In the December 2010 Victorian State election – where polls had Labor hanging on – a couple of weeks before polling day the Liberal Leader Ted Baillieu said, “The Liberal Party will preference the Greens last in all Lower House seats…”.
I think this is a sound idea for voters in all Australian elections, Federal, State or Local Body – so easy to do – put the Greens last on all ballot papers.
How about spreading the message.
Readers can send in ideas for a list of reasons, for example;
Concerned about your electricity and gas bills rising – Put the Greens Last;
Concerned about your water bills rising – Put the Greens Last;
Concerned that prescribed burns should be properly done to minimize bushfire risk – put the Greens Last.
How a party that is “anti-dam” – or anti a key component of our domestic water supplies – has ever got to the point of enjoying ~15% of the vote – I can not understand. But for the sake of Australia – this can be turned around – as Ted Baillieu has done.
Note for those outside Australia – we have preferential voting mostly here where voters number ballot papers in their order of preference.
The 18 October 2008 ACT election for the 17 seat Legislative Assembly is an interesting example of a result where the Green seats won bear little resemblance to votes cast and the main reason for this is the Greens get too many second preferences from the Liberal side of the electorate. Labor has deals to exchange preferences with the Greens – thats their business – we know that a vote for the Greens is often a vote for Labor.
In 2008 Labor with 37.4% of the vote won 7 seats or 41.2%.
The Liberals got 31.6% of the vote and won 6 seats or 35.3% – so they did OK. The Greens got 15.6% of the vote and won 4 seats or 23.5% – so they did really well and share Govt with Labor in a sort of defacto GreenLabor coalition.
“Others” – who were mainly right wing independents and “splinter liberals” got 15.4% of the vote but zero seats.
The groups on the right failed miserably by not caucusing together and putting a clear message to their supporters how to vote. IMHO they had to preference the other groups on the right first then Labor, then put the Greens last. The ACT has Hare-Clark and preferences cascade down but people have to take the trouble to number many squares, in our electorate 27 but in Molonglo it was nearer 40 I think. Very few voters would do that.
So I would like to see the Liberal and National parties putting the Greens last more often – the the great majority of coalition voters who vote “above the line” will be following the Victorian example and putting the Greens last.