Stand up Australia! Vote for a dog’s breakfast again!

The Australian Election results are rolling in and the inevitable result has inevitably arrived. Unfortunately, no-one is commenting on the real game in the Senate.

As you know there 76 Senate seats, with 12 from each state, of which six are up for election each time along with all the House of Representatives seats, while another six wait for the next election to be put to the vote, with the exception of course of the two Senators from each of the two territories whose seats are put up for election every time, or a double dissolution election. Clear?

Punters voted for Tony Abbott in the House, but they don’t trust him. They ignored his advice to just vote for one of the usual suspect parties. As a result the usual suspect parties have put in a poor Senate performance.

With the bulk of the WA Senate vote now in, the ABC is currently calling the new Senate as 33 Coalition and 25 Labor. That leaves 18 ‘miscellaneous’ Senators, which the ABC is calling as 10 Greens, two Palmer United, and one each from the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Labour Party, the Family First Party, the Nick Xenophon Party, the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party, and the Australian Sports Party.

This is the standout result tonight: a landslide miscellaneous vote with a dogs’ breakfast of parties that you never expected holding the balance of power. It’s all through the wonderful above the line proportional preferential voting system, whereby 95% of voters vote for one party and trust that Party’s judgement about preferences, while Parties develop umpteen obscure preference deals.

Optional above the line proportional preferential voting is sort of explained in the backblocks of the Parliament Website:

Proportional representation voting, as used in the Senate, is designed to secure the election of several candidates in each state … each of whom has obtained a number of votes equal to or exceeding a required quota (or proportion of votes) necessary for election. The quota is obtained by dividing the total number of formal votes by one more than the number of candidates to be elected, and adding one to the result. Thus, if the total of formal votes in a state at an election for six senators is 700 000, the quota is 100 001. That is, a candidate will need to win at least 100 001 votes to be elected.

Candidates receiving votes in excess of the quota, which is a proportion rather than a majority of the total vote, have their surplus votes distributed according to their electors’ ranking of preferences. If all the positions have not then been filled by candidates obtaining quotas by this means, then the next preferences of the voters for the least successful candidates are distributed, until all vacancies are filled by candidates obtaining quotas. The end result is a constituency with several candidates elected, each representing a proportion or quota of the total vote.

Clear? Well it’s only a sort of explanation. They skate over the ‘optional above the line and curious cross preference deals below the line’ bit, and the bizarre idea that the party with the least votes gets their preferences distributed first. Think of it as a sort of ‘biggest loser’ punters’ game

The outcome is a system that, according to Antony Green’s magic Senate calculator, can elect an Australian Sports Party Candidate off the back of a spectacular 0.22% of the primary vote.

With so many obscure parties it’s a free for all as to who gets up. When the One Nation Party was eliminated in Queensland, their preferences went to the Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party, because the 15 other parties they preferenced first had all previously been eliminated. Little wonder we end up with a dog’s breakfast of minor parties in the Senate.

Pineappleskip has a solution to this confusion of unexpected results. Go for certainty, know what the dog’s breakfast stands for, and vote for us! Here at Pineapple Central we hereby announce and proclaim that we establishing a DOG’S BREAKFAST PARTY, and we are serious about gaining the balance of power in the Senate.

You think a dog’s breakfast won’t be taken seriously? Of course it will. Nearly 30 years ago, veteran politician Bill Hayden commented that Australians would have voted for a drover’s dog had it stood for election. The Dog’s Breakfast Party is just taking the drover’s dog concept to the next level, and bunging on a free feed as well.

What’s more, the Dog’s Breakfast arty is serious about getting the balance of power. Here at Pineapple Central we have A CUNNING PLAN.

We aim to sweep up the minor party vote and elect a Dog’s Breakfast candidate in every State, using obscure but cunning cross preference deals among lots of friendly parties. In addition to the Dog’s Breakfast Party, the Labor Dog’s Breakfast Party and the Liberal Dog’s Breakfast Party, we will field groups that capture the imagination and votes of all. There will be the Australian Motoring Dog’s Breakfast Enthusiasts Party, the National Dog’s Breakfast Animal Justice Party, the Dog’s Smokers’ Rights Breakfast Party, the No Carbon Tax Dog’s Breakfast Climate Skeptics Party, the Greens Dog’s Breakfast Stop the Greens Katter’s Party, the Dog’s Breakfast Rise Up Australia Palmer United Sex Party, and the Australian Pirate Sports Dog’s Breakfast Shooters and Fishers Stable Population Secular Wikileaks Stop CSG Party.

Policies you ask? In the fullness of time we will put out a platform of vague motherhood statements and lavish, uncosted promises. After we’re elected we will ignore all that aren’t core promises, and start fighting among ourselves about the serious things, like who’s on top and who jags the trips to Paris for the OECD meetings. We are democratic and inclusive; we wil put all Parliamentarians in first class seats on planes. We’re upfront about guaranteeing you a style of government that you will be familiar with.

Bring back truth and certainty in Elections. Next time, just vote 1 Dogs’ Breakfast in the Senate and we’ll make sure that’s just what you’ll get.

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