It’s state election day this Saturday, though many people have already voted:
We’re up to 970,454 votes on Day 9 of early voting – 585,869 was the Day 9 early voting total in 2014. The number of postal votes received has risen to 177,572. Want to see how your District’s early voting tally compares to others? Check out https://t.co/atyKd6fR2J #VicVotes
— VEC (@electionsvic) November 21, 2018
Anyway, here are some ramblings from me.
How to vote
I’m not going to tell you how to vote, but I will tell you how to vote.
1. Think about the issues that matter to you, and look at what the candidates/parties are pledging.
2. Decide for yourself where your preferences will go.
Lower house: Fill every box according to your wishes, not the How To Vote cards. Remember, you can safely vote  for a minor party, and not waste your vote, because your preferences will end up with one of the majors. This cartoon explains it nicely.
Upper house: Never, ever vote above the line. You don’t want your preferences going to mystery places, and being harvested to elect some extremist micro-party. Always vote below the line. You only have to fill the first five preferences if you don’t want to do more.
Who’s who in the zoo
Some of the minor parties you might not have heard of, or might not know where they’re from, or what their key issue is. Many are centred around specific issues. Here’s my brief summary.
- Australian Liberty Alliance — anti-Muslim
- Health Australia — anti-vax, conspiracy-theory quacks
- Aussie Battler — regional issues, socially conservative
- Voluntary Euthanasia — as per the name
- Shooters, Fishers and Farmers — guns
- Hudson 4 NV — Josh Hudson from Tatura in Northern Victoria is bizarrely running candidates in ever upper house seat. Their web site is extremely vague on policies other than: Our policies are non-controversial and are focused on strong representation and more Government support for Northern Victoria. I’m glad to see others are just as confused as I am about this.
- Labour DLP — social conservatives. Their elected MP from the 2014 election, Rachel Carling-Jenkins quit the DLP in 2017 for the Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, then in 2018 quit that party too.
- Sustainable Australia — anti-development. They also want immigration cut back, but they claim to have no particular bias with regard to race or religion
- Reason Party — Fiona Patten’s mob, formerly the Sex Party. Anti-censorship, socially progressive.
- Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party — hardline law and order
- Liberal Democrats — de-regulation (including full privatisation of public transport, the ABC, SBS), libertarian, which based on their Federal MP David Leyonhjelm seems to mean the freedom to insult people (but curiously suing people who offend him), and guns
- Transport Matters — annoyed taxi licence holders. Anti-Uber. Curiously some of their shills seem to be trying to deny this.
- Australian Country Party — campaigning on regional issues including pro-logging, recreational shooting, hunting
There’s another frank and fearless assessment of the micro-parties in this Twitter thread from André Brett, or in more detail on his blog.
Or for something with a bit more meat, here’s ABC’s summary.
The PTUA has a scorecard (summary: Greens better than Labor, Labor better than Coalition).
Energy and climate change
Environment Victoria has a scorecard. They’ve gone ballistic in distributing this in marginal seats. We’ve seen their volunteers at the railway station and in the shopping strip multiple times, and they’re pushing it out on their social media and other channels too.
The latest IPCC report's message is clear. To limit catastrophic warming we need immediate action on *all levels*, no delay, no buck-passing.
Remember this when you vote 🗳
— Environment Victoria (@EnviroVic) November 17, 2018
My view is that neither major party is doing enough – and it’s mostly a Federal problem, not a State one.
At a State level, both sides are playing politics, as one would expect, but at least Labor’s policy of subsidised panels will clearly achieve more use of solar.
The Coalition emphasises affordable power, but given the level of subsidies to fossil fuels, and the emergence of effective large-scale battery systems that seem to be contributing to stabilisation of the grid, I’m not convinced that clean means unaffordable and unreliable.
This interview on Sky News last night is amusing:
Liberal candidate for Frankston Michael Lamb says his party will get the private industry to build a power station in Victoria, if elected, but admits it will be at least partly taxpayer-funded.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 21, 2018
…By the way, people that know about this stuff tell me that “baseload” is a crock. What’s important is despatchable power — that can be put into the grid when it’s actually needed.
New battery technology seems to have revolutionised this. You can now combine renewables, whose energy generation varies with the weather, with large battery installations, which together enable power to be fed into the grid to keep it stable as demand and supply elsewhere rises and falls.
This is far better than coal which is near-constant, day and night, except for when they fail. In other words, baseload is not flexible.
Local issues in Bentleigh
In 2010 we knew the seat was marginal when then-premier John Brumby showed up at a nearby polling booth.
In 2014 we knew the seat was still marginal when I was greeted at the polls by the Labor candidate with “Hello Daniel! Meet Bill Shorten!”
Since then, three level crossings are gone (Bentleigh/McKinnon/Ormond). Labor deserves credit for making this happen, even if it was piggybacking off Coalition planning and funding for the Ormond crossing that had already occurred.
Labor is pledging yet more crossings to remove. The Libs aren’t – they want to do road intersections instead, which is a terrible idea. But they have pledged some level crossing removals. Both sides have pledged Glen Huntly, which more than any other on the Frankston line, delays every train.
Labor’s also pledging a new bus route, from Moorabbin along Tucker Road and East Boundary Road (the connection between them seems a little unclear) to Murrumbeena and Chadstone.
Other pledges, from either side, to fix buses and trams (anywhere in Melbourne) are pretty scant.
If I had to fault Labor for anything, it’s the redshirts affair. What a stupid thing to (allegedly) do, risk everything, and jeopardise trust, for such a lousy return (which they’ve now paid back anyway).
Both sides are pledging upgrades for local parks, schools and kindergartens.
The Coalition is pledging to convert the Dingley Bypass into a freeway, and grade separate road intersections at Warrigal/South Roads and Nepean Highway/South Roads, which risks making them unusable for pedestrians and cyclists, and will inevitably make South Road traffic far worse than it already is.
I personally find the claims about out-of-control crime to be unconvincing. ABC Fact Check looked into the statistics, and that’s well worth a read.
There's more to the story than Liberal candidate for the Victorian state seat of Bentleigh @asherjudah's claim, that crime has risen 58 per cent in the electorate, suggests. New #factcheck: https://t.co/Y14vhJkFfi #vicpol #vicvotes #factcheck pic.twitter.com/mK2AcdNfpk
— RMIT ABC Fact Check (@ABCFactCheck) November 14, 2018
Pledges from both sides (Labor, Liberal) to replace the scoreboard at Bentleigh Reserve. This makes no sense to me, because it’s only 8 years old. A new fully electronic scoreboard will probably have more capabilities, but the current one appears to do an okay job at showing football and cricket scores. Hopefully the old one can be handed down to another oval somewhere.
If only more seats were marginal.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. Check the parties, policies, pledges, candidates. Know who and what you’re voting for.
If you haven’t already, vote carefully, and enjoy your democracy sausage!