Last week more than 40 parties lodged their Senate ”group voting tickets” with the Australian Electoral Commission. Like native bird populations during a drought, these parties disappear in between elections only to magically appear at an election to funnel votes to the party lucky enough to benefit from back-room preference deals.
Now, if you would please tell me where your Senate above-the-line preferences go, I will be far more comfortable. But, be honest – you haven’t a clue.
Senate ballot papers are more than a metre long in some states. A record number of voters are set to put their vote ”above the line”, and then they won’t have preferences; other parties will determine them for them.
This is where the fun starts. Let’s start with Clive Palmer. Clive has billions of dollars worth of coal assets and a nickel refinery near Townsville. It is perfectly logical then that he has preferenced the Greens; a party that wants to phase out coalmining and shut down Clive’s nickel refinery.
Indeed, Clive’s preferences are a wild ride. In Queensland, if you vote for Clive Palmer, your votes go to Family First, then to the Socialists, then to the Greens, Fishing and Lifestyle, Katter, the LNP, One Nation, Democrats and finally to the Australian Christians, presumably to ask forgiveness.
Who knew Clive had such a fondness for unreconstructed socialists? They are his second preference. He wants to be PM; perhaps he will be the Hugo Chavez of the South Seas. It is not just Queensland though. Clive is preferencing the Greens ahead of the major parties, and ahead of many minor parties, in all states. What a paradox? Clive’s entry may protect the balance of power of the Greens, perhaps one billionaire the Greens will learn to love.
The Katter party, which ostensibly is opposed to everything Green, is preferencing the Greens ahead of the Liberals in the ACT, and ahead of Nick Xenophon in South Australia. Bob Katter may be instrumental in helping the Greens keep the balance of power by helping a Green senator to be elected in the ACT.
Bob has also done a deal with the Labor Party in Queensland. Bob represents a conservative electorate where more than 60 per cent of voters preferred the LNP to Labor at the last election. Bob has been preparing the ground. He needs Labor’s preferences, and he needs the money of the trade unions. He has been voting accordingly. |
Republished from Canberra Times of 23rd August, 2013 by the kind permission of the author Barnaby Joyce – 445 Peel St, Tamworth, NSW, 234. www.barnabyjoyce.com.au
See also Bob Katter is Australia Party – Fog of Chaos 6th June 2011