Thursday, September 12, 2013

No high moral ground on preferences

The Senate preference flows in the 2013 federal election make claiming the high moral ground on preferences is a bit of a reach by the Greens who distributed material in the seat of Melbourne criticising other parties for preference deals.

This is why:

In South Australia, Senator Hanson-Young was elected on the back of preferences from the Palmer United Party (as well as preferences from HEMP, Sex Party and the ALP).

There is considerable irony in a member of an party that campaigns to phase out coal mining being elected by a mining magnate - but that's for Clive to consider.

The overflow of Greens preferences (combined with ALP preferences) in South Australia then elected the Family First candidate over the second Xenaphon candidate.

In Western Australia, a similar phenomenon looks likely with Senator Ludlam being elected over the ALP as a result of preferences from the Palmer United Party and Katter's Party - with the Australian Sports Party taking the windfall of preferences from the micro-parties.

In NSW, Palmer's preferences flowed through to the Liberals and may elect Senator Sinodinis with the Greens missing out on a Senate spot.

In another ironic twist, the Liberal Democrat looks to be elected in NSW on the back of preferences from the Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party.

In Victoria and Tasmania, the two spots going to Greens resulted from preference flows from the ALP.

Nearly all ALP and Liberal senators were elected on quotas in on primary votes.

Disclosure: I am a former Greens and my views are coloured by what I know of Greens' politics.  I have also found it difficult as a candidate to make preference decisions.  Nothing about politics is easy.

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