Bursting the Greens-Labor coalition narrative.

We hear a lot about this shady deal, this bothersome, undemocratic, cynical whitewash, this usurpation of voters’ rights, etc… largely from members of the Coalition, ironically. Despite the group voting tickets and how-to-vote cards not being formulated as candidate nominations are yet to close, let’s actually get some facts on what the deal actually consisted of.

To sum it up, it’s pretty much the exact same deal the Greens do with Labor every election. Labor promises to give their second preference, and thus any overquota overflow, to the Greens on their Senate group voting ticket. The Greens promise to indicate on their how-to-vote card for specific electorates in the Lower house that they would prefer their supporters to preference the Labor candidates above Coalition candidates. THE HORROR! How dare they so flagrantly disrespect our constituti… Oh… What’s that? Every political party is obliged under federal electoral law to number all the other parties on their group voting ticket? Well then… it’s bad because the Greens and Labor are doing it! Right?

As ridiculous as it sounds, that’s pretty much what the Liberal Party, the Nationals, and their toadying peons are spewing all over the media at the moment. No doubt they are hoping to take advantage of the average voter’s ignorance and apathy about the process. This is some of the best cognitive dissonance we’re likely to see in this election. What we have here effectively, is two minor parties who have had an almost century long agreement to share power should they win a majority of seats collectively, two minor parties who have inter-preferenced each other (or not run against each other) at almost every election to help them achieve that goal, bitching that another minor party is doing a deal to help them win seats.

Are you fucking kidding me? People actually believe this out and out bullshit? People are so ignorant about preferential voting that they don’t appear to understand that they can vote however the hell they want and backroom party preference deals be damned?

What’s even worse is the sheer amount of people vying for Parliament that want to jump on this bandwagon without first trying to understand the deal. I called an Australian Democrats spokesperson, Julia Melland, after reading this press release to try and get an understanding of the Democrats’ inside information about the deal. Turns out, they didn’t have any. They were just making shit up as they went too. What I did get though, was that they think left-based parties do not use evidence to formulate policy, but instead rely on their ideology. So much for trying to be centrist.

Do you know which arcane scrivening device I used to glean the details of the preference deal from the Greens? The telephone. If anyone from the media (I’m not going to suggest political parties actually try and clarify something before they try and use it as campaign bait, where would the fun in election be then?) had even bothered to clarify the deal, it’s possible that we wouldn’t have to explain to everyone how preference deals work, for EVERY party, each election.

The bottom line is that you decide where your preferences go on each ticket. If you want to vote for the Nationals, then the Greens, then Family First, then the Democrats, then anyone else you think sounds attractive, you can. No-one else is with you in the voting booth, and you can be as private or as public with your vote as you want. No party-room deal, no amount of media bleating, no pre-masticated press release will change any of that.

The Greens, for the record, have been encouraging everyone to vote below the line to more accurately reflect their individual voting preferences. How quaint.

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