list those you dislike last and their preference deal buddies second last. If you know what I mean.

  3. Kaye Lee

    They must be worried about Robertson. A few days ago, I was robocalled by Lucy Wicks informing me about some potholes that are getting fixed on local roads (she specified them). Tonight it was John Howard. I didn’t wait to hear what he had to say….it was too creepy hearing that voice.

  4. Bob

    Kaye, I think we should pressure all of our members after the election to amend the anti-spam act to no longer allow political parties to be exempt.

  5. Kerri

    The level of BS spewing out from the right is as overwhelming as it is stinky!

  6. Michael Taylor

    John Howard has been calling people in Hughes, as well.

    If he happens to call me (I’m in Indi) I can tell him I was the guy who gave him the bird every time I drove past The Lodge.

  7. wam

    A great read, 2353MN, clearly setting the ‘teal’ is being used by the LNP. They know that tealers/independents are unlikely to win so scummo is on a win if they don’t and he can afford mcgowan, steggall and a ryan or two, far more than labor can afford extremists should independents promote the loonies.
    ps kerri hope your management regime gives some respite.
    michael you should write/text to the age about the finger.
    anthony green has all the ability of a conman and his predictions are equally trustworthy

  8. Albos Elbow

    Its not John Howard calling you its RoboVote, Son of RoboDebt.

    Like RoboDebt, RoboVote will be proven illegal and the RoboVote Class Action will return billions of dollars to be paid to pissed off Australian voters in just compensation.

  9. John Lord

    A great article bringing great clarity to voting intentions.

  10. corvusboreus

    The pamphlet distributed by my local teal Indi advises voters to allot their own preferences, but includes basic instruction to ensure every square is numbered to be certain an informal vote is not accidentally cast.
    The HTVs of Zali Steggall et al offer similar instruction.
    I gather including such remedial info on basic voting was deemed necessary after reports that some early voters in Kooyong were invalidating their ballots by ticking 1 for Dr Ryan but leaving the rest blank.

    Now those with paranoid pareidolian tendencies might view this as a cunning teal ploy to aid the coalition by sabotaging their own chances.

    Personally, I think it illustrates the dangers of fans focussing on loud barracking based on team colours without taking the time to actually understand the rules of the game.

    Civics 101: FFS, make sure to number every square on your HoR ballot.

  11. Spanna

    2353NM, true. Mor***on doesn’t want a hung parliament as being a dictator is easier in the absence of obstacles. Whoever wins, one of the 1st cabs off the rank will be the Trusted Digital Identity Bill 2021 which will act as a foundation for a China-style Social Credit System. Kiss goodbye the idea of posting free comments on this or any other forum. Gov wants to be the gatekeeper of every comment / commercial transaction. It is up to the individual to push back or at least not play their game when possible. Think: spanner in the works.

  12. Terence Mills

    I hear that over two million voters have already lodged their votes by absentee or early voting or by mail : I’m one of the latter, I voted by mail ten days ago and received an email acknowledgement within forty-eight hours – works well for me.

    Those two million early voters are obviously not uncommitted and clearly wanted their vote to count : would they be largely people who want change or would they be for more of the same – I think on balance they would be the former.

    Fortunately we don’t seem to get unsolicited phone calls here – maybe it’s because we are in a mobile blackspot which the coalition have been promising to fix ever since Helen Coonan was Howard’s Communications Minister, I kid you not !
    If we were to get a robo-call from John Howard I don’t know how I would be able to handle that – I think the management at his care facility should take his phone away – doesn’t that count a elder abuse [him &/or me ] ?

    I saw some of the teal independents on Australian Story and they struck me as being intelligent – OK I know that Craig Kelly and Barnaby Joyce are not a good yardstick for comparison purposes – articulate, coherent and sincere : good luck to them.

    Good luck Australia !

  13. Phil Pryor

    What a joke, having a cold call from Jack Hucking-Foward, the Earlwood orifice and a blot on the nation. Look in the obits regularly for names like Howard, Murdoch, just for some rucking felief from oppressive egotistical, politically perverted corrupt coercion.

  14. New England Cocky

    @ corvusboreus: re invalid Kooyong votes. In the 19991 feral elections in New England the local Independent candidate (the late) Peter Worthing observed the ”Mark you ballot paper 1 to 4 in your order of preference”.

    The Local Booth Captain agreed that the following votes were valid; (i) 1,2, 4, 4: – excluded third & later candidates (ii) 1, 2, 2, 4 excluded second & later candidates (iii) BUT 1, 1, 2, 4 and 1, 1, 3, 4 were invalid because there was no preference shown between the first two candidates at 1.

    Needless to say the AEC was not happy AFTER the election. Later elections included the complete number sequence for the full set of candidates to overcome this situation.

  15. GL

    A large Bridget Archer sign on the side of a building on the way into Mowbray: “Delivering for your Community” now reads, “Delivering for our Political Donors” Didn’t have enough time to take a photo on the way into town..

  16. Albos Elbow

    Speaking of Scummo having a say.
    The “little shriveling dicks” club.

    Share it around and lets see it go viral.

  17. Canguro

    John Howard’s been a busy man lately; canvassing Hughes, Robertson, Bennelong, god knows where else, Kooyong too? – a letter in the mailbox from the toothless rat yesterday, beseeching me to give the Libs my vote – too late, Albo’s man, Jerome Laxale has it – why he’d believe he still has traction after all these years post-turfing is a mystery.

  18. margcal

    Kerri May 16, 2022 at 7:10 pm
    …… Eg Josh Frydenberg number 13.

    A pedantic but important note ….
    If you are voting in Kooyong and you want to put Liberals last, Frydenberg is No.11.

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