Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The polls are open!!!!

Prepolling is now available for folk who won't be able to vote on election day.  This will include us as we'll be travelling on that day, but the opening of the prepoll centres was important as I was rostered to hand out how-to-votes for Dr Mike Kelly from 1600 to 1730 today at the centre in Queanbeyan.

It was interesting that a good bunch of the Liberal Party posters featured the face of the Prime Minister - sometimes with the candidate for his party standing behind him.  Mike's posters all featured him.
I have obfuscated the lady handing our Liberal Party material.  There have been tales in the media that such volunteers are hard to find as many of the local Liberals are closet Monkophiles.  Perhaps one of them is responsible for the fake texts?  The folk handing out for the Animal Justice Party seemed quite reasonable.
The way in to the Centre has changed since last election leading to many folk, who claimed to know what they are doing, trying to get in through the wrong door.  However the AEC manager was on the job and about 1630 stuck a sign on the correct entrance.
He was - as is usually the case - very sensible about working cooperatively with the canvassers which made the whole process very cordial.  The other volunteers were also sociable - again as expected (In about 10 campaigns for various Parties I have only experienced one person who got upset about things she felt disadvantaged her (Liberal Party) candidate).

Apparently 450 people went through the doors today, compared to 150 on day 1 last time.  That had slowed down by the time my shift started.  The next morning ABC had some interesting coverage online and Sportsbet have moved from both candidates at $1.87 to Mike at $1.75 and Hendy at $2 even.

A big message in my duties was to stress to people that they must fill in all 9 boxes on the Reps ballot.  It seems that Mike had 3000+ ballots disallowed last time because they only showed him as #1.  The Liberal candidate had no such problems and won by about 500 votes!  Boo hiss.

Fortunately, in the Senate, we now only have to vote for 6 parties above the line.  To my shock there are 42 parties standing: I thought these micro-parties had been trashed by the Senate Reforms!  The issue is finding 6 of them to vote for:
  • a fair few are known as being impossible to vote for (eg Pauline Hanson's One Nation; Shooters and Elephant-eaters Party; Palmer United Party, the Fred Nile mob, Derryn Hinch's Social Justice Party, Jacquie Lambie Network);
  • Others are so bizarrely named that they are obvious one-issue folk from Dagenham (which is 2 stops from Barking on the London Underground )
  • Then there are the Liberal/Nationals mob!
That has got rid of 24 groups.  I have ended with Xenophon, Labour and Greens as actually being worth voting for so I have to pick 3 out of the remaining 15 to make my vote valid.  .  Could be tough!  However:
  • The Animal Justice people today were quite pleasant.  
  • The Pirate Party are good for a chuckle and 
  • the current Senator from the Motoring Enthusiasts Party (Rickie Muir from Victoria) has grown into the job.
So that gives me 6.

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