Monday, September 20, 2004

Greens to win up to 5 senate seats

I've just been reading Antony Green's predictions for the Senate and it seems something interesting has happened in Victoria.

'Some interesting preference deals have been done in Victoria. In the Number 3 seat of death for Labor is Jacinta Collins, from the conservative right wing of the party associated with the SDA (or Shoppies) union. Three conservative groups on the ballot paper, the Democratic Labor Party, the Christian Democrats and Family First, have all given her first preferences ahead of the third candidate on the Liberal ticket. In a tight contest, these preferences could be critical in giving Labor a third seat.
However, both the DLP and the CDP first sieve their preferences through Family First, as do several other minor parties. It could be that if Family first poll well, the party could be a player for the final seat, or even primarily determine whether the Labor or Liberal Parties win three seats. The way the conservative parties have channelled preferences to help Labor's Jacinta Collins does suggest a deliberate attempt to split the state 3-3 and shut the Greens out. Even the Democrats and the Labor Party puts Family First ahead of the Greens, suggesting that if the final seat comes down to a battle between Labor the Greens and Family First, the Greens will be struggling for preferences to win. The Greens may need to get close to a full quota in their own right to win a Senate seat.'

You can read a bit more about it here. I had previously thought that the preference deal between Labor and The Greens for the senate was for 2nd preferences but it seems it was just a deal to put the Greens ahead of the Democrats, and it seems the dems are having a severe attack of sour grapes. You can read Andrew Bartlett's defence in response to my questioning here. It seems quite sad and dispiriting that Labor in particular are directing preferences to the extreme Right family first party ahead of the Greens or the democrats in a desperate bid to get their senator elected. But as Andrew Bartlett says in his comments 'There's so much I could say, but suffice to say that the Greens got rid of the Democrats' Vicki Bourne from the Senate in NSW by, among other things, preferencing an Abolish Child Support candidate ahead of the Democrats.' It seems that senate preference are in no way reflective (despite some public show of false principles, as the coalition has done in their preferencing decisions) of ideological agreeance, they are just cynical deals done by parties to get their senators elected.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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