HOW TO PROTEST VOTE – THE SMART VOTERS GUIDE TO DOUBLING THE POWER OF YOUR VOTE.
one – Only protest vote in the upper house – namely in the Senate – In the House of Representatives you give your vote to the party you would ordinarily support.
two – In the Senate, give your first preference to the party that represents the issue you wish to protest over – in this case Aussie Heart – the party that stands for ending offshore detention – thus your protest is registered and a clear message is sent to your “usual” party whether Liberal, Labor, National or NXT.
three – Vote for the party you ordinarily support second – safe in the knowledge that the way votes are counted, particularly if the election is close – your vote will still go to the party you want to win.
Thus, you get to effectively vote three times in the one election. A normal vote in the House of Reps and two votes – in one ballot – in the Senate.
IN SUMMARY – First you vote in the lower house for the party you want to win the election. Second you cast your first preference vote in the upper house as a protest vote and Third vote in the upper house for your normal party as a second preference – because if the vote is close they will almost certainly still get your vote.
PROTEST VOTING – WHY IT WORKS AND WHY IT’S NEVER WASTED
A protest vote actually gives you two votes in one Senate ballot paper. This is because when voting for a minor party like ourselves there’s a strong chance we won’t get enough support to be elected. Because of this people often ignore minor parties – even when they stand for issues that the voter agrees with – because voters wrongly consider that the vote will simply be wasted. Usually people give the minor party candidate their 2nd third or lesser preference.The reality is though that a first preference vote for a protest candidate is not wasted. The reality is the opposite, that when you blindly vote for the major parties, your vote is often simply lost in the wash,If they win they probably didn’t need you and if they lose your vote probably didn’t make a difference. Protest voting is a way to have a much louder voice in the democratic process.
At some level the major parties assume you will keep voting in the ordinary way and put their efforts into satisfying the interests of swing voters – those that move from one party to another. It is those voters that actually have power while the concerns of the party faithful are often ignored. It is for this exact reason the Pauline Hanson has been able to rise and the major parties have swung their policies to the right particularly on the issue of refugees. Bashing refugees get votes from ignorant people who believe that somehow the security of the country is improved by whats being done to them. The only thing that will move our politicians on the issue of refugees is if they fear losing their jobs. – DOING WHATS RIGHT IS NOT ENOUGH – regrettably it seems they will sell (and have sold) their souls if it means they are going to cling on to power. Currently this means selling out to and appeasing the far right of the political spectrum.
One doesn’t even need a protest candidate to get elected for a protest vote on that issue to shift the way the major parties deal with policy and change their policy stances. What is needed is to get enough votes – first preference votes – that the party realises in its post election analysis that it had to rely on second preferences to get elected. Any rise in any particular voting pattern will be noted and if it is big enough the party will change in order to get those votes back next time round. For example take Pauline Hanson who was able to get a large number of Australians to vote out of fear of Asians in 1996 and more recently Muslims in 2016. Same trick different group demonised. The reason that her party has changed the political spectrum in Australia is that the major parties have gone – “ Oops … If she’s getting votes from bashing migrants we better start doing it too- and doing it harder and better- or we will lose those voters.”
The way both major parties have settled on to try and attract this vote is by bashing refugees – less than 1500 poor sacrificial souls, including children in mandatory offshore detention. In doing so they have disgraced us, they have shamed Australia in the eyes of the international community. In the meantime 190,000 immigrants come in yearly – from all over the world, ironically with large numbers currently from China – and all unnoticed – while the blame for any social discord arising from this immigration is placed squarely on the shoulders of people begging us for help and safety. Don’t misunderstand the point, we are not complaining about Chinese immigration. On the contrary, Aussie Heart maintains Australia as a nation is enriched by ALL of our migrant communities – but the point is that the government is engaged in a classic two card switch – while attention is lavished on demonising and bashing boat people, the standard government immigration policies roll on largely unaffected.
The success of the far right at the 2016 election may well however see an even further hardening of immigration policy – witness the recent moves to try and bring in two classes of visas. Currently Pauline Hanson is again exerting power on the whole nation – moving the political debate to the right. The legacy of this swing includes legislation that gags freedom of speech (workers in offshore detention threatened with two years jail under the migration act if they speak out about conditions there !) with mandatory indefinite detention of men and women, and worse, children, with appalling prison conditions – all being sponsored by our government – in our name. This attack on humanitarian values and our freedoms all occurs at massive financial cost -while here in Australia we have badly under resourced social services for returned servicemen, underfunded education, pensions and healthcare.
It’s a great big con and the average Aussie is the victim – they, their reputation and their children’s reputation is being systematically destroyed with our nation increasingly now seen internationally as the world’s new racist apartheid regime. This is why a protest vote is never wasted – Firstly – it is likely your protest candidate won’t get elected but the first preference vote does not go unnoticed – if the major parties thought they were losing a few percent of their vote they would shift their policies. We don’t need to win to shift this . What we need is enough people to know how to protest vote and be willing to do so. Your normally favoured party in such circumstances gets the second preference, particularly in a close count for a given senate vacancy. Your party will notice. You have as a result effectively gotten to vote twice.
Secondly, by giving your protest vote to Aussie Heart, the parties in a close race only gets senate candidates elected on second preferences – and they will be able to clearly see where the first preferences went – in other words they will see that it would be in their best electoral interest to change policy and get back voters– You – who have moved away from them.
Thirdly, if the party that you wanted to be elected does not get elected then normally your vote is wasted. When you protest vote,even if the party you want to be elected does not get up,nonetheless your protest vote in the Senate is still noted.
In all cases your primary vote in the House of Representatives is for the party you want to win. If your party loses, they were always going to lose anyway.This voting strategy makes no difference to who wins government but every difference to what they do when they win.
At the last election we got feedback – from large numbers of people – who proudly advised us that they had given us their second, third or lesser preference. They did so happy in the feeling that in some way they’d registered their protest and supported the cause. No! Their second third or fourth preference for us was completely ignored. When it comes to a protest, the only thing that registers with the major parties is a first preference vote. If the election is close your second preference will be counted and of course it goes to whichever major party you want it to.
This occurs because of the difference between an ordinary vote and a protest vote in the way our political system functions. Normally a protest vote is entered for a minor party. A second preference in favor of them is unlikely ever to be counted because second preferences are only of value in a close election and then almost exclusively to major parties that get large numbers of votes. Because of the structure of our political system and the sizes of different parties, and while there can be exceptions, the fortune and success of minor parties is largely made on first preferences only. This is particularly so for protest parties such as Aussie Heart.
Both parties have large numbers of their members deeply embarrassed by what the government is doing. But we – all of us – are helpless to change what is currently happening offshore while people will not vote for change – and thus the Pauline’s of this country get to rule the roost. What happened in Germany in the 1930s is happening here now. It needs to stop and that’s where Aussie Heart comes in.
HOW TO GET YOUR TWO VOTES FROM ONE SENATE VOTE.
As mentioned, this method gets you three votes in one election – one in the House of Representatives and two in the Senate. By dutifully following the normal party ticket you simply vote for one party across the board. It might get your party elected but your voice is lost in the multitude of votes. By voting a protest you actually give your first preference to a cause. If you give the cause your second third fourth or fifth preference it’s totally wasted and lost in the wash. The reality is the vast majority of Australians vote for one of the major parties. Your second preference will likely be the real vote that counts if it is needed as the first preference “cause”candidate usually fails to secure enough votes for a quota.
By putting your first preference to an issue (and here the issue is the abuse of people offshore for political advantage)- then you register your protest with your party – because they will be relying on your second preference in order to get their senators elected. Now your vote gets noticed. Why? Because post election the party gurus carefully scrutinise voting patterns in each seat and in each booth in each seat to work out how to maximise votes at the next election – including where to concentrate resources and what policies to push. If they discover that to 3 or 4% of the vote has gone to a smaller party protesting the abuse of refugees – all of a sudden they going to be left asking the question of whether it might not be worth their while actually doing what they are supposed to and lead the nation morally as well as politically?The major parties have proven that It is only when people are prepared to make them pay at the ballot box that they will change. Left to themselves the abuse will continue. While large numbers vote dutifully by rote, the Pauline Hanson’s of this nation will continue to set the political debate.
SECOND PREFERENCES AS PROTESTS?
You do not protest by giving your second preference to the minor candidate – you protest by giving them your first preference knowing that if the election is in any way close that the party you love/ordinarily support – whether it be liberal or Labour will then receive your Second preference vote. How to protest vote – you first need to understand that candidates for the Senate are elected on quotas. Each party usually puts up between 2-6 candidates for election. Each state elects 12 senators – it doesn’t matter whether they are a large state or small state – so you divide the number of voters/electors in each state by 12 to get a quota. For example – In South Australia, with 1 million voters that quota is in the order of 80,000. (For a full Senate election – 12 candidates) For a half Senate election it would be about 160,000. (1 million voters divided by six candidates)
Because most votes are cast for Liberal or Labor, usually more than half of the candidates are immediately elected along party lines leaving a small number of candidates who have not quite got a full quota – it is for this reason that candidates squabble over who is going to be first named on the party ballot as the first named take the first quota of all votes cast. If there are not enough votes to elect a given partys second, third or fourth candidates, then the Australian electoral commission starts counting from the smallest party that did not and cannot get elected backwards – and allocates their second preferences – this means people that voted for Theunsuccessful party still have the vote taken note of – but in this case it is their second preference that is noted – In this waythe least successful candidates second preferences are allocated – The electoral commission then asks- have we now got some candidate with sufficient numbers for a quota? If not, this process continues by allocating the second preferences of the next least successful candidate and so on until another candidate gets a quota and he or she is elected et cetera.
The process continues until they allocate enough preferences to elect the required number of senators be it six or 12 depending on if there is a half Senate or full Senate election. Half Senate elections are the norm.
- In South Australia there are 1 million voters roughly – if Labor received 450,000 votes it would have (on a half Senate election that would elect six politicians to the Senate from about 50 or 60 candidates including independents – hence the mammoth ballot paper) Labor would therefore get 2.5 quotas @ 160000 per quota.
- Two candidates would therefore be elected using up 2 quotas of 160,000 votes each.
- The third candidate wouldn’t have enough votes for a full quota – on the above example he or she would get 130,000 votes only (450 -160 -160 = 130) – therefore needing a further 30,000 for a quota.
- How do they get to that 30,000?
- They go to all candidates standing – all 50 or 60 and take the candidate with the lowest number of votes – they then allocate this candidates second preferences and see whether or not anyone has managed to get enough votes for a quota and they keep doing that process, going through all the unsuccessful candidates starting from the lowest up – Because they tend to get the lowest votes,usually the first ones allocated are the independent candidates. Then the small political parties are next allocated, but the rule is – allocate the lowest number of votes first – then see if you now have any one with a quota. If not allocate the next lowest number of votes and see if you’ve got a candidate with a full quota and so on et cetera.
- This is why in a close election your second preference is the one that counts – assuming you have voted for a smaller candidate or an issue. If your original vote was for labour or liberal then your preference will already have been counted.
- This is why protest voting usually gives you two votes.
- NOTE Our chances of getting a full quota may be low BUT we only need to have enough people protest – a few percent of Labor and liberal – to have the parties realise that the issue is worth following – because if they think they can swing a few percent of total votes it’s enough to turn an election.
That is after all the reason they are bashing refugees right now – they think it’s worth votes.
Elections are won and lost by only a few percentage points. It is the last few percent that often gives parties enough to get an extra quota and therefore an extra candidate up at an election.
It is for this reason the protest voting is powerful even if the minor party you’re supporting doesn’t win.
- It is here that Aussie Heart wants to make the difference – we intend to give Labor, Liberal and NXT voters an opportunity to say that they had a gut full of the government abusing human beings for electoral advantage
This way you get to tell your party off, you get to register your protest on a particular issue dear to your heart while at the same time casting your vote for the party that you want to form government – if they need it– if they were going to win or lose by a landslide your vote wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
WHY AND WHERE DO I PROTEST VOTE – SENATE OR LOWER HOUSE?
The smart voter knows that government is lost or won in the lower house and they don’t want to take a risk of casting (and possibly wasting) a first preference vote for any minor party – in short they want the political party they favour to “win” government. In the lower house you vote for the party you want and you don’t protest vote. The place you protest vote is in the Senate. The Senate is the house of review. In our political process the Senate is the House that is needed to finally pass all legislation once it first passes the lower house. Any party can have a majority in the Senate and won’t necessarily be in government. While parties may need control of the numbers in the Senate in order to get legislation through parliament, government is formed in the lower house. Whoever has the majority in the lower house- the House of Representatives – forms government.
Therefore, you protest vote in the upper house and vote in the House of Representatives for whoever you want to be in actual power – for the party you want to actually form government. When you protest vote in the Senate, there is a small chance that the minor party you supported may “get up” but the reality is that government – in the lower house – is still secured in the way you want it to be because it is formed by your vote there – while at the same time your views on the abuse of refugees is made completely obvious to our political masters. By this way you get to double the effectiveness of the political stand you take.
SO… WHAT IF THE AUSSIE HEART PARTY ACTUALLY WON?
Because Aussie Heart stands for a single issue – we are not trying to form government – our purpose is to get it headed in the right direction.
In the event that we were elected – which is unlikely given the track record of independent candidates who are ordinary people – as opposed to the famous candidates such as Clive Palmer, Pauline Hanson, Hinch and Nick Xenophon, in such an event, if elected, we would not consider we had any right to interfere with financial/supply bills as the majority of Australia will have elected the government of the day to govern – not to have the financial affairs of government frustrated by minority party. Supply is the ability for government to pay public servants and for essential services. Our view would be that is an area in which we would have to bow to the majority view and support whichever party is in government regardless of personal views – the majority will have spoken and will we are not elected to frustrate that will.
On all other issues however, we would be guided by supporting what is good policy, underwritten by the principles of a fair go for all and honest and accountable government. We will support whatever is good, fair and honest policy for the Australian people period.
THE REALITY IS WE DON’T NEED TO GET ELECTED TO BE ABLE TO EFFECT CHANGE. – WHAT WE NEED IS ENOUGH PEOPLE TO SEE THE POSSIBILITY OF EMPOWERING THEIR OWN VOTE AND CHANGING THIS DISGRACE BY PROTEST VOTING. THIS NEED ONLY BE A FEW PERCENT OF LABOUR AND LIBERAL VOTERS AND TOGETHER WE CAN END IT.