Don't know who's who in the race for Senate seats, this election? Worried your preferences will go who-knows-where if you number above the line, or somewhere evil if you make a mistake, numbering below??
Well, worry no more!
I spent a few hours today sorting through the 110 Senate candidates who will be on my ballot paper next Saturday, ensuring I am now up-to-speed with ALL their platforms and policies ;)
Rather than selfishly hoarding all this comic gold, I thought I should share the results of my research. I present to you my (only slightly) tongue-in-cheek guide to the Senate paper, 2013 - in order of appearance.
Since the paper IS rather long, here is part 1. Part II to follow (Well, probably. More probable than Tony Abbott's policy costings, anyway.)
LDP - Liberal Democrats. Conspiracy theorists and logical crackpots. Make perfect sense if you live in an ever-so-slightly-alternate universe. Their preferences go to the extreme right, beginning with One Nation.
TCS - No Carbon Tax Climate Change Sceptics. The name says it all, really! These are the nutjobs to the right of the crackpots, and judging by their preferences their alternative universe has a religious rightwing flavour - though strangely, their website features clean blue skies and grass that would make the Greens proud - and the featured powerpoint has eastern meditation music as a background. Going for some dramatic irony, perhaps??
DLP - Democratic Labour Party. Anti abortion, anti gay, and anti refugee. And anti technology, probably, since their website wouldn't load when I tried to check it. Preferences somewhere between the far right nutjobs and almost-as-far-right crackpots.
SOL - Senator Online. Here's a novel idea! A party without a platform - instead they have a mobile app that allows the public to vote on senate bills, and their senator will vote according to the majority... Not sure what to think - but they DO have Tim Ferguson (GO the Doug Anthony Allstars!) & some ex footy-star or other.... What could possibly go wrong?? Oh, and protest preferences - major parties last, ALP Coalition then Greens.
VEP - Voluntary Euthanasia Party. Single Issue party. Their candidates offer what, in most politicians, we could only wish for; they will actually volunteer to drop dead. Kooky hodge--podge of preferences, ending with Labour, Coalition then Christian democrats last.
Andrew Whalan - Independent. No website. Bipolar preferences. Could be a wild-card!!!!
HMP - Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party. Single issue. Self explanatory. & clearly "under the influence" when they divvied up their preferences!
CA - Carer's Alliance. Single Issue. Right wing preferences.
WK - Wikileaks. Standing for Accountability and openness in parliament. Will post all senate documents online. Preferences go to the Conspiracy theorists, Greens, then Labour.
RUA - Rise Up Australia. Flag waving redneck immigrants (Yes, really!) Anti gay, anti abortion and anti refugee. Their slogan is "Keep Australia Australian"and their candidates are, ahem... "new Australians". Their preferences go to the Religious Right first, and Greens last.
FUT - Future Party. Should be named the Sci-fi party! Dedicated to bringing Australia into the 31st Century via technological advance, and building a space-age supercity between Sydney and Canberra. No refugee policy. Pro marriage equality. Qualified support for drug legislation reform. Definitely pro fast broadband! Somewhat sensible preferences.
CDP - Christian Democrat Party. Fred Nile. 'Nuff said.
ALP - Labour.
KAP - Katter's Australia Party. The Mad Katter strikes out on his own! Right wing policies and preferences. And Big hats!!
VCE - Australian Voice. Standing for greater community involvement in political decision making, and representing the electorate, rather than a "party line. Does seem to assume a redneck "average" Australian. Preferences to Rednecks first, Greens last.
ASXP - Sex Party. Whoo-hoooo!! (Is that something like an orgy??) Their election promise is to spice things up in the Senate!! These guys are Sexy, Progressive, and anti-green all at once!
AFLP - Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party. Single issue. Strategically places snipers in state forests (to shoot down the opposition?). The Great Outdoors - it's a great place to kill stuff! Greens preferred last.
GRN - Greens
PUP - Palmer United. Billionaire Narcissist Party. Free Palmer DVD's for all Electorates! Confusing mixture of preferences, but Labour is last (Which makes sense, because after all, it WAS KRudd who delayed Palmer's private jet!)
BAP - Building Australia Party. - Literally! Using stud adhesive and nail guns! A single-issue party that is Pro development and anti-Green. Their preference ticket lists the far right first (though interestingly, the Sex Party and Family First are listed side by side - perhaps a party with a sense of humour?) Major parties last, listed Libs, ALP, Greens.
UAP - Uniting Australia Party. Pay politicians less, and soldiers more. Less aid. More jobs. Punish criminals. Stop the boats. Welcome to those immigrants who are willing to "fit in". Right wing preferences (but you already knew that!)
ODR - Stop the Greens. This is actually a 4WD club. Really. Their platform is the back of a 4x4 Truck ( Can't let the business of government distract from outdoor recreation! ) No prizes for guessing who they preferenced last!
SMK - Smokers Rights. Another single issue party - because, apparently, smokers are being persecuted in our country. ALP and Greens Preferenced last.