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My votes for the 2016 federal election

Nationally, I am endorsing the removal of the Liberal/National government of Malcolm Turnbull. I am supporting a government led by the Australian Labor Party with Bill Shorten as Prime Minister.

I also support a significant presence of competent minor parties in the Senate, particularly the Greens, to act as a robust House of Review and to give strong guidance to the government in policy direction.

My senate picks... how and why

For federal elections in the recent past, I have followed the Greens above-the-line ticket. This time, I chose not to, bit the bullet and voted 1 to 84 in the bottom half of the senate ballot. Making sure that I did my research first.

My main reasons for this were that I wasn't too keen on the Greens' flow of preferences (especially their high ranking to the Australian Sex Party), and that I wanted to choose the six people who I wanted to be my six New South Wales senators. (Is that too crazy a thing to ask?)

I'm voting for the Greens (again)

In this federal election, I am voting for Sam Byrne of the Greens in the House of Representatives seat of Grayndler.

In the Senate, for New South Wales, I am giving my first preference to Lee Rhiannon of the Greens in a below-the-line vote which I shall explain separately.

My preferences in both houses lean towards the Labor Party ahead of the Liberals.

Senator Milne at the National Press Club

Senator Christine Milne, the deputy leader and climate change spokesperson for the Australian Greens, gave a really inspiring speech as the televised National Press Club address on the ABC today. I'm not sure whether any of the video will turn up on Youtube or elsewhere. If you get the chance, set the recorder for ABC1 from 3.25am to 4.25am tonight (that's Thursday morning June 18) to catch the repeat.

Senator Milne's prepared text is as follows. Source and accompanying press release at her website, part of the empire:

Children's show performed in community social club shock horror

As long-standing readers of this blog (if indeed, any such beast exists) will know, I'm a strong supporter of The Greens as an alternative political force in this country. They consistently set the agenda in sensible environmental policies, but when they stray into areas where they lack expertise, the results can be embarrassing to watch.

Case in point, this press release from Senator Scott Ludlam (AG-WA):

Greens expose Play School alcohol and pokies link

The fall and fall of the Labor Party

Today the ALP lost its monopoly on State and Territory governments when the West Australian Nationals ended a week of brinksmanship and renewed their coalition with the Liberals. Colin Barnett is WA Premier. More to the point, Troy Buswell has a government seat to sniff - and it appears he will be State Treasurer.

Stinging nettle

Kerry Nettle's defeat in the New South Wales senate race is one of the disappointments of this federal election. She was squeezed out by the major parties who between them seem certain to claim all six NSW senate seats. It represents remarkable good luck for Ursula Stephens, who was booted down to number three on the Labor ticket. Her return represents a nett gain of one NSW senator for the ALP at the Greens' expense.

Looking at the Senate before my brain explodes

Not easy to interpret senate figures so early in the piece, but a couple of observations so far:

The Democrats are history. They have performed dismally in Queensland (0.09 quotas on first preference at the moment). They're on 0.11 quotas in Victoria which makes it damn hard for Lyn Allison. In New South Wales, they've been outpolled by the DLP, which has been spent force in Australian politics from the time Vince Gair was despatched to Dublin.


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