One of the coolest things about Australian elections is that you don’t throw your vote away pitching your lot in with a minor party. You order the candidates as you prefer; once the votes are tallied, if no candidate has 50% of the vote then everyone who voted for the least-voted-for candidate has all of their second preference votes cast, and so on until the magic 50% mark is hit.
One of the lamest things about Australian elections is having to number all of the senate candidates for your state in order of preference. Last time out I had sixty-odd names to order and boned my ballot paper twice because I was being very clever about putting the nutjobs at the bottom, the anti-bozos at the top and was working my way from both sides towards the middle when I hit numeric snags in the shape of duplicates. You can, of course, just pick one party and use their preferences (known as ‘voting above the line’) but then you’re kind of throwing your democratic rights out the window.
This time around, I’m prepared! There are two websites which let you use a web interface to order the candidates at your leisure and print out a guide to take to the polling booth with you.
Now there’s no reason to not do things the hard way. Use these tools to lodge a proper protest vote and tell the big parties they all stink! Or don’t – that’s the beauty of democracy.
Oh, speaking of elections:
Arcadia (AKA Duran Duran) – Election Day