tales from urban dilettantia


Election How-To #3

Who Can I Vote For? : 2010 Re-Run

Step 1: Go to the 2010 Federal Election candidates page on the Australian Electoral Commission website.

Step 2: To see candidates running for the House of Representatives (Lower House), scroll down to your state in the list under ‘House of Representatives candidates, 2010 federal election’.

Step 3: Remember how we talked about looking up your electorate’s name?  Find your electorate on the list and check out the list of candidates running.

Step 4:
To see candidates running for the Senate (Upper House), click the ‘Back’ button on your browser and choose your state from the list under ‘Senate candidates, 2010 federal election’.

Step 5: You should now have two lists of names, but what can you do with them?   Well, to begin with, it depends on which list you’re looking at.  For the House of Representatives ballot papers, you’ll have to number every box from most-liked to least-liked.  We’re going to look at some online quizzes tomorrow to help give you some ideas about the parties you are most likely to support, but it’s still worth hitting Google and seeing what you can find when you search for each candidate’s name.   (If a candidate has a very common name, adding ‘site:au’ or ‘election’ to the search should help narrow down your list of results.)   Most candidates will have their own website or a page on their party’s site, and you may be able to uncover news reports and other sources.  Most seats will have no more than six people running, so it shouldn’t take you too long to get an overview of each candidate.   Don’t forget to read critically and remember that the publishing of opinion on the internet is largely unregulated!

Step 6: For the Senate candidates, you’ll be given two choices on the ballot paper – either you can simply select the party whom you most like, or you can number each individual candidate.   The scope of your Senate candidate research will depend largely on the way you choose to vote.   In either case, searching for information on all the listed parties with whom you’re not familiar is a good start.   If you’re considering numbering individual candidates, you can then get into some more detailed research on those people.  (Given that most Australians like to simply select their preferred party, it’s likely that you’ll be most comfortable looking up information on the parties on this list, rather than checking out each individual – however, if you prefer to make your own mind, we’ll be looking at how to vote easily below-the-line next week.)

Tip: The people with no party listed are independent candidates, and are unaffiliated with a political party.    If you have an independent running in your electorate, you may need to do a little more research to identify their views, as they won’t be aligned with the policies of a specific party.

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@dilettantiquity is interested in an unreasonable number of things, including the wide and wonderful universe, happiness, well-being, wine, optimal human experience, non-violent communication, complex systems, existential nihilism, rationality, technology, grassroots organising, cacophony, music, creativity, learning and love.

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