A voting guide for everyone who gives a shit (cos you asked for it)
all the hacks and tricks in one spot
I’ve been asked by hundreds of you, “who should I vote for?”.
Because I am not paid by anyone to do this inglorious election education stuff (I protect my independence at all costs), I can technically and legally share my advice. However, also because I’m not paid by anyone, I don’t have the resources to score all 1624 candidates running across both Houses on multiple policy fronts for each electorate and state and for each of you. Plus, one of the joys of living in a democracy is getting on top of our political positions every three years so we can vote like we mean it. With rights come responsibilities.
I can provide an overall guide for those of you wanting to navigate this election based on climate policy, tackling corruption, sorting out the gender gap, getting an Indigenous voice to Parliament and addressing class inequalities. Which is how I am doing things.
But first. A clear acknowledgment and a thought.
The clear acknowledgement: I categorically believe the current Scott Morrison Liberal National coalition has to go. They have destroyed so much of what defines us as a nation and rendered us a global embarrassment. They don’t deserve another minute representing us. Many commentators are getting brazen like this. It’s quite unprecedented for so many to be so publicly vocal…but (and you can refer to my various podcasts and social posts for the details) here’s why:
On climate policy, we rank BOTTOM in the world, as we are the only nation represented in the various indexes without a climate policy. At all.
Australia won the Colossal Fossil Award at Cop26 for failing on five critical commitments, including… being the only nation without a climate policy.
According to various global gender gap indexes we have dropped to the bottom of ranks here, too. In the latest Global Gender Gap Index published by the World Economic Forum, Australia dropped from 12th place in 2006 to 70th in economic participation and opportunity; from 57th to 99th in health and survival; and from 32nd to 54th in political empowerment.
In another report of OECD countries documenting the gap between hours worked by men and women, Australia came in fourth worst.
We are the only OECD country in the world without a federal corruption body (or ICAC).
We are the only Commonwealth country without a recognised Indigenous voice to Parliament.
We have one of the largest gaps in private v public school funding in the world.
You get the picture. This Government has led us to an unethical, untenable and economically irresponsible place and compromised the values we have always defined ourselves by - fairness, compassion, being able to “have a go”, mateship and being liked on the world stage.
The confirmed reputation of Scott Morrison as a bully and a lier are also intolerable for me. We have all witnessed him bully and lie. His own party repeatedly refer to it as a Thing. He is the poorest possible candidate to lead the country I love.
You can learn more about the extent of and background to his immoral behaviour in this podcast ep:
So, I do not shrink from saying clearly that I recommend putting any candidate from the LNP last on my ballot paper, or just above any UAP or One Nation candidate (more below).
The thought (which comes with a side serve of compassion): Many of us are despairing at the behaviour we are witnessing in politics, dictated largely by Scott Morrison, but emulated by many others. It’s lowest common dominator stuff.
But this is what I think we need to bear in mind: Precariously redundant regimes lash out, blame, lie, polarise and manufacture “us v them” enemies - in short, they regress and become (more) despotic - when the pedestal is being pulled out from under them.
Toxic masculinity, colonialism (of people and the planet), white patriarchy, neoliberal consumption … they are fast becoming redundant and inappropriate for the world today. We are moving on, we are working around and over them, we are scoffing them, we are standing up to them, we are creating better. And so those who’ve had pedestal privileges for so long are acting out. They are not used to this. They never see it coming. They are in shock and, like a dog cornered, they turn vicious and base.
So I am training myself to be grateful for what I’m witnessing as the regime crumbles - in the leaders debates, in the toxic texts I get from jilted men, when I’m mansplained and gaslit.
The world is transforming and transmuting. It’s happening and it’s happening fast. And it will lead to a better world, I believe. Our challenge is to get comfortable with the shift, to not fight it, to embrace the shake-up and support those brave enough to be leading the charge to change…and to smile compassionately at the toddlers tantruming as their toys are taken away.
Like two-year-olds, the privileged pedestal dwellers need to learn to share.
My guide to how to vote
1 Listen to my This Wild Election series, particularly this episode which explains the process and how preferences and above and below the line voting works:
2 Head to VoteCompass. Click here. Find your electorate and choice of members by inserting your postcode. You can scroll down (toward the bottom) and read a one paragraph rundown of each candidate or link through to their websites for more.
You can then do the Vote Compass poll - 30 questions that quiz you on your values. At the end it spits out which party you are most aligned with (Labor, NLP or Greens; it doesn’t cover the minor parties or independents).
3 If climate policy is your main concern, use this Vote1Climate scorecard. It’s genius. You can find out which of your candidates (in both houses) passes the climate policy test. It even allows you to fill out your voting card NOW and then download it and take it with you to the polling booth.
4 If gender gap policy is your main concern, use this Fair Agenda scorecard. It rates every candidate (House of Reps and Senate). You might also find this episode helpful:
5 Between now and election day listen to the news, read the papers, listen to podcasts. You might like Guardian’s Full Story.
6 On election day, fill in your card properly. If you don’t, it is not counted.
I’m not going to beat around bushes here and will now give an indication of how I will be tackling my vote. But I urge you to make up your own mind by doing the simple research above.
How to fill out the House of Reps ballot (the GREEN form)
The form will look like this.
You must fill in every box. If you don’t, it’s not counted.
Put #1 next to the best candidate IYO. And fill in your #2 and #3 options. I will personally be putting #1 next to the climate-focused independent in my seat (Allegra Spender). My #2 and #3 will go to the Greens and then Labor. To see if the climate-focused independents running in your electorate (if there is one), have a good chance of winning, head here (Climate 200 lists there candidates they are backing).
Then go to the worst candidate and put them last eg #8 or #15 or whatever (depending on how many candidates are running in your electorate). I will be putting the Liberal member in my seat (Dave Sharma) last.
Then fill in the rest. Why do it this way? The way preferences work in Australia, it’s possible that if your #1 choice doesn’t make it, your vote may go to your #2 preference and possibly (although less likely) to your #3. Your vote will never go to your last preference.
How to fill out the Senate ballot (the WHITE form)
The form will look like this.
I’m only half kidding. It’s a very long, white sheet of paper, often over a metre.
You must fill at least 6 boxes if you vote above the line, at least 12 if you vote below. If you don’t, it’s null and void.
You choose above the line or below the line.
Above the line you put your numbers next to parties (or an independent). Below the line you put your numbers next to individual candidates and you can dance all across the form, from party to party. I will be putting #1 above the line in the NSW Senate with the Greens.
If you’re still a bit stuck this Juice Media video is super helpful.
Finally, do feel free to post your questions below. I’ll try to answer them, and will call in some experts to support me to answer as many of them as we can.
And share this post with your mates if you think they want to #votegiveashit too.
This election - and I’ve said it a few times - is the most important in our history. Do keep listening to my podcast, keep sharing, keep reading and listening and arrive at the booths May 21 fired up!