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Taking a microscope to the microparties

Don’t blame Harry Stratton, he voted for Kodos

Everyone loves voting for an old-fashioned joke ticket – it’s why Free Parking has topped the SRC poll every year it’s run. Unfortunately, in the Senate it also means that sometimes your vote counts in ways that you didn’t intend or expect, because putting a “1” above the line for your party of choice gives that party the complete discretion to allocate your preferences. Most often, this weird quirk results in preferences flowing back to a major party; but in 2013 it’s taken a more sinister turn, as literally dozens of microparties with attractive-sounding names have joined together in a bloc directing their preferences to One Nation. The only way to guarantee your preferences are responsibly allocated is to fill out all 110 squares below the line or to vote for a party you recognise; so here’s Honi’s Guide to the Microparties in this election, or, how you can avoid being that dickhead who accidentally votes for Pauline Hanson.


Australia First

White supremacists led by a non-white. Leader Jim Saleam angrily insists that he’s Greek, but there’s strong evidence to suggest his family’s actually from Syria.

What to say: Where’s the birth certificate?

Who you’re really voting for: One Nation.


Senator Online

Direct democracy advocates who claim their votes will be guided by online polls. In fact, their party’s constitution only binds their votes to poll results when a 70% majority of 100,000 voters is reached, ie never, so they’ll probably vote how they like.

What to say: If these guys get in our national anthem will soon be the Nyan cat song.

Who you’re really voting for: One Nation.


The Libertarian Right

The Liberal Democrats; the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics; the Republican Party; Australian Voice; the Fishing and Lifestyle Party; Building Australia; Stop the Greens; Smokers’ Rights; the Stable Population Party; the Non-Custodial Parents’ Party; the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts’ party; possibly Free Ice-Cream for SRC.

What to say: Wait, what?

Who you’re really voting for: One Nation. A large number of these parties have shared candidates and registered AEC officers, and all are linked to mysterious “preference whisperer” Glenn Druerry, leading to suspicion that they’re running solely to funnel votes to Pauline.


Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Equality Party

Trotskyist vanguard parties that hate each other more than the Liberals. Just why has never been quite clear.

What to say: The Judean People’s Front couldn’t get their nominations in on time.

Who you’re really voting for: Alliance preference every other party from left to right; the Equality Party insists all three major parties are equally bourgeois and splits its preferences between them.


The Sex Party & the Wikileaks Party

Both claim to be centre-left libertarian parties; both seem to have been hijacked by a Ron Paul-style fringe, leading to pro-business policies and the mass resignation of left-leaning members.

What to say: One of these parties mops up the creepy internet porn viewer vote; the other is led by one

Where your vote ends up: Wikileaks denied they were preferencing One Nation, then claimed it was an administrative error, then admitted they’d done it but only in Victoria. The Sex Party also preferenced One Nation, but were much less sneaky about it. You pays your money and you takes your choice.


The Crazy Christians

This election, Rise Up Australia join the Christian Democrats, Pentecostalist Family First, and the ultra-Catholic Democratic Labor Party. All of them hate gay marriage and abortion; Rise Up Australia and the CDP also aren’t too keen on Muslims or anyone who looks a bit too brown. Family First gave us Stephen Fielding in 2007, and the DLP apparently have a Senator at the moment but he keeps pretty quiet.

What to say: Historically, Victoria’s voters have a lot to answer for.

Who you’re really voting for: One Nation.

At first glance, your Senate ballot paper appears to contain a multitude of choices. In fact, because your preferences have to be allocated somewhere, you really only have two, or three if you count Pauline. Since your vote ends up in the hands of a major party in the end, you might as well be the one to decide which.


More on the federal election:

The advantages of being an election swinger – how to get the most out of your vote

What will Abbott mean for universities? – the Coalition’s approach to tertiary education

When voting for the Sex Party, use protection – what does the ASP stand for, and where are their preferences going?

The party without any candidates – the party started by USYD students

Australia First, minorities second – an interview with the Australia First candidate for Bennelong

Like father, like daughter – the role of politicians’ daughters in their campaigns

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