Monday, March 19, 2012

So. Who do I vote for?

I feel like I have no options.

The LNP's education policies are awful. I'm not into the Labor guy. I like many Greens policies but can't cope with their stand on Abortion and Euthanasia. And I won't do Katter.

Which way would you go?

(Not that it will matter in this particular electorate - the LNP will win.)

Tim Nicholls (Liberal National Party)
Tim Nicholls
Liberal National Party
Aged 46, Nicholls served as Liberal Councillor for local Hamilton Ward on Brisbane City Council from 2000 until winning Clayfield at the 2006 state election. While on Council, he served as the Lord Mayor's Finance Spokesman and as a member of the Expenditure Review Committee. In late 2007 Nicholls was the challenger in a farcical stand-off over the Liberal Leadership that split the caucus 4-all and prevented Nicholls moving a leadership spill against Bruce Flegg. After a fortnight of meetings that failed to resolve the deadlock, Flegg resigned and Nicholls withdrew from the race, Caloundra MP Mark McArdle becoming Liberal Leader and subsequently LNP Deputy Leader. Nicholls has been Shadow Treasurer since 2008, becoming LNP Deputy Leader of the Opposition in March 2011, though not necessarily Deputy Leader of the LNP given the non-Parliamentary Leadership position of Campbell Newman. Nicholls was a solicitor before embarking on his full-time political career.
Will Keenan (Katter's Australian Party)
Will Keenan
Katter's Australian Party
Brent Davidson (Australian Labor Party)
Brent Davidson
Australian Labor Party
Davidson works for the Queensland Police public affairs branch, developing public safety campaigns and helping to communicate safety information. He was born in Toowoomba, and moved to Brisbane six years ago to study journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. He has worked in both private enterprise - mainly small business, as well as government. Davidson is openly gay and a member of Rainbow Labor and is a strong advocate for equality, particularly on issues of mental health among young LGBTI Queenslanders.
Luke Morey (The Greens)
Luke Morey
The Greens


  1. I'll let you in on a secret I usually keep close to my heart, but as I'm feeling generous today, I'll share. After many years of political consideration, I have found the best way to choose from a list of candidates is to ascertain whose name makes the best spoonerism. Let's consider your options:

    -Tim Nicholls
    -Will Keenan
    -Brent Davidson
    -Luke Morey

    Which become

    -Nim Ticholls
    -Kill Weenan
    -Drent Bavidson
    -Muke Lorey

    I'll leave these findings to you, but were it me, I'd struggle to go past either Nim Tickles.

  2. or Kill Weenan. Though he evidently has a sinister side.

  3. The donkey's looking like it might be a good choice...
    Like you say, your electorate's pretty safe conservative anyway. "Rainbow Labor" made me laugh, though!

  4. When voting I generally start with who I dislike the most and vote them last (usually, but not always, the Greens). Then I repeat the process, moving up until I vote 1 for the person I dislike the least .

    I'm not always happy with who gets in, but by voting this way, at least it makes it harder for the ones I REALLY don't like to get in.

  5. I love Qld's optional preferential voting system - it means I don't have to rate the ALP or the Greens anywhere at all. :-)

    We have a Family First guy (whom we know well from church), the usual ALP, LNP and Greens, and Katter's and an independent. I pretty much have worked out whom I'll vote for and for whom I won't even give a guernsey; now to work out what to do with the Ind - didn't even know he was on the ballot until I saw my friend's "How to Vote" flyer (1 for him, of course, and then number everyone else as you personally choose).

    There's going to be a "meet the candidates" night tomorrow at our church; if I can get a lift I might go along to that.

    Just curious - what's your beef with Katter? Personally I like their views on marriage and CSG.

  6. I think it's wise to vote according to the issue which is 1. most important at the time and 2. which is most likely to change policy if you vote for that particular party.

    I think the most pressing and crucial issue at this point in history is climate change, and we're at a point where we can (must) make radical choices regarding our carbon emissions, and governments are increasingly likely to act, to curtail the deterioration of the earth we've been entrusted with. So I'd vote green, even though some of their other policies are abhorrent (abortion etc). More destruction will occur because of lack of action on climate change than if abortion policies in Australia (which are already quite lenient) were changed slightly.

  7. I've argued with Donna on this one before I think (on Facebook) :)

    I think that climate change, although of potentially massive impact, is something that even a 100% cut in Australia's emissions (as in we all stop doing anything at all) would have almost no impact on the world's temperature as we contribute such a minute portion of pollution (maybe 2% of the total if we round up?) that any action on our part would be completely offset by the actions of the big polluters (US, China etc)

    I do realise that politics always involve making concessions and compromises, but I think some things (like abortion and euthanasia) are so abhorrent, I would rather fight any further pushes in that direction than to 'take action' on climate change.

    I also think that most rhetoric on climate change from political parties seems to fall into the politician's fallacy ("Something must be done! This is something! Therefore we must do it!").

    I'd like to see less pollution, but for Australia to have any impact on global pollution, I think we would be better focusing our energies on pushing for radically more efficient energy production as something we can sell to the countries that are causing the bulk of the pollution for them to make changes that will have an impact on a global scale.

    Otherwise I feel we are making ethical compromises as well as shooting ourselves in the foot economically for no real impact.

  8. Picking up on Donna and RodeoClown's debate, I think one approaches politics from one of two basic stances - one either looks at what one thinks can be done (politics is the art of the possible) and tries to influence the outcome by being part of the winning side, or one stands for one's principles. Both have their place, in my opinion.

    Senator Kennedy was apparently the poster boy for 'half a loaf is better than none' and so would always take any deal that helped advance the progressive cause even a little, however much he had to hold his nose. President Reagan's strong 'this wall must come down' to Gorbachev ignored all the advice of his diplomatic experts - and arguably contributed to the process of politcal freedom for the communist block. That's the two approaches encapsulated.

    If one takes the 'art of the possible' route, then the Greens are a waste of time in Qld unless a lot has changed. They'll never seriously contribute to policy formation, even if they get a member of parliament or two elected. And there's no Qld Senate for minor parties or independents who can't get 51% of the vote in an electorate to have an influence. That equation would change in the southern, 'blue' states, but in Qld the Greens are probably a wasted vote.

    If one takes the principle route, then I am *very* drawn to Catholic thinking on moral principles and elections - they seem to have thought this through far more than us evangelicals have. They distinguish (and I haven't got a handle on the terms) between those policies that are inherently evil of a direct kind - such as abortion - and those which might have serious deleterious effects on human welfare and life but aren't intrinsically evil (such as not having socialist medicine, welfare, getting your environment policy wrong and the like). You simply cannot vote for the former. There's room to wriggle on the latter. That's why the Catholic Bishops were very strong supporters of Obamacare up until its position on abortion was taken off the table, and then were implacably opposed. It wasn't a calculation of 'x people die by abortion vs how many saved by access to medical care' or the like. It was more simple. "You cannot do evil in order to do good."

    I like that. No matter what a political party's position is on something like environment, or education, or labor laws that I thought would help human life be sustained and to flourish, if they joined that with a view that it was okay to murder aboriginals under certain circumstances, or it was okay to rape under certain circumstances, or to murder women under certain circumstances, I could not vote for them - that's not a 'what is possible' decision, simply conscience. I put abortion into the same camp of moral seriousness as those things I mentioned. It is murder, and it is being carried out disproportionally against women. I can't support any party that makes support for abortion an important part of its platform, no matter what else they get right.

    The push to have same-gender sexual activity and sexual relationships given the same standing and status as marriage is not as serious. But it is big, much bigger than I think many Christians at present seem to realize (those who followed any of my debate with Nathan on that on his blog will see some of where I'm coming from on that). The only way I could support a party (like Labor has now, I think) that has made support for homosexual marriage part of its platform, is if the other parties had something even worse in their platform - like full-blooded support for abortion.

    On those sort of issues it is not a question simply of wisdom as to what is calculated to have the best outcomes. It is more directly a matter of right and wrong.

  9. You could always vote for Santos. He might not get in, but it would make the evening marginally less dull for the election workers counting all those LNP votes later...

  10. Mark - "You cannot do evil in order to do good." - I love it. A Google search threw up the name of Don MacNiven - do you know if the quote is attributable to him or if he is quoting someone else?

    As for climate "change" and "big polluters" I wish people would realise that WE are the big polluters. If we were prepared to change our lifestyles to use less power (you want air-con? go sit in the library - you can share it with others, a bit like car-pooling or public transport) and water, we'd have less pollutants released into the environment. The "big polluters" are only able to stay as such because WE are prepared to buy their products. Unfortunately, the carbon tax and its associated tax offsets meaning that supposedly we'll all be personally better off means that there is no incentive for US to to change our ways.

    1. Heh, actually, that was me trying to capture what it is that I like about a strand of ethical thinking that I only dimly understand, and which is embedded in a theological system that I deeply reject.

      Doesn't surprise me that someone else said it earlier. It's the kind of soundbite that was begging to be used against the kind of pragmatism that reduces ethics down to probable outcomes and pro/con lists.

  11. Hi Laetitia,
    I know just what you mean about big polluters. We try to not use an excessive amount of power (stuff gets unplugged when not in use, we don't have air-con, insulated house, installed thermal heat pump hot water, we use the washing line whenever we can (hard at the moment with tons of rain here), I work from home, so there's no commute at all, kids catch the bus to school unless we have to drive past it for some other reason), but we will be penalised with the carbon tax because we are a one-income family, despite actively trying to reduce our energy usage. On the other hand, people with big, energy-hungry lifestyles get a rebate because of the way the tax is structured, and so they have no incentive to change their habits.

    It feels like doing something for the sake of doing something, rather than for any actual benefit. Gah!

  12. RodeoClown - I haven't looked in depth into the tax; just heard the $9.90/wk tax vs $11/wk rebates lines spun by the fed's. How is it affected by being a single-income household? Well done on the power saving BTW.

  13. I'm not sure exactly how it was worked out - we used the government's site that explained what your family would get out of it (it's sad that the best way to promote something to try and produce good is to resort to self-interest :S). I can't remember what the site was sorry, but I remember that we were estimated to end up paying something like $700 extra each year, with a $3 rebate to make up for it.

    We tried again with my wage split in two (pretending my wife and I each made half), and we came out ahead in that calculation.

    I don't think it's intentional, but it comes out in pretty much everything to do with tax - because I earn a high wage (pretty far off the top tax bracket still), I pay a big chunk of tax, even though my wife doesn't earn anything, and if we each earned half as much as I do now, we'd be paying significantly less tax. Because most everything the government does is based on the tax you pay, we take a big hit there.

  14. Just ran the numbers again, and it says that we'll probably have a $688 increase in costs (although I reckon they are low-balling that one), and we'll get a $479 lump sum to help offset it, as well as a whopping $3 via tax changes!

    So we'll only be $200 worse off in their best case scenario.

    Running the numbers with a split income, the cost increase is estimated at $719 and that would be offset with a $110 lump sum plus $606 from tax changes.


  15. Ah, yes - income splitting; my mum would be a big fan of that. It seems that the tax changes are things like fiddling with marginal tax rates.