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20 November 2007 @ 02:37 am
My Completely Biased Report on the Victorian Senate Independents  
I realise that, while aeduna's post is extremely useful and informative, it really only covers preferences and makes the assumption that if you vote for independent X, that vote will flow through to one of the major parties anyway, so X's preferences are all that count rather than policies.

Which is a pragmatic view that is for the most part true, but it doesn't address the fact that whoever gets your first preference gets about $1.50 of your taxes (see this post by artbroken via lokicarbis for more info).

But also one would like to think that your vote counts on a less tangible level - that even if a preference gets passed on to the next candidate, that preference sends a message about how you really feel about the issues and personalities of politics. And since every single preference gets taken into account in the senate vote, it's the perfect forum.

So, what really counts is who are these people and what do they stand for?

I'm just going to cover the first in each independent group, and ignore their running-mates. If you really want to know about candidate number 2, feel free to do your own research.

GROUP I: Joseph Toscano - The Anarchist
Has previously stood on a "vote for nobody" platform à la Montgomery Brewster. This time he actually has some policies, like giving the people the ability to fire MPs mid-term for not performing. Did I say policies? I meant he has some really stupid ideas.

GROUP P: John Perkins - Secularist
Apparently the Secular Party were unable to get their name on the ballot and instead go on as independents. Or maybe they don't want to have Secular Party next to their names because they think it will lose them votes. Anyway, as the name suggests, their primary platform is one of the seperation of church and state. I personally think Australia does a reasonably good job of this, but it is a concept I support and makes a nice counter to the Family First types that are running. They also support individual freedoms - gay marriage and all that stuff that the church hates.

Group T: Joseph Kaliniy - Serial Candidate
This guy just seems to like getting his name on ballots. There's very little info on him out there, apart from the fact that he has previously run as an independent in the Victorian state election and for that Republic debate committee thing. From the latter I at least know he's a monarchist, and his preferences head towards the Libs via the DLP, so he's obviously socially conservative. Doesn't sound like my kind of guy, but YMMV.

Group V: Tony Klein - Policy Black Hole
A direct quote from Klein's website: "I am not bound to any specific policies when it comes to my role as Senator. I am not easily influenced and I will approach the Senate with no specific agendas or policies other than my life experience and background." So, Tony, what you're saying is that you have no intention of telling us where you stand on important issues, but you expect us to trust you to vote the "right" way because you're such a gosh-darn nice guy. Dude, you are making a mockery of politics, get the fuck off my ballot paper.


ETA: After writing all that, I discovered a far more entertaining analysis of all the candidates at this post by matcha_pocky. Again, thanks to lokicarbis for the link.

Also, reading that made me realise that there are some independents with no group voting ticket. I really can't be bothered writing about them myself, so if you really want to know about them, click the above link. But, really, with no above the line option, they are going to get about as many votes as they have members of their immediate families.
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sener4senate on November 19th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
Hello
For your readers benefit, I'm one of the Ungrouped Independent candidates. I am actually lucky last on the Victorian Senate ballot paper, so easy to find, and easy to vote for, if you choose below the line voting.

My main campaign site is at http:sener4senate.googlepages.com, and my youtube channel is at http://au.youtube.com/profile?user=sener4senate

In that youtube channel you should find a short vid clip, on why you should vote below the line (as Jacob also explains above), and a quick demonstration of how you can vote for me.

Previously the AEC's website didn't have much more than quarter of a page on how to vote below the line, but now they also have a swish flash to practice voting below the line. So if you don't want to see my clearly biased vid-clip, you can still try the AEC one.

Thank you,

I've just created this account, so haven't had the time to create a sigfile, so,

Tejay

http:sener4senate.googlepages.com

sener4senate on November 19th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
Lol, I dropped the forward slashes in the above url,

Should be

http://sener4senate.googlepages.com

It's 4am that's why.

Jacobyak_boy on November 19th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
It's a real pity that more people don't vote below the line, since that would certainly make it easier for truly independent candidates to be elected.
sener4senate on November 19th, 2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
Public funding
Which is a pragmatic view that is for the most part true, but it doesn't address the fact that whoever gets your first preference gets about $1.50 of your taxes

The figure is tied to the cpi, and for this election period is 210 cents per vote. However, a candidate (or party) must obtain a minimum of 4% of the first preference votes. To get an idea of how many votes that is, consider that at close of electoral rolls there were 3.442 million voters for Victoria. If going on 2004 election trends, then there will be roughly a 95% voter turn out, and 4% of that is just over 130,000 first preference votes (no preference flows for public funding).

So the winners get plenty of public funding, but those minor parties, and especially the ungrouped independents, usually get nothing.

See http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2007/guide/svic.htm, only the top 3 parties get public funding for getting first pref votes in excess of 4%. The others don't.

Jacobyak_boy on November 19th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Public funding
It's certainly a good reason not to give your first preference to either Labor or Liberal who, quite frankly, get quite enough money as it is.