FICTION: A vote for The Greens is just a vote for Labor
FICTION: If you vote Green, you 'risk' Tony Abbott.
FACT: Your vote is your choice. You determine where your preferences go.
If the Greens are not elected, it is you, not any political party, who determines where your vote goes.
The Greens want to make sure that everyone can make a formal vote that best reflects their political wishes. The How-To-Vote cards that the Greens and the other parties will give you are guides, and you can choose whether or not to follow them.
Take control of your vote -The House of Representatives
In the Lower House (the House of Representatives), you have to number all of the candidates in order that your vote is formal. This means you direct your preferences in the order that you choose. By putting the Green candidate first, and then the other candidates in your order of preferences, you decide who your vote goes to if the Green candidate is not elected.
- I want to vote Green, but I want a Labor government: Vote 1 for the Green candidate, then vote 2 for the Labor candidate, then number all the other candidates in the order of your preference. If there are independents or minor parties you also like, you can put them between the Green candidate and the Labor candidate. If you leave any boxes blank, your vote doesn't count.
- I want to vote Green, but I want a Liberal PM: Vote 1 for the Green candidate, then vote 2 for the Liberal/National coalition candidate, then number all the other candidates in the order of your preference. If there are independents or minor parties you also like, you can put them between the Green candidate and the Liberal candidate. If you leave any boxes blank, your vote doesn't count.
- I want to vote Green, and I can't stand either of the big parties: Vote 1 for the Green candidate, then number the like minded minor-party and independent candidates in the order of your choice, finally numbering your least preferred candidate last. If you leave any boxes blank, your vote doesn't count.
Take control of your vote - The Senate
In the Senate, you have two options.
The first is to vote above the line, by numbering just one box above the line. When you vote above the line, your vote is allocated according to a 'group voting ticket', submitted by each party/group before the election. If you vote above the line, your preferences are allocated in the way the party/group you voted for determines.
To vote Green using the above the line option, just put a 1 in the box marked "The Greens". Leave the other boxes blank.
- Once the Greens group voting ticket has been lodged, we will put a link to it here
The second option is to vote below the line, by numbering all of the candidates below the line. This means that you have complete control over your preferences.
To vote Green using the below the line option, number all the Greens candidates first (they will all be in the same column), then number the remaining candidates in the order of your choice. Number all the candidates.
- To generate your own below the line how-to-vote guide, check out the great website Below The Line
Why do parties make preference arrangements?
In order to lodge a group voting ticket with the AEC, which allows voters to vote “above the line” for the Greens, we have to number all of the candidates in order. Because we have to number all the candidates, we seek meetings with all the parties.
For the 2010 Federal Election, Labor agreed to preference the Greens immediately behind their own candidates in the Senate in every state and territory. This increased the chances of getting Green senators elected, and decreased the chances of any conservative minor parties, like Family First, getting elected off Labor preferences.
Some local groups of the Greens (54 local groups), agreed to hand out how-to-votes which recommended voters place the Labor candidate above the Liberal/National candidate. Other groups chose not to direct preferences, or direct preferences in a particular direction; that is the choice of each local group.
Policies were not discussed during preference negotiations, nor should they. Important policy discussions should be had in public, in the house of parliament.
Importantly, the Greens have been campaigning to change the way Senate voting works, to allow voters to number the parties in their order of preference. We have also been trying to inform people how to take control of their vote.
KEY CONVERSATION POINTS:
- You can control where your preferences go.
- How-To-Vote cards are only a guide.
- The Greens are committed to informing people on how to make informed choices about voting, in order that their vote best reflects their political wishes.