I just scraped in. Tomorrow I become an Australian citizen and — thanks to the special provisions that allow new citizens to provisionally enrol to vote — on Saturday I’ll get to exercise my civic duty in the 2013 Australian Federal Election.
I’m taking this seriously, even if I might just be in it for the sausages.
I’ve studied the advice from Dennis the Election Koala, I’ve read the only real guide to the election that anyone could ever need, and listened to the months and months of empty rhetoric, lies, half truths, and outright bullsh*t.
So tonight I fired up belowtheline.org.au/editor/melbourne and had my first crack at putting together my ballot paper.
Back home it’s just an X in a box and you’re done, but with preferential voting here in Australia you have to put them all in order. Yes. All of them.
The House of Representatives is reasonably straightforward, because there’s only 16 to choose from, but the Senate vote is for the whole of Victoria. That’s a whopping 97 candidates to put in order. (I mean you *could* vote “above the line” and let someone else choose for you, but where’s the fun in that?)
Some tough decisions to make, though. Given that I fundamentally disagree with the entire platforms of well over half of the senate ballot paper, how am I supposed to decide which ones are least worst? Family First, One Nation, Rise Up Australia… how do I decide which of these utterly objectionable groups goes last last, and which goes least last?
[Rise Up Australia did provide the most obviously ironic candidate, so maybe they should get points for that. This would be the ultra-nationalist, staunchly anti-immigration, anti-multiculturalism party; their candidate for the House of Reps in Melbourne? Joyce Mei Lin Khoo]
Well anyway. I have made my choices, unless I change my mind again, I’ll be the one numbering 113 boxes on Saturday morning…