A while back, I noted that the Greens were actively deceiving the public about the election result. Since that post, I’ve been startled at how widespread the spin and deception about the election result has been. If a party could find some way of misrepresenting the election figures in their favour, they did. The Coalition used extremely odd interpretations of the data to claim that they should have won the election. The ALP was equally quick to claim 2PP entailed their victory long before the 2PP outcome (as irrelevant as it is) was known.
But the Greens’ claim that they ought to have gained 17 seats remains the most outrageous of the lies. The sheer audacity of the claim is boggling, as is the fact that otherwise sane people believe it completely. His comments on the outing of Grog are interesting.
What the Greens refuse to acknowledge is that they, alone, were the only party to contest all 150 seats. Proportional representation of the whole only makes sense if there’s consistency across the whole.
But there isn’t. Even the major parties didn’t contest every single seat (further making the primary vote proportions irrelevant, btw).
Imagine two fishermen. One goes out every day of the month. The other goes out one day of the month. The former catches 30 fish, the latter catches 10. It would be laughable for the first fisherman to claim that they were the better fisher on the basis of the total number of fish. Yet that’s exactly what the Greens did (and continues to do). So consider the Australian Sex Party who only contested a few seats but got a strong number of primary votes in those seats. What’s curious is that they, in their inaugural election appearance, performed better on a per-candidate basis than the Greens did when it established itself as a party. The Greens, in comparison, fared rather poorly: their per-candidate outcome was less than they should have received if the votes were distributed at random. Therefore, far from being a legitimate third voice in the parliament, the two major parties still represent the vast majority of people.
Using a basic rule that a party with a per-candidate vote should recieve twice the number of seats in the lower house, the Greens only scrapes through with eight seats. ASP got two. How refreshing that the Australian Sex Party — not wishing to lower itself to the stunt political party that the Greens is — hasn’t lowered itself to whining that it was robbed due to the system not being entirely different.
Despite what some people have said, this election result is terrible. Hung governments are impotent governments. I had a lot of sympathy for the ALP; how could anybody achieve their reform agenda when they’ve got an irrationally hostile Senate? Now they’re going to attempt their agenda with a hostile Senate and House of Representatives.
There were a few good points. I’m yet to find a seat where the informal vote was lower than the primary vote for the Secular Party. I’m an atheist and even I can’t stand them.
There were some surprising points. Check out the distribution of votes for the ALP and the Greens in Melbourne.
ALP Primary: 27,771
Greens Primary: 25,387
ALP 2PP: 31,154
Greens Primary: 39,172
Notice how little the ALP vote changed after preferences? There were 14 thousand people who voted for the Liberal Party, but the ALP vote doesn’t move nearly that much. Therefore, the bulk of Liberal voters gave their preferences to the Greens over the ALP. How extremely weird. Continue reading
So… I’m still not entirely sure how I’ll vote.
I feel like this is less of a choice between candidates and more a choice between voting formally or informally. Given the lack of candidates in my electorate, I feel like an informal vote is entirely justified. I don’t support the political options we have and voting informally is a valid form of protest.
At the same time, a lot of the things for which I detest the current government was largely a creation of the Coalition and Greens Party acting in concert. We shouldn’t be limiting our immigration growth, but the C&G vandals in the upper house have forced us into rather a deplorable public debate. The inability to act on climate change was similarly a result of their vandalism. And so on and so forth. Instead of giving the Greens the balance of power, I think a much better political situation would be ALP dominance in both houses for three years. Unfortunately, we’ll get the usual unrepresentative swill we always get with the Senate.
I guess I’m in shock that an election between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott could possibly be described as a cliffhanger.
For those of you in Victoria, vote for the Sex Party. At least they’ve got principles.
The average voter has no sense of perspective.
Here’s Google’s Public Data account of Australia’s GDP. Here’s the same at Wolfram Alpha. Those are some impressive numbers. We ought to be proud.
Tony Wright of the Sydney Morning Herald noted a comment at one of Tony Abbott’s press conferences:
[O]ne of his inquisitors pointed out that a $6 billion debt – which Abbott says will be Australia’s annual interest payments under continued Labor spending – is about equal on a GDP basis to someone on a wage of $100,000 having a mortgage of only $6000. Abbott himself has a much larger mortgage than this – did it make him a poor financial manager? Well, in short, no.
When he got that final question, he pointed out that Prime Minister Julia Gillard used to say every boat equalled a policy failure. Every boat, he might just as well have said, meant one fewer question on his economic credentials – Tony Wright.
$6b debt sounds massive, but it’s tiny in comparison to our GDP.
“Remember the $900 cheques? Forty thousand went either overseas or to dead people. I don’t know what economies they were stimulating but it wasn’t the Australian economy. There was a better way to do it.” – Joe Hockey, ABC News Online
According to the ATO, at least 8.8 million cheques were sent. Let us imagine that only 8.8 million were sent. 40,000 is only 0.45%. As far as error rates go, that’s amazing.
Why does this narrative of outlandish mistakes persist? I don’t remember the media’s pitchforks being waved when Turnbull (then a minister) wasted $10 million on Russian cloud seeding technology.
Back in ye olde post about the Australian Sex Party’s policies, I noted that one of the policies was to overturn restrictions on aid to overseas family planning organisations that reference abortion and remarked that I understood that they had already been overturned. Given that it was odd that a policy would exist to overturn something that had already been overturned, I decided to write an e-mail to them to ask if my understanding was incorrect.
This is a big deal, by the way, because I generally worry about people who write to political parties. They’re even worse than the people who write to the newspapers. ’You should write to the Prime Minister’ is never uttered by a reasonable and rational person.
What was even weirder was that instead of the ‘Thank you for your letter. Your letter is important to us. We have taken note of your letter. Here is a link to our website. Good day’ response I was expecting, I got some answers. It was even more awesome because I admitted in the e-mail that I couldn’t vote for them (no candidates in the ACT) and that I was probably the exact opposite of their target demographic.
I also asked if I could put the answers up, so here they are: Continue reading
I set out with the best of intentions. I was going to be a responsible voter and check out the policies of all the parties and try to work out which best represented my views. The process was good: it established that my feelings towards the Greens were legitimate (it was interesting to note that — despite somebody‘s assertions that the Greens don’t really believe all of their policies — Bob Brown was there on Insiders claiming that ‘we have worked very hard on many of these policies in the Senate‘).
It was also interesting that, as a conservative, I was more comfortable with the policies of the Australian Sex Party than I was any of the other parties (that I’d examined so far: and, let’s face it, I was already into fringe crazy land). Despite wanting to send an e-mail about their stranger policies, I was so impressed that I was going to volunteer handing out ‘How to Vote’ cards. Of all the parties, they seemed the most sane even though they were essentially a political party for the sex industry (and I still have concerns about the commodification of sex).
I live in the ACT. Today, I had a look at the list of candidates on offer…
Absolutely shit all. Continue reading
Holy frijoles, the ‘policies‘ page of Family First is a mess. It’s like they’re preparing you for the mental anguish by demonstrating a corresponding visual anguish first.
Is that fair? Have I prejudged? Probably.
I get the feeling that this isn’t going to be nice. I suspect I’ll have to do a nerdshit post after this one to cheer myself up.
Okay. Family First have divided their policy page into their policies and their core values. I don’t have the stamina to go through all of their ‘core values’ because I want to protect the optimistic vision of the world I’ve nurtured. Thus, I’m only going to touch the stuff under ‘policies’. Continue reading
The Australian Sex Party isn’t named well. Reading it, I think of the ‘More Beer Party’ at uni, and the various other single, silly issue parties which seemed to haunt the union building. So will it have policies as silly as its name? Either way, this is bound to be interesting. Before reading their policies, The Gruen Transfer mailing list sent out the adverts for some of the political parties. This was the offering from The Australian Sex Party:
To their policies! Continue reading
Immediate withdrawal of all Australian military units from Iraq, including the naval units in the Persian Gulf. Only small bodyguards will remain to protect Australian diplomats.Meet Communist Alliance. My gut reaction is that these guys are kooks. There’s something adolescent about the word ‘Communist’; I was a big fan of Trotsky during my high school days but it wore off when I hit university. They’re standing for a Senate seat in NSW, so let’s begin the policy interrogation! Continue reading
Only three sections left to do! Caveat: My head hurts like an absolute bastard. Fortunately, I had a packet of Nurofen in the house and it’s working well. Thumbs up, Nurofen. Okay, I’ve got my iTunes set to ‘Soft Awesome’: let’s roll!
Policy Category E: Human Rights and Democracy
This section is probably going to irritate me because it’s the section I care about the most. Our conversations in the public space on this topic are woeful. They lack the rich flavour of past debates. We don’t have the epic speeches or inflamed pamphlets. With that in mind, I’m not sure that my criticisms of the policies advocated by the Greens in this space won’t extend to a criticism of the discussion in general. Thus, a lot of this isn’t going to be critical of the Greens’ position but the general lack in the debate. Put simply, I don’t think other parties perform particularly well in this space either. Continue reading