Having a longstanding party allegiance simplifies elections greatly, but still leaves the issue of where to direct preferences.
In my House of Representatives seat of Melbourne, my second preference will go to the sitting member, Lindsay Tanner. I quite like him, and he is the only candidate promising to cut government spending, albeit by not nearly as much as I would like. I think I will give the hapless Democrat my third preference out of sympathy for the only party with MPs in more trouble than my own. I’ll probably put the Greens fourth, going above Family First for their stance on gay marriage. Then Family First, who haven’t been nearly as bad as people thought they would be, but there is far too much family stuff coming from the major parties, so we certainly don’t need a whole party based on pushing the familist cause.
The most difficult choice is for the last three spots. There is the Socialist Party’s Kylie McGregor, the Socialist Equality Party‘s Will Marshall, and the looney LaRouchite Citizen’s Electoral Council’s Andrew Reed. They all deserve to be put last. I’ll see how their party workers behave on the booths.
In the Senate, I am going to put my friend Scott Ryan first, though as he is third on the Liberal ticket I don’t like his chances of becoming Senator Ryan this time around. Then I will put the rest of the Liberals, before moving on to the Liberty and Democracy Party. While I will put the really crazy parties in the last few spots, I will find a special low place to put What Women Want, for self-interest that would make the National Party’s rent-seekers blush.
Of the micro-parties, I will be watching the Liberty and Democracy Party most closely. Though I have ideological affinity with them, as always with small parties it is an open question as to whether they do their cause more harm than good. Something for a post after the election.