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Who ARE these parties? (And can we meet their candidate on Tuesday?) 
25th-Aug-2013 02:57 pm
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:

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)

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.
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.
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.
25th-Aug-2013 11:34 am (UTC)
This is fantastic. Thank you.
25th-Aug-2013 06:20 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. I hit post when I meant edit, so had to wait for it to come out of the moderators queue to fix all the broken links to the wiki entries. The best source of links to party websites is definitely through the belowtheline organiser. When you google, you often hit the wrong democrat's page, for instance. Although, its worth doing that too, when site searching your favorite issue turns up blank.

I used all three organisers, because I'm dyslexic and numbers easily confuse me. Research and comparison is easier through belowtheline. (Or tweaking a favorite parties ballot to your liking.) Cluey has a good first sort, but senate.io is easier to shuffle into your final preferred order.

And I've added the Getup event to meet the pollies, that I only found out about later.

Edited at 2013-08-25 06:43 pm (UTC)
26th-Aug-2013 10:00 am (UTC)
Thank you!

This will help me to vote informed.
26th-Aug-2013 12:45 pm (UTC)
Vote Pirate! We have awesome evidence-based policies.
26th-Aug-2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
I heartily prefer evidence-based policies to emotive slogans. Unfortunately, it takes so much longer to act from that basis. Even I, a disabled pensioner, don't have time to read everyone's policy in entirety, so I site search keywords.

(For anyone that doesn't know how to do that, go to the party site, substitute "site:" for the http, and then put your keyword. Like "site:pirateparty.org.au illegal immigrants" for example. Now I said I used this to immediately put a "thumbs down" next to the party if I find the term, but you do need to check in context as this is ONLY said in comments on this site. The important part said "Pirate Party Australia is pleased to announce its policy on asylum seekers that calls on all members of the region to share responsibility for the handling of refugees. The policy incorporates advice from leading experts including the Refugee Council of Australia and Julian Burnside, QC[1] and represents Pirate Party Australia’s commitment to evidence-based policies.") Using terms that show they know what they are talking about gets a thumbs up from me. Consulting with a relevant body gets a second thumb.)

Many people are trying to make informed choices this election easier for everyone, but once info sources are derivative, errors, omissions and bias creep in. I've asserted Rise Up Australia are weird. That's my bias. (Also, someone finally pointed out this morning I'd copy pasted Stable Pop's link where I meant HEMP and Building Party. Oops.)

Here's an info site started by libertarians, but it doesn't mention Pirate Party, who would score well. http://auselection.wikia.com/wiki/2013_Australian_Federal_Election_Liberty_Voting_Wiki

Here's a site I've been watching improve their data, but they've still entered parties in the wrong area or under the wrong colour sometimes. Pirate Party is listed. http://vote4love.com.au/home.php If someone has strong feelings about who should be allowed to marry, this is a useful site to sort the parties into thumbs up and thumbs down, although you should know "doesn't support equal marriage" is the default until the data is checked.

So if you like equal marriage you'll give Pirate Party a thumbs up. If you like research based policies, and go to "site:pirateparty.org.au marriage" you will probably give a second thumb up.

Edited at 2013-08-26 10:34 pm (UTC)
3rd-Sep-2013 01:37 am (UTC)
Good write up from another Victorian. https://catespeaks.wordpress.com/federal-election-2013-index/
Also, New Matilda has been doing a focus. https://newmatilda.com/category/tags/minor-parties

Edited at 2013-09-03 04:04 am (UTC)
4th-Sep-2013 08:06 am (UTC)
Starting with major party comparison. Worth following the links. http://theaimn.com/2013/09/03/your-vote-might-just-be-worth-something-after-all/

Edited at 2013-09-04 08:20 am (UTC)
23rd-Jun-2016 01:49 pm (UTC) - 2016
Hello! Things have changed since last federal election.

Dr Bonham explains the easiest and hardest ways to vote. http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2016/06/how-to-best-use-your-vote-in-new-senate.html

There's a whopping hundred and twenty-two candidates for the Qld senate this time. Thirty-six parties and nineteen independents. I made a spreadsheet and re-organised all Victorian political commentator, Cate's posts about parties in Qld ballot order. There's black and white logos on the real ballot sheet this year, which helps you find your party, but the spreadsheet was supposed to be the lazy way, so I just coloured the squares above the party names a vague approximation of party colours. The hard work was collecting the new style How To Vote cards. Its quite volatile and parties have changed them around since they started campaigning. Not even the ABC is completely up to date:

I've transferred them to the space above the boxes on the spreadsheet.

Of the three good ballot organiser sites we had three years ago, only one is running.
Thankyou for your service, belowtheline.org.au and senate.io.
https://www.clueyvoter.com/ 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.

The baton has been picked up by http://mysenatevote.org/states/qld

And of course, the most important navigation site. Where to go to get your democracy sausage. http://www.electionsausagesizzle.com.au/
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