Last federal election, I was on a mission to find out who the obscure people were on my senate ballot so my vote could be more informed. It's more difficult and expensive to appear on ballot papers at this year's federal election, so there are no ungrouped candidates, and only two lots of independents, but there are more parties than ever before. There are eighty-two senate candidates in Queensland, and the ballot paper is a metre long, even though we don't have to worry about Wikileaks Party, Coke In the Bubblers, Bullet Train, Future Party, 21 Million or several other new ones. Four familiar parties are also not contending the Queensland senate this time. Carer's Alliance, Socialist Alliance, Fred Nile's Christian Democratic Party, and the Citizen's Electoral Council.
The new socialists in town are The Socialist Equality Party. There's now Australian Christians for the conservative Christians, but they believe in reducing carbon emissions, unlike Fred Nile whose party "remains agnostic" about climate change. And Rise Up Australia has replaced CEC in Queensland as the generally low-preferenced weird mob that harbour conspiracy theorists. Weirder, it seems. http://johnhumphreys.com.au/2013/02/16/australian-election-minor-party-guide/
GetUp has tried to amusingly explain the role of the senate with "Game of Thrones" characters, here:http://www.youtube.com/user/getupaustralia
GetUp has also arranged a Senate Candidate Meet where audience members can ask questions.
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 from 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM
The University of Queensland, Abel Smith Theatre (Bld 23)https://qldsenateforum.eventbrite.com.au/
GoT is probably the best allusion to explain the unlikely alliances made through preference deals. Group Voting Tickets are all about who they hope gets killed off first in the count and leaves our voting power to them when we vote above the line. Hopefully there'll also be a record number of voters directing their own preferences. If you've never done it before and are worried you'll stuff it up, you can number above the line as a backup, as below takes precedence unless found invalid.http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2013/08/answers-to-some-common-questions-on-senate-voting.html
You can print your own "how to vote" card, which you can brandish on your way in at everyone trying to hand you "how to vote" cards. http://belowtheline.org.au/viewer/qld#C1vU1
includes a hyperlink to each party's offical website in the first column, and allows you to compare two different party's preferences with a second. A "W" shows that candidate has a wiki and links to it. Here I'm comparing the two lots of independents' tickets.
Their websites are the only ones not included, so I'll put them here.
C (unendorsed) KEIOSKIE Peter TAYLOR Roland http://qldsenate.net/
There is pretty much only one news report on them. http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/two-run-for-senate/1834051/
U (unendorsed) RUDD Greg and daughter, DINSEY Emily http://www.gregrudd.com/
It's pretty easy to find news for the prime minister's older brother.
There are three good sites for organising your ballot. http://belowtheline.org.au/http://senate.io/senate/2013/qld#preferences=https://www.clueyvoter.com/
This one is handy to quickly sort all parties into five categories of two thumbs down, thumbs down, don't care, thumbs up, and two thumbs up. So you know which new parties to use as poly filler between ones you hate and ones you'd like a closer look at.
Results for 2010 Qld senate election with wiki entry hyperlink. (Letter references for QLD 2013 ballot)
B Liberal National Party of Queensland
1,015,062 votes(41.42%) 3 elected
G Australian Labor Party (ALP)
720,182 (29.39%) 2 elected
Q Australian Greens
312,804 (12.76%) 1 elected
X Family First Party
83,786 (3.42%) 3rd last excluded
AA Australian Sex Party
63,586 (2.59%) 2nd last excluded
N Liberal Democratic Party
55,222 (2.25%) 4th last excuded
AF Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
48,547 (1.98%) Last excluded from final seat.
AB Shooters and Fishers Party
42,669 (1.74%) 6th last excluded
H One Nation
22,353 (0.91%) 5th last excluded
Y Australian Democrats
19,019 (0.78%) 7th last excluded
All others combined 67,281 votes (2.76%) Appearing again are:
I Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated
M Senator Online (Internet Voting Bills/Issues)
Z Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
(In Vic, DLP was elected on 2.33% because of preferences.)
AENo Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics
AJ Secular Party of Australia
So, Katter and Palmer's high profile excepted, parties you might not have heard of are:
A - Animal Justice Party
D – AUSTRALIAN INDEPENDENTS Founded by Patricia Petersen
, and described as "Socially progressive yet economically conservative" in the brief http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Australia
. Described by a Victorian blogger as "Moderate left wing Christians." http://baglieg.tumblr.com/post/58766531456/who-the-hell-are-all-these-minor-parties
E – Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
F – AUSTRALIAN VOICE An alternative model of party, such as senator online. Whereas SO generally aligns with left parties, AV aligns right. A voice prioritising "small business operators and primary producers." http://www.virginvoters.com.au/parties/australian-voice-party/
Specialist committees. But not one on asylum seekers or they wouldn't call them "illegal immigrants" as its not a technically correct term.
J – Socialist Equality Party
K – Australian Protectionist Party
L – Building Australia Party
O – Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens)
P – Pirate Party Australia
R – STOP CSG One issue conservationist party. Preventing Coal Seam Gas mining.
S – Australian Stable Population Party
T – Australian Christians
V – Katter's Australian Party
W – Republican Party of Australia
AC – UNITING AUSTRALIA PARTY was legally threatened by Clive Palmer over their name despite having registered it eight months before he got into politics. Mentions "illegal immigrants" in their policies which always stops me reading further. Feel free to chase up the hyperlink to their website through http://belowtheline.org.au/editor/brisbane
AD – Rise Up Australia Party
AG – Palmer United Party
AH – Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
AI – SMOKERS RIGHTS One issue libertarian party convened by LDP candidate.
Smoker's rights, Republican Party, and Stop the Greens all preference to LDP. While a libertarian I know states they are all separate parties despite sharing some office holders, the preference flow for all their tickets obviously was designed by the same person. Fine if you are happy to go along with their Game of Preferences. But as with all the other parties, numbering up to 82 will give you the satisfaction of controlling your entire vote and spoiling their careful machinations.