Having written up 39 political parties or groups, plus two ungrouped independents in the space of about two weeks, I’m finding that while I have all the information in theory, it’s really hard to remember, in practice, what half of those parties are. It’s certainly beyond my powers to hold all 97 candidates in my head well enough to order them as conscientiously as I would like.
On the principle that I may not be the only person having this difficulty, here’s my plan for ordering my ballot:
1. Figure out what my core policies are.
2. Read through my party summaries again, because I honestly have no memory of writing some of them. It’s been an interesting fortnight.
3. Give every party a ranking from 1 – 5:
- This is the sort of party I’d put first on my ballot, if only my ballot were not the size of my bedroom. I’m actually both surprised and pleased to have so many 1 rankings this time around. Really tiny parties and independents have a higher chance of ending up here, just because they are unlikely to go far, so they might as well get my $2.488 for a first preference, knowing that their votes will flow on nicely to another party and maybe stop there.
- This is the sort of party that may not fulfil my wildest fantasies of what a political party should entail, but is a good, solid party that deserves my vote.
- Don’t care either way. Or, alternatively, the sort of party that I’m not going to vote for myself, but wouldn’t mind seeing getting up in Queensland… (sorry Queenslanders – I’m not really picking on you, but you do seem to be the birthplace of all our very best crazy parties)
- Somewhat awful but probably will not reduce the country to a burning pile of rubble within the next three years.
- Oh God, no.
This should divide my ticket up into far more manageable chunks. I can then move on to the next step, which is:
4. Ordering the parties within each category. And, if I’m feeling evil, ordering the candidates within each party. I like putting female candidates ahead of male candidates, just because. After all, the AEC vote counters are going to find my ticket wildly annoying anyway, so I might as well.
5. Pop across to belowtheline.org.au to make myself a how to vote card.
That’s the best I can do. Does anyone have a better idea about how to manage this ballot?
(other than voting above the line, of course)