Okay.. let's talk politics for a moment.
If you don't want some politician to decide where your preferences are going to... if you want to be sure of where your votes are going in the current election - then you need to vote below the line.
This is a really useful website - you can work out your choices, and it will print you out a reminder you can take into the ballot booth with you, so you don't stuff it up and invalidate your vote.://belowtheline.cc/
When I looked at this, I realised there were several political parties on there that I had never even heard of. You can't guess a parties' policies by the name of their party either.. when I actually started looking them up I was pretty surprised.
I couldn't find anywhere I could easily look them all up, so as a helpful guide, I'm going to post some links and relevant information below.. maybe it will help someone else.
To be clear - I'm not telling you who to vote for
. I'm just putting together some links to make it easier for you to inform yourself. Read the policy statements, make your own decision, and make it count by voting below the line and getting it right.
These are the people running for senate in vic in alphabetical order:Australian Democrat
Their major policies seem nice and clear on the front page of the site. they also have detailed policy pages on a wide range of issues here: www.democrats.org.au/policies/ Australian Greens: greens.org.au/
Another one where the policies are easy to find and well laid out, have a look at what's important to you on their site here: greens.org.au/policies
. What you'd expect - strong stance on climate change, environmental focus etc. Australian Labour Party
as the current encumbents you should know what this lot are on about. Their policy page is here: www.alp.org.au/agenda/Australian Sex Party
Nice clear outline of their policies on their site here: www.sexparty.org.au/index.php/policies
. Anti-internet filter, supporting equal marriage rights, want to overhaul the "Refused Classification" system.
Building Australia Party
As the name suggests, this seems to be a party based on supporting the needs and wants of the Building/construction industry. Their policies (which all seem to be around building, planning permits etc) are on their site here: www.buildingaustralia.org.au/objectives.aspx
Christian Democratic Party www.cdp.org.au/
This is the Rev. Fred Nile's Party. They don't have this year's policies ready yet, but have got 2007's up suggesting they won't significantly change, here: www.cdp.org.au/federal-policies.html
. Anti gay-marriage, anti immigration, climate-change skeptics.
Citizens Electoral Council: www.cecaust.com.au/main.asp
Click through to their "Fighting Platform" to see what they are on about - they want to form a republic, chuck out the GST, and say "We must repeal all the recent fascist laws that have taken away the civil rights of Australians, These include anti-union, “anti-terrorism”, and “racial vilification” laws, among others" - they seem to be pro-immigration and anti-privatization.
Democratic Labour Party www.dlp.org.au/
- have a look at their policy page here: www.dlp.org.au/index.php. Under their family heading they say " The DLP unequivocally supports legislation that will preserve and protect marriage as the voluntary union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others, in a commitment for life. Absolute opposition to legislative or administrative measures that undermine or degrade marriage by conferring on homosexual, lesbian or transsexual pairings any form of legal recognition of their relationships, per se, whether through "civil unions", "relationship registers" or other legal device." they also want to abolish the family court and remove "no fault" divorce.
Family First -
you can find a policy document here: http://www.stevefielding.com.au/issues/
and here: familyfirst.org.au/Policies.htm.
climate-change skeptics, anti gay-marriage, anti-abortion.
- seem to be a collection of Anarchists - Joseph Toscano has previously run campaigns encouraging people not to vote or to donkey vote . Can't find any actual policy pages for these candidates but a wiki entry on Joseph gives some clues what he's probably standing for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Toscano
- another loose conglomeration of independents - Stephen Mayne is running on an "anti-pokies" platform according to his wikipedia entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Mayne
Liberal/The Nationals www.liberal.org.au/
As one of the major parties you'd have to be living under a rock to be unaware of their major policy platforms, but here's the link to the PDFs if you want a closer look: www.liberal.org.au/Policies.aspxOne Nation
Their policy documents are here: onenation.com.au/obj.pdf
. They want to end immigration until unemployment drops, keep marriage the way it is and "preserve the (white, Christian) Australian way of life".
Senator Online senatoronline.org.au/
This lot are saying if you vote them in - they will use technology to "bring true democracy to the senate" - looks like they will run a poll online for each bill and then vote according to the majority decision on that poll.
Shooters and Fishers Party: www.shootersandfishers.org.au/
No points for guessing what their major policy platforms are, in this case you CAN judge the political party's policies by their name. Read all about it on their site here: www.shootersandfishers.org.au/policies/
in addition to the obvious stuff about guns and fishing, they are also calling for an immediate moratorium on ALL immigration into Australia until a "full audit of our natural resources" can occur.
Socialist Equity Party: -
yep, as the name suggests they seem to actually be Socialists. Their policies include creating a public works program to provide 100% employment and the dissolution of our "capitalist system": http://www.sep.org.au/website/statement
Socialist Alliance Party
Seem to be more moderate in their policies than the "Socialist Equity Party" but still definitely left wing/socialist in their bent. PDFs of their policies on various subjects are here: www.socialist-alliance.org/page.php
The Carer's Alliance www.carers.org.au/
As their name suggests their policy platform is around securing rights for those caring for people with disabilities. Their policy page is here: www.carers.org.au/policies/
The Climate Skeptics party
- Their policies aren't very clearly laid out but there's a lot of Greens-bashing. Probably safe to assume whatever the Australian Greens policy is, this lot is taking an opposing stance on it. The Liberal Democrats www.ldp.org.au/
Their policy page took some digging to find, but it's here: www.ldp.org.au/index.php
They want to "deregulate and privatize" government services, they want to cut tax, enforce "free trade" and change the welfare system.
The Secular Party of Australia www.secular.org.au/
Their major policy is "Freedom of religion, and Freedom from religion". Their policy page is here:http://www.secular.org.au/about-us/aims
. They want a separation of church & state, no more tax breaks for religions - they are anti-censorship and pro gay-marriage.
A full list of everyone running for office everywhere in the 2010 election is on wikipedia here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candidates_of_the_Australian_federal_election,_2010