On the Albanese Labor Win

On the Albanese Labor Win

Some thoughts on the Labor victory in the recent Australian federal election. We are in for tough times ahead.

The Morrison miracle win of three years ago was just not sustainable — either that or the age of miracles has passed! At this point, it is clear that Labor will take over.

A number of electorates had around 20 per cent postal ballets (the highest ever), and those were not even counted until Sunday. While those postal votes have tended to favour the conservatives in the past, things may have been different this time around.

With 76 seats needed to win government outright, the number of basically certain seats so far in the House of Representatives are:

  • Labor — 72 (a half per cent swing against)
  • Coalition — 51 (a 6% swing against)
  • Independents — 7 (a 2% swing for)
  • Greens — 2 (a 2% swing for)
  • Katter Party — 1 seat
  • Centre Alliance — 1 seat

As of counting on Sunday, the Coalition got 4,080,182 votes (35.6%), while Labor got 3,763,336 votes (32.8%). All up, there seems to have been a 3.9% two-party-preferred swing to Labor.

As usual, it will be some time yet to see how the lie of the land in the Senate will actually pan out. Of special interest will be how the various smaller freedom parties have fared. But at this point, it seems that it will not be good news (see more on this below).

If so, the hoped-for balance in the Senate with some conservatives helping to keep the bastards honest seems not to have materialised. So Labor may be in smooth waters for the next few years in terms of getting its agenda through both houses.

The Bad News

Political analysis will be with us for weeks, but a few brief things can be said:

  • In part, Morrison won in 2019 by being different from Labor and the Greens, especially on things like climate and energy.
  • In part, Morrison lost in 2022 by not being different from Labor and the Greens, especially on things like climate and energy.
  • The Coalition refused to stand up for conservative social values, seeking to be just a pale version of Labor. It was happy under ScoMo to keep moving to the left. As Senator Matt Canavan put it: “The electorate hasn’t changed that much in three years — we changed.”
  • A Liberal leader who is merely poll-driven and lacks strong convictions to uphold conservative principles and values has little chance of winning.
  • A Labor win will mean things like the diabolical WHO Pandemic Treaty will be readily embraced and promoted by the Australian government.
  • The failure of Morrison to stand up against lockdown lunacy and health fascism by the states was a part of the reason he was rejected. And if you thought things were bad, say in Dan Andrew’s Victoria over the past several years, look to things being just as bad on a national level, especially when Albo happily allows the WHO and WEF to determine our health and social policies.
  • National defence will be weakened again, not just with plenty of boats arriving with those wanting to live here, but more Labor kowtowing to the likes of Communist China and so on.
  • Economic management tends to go downhill big time under Labor governments, and we can expect that to happen here. Indeed, given how often Albo imitated Biden on the campaign trail with being clueless about many economic basics, we could be in for a real rough ride indeed.
  • We can expect Labor to rush with all things green, including gung-ho support of renewable energy. As a result, we can expect the economy, small business and employment to all take really big hits.It looks like we will now have a Schwab– and Gates-driven ‘climate change’ tyranny.
  • Secular left outfits such as “our” ABC will simply be emboldened to become even more secular left.
  • Labor will of course get into bed with the Greens, and given that most of the independents are anything but, and are instead just Labor sympathisers, we can expect the culture wars to get a whole lot worse.
  • Along with this, there will be a whole lot more persecution of Christians. Say goodbye to religious freedom, and say hello to even greater clampdowns on biblical Christianity in this country.
  • Freedom fighters like former Liberal MP Craig Kelly have not been able to keep their seats. It looks like One Nation leader Pauline Hanson may lose her Senate spot. Deputy leader Josh Frydenberg seems to have lost his Kooyong seat to a Teal independent. Real conservatives in federal politics are becoming few and far between.
  • In many ways, voters were left with a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. The latter won.

Just one bit of commentary at this point can be mentioned — one that I have to go along with. Consider this from Rowan Dean of the Australian Spectator:

Scott Morrison, through his cowardice on the climate issue and so many other issues — in particular the abandonment of the nation during Covid to the outrageous human rights abuses of the Labor premiers — and cultural issues such as religious freedom, has decimated the Liberal party. If you stand for nothing, you lose. That is the message from this campaign. If you betray your base, you lose. If you follow the siren calls of focus group researchers, you lose.

Whether you like or loathe the Teals, the point is they fought from a position of conviction. They stood for something and they won. It is time for the Liberal party to rediscover its conservative convictions and stop pandering to the woke, touchy-feely left. As we now know in no uncertain terms, appeasement is a sure path to defeat.

Some Good News

  • As I walked the dog this morning, I noticed that the sun had risen. There are some things that even a change of government will not alter. Although to be honest, it was an overcast morning, with the dark grey clouds reflecting the sombre heaviness many of us are now feeling!
  • The votes for both major parties were down, with roughly one third of votes each going to the two major parties. Gains went to the independents and some smaller parties. Gone are the days when the two main parties could take in 85 to 95% of the votes.
  • Voters are tired of the two-party system and its stranglehold on political life. Thus the huge growth in the crossbench in this election. Of course, there will be new problems as more and more independents and smaller parties vie for power and control. But letting the two main parties know that voters are getting tired of being taken for granted by them may be a step in the right direction.
  • The Nationals did much better than the Liberals in this election, at least in terms of seats lost.
  • Morrison will step down as Liberal leader, with Peter Dutton most likely to take his place. That should be a step in the right direction as well. It remains to be seen who then will become the Deputy Opposition Leader.
  • CLP Senate candidate Jacinta Price won her seat in the Northern Territory.
  • Labor lefty Kristina Keneally lost (again), this time to an independent in Fowler, NSW. That alone was one of the real highlights of the day!

Spiritual considerations

Political considerations are not all there is here. We also need to look at the bigger spiritual picture. I recently wrote an article looking at how God so very much was involved in the fate of nations and rulers — at least in the Old Testament. As Daniel 2:21 says:He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others.” See that piece here.

Not only is God still on His throne, while human rulers come and go on their thrones, but God’s purposes and plans somehow cohere with the choices of humans. People voted in Labor yesterday, but God was also at work carrying out His purposes. So we need to trust God even more in what looks to be some really dark times ahead.

Another thing I have written about is the notion of a people getting the government they deserve, and the related issue of God allowing wicked rulers to judge a wayward and sinful people. As to the former, see this 2016 article.

As to the latter, John Calvin is often appealed to in this regard. As I also wrote in 2016: “The words both attributed to, and actually written by, Calvin are certainly something to think about. As the West continues to go downhill, and its selection of leaders gets worse by the day, maybe there is something to this idea of being under divine judgment. If true, it would not surprise me at all, to be honest.”

This may be the most important takeaway from this election. Yes, it is gloomy indeed right now for Christians and conservatives. It seems that we keep losing one battle after another. But if God is allowing all this to get our attention and to get our priorities right (and that includes believers as much as non-believers), then we must make good use of all this.

Falling on our knees before Almighty God and seeking His forgiveness and His help to endure in the dark days ahead is clearly the best way forward — indeed, it is the only way.

Although we can be far too glib as we overuse and abuse this verse, it still stands as the best bit of advice I can give my readers right now:

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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Originally published at CultureWatch. Image: Nine.

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AUSTRALIA, HAD ENOUGH YET? DESTROY THE LIBLABS OR YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET

liabilitymate – May 19th, 2022

Australia will be a full blown Police State NWO Communist Gulag country if we do not remove the Liberal Labor Greens Nationals Coalition, on Saturday the 21st of May, nothing short of that will suffice, we know the cops are an Unconstitutional criminal pedophile protection gang for corrupt politicians, if you vote Liberal or Labor you will get what you deserve, this is D Day Australia destroy the Communist parties of Liberal and Labor this weekend, also man the booths they will rig it like they did with the WA Election. This is it folks after this if they get in we know what has to be done.

SourceSouth Australian Gov Criminal Organisation

I’ve just arrived in Davos to EXPOSE the global elites

I’ve just arrived in Davos to EXPOSE the global elites

Avi Yemini – May 20th, 2022

After three long days of travel, @Real Rukshan and I finally arrived in Davos to EXPOSE the global elites for @Rebel News.
SHARE the news!👉 https://rebelne.ws/3NHEVqz SUPPORT: http://WEFreports.com

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SourceSouth Australian Gov Criminal Organisation

Finding Racism is Easy for Albanese

Finding Racism is Easy for Albanese

Anthony Albanese has claimed the Liberal advertising campaign slogan — ‘It won’t be easy under Albanese’ — is racist bullying that makes fun of his Italian name.

God help us if we are subjected to three years of such infantile complaining!

The Liberal Party have used the slogan in commercials ahead of Saturday’s election.

Mr Albanese slammed the rhyme while addressing members of the Italian community at Sydney’s Club Marconi on Wednesday.

Chip on His Shoulder

Mr Albanese said:

‘People of my age and older in this room will know that in school people made fun of your name.’

Now at this point — if the Labor leader’s minders had been on their toes — someone should have fetched the world’s smallest violin and played it in the background.

Mr Albanese soldiered on bravely without musical accompaniment…

‘My opponents think it’s still okay to make fun of someone’s name in their advertising, and that is a matter for them to consider.’

Boom! Take that Liberals!

This is the delicate petal who wants to represent Australia in the face of an aggressive, expansionist China.

God help us.

Albanese and CCP

Flip Side

As an aside, I wonder whether it would be considered racist if someone held up a sign at the Labor launch reading: ‘Winning is easy for Albanese’.

Obviously not. Because rhyming “easy” with “Albanese” is not racism. It’s just, you know, rhyming.

But the Italian Stallion wasn’t finished.

He went on to insist that the Liberal Party should reconsider its advertisement, which he believed had left an impact on the Italian-Australian community.

To which anyone with an ounce of sense should have screamed: ‘Non puoi essere serio!’

Mr Albanese told Club Marconi patrons…

That is a matter for them (Liberals) to consider, perhaps, in the future — but I know that many in the Italian-Australian community have made their own judgments about what that says about them,’

I am certain almost no-one in the Italian community judged that rhyming “easy” with “Albanese” said anything about them personally at all.

The racial slur didn’t get past Mr Albanese though. His offence radar — finely tuned after decades in the progressive movement — picked up on the insult immediately.

Losing It

If only he was as quick to pick up on other things… like unemployment figures, and the cash reserve rate, and border policy and his own NDIS policy.

Admittedly, it was at least different to his well-worn “I was raised by a single mum in a housing commission estate” spiel.

But it’s hard to know how it was any different at all to Mr Albanese’s colleague Jason Clare mocking Croation-born Liberal Zed Seselja’s name, apart from the fact that Clare really was mocking Mr Seselja’s name, rather than just rhyming.

Mr Clare, criticising the government’s attempts to smooth relations with the Solomon Islands, told journalists in April:

‘They send some bloke called Zed. Who’s Zed? Is this Pulp Fiction or national security?’

We await Mr Albanese’s reprimand of his colleague and his apology to the Croatian-Australian community.

Any day now …

(Insert sound of crickets chirping here)

Mr Albanese told the Club Marconi crowd that, if elected on Saturday, there would be an ‘Albanese as prime minister and Wong as leader of the Labor Party in the Senate’.

Not that anyone in Labor wants to play the race card.

Anyway, supporters might have cheered and chanted: ‘Winning is easy for Albanese, and you can’t go wrong with Wong.’

But, of course, they didn’t.

Not because it would have been racist. The punters at Club Marconi just aren’t as cheesy as Liberal Party commercials.

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Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.
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Tomorrow, We Vote

Tomorrow, We Vote

Tomorrow, Australians head to the polls once again.

We know that quite a number of people reading this (or their family members) are standing as candidates across a range of parties. We salute you for your efforts, no matter the result!

There are numerous online resources aiming to guide voters in making their decision.

Some favour individual candidates. Some favour parties as a whole.

Some guides are based purely on life issues. Some are based on a broader range of social issues.

Some are based purely on ‘freedom’ issues (i.e. relating to COVID restrictions and mandates).

To compile all of these resources and make a decision seems a massive challenge, especially when many would lead to contradictory views.

We don’t propose to add to the noise — and AFC does not tell people how to vote (which is a relief to some and source of frustration to others).

What we will do, however, is provide you with some serious thoughts for your consideration.

Make your preferences count FULLY

As you probably know, you must number ALL the boxes on your lower house ballot for your vote to be counted. When it comes to the Senate, however, many parties suggest you just vote above the line.

We highly recommend numbering ALL boxes on the Senate ballot BELOW THE LINE. This is the only way to maximise your vote and ensure the candidates you don’t want are placed at the very bottom of your order.

If you struggle with numbering so many boxes, particularly when you don’t know all the parties or their candidates, one method is to number your top preferences, then work backwards from those you really don’t want to see win, and then number the remaining boxes.

This is also a method of helping good incumbent senators like Amanda Stoker (QLD) and Eric Abetz (TAS) who will struggle without being higher up more people’s preferences because of where their own parties have placed them.

Who would you prefer in Government?

As we stated earlier, AFC doesn’t suggest who you should vote for. We also know our supporters are involved in a broad range of parties and we respect this.

It’s a fact, however, that only two groups will be able to form Government after this weekend: either the Liberal/National Coalition or the Labor Party.

This means that, even if the major parties are not your first preference, careful consideration must be given to where your preferences go.

It’s true that the current Coalition Government has disappointed many people. It also promised much that it hasn’t delivered. And it even contains so-called ‘modern Liberals’ who worked against their own party’s pledge to preserve our freedoms.

But the Coalition is also home to hope in the form of people like Amanda Stoker, Eric Abetz, Claire Chandler, Andrew Hastie, Alex Antic, Gerard Rennick — to name but a few – and other good MPs and Senators fighting for your values.

It has also allowed people like Warringah candidate Katherine Deves a platform to say what many others dare not.

Contrast this with the Labor Party, home of Penny Wong, Tanya Plibersek, Louise Pratt and others.

Labor’s policies, past and present, regarding abortion, gender ideology, and religious freedom should leave voters in no doubt as to what will happen should Mr Albanese become Prime Minister.

And this is to say nothing of a Labor Government working with a significant Greens presence in the Senate — a truly scary prospect.

Should I just “put the majors last”?

Polls indicate that roughly a third of voters will not vote for either major party. This is democracy.

There are certainly campaigns encouraging voters to “put the majors last”. But there are also many people calling for voters to consider the candidate rather than the party. These two views are obviously irreconcilable.

In terms of putting the majors last as a blanket policy, it suggests a moral equivalency between the two major parties. For the reasons we’ve outlined above, we don’t believe this is true – and it doesn’t do justice to those good MPs and Senators fighting for our values.

And just as importantly: what’s the benefit to be gained from putting major parties last as a blanket rule? Ostensibly, it’s to punish them and their MPs for their failings, real or perceived.

On the surface, this might make sense. We only have this incredible power every three years.

But then what? If we kick out the current crop of MPs, who takes their place?

South Australia shows us exactly what would happen.

Just two months ago, the Liberals were turfed out of office after just one term. Many pro-life and Christian voters turned on them over the radical abortion bill crafted by one of their MPs and given Government time for debate. This ignores the fact that more Liberals voted against the bill than Labor members.

Likewise, many who were angry about the Liberals’ stance on COVID restrictions and mandates, feeling them to be draconian, also pushed for the Liberals to be punished.

Now, barely two months later, the newly minted Labor Government is already foreshadowing “conversion therapy” laws and is moving to legislate (that is, make permanent) the penalty of jail time for COVID-related breaches.

A cautionary tale if ever there was one.

So, what’s the take-home message?

  1. Putting the “majors last” risks presenting the two major parties as morally equivalent.
  2. Simply turfing MPs out and praying parties will miraculously “get the message” is a doomed strategy.

The only way to get MPs willing to promote your values is to join a party and have a direct say in who becomes a candidate in the first place. It’s that simple, yet so few people do it.

Leaving our choice until polling day is leaving it too late.

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Originally published by the Australian Family Coalition. Photo by cottonbro.

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Senators Speak Out Against “Impending” WHO Global Pandemic Treaty

Senators Speak Out Against “Impending” WHO Global Pandemic Treaty

A controversial move within the WHO to consolidate and expand its global pandemic management powers has been slammed by several prominent Australian Legislators. The proposals under scrutiny are the so-called “Global Pandemic Treaty” and certain related Biden Administration amendments to the International Health Regulations 2005. They would, in the words of one senator, “give the WHO the power to act in a pandemic without the cooperation of individual states”.

Recent comments by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese have stoked concerns that the government will sign a pact that would outsource Australia’s pandemic response management.

In recent posts and interviews, Hon. Malcolm Roberts (Senator, One Nation), Hon. Alex Antic (Senator, Liberal Party), Hon. Gerard Rennick (Senator, Liberal National Party) and former Liberal National MP and current One Nation Senate Candidate George Christenson have all come out in strong opposition to the World Health Organisation’s controversial so-called “Global Pandemic Treaty”.

Their concerns revolve around the ability of Australian governments to determine their own responses to health pandemics while safeguarding the liberties and rights of their citizens.

Both Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and George Christenson have started online petitions demanding that Australian delegates to the World Health Assembly vote against the proposals. One Nation’s petition has received over 50,000 signatures.

Senator Malcolm Roberts also spoke about the Global Pandemic Treaty on George Christenson’s popular podcast, Conservative One.

Alex Antic, a Liberal Senator for South Australia, has written a strong letter to the Foreign Minister expressing concerns about the Amendments and the Global Pandemic Treaty. In it, he condemned any ‘draconian measures’ that would ‘restrain the constitutional authority of the Commonwealth and deprive Australian citizens of their right to medical autonomy’.

Antic finished the letter:

“the Australian people must not be subjected to the whims of WHO bureaucrats, and it is imperative that the Australian Government vote against the Amendments and resist the Global Pandemic Treaty.”

He posted the full text of his letter on Facebook:

“I write to register my concerns regarding the amendments proposed by the Biden Administration to the International Health Regulations 2005 (“the Amendments”) and the impending “Global Pandemic Treaty”.

I understand that the governing body of the WHO, the World Health Assembly will meet in Geneva later this month and, among other matters, that body will discuss the adoption of the Amendments by member states including Australia.

In broad terms, the Amendments seek to give the WHO the power to act in a pandemic without the cooperation of individual nation-states.

I am concerned that if adopted, these Amendments will shift much of this decision-making power away from Australian decision-makers, directly to the WHO and create a one-size-fits-all approach to disease management in this country.

Moreover, I note that on 1 December 2021 the World Health Assembly resolved to establish an ‘intergovernmental negotiating body’ to draft a new ‘WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response’, the so-called Global Pandemic Treaty.

I am greatly concerned that the Global Pandemic Treaty will include even more draconian measures than those contained in the Amendments which will restrain the constitutional authority of the Commonwealth and deprive Australian citizens of their right to medical autonomy.

The Amendments and the Global Pandemic Treaty threaten our sovereignty by allowing the WHO to declare pandemics, impose lockdowns, and enforce treatments against the will of the Australian people.

One must also factor into account the historical failures from the WHO leadership in recent pandemics including a failed response to both the H1N1 and COVID-19 pandemics.

Any mechanism which overrules governments and hands supranational powers to unelected bureaucrats is completely unacceptable. The WHO cannot be allowed to control the world’s health agenda.

In my respectful view, the Australian people must not be subjected to the whims of WHO bureaucrats, and it is imperative that the Australian Government vote against the Amendments and resist the Global Pandemic Treaty.”

The criticism comes just days out from a Federal Election in which so-called “freedom-friendly” minor parties may play a significant role. Nevertheless, neither Antic, Rennick or Roberts is up for re-election in Saturday’s Federal Election.

As we head to the polls, Christians have perhaps more information available than ever before to help them make an informed and godly decision with their votes.

Here are just a few of them:

  1. Christian Values Checklist (a rating and ranking of the main parties)
  2. Australian Christian Lobby — Survey (a survey of individual candidates, although many have not responded)
  3. FamilyVoice Australia (a summary of the main parties and party leaders)
  4. The Catholic Weekly — Election Guide (a summary of the positions of some of the main parties)
  5. Vote Wisely — How to Vote Cards (a how-to-vote guide for below-the-line and above-the-line senate voting)

Please compare and cross-reference the resources linked above. Don’t rely on one resource for all your research.

Whatever the result of Saturday’s election, Christians can continue to pray for our political leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

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Photo by Anna Shvets.

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New Christian Values Checklist – Miraculous Shift to Christian Policy for Minor Party

New Christian Values Checklist – Miraculous Shift to Christian Policy for Minor Party

We are excited to announce a miraculous shift in the Christian Values Checklist towards righteousness. In our 23 years of our existence, the Australian Christian Values Institute has never seen anything like it. Totally extraordinary.

The Australian Federation Party has produced an ethics vision statement that has forced our team to release a new Second Edition. They have all green ticks, which means they overtake One Nation federally as the political party with the most Christian values embedded in public policy.

The Australia Federation Party has been in existence since 2004 under various names. In 2020, it became the Australian Federation Party.

The two leading figures in the party are Christians, who because of the inspiration of the Christian Values Checklist have courageously spelt out their values on their website for all to see. This now puts pressure on all the other political parties to do the same. This is a miracle. Thank you for your prayers.

There have been some minor adjustments to Liberal Democrats, Labor and the United Australia Party. We have moved United Australia Party on the two LIFE questions, from a red cross X? to straight red ? which signifies a conscience vote on LIFE issues. Research has come to light that Mr Clive Palmer is adamantly pro-life. Our prayer is that he will be bold enough to make a stand for the unborn babies of Australia.

Our goal has been to do a careful bipartisan evaluation of the major party’s positions on matters relating to Christian values and present it in a readable, impartial and accurate form to help Australian voters make an informed choice when voting.

Please find the new versions of the Christian Values Checklist as digital links below. We have a broad Christian Values Checklist for all of Australia and one specific for WA.

Christian Values Checklist 2022

  1. Federal Christian Values Checklist PDF
  2. Federal Christian Values Checklist Jpeg
  3. WA Christian Values Checklist PDF
  4. WA Christian Values Checklist Jpeg

WA checklist 2022

Positions are often difficult to summarise in a format of this kind, and parties have not always made definitive statements. We use colour coding and a combination of ticks, crosses and question marks to rate the various positions of the parties rated on the checklist.

Therefore a ‘?’ indicates in some instances a conscience vote, or a less than conclusive opinion on the party’s position on some of the issues. A Gray Box with a question is an unknown position. A tick in a Green Box equals YES and X in a Red Box equals NO.

Sadly, we have lost the Christian Democratic Party and the Democratic Labour Party to deregistration. Thankfully, Australian Christians are still running in Western Australia and holding the lamp of Christian values high for everyone to see.

Currently, One Nation with its new National Pro-LIFE Policy was number one. Now it is number two followed by the Liberal Democrats at three.

We encourage you to vote for any Pro-Life candidates in either the Senate or the House of Reps in any party, whether Labor, National, Liberal, Minor or independent.

Right now, our nation needs a miracle. So we ask you to join together with Christian leaders and churches of all denominations from all over Australia as we Pray and Fast for 21 days up to and including the Federal Election, Saturday 21 May 2022.

Our prayer is found in Isaiah 9:6, “That the Government shall be upon his shoulders.” Register to receive Daily Devotions here.

There are many good candidates in all the political parties, so please do your own research. Check out the great how to vote resources at ACL with a question survey for every candidate in Australia. Family Voice has an excellent analysis of the major parties.

Another very good Informed Voters Election Guide 2022 has been put together by the Catholic church in Sydney.

We need to support those candidates who have faith, no matter what party they find themselves in as best we can. The checklist has its limitations. It is about the parties, as opposed to the individual candidates.

Martyn Iles has done an excellent video endeavouring to list all the Christian Candidates in Australia standing. It is not comprehensive, but a very good attempt.

Sharon Cousins has put together a how-to-vote in the Senate. It is not without error, but a very good attempt. It is a mammoth job, and she is to be congratulated.

Remember, use all these resources as a guide only. Do your own research. You always must make your own decision. Your vote is your vote.

It is our belief the Christian Values Checklist will enable people with strong Christian convictions to make an informed decision about how best to direct their vote in the Federal Election.

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Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash.

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Still confused about how voting works? Here’s a simple run-down

Australia’s preferential voting system can be incredibly confusing. Consequently, many voters have a very limited understanding of how the process works… and political parties and lobbyists capitalise on this. Here’s a quick explainer to help you maximise your vote this Saturday

If you’d prefer to watch a video summary of the following content, here’s an 8-minute overview:

Levels of Government (State vs Federal):

Australia is a Federation, meaning we have multiple independent levels of government — state and federal being the most important. Each state has its own government and parliament (based in each state’s capital city), and Australia as a nation has its own central government and parliament, based in Canberra.

As most people would be aware by now, this election is a Federal Election – we are electing a new Prime Minister and a new federal parliament.

The Federal Parliament has two chambers: an upper house (or the Senate) and a lower house (or the House of Representatives).

The House of Representatives — The House of Government

The House of Representatives is where the Prime Minister sits. Whoever controls the House forms government — and the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister.

There are 151 seats in the House of Representatives. Each seat corresponds with a portion of land called an electorate. The voters in each electorate have the power to elect a local politician to represent their electorate in the House of Representatives.

You can find out which electorate you are in by using the Australian Electoral Commission’s website.

Candidates stand in each electorate, each trying to convince voters that they are the best one to represent the electorate in parliament.

Voting in the House of Representatives (Green Ballot Paper)

When you go to vote, you will receive a green ballot paper with a short list of names on it.

On this paper, you must number each and every box, with #1 being the candidate you support the most strongly.

The order in which you number the boxes is called your “preference”, and your preferences do matter.

Here’s how.

Counting the Vote for Your Electorate

When the counters begin counting the votes, they count all the #1 votes (or the “primary vote”) in the electorate. This is called the first “round” of counting.

If one candidate receives over 50 per cent of the primary (#1) vote, they win the seat automatically.

However, if no candidate receives 50 per cent of the primary vote, we move to a second “round” of counting. The counters eliminate the candidate with the least number of #1 votes. You might protest that this is not fair, but this is actually where preferences become important.

Although the candidate has been eliminated, the votes are still in play.

The counters take the ballot papers for the eliminated candidate and look at which box each voter numbered second. The counters then reassign the votes to whomever the voters preferenced second, adjusting the count accordingly.

This process of eliminating the candidate with the least number of votes during each round of counting and redistributing their votes according to their next preference continues until one party or candidate has received over 50 per cent of the overall vote.

As a result, just because a person receives a high number of #1 votes does not mean that they will necessarily win the seat. It really depends on how the “preferences flow” – or on how people number the boxes on their ballot paper. A candidate with a low number of #1 votes could ultimately be the “preferred” candidate in that electorate.

This is why your preferences are so important.

If you found this explanation difficult to follow, you can check out my video, where I visualise the process with simple animations. Click here to check it out.

In each electorate around the country, this process continues until each electorate has an elected representative. Whichever party has a majority of seats in the House of Representatives gets to form government.

The Senate — The States’ House

The Senate is not involved in forming government. It is a state’s house or a house of review, and is mainly responsible for keeping an eye on the House of Representatives and representing each state equally in parliament.

There are 76 seats in the Senate: 12 for each state. However, there are only 6 positions going up for election in each state.

This is because senators serve for a term of 6 years as opposed to 3 years (like members of the House), so half of them go up for election on a staggered basis every 3 years: 6 from each state, or 38 in total.

Senate Voting

When you go to vote, you will receive a huge white paper alongside your small green paper. The white ballot paper is for the senate.

You have two options here: you can vote above the thick black line or below that same line.

  • Above-the-line voting is for parties. When you vote for a party, you essentially give them your vote and let them decide who in the party it helps to elect.

If you vote above the line, you must number at least 6 boxes.

  • Below-the-line voting gives you a far greater level of control over who you vote for. It lets you designate the exact candidate that you want to support — giving your vote straight to them, rather than to a party.

If you vote below the line, however, you must number at least 12 boxes.

The more boxes that you number, the greater chance your vote will have of being effective, so it is important that you do your research and find as many good candidates or parties to support as possible.

Counting the Senate Votes for Your State

In some ways, senate counting is similar to counting for the House (as we’ve seen above). However, instead of over 50% of the vote being required to get elected, a far smaller percentage is needed. This is because there are 6 spots available per state for the senate, whereas your local electorate had just 1 position available.

This smaller percentage required to get elected is called a “quota”. The best way to visualise a quota is to think of it as a bucket.

As the primary (#1) votes are counted, they begin to fill up the buckets. Each party than manages to fill up a bucket wins a seat. Remember, there are 6 seats up for grabs.

Once no single party has enough primary votes to fill up a quota, the elimination begins.

Just as they did in the House of Representatives count, the counters eliminate the candidate/party with the least number of votes.

But the votes themselves are not eliminated. Instead, they are reassigned to another candidate/party according to the order in which the voters numbered their ballot paper. That new party then gets a boost in votes, hopefully helping to keep them in the race for a senate seat.

This is why numbering lots of boxes is important. The fewer boxes you number, the more likely that the counters will pick up your ballot paper to check who you preferenced next, only to realise that they have counted all of your numbered boxes. There are no preferences left to count.

When this happens, your vote will be “exhausted”. At this point, it won’t count for anything; it won’t support any party — it’s gone.

Significantly, the final senate quota doesn’t even need to be filled. The last seat just goes to the party that has more preferences than anyone else.

This is why it’s important to number all of the candidates or parties that you would like (or wouldn’t mind) seeing in parliament. By doing this, you can boost their numbers and give them a better shot at winning the last senate place.

Conclusion

So, that is how the process works. It’s not straightforward, but once you understand the underlying principle of preferences as directing your vote to different parties, then hopefully the rest makes more sense.

Hopefully, you found this article (and the video) useful. Please remember to pray and vote wisely this coming Saturday!

To recap:

  1. On the green ballot paper, number all the boxes in order of your favourite (1) to least favourite
  2. The counters will follow your preferences when the process of eliminating candidates begins, ensuring that your vote stays in play the whole time
  3. On the large white ballot paper, number at least 6 boxes above the line and at least 12 below the line (in each case, number as many as you can)
  4. The more boxes you number, the lower the chance of your vote being wasted

Helpful Resources

Please compare and cross-reference the resources linked above. Don’t rely on one resource for all your research.

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Photo by Edmond Dantès.

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