I’m sitting in the Labour in Vain hotel sipping a pint of dark ale. The resident tom cat is under my table and Joni Mitchell is singing about paradise long paved. Outside, the election rattles past.
The whole thing’s looking pretty tired: ragged journalists scurry behind it, lobbyists and strategists drag it along. Candidates keep falling out and crunching under the wheels. On top of the election is Antony Green with a pocket calculator and Kerry Anne Kennerly with garland of skulls.
Two power hungry men with nothing to say stage a fist fight for the shrivelling crowd. Coloured flags fray in the wind: yellow, blue, red, green and brown. Captain GetUp! gives me the finger, mimes something about far-left bias. Almost no-one watches on.
An unprecedented number of far-right extremists are running for the Senate. Since some of them are camouflaged behind reasonable sounding names, I’ve chucked together a quick guide to voting in the Senate.
Although you don’t have to, I think it’s most strategic to number every box above the line, like you would in the lower house.
The parties are in the order of the Victorian Senate ballot, with the number of my preference underneath. They’re colour coded as:
really really really bad.
I’m sure there haven’t been enough people telling you how you should vote, so bon appétit.
A – Liberal and The Nationals
20. Terrible. Kick them out.
B – Republican Party of Australia
12. Single issue party that’s exactly what it sounds like. Sure, whatever.
C – Socialist Equality Party
8. Empower workers. Stop climate change. Abolish capitalism. Sounds good.
(Update: I’ve bumped them down because they’re a weird about #metoo.)
D – The Small Business Party
18. Some of my best friends are small businesses, but these guys are petty bourgeois scumbags. Cutting “red tape”, which of course is a euphemism for “the minimum wage.”
E – Christian Democratic Party
28. If God truly loved Fred Nile, surely He would have taken him off our hands by now. Pharisees and bigots.
F – United Australia Party
17. Everyone’s favourite crooked nickel baron has decided to buy the balance of power…again. Testament to the venality and corruption of the Australian politics. Perhaps the most depressing thing is that they’re also less venal and corrupt than the Coalition, on whom they were a moderating influence 2013-2016.
G – Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
22. Think we should teach hunting in schools, which sounds like a fantastic idea.
H – Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians!
15. Ambiguous. A grab-bag of populist slogans signifying nothing. What does “immigration action” mean? Dunno but I don’t like the sound of it.
I – Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
14. A bloviating anti-rehabilitation shock jock who is still less bad than half the Senate.
J – Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
6. Yeah why not. Their harm-minimisation policies would probably save lives, and stop as many kids of colour getting criminalised for minor offences.
K – Citizens Electoral Council
28. Cooked crypto-antisemetic conspiracy theorists based on the ideas of the late Lyndon LaRouche.
L – Australian Democrats
9. From the centre of the political spectrum…in the late 70s, which Labor has arguably sailed to the right of.
M – Independents for Climate Action Now (ICAN)
3. A motley crew of nicesish climate-oriented independents including That Cool Priest in Sydney, refugee advocated Rod Bower.
N – Liberal Democrats
23. It’s 2019, and the libertarian-fash pipeline grows shorter by the day. Alt-right twits who want to remove parking from driving license tests for some reason.
O – Secular Party of Australia
13. Antitheists. Progressive social policies, but possibly a bit dodgy about Islam, so caution is advised.
P – Labour DLP
19. Catholic conservative who split from Labor in the 50s and are somehow still a thing.
Q – One Nation
27. Oh they sound great.
R – Pirate Party
5. Yargh. Solid on digital rights, environment, social justice etc.
S – Flux
7. Internet-based direct democracy.
T – Australian Workers Party
4. Decent left wing workers party that opposes Adani. Want to bring manufacturing back to Australia, which, I mean, good luck.
U – Animal Justice Party
2. Decent environmental party with a broader platform than many suspect.
V – The Greens (VIC)
1. Still to the left of Labor on every substantial issue, including industrial relations. Leading the charge for an independent commission into corruption, public housing and raising Newstart. The best chance of achieving meaningful climate action, and social and economic justice, through parliament.
W – Rise Up Australia
30. Far-right bible thumping extremists who think Waleed Aly is the antichrist
X – Australian Labor Party
11. Make sure to preference them above the Coalition. I am genuinely looking forward to my blinding hatred of the Liberal Government to be replaced by bitter disappointment in a Labor one. They support Adani, gas mining and illegally locking up refugees. Oppose free university and increasing Newstart to a living wage.
Edit: My dreams of disappointment were way to optimistic.
Y – #Sustainable Australia
16. Anti-immigration Dick Smithheads.
Z – Group Z – VIC
10. Centre-leftish independents. Good on them for having a crack.
AA – Fraser Anning’s Conservative Nationals
31. Full Nazis.
AB – Australian Conservatives
AC – Great Australian
24. Antivaxers led by former One Nation candidate Rod Culleton.
AD – Health Australia Party
21. Antivaxers led by a faith in the healing power of crystals.
AE – Yellow Vest Australia
29. Nothing to do with the awesome people’s movement in France. This is a sneaky rebrand of the Australian Liberty Alliance, a bunch of ordinary mums and dads who want a white ethnostate.
Happy voting lol