I've done my democratic duty this morning. As I said to the duty officer on the way out, I spent more time folding my upper house ballot paper that I did actually voting.
Didn't bother with preferences. 1 for Fiona Byrne in the lower house, 1 for Group I - the Greens - in the upper house.
As a matter of record, here are the groups on the upper house paper. Lots of candidates, but blame the system: 21 seats up for grabs in one big statewide poll. For a group to be entitled to its own column, it must include at least 15 candidates. Time to look at the Victorian model, methinks.
Group A: Unnamed group advocating support for carers. Nell Brown, the lead candidate on the ticket, was interviewed by ABC Radio on March 8.
Group B - The Fishing Party: Mainly Hunter Valley-centric group. The first three names on the ticket are all from Singleton Heights (I wonder what's biting there today)? According to their policy document the party "does not support the biased exclusion of recreational fishing while allowing other impacts such as diving and tourism visitation to occur."
They are running candidates in three lower house seats (Port Stephens, Wallsend, Kiama). In the upper house as in the lower they are directing preferences to the Liberal/National coalition.
They say they support sustainable fishing, which is only natural, but their website is so 20th century that I can't find any evidence of the science that they are using.
Group C - Australians Against Further Immigration For what it's worth, this is their website. According to Wikipedia, their solution to water shortages and climate change is to deport all immigrants who arrived in Australia after 1990.
Group E - Liberals/Nationals
Group F - unnamed, but is the Climate Change Coalition: Led by Patrice Newell (Philip Adams' better half), with former North Sydney Mayor, Genia McCaffrey in second spot. Sort of like a single-issue version of The Greens without all the social justice baggage. Flew Erin Brockovitch out from the States for their campaign launch.
Group G - Australian Democrats: Arthur Chesterfield-Evans' last hurrah.
Group H - unnamed, but is the Shed A Tier Group: Their major policy platform is the abolition of the states. See the Beyond Federation website for more information.
Group I - The Greens
Group J - The Unity Party
Group K - The Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
Group L - The Restore The Workers Rights Party: No website that I can see. Many candidates from the central west of NSW, especially Dubbo.
Group M - unnamed: Seems to be another fishing party, led by Coastal Rights Association president Jack Tait. Best reference point appears to be the endorsement from outgoing Outdoor Recreation Party MLC Jon Jenkins.
Group N - The Shooters Party: The right to bear arms, the right to self-defence, and just to prove they are not a single-issue party, the right to drive 4WDs on beaches. Already have one MLC - Robert Brown, who retires in 2011.
Group O - The Australian Labor Party
Group P - The Horse Riders Party / Outdoor Recreation Party: Why are there really so many of these Leave My Bloody Weekend Alone parties??
Group Q - Socialist Alliance: Top of the ticket is Jakalene X (who has her own page on Mr Murdoch's Myspace). Now that's risky, you have to vote 1 for X. An X in the box is an informal vote...
Group R - Save Our Suburbs: Focus is on urban development and planning. Preferences flow through Democrats to the Greens. Candidates from the nimbier parts of the metropolitan area.
Group S - Human Rights Party: Peter Breen was elected to the upper house in 1999 and is top of their ticket again.
Ungrouped: Seven ungrouped independants led by one Dawn Fraser.