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The preferencing headache

by Dave Riley

When you stand in elections, as the Socialist Alliance is doing, you are exposed to all manner of games in way of preferencing politics. Yesterday's report where Labor urged voters to Choose radicals over the 'rat' says it all.

What a grand pursuit it is! Labor allocates preferences to the Alliance ahead of ALP feral,
Gavan O'Connor in Corio.

No wonder the game was such that at the last poll Labor facilitated Family First into the Senate from Victoria.

Out smarted themselves then, they did.

As the Geelong Socialist Alliance says(more or less): you can get stuffed,
‘Our preferences are not for sale’.

We get a bit of media. There's that. But the whole business is thwart with upmanship and game play such that when you come to your voting options and consider the tickets in front of you, things really won't be as they seem.

If you can tell a person by the company they keep; an electoral party is marked by their preferences. So it's always worthwhile to check them out if one were planning on a truly considered vote.

In the Senate the card can be all over the place and with the way political preference is meshed with opportunism, what the party of your choice is offering as a "1" above the line may indeed be a long way away from what you assumed would be the preference flow.

For instance, taking Queensland as an example:
  • The Climate Change Coalition preference candidates from the Shooters Party and the Fishing & Lifestyle Party ahead of the Socialist Alliance; splits its preference flow to the Greens so they can allocate Pauline Hansen as # 5
  • the Carers, while preferencing the Greens ahead of everything else then move on to Pauline Hansen and Family First (via a couple of unknown independents).
  • the Socialist Equality Party has split its preferences, where it is standing, between the Greens, Labor and the Coalition!
So things won't be what they seem on November 24th. And since the Senate race is a standard day out in the sun for the ultra right -- you can imagine the high double figure preferences the SA is earning.

Pauline Hansen moves us to 55 and 56th place!

Come on! We can't be all that bad! Can we?

3 Com:

Peter Boyle | November 08, 2007

Read the SEP's excuse for directing preferences to the Coalition parties here.

Dave Riley | November 11, 2007

Discussion on Greens' `realpolitic' preferencing

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/grassroots_climate_oz/message/2068

Re: [CAWG] [GRCO] Preferences

First point - can I encourage this kind of debate to take place on the blog itself? It's exactly what it's there for!

Now to detail.

Ned et al, we've been quite open about the fact that, while we will only engage in preference negotiations with at least generally like-minded candidates and parties, the details of how the final group ticket turns out depend on negotiations designed to give us the best possible chance of getting Greens elected to the Senate.

We do not like this, in an ethical sense, and have repeatedly called for the system which effectively requires this to be altered, to allow above the line preferential voting. This would allow people to simply number the groups above the line, instead of having to either vote only 1 above the line, or number every candidate individually.

However, in the reality where group voting tickets are a legal requirement, we have to take some hard decisions. And one of those decisions meant that, in some states, CCC are preferenced above the Socialist Alliance, even though their policies are clearly not as strong on climate. Naturally, there are some policies of the SA that we disagree with, too, of course. The judgement was made, however, that neither of these parties are likely to achieve representation, and that this deal
gives us the best chance of seeing Kerry Nettle returned and joined by any or all of Richard di Natale, Scott Ludlam, Sarah Hanson-Young, Kerrie Tucker and Larissa Waters. That has to be our aim.

It is far more likely, in fact, that our preferences, if they fail to get us above the line, will go to elect ALP Senators rather than either CCC or SA - and we know that the ALP policies are nowhere near good enough!

Thanks for the interest and, once again, I'd really invite this kind of discussion at http://greensblog.org/

Tim [Hollo, Christine Milne's office]

Geelong | November 15, 2007

Geelong SA preferences Greeens, ALP before Gavin O'Connor

GEELONG SOCIALIST ALLIANCE PREFERENCE DECISION--ALP OVER FORMER MEMBER GAVAN O'CONNOR

Socialist Alliance media release Tuesday November 13, 2007

The Geelong Branch of Socialist Alliance has decided to give their second preference to the Greens. They have then preferenced the ALP ahead of independent Gavan O’Connor.

Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Corio, Chris Johnson said, “Despite O’Connor having better industrial relations policies than the ALP or the Liberals, the first priority is to get rid of the Liberals from power. We believe that our preferences must be directed to the ALP before the Liberals.

“However, O’Connor has decided to have an ‘open ticket’ that lets the voter decide. This could mean that many preferences could go to the Liberals. For us an ambiguous situation is unacceptable and will not be in the best interests of working class people in the seat of Corio.

It was a very hard decision for us to make as we believe the way that Richard Marles won pre-selection in Corio was a classic example of ugly ALP machine politics.

Chris Johnson concluded: “O’Connor has a very good track record as an anti-war, pro-worker activist in this region. If he’d just been prepared to preference the ALP ahead of the Liberals, we would have had no hesitation in giving him our third preference.”

Chris Johnson can be contacted on 5222 6900 or call Lisa Gleeson 0404 390 137

Email geelong@socialist-alliance.org

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