Regular readers know I am an active environmentalist and that I have strong opinions on the lack of environmental protection offered by the current Government and by the Labor Party current local Member Matt Brown. You all know I am an active campaigner to protect the precious rivers and groundwater resources of the Southern Highlands. This first arose as an issue for me with the threat to the Kangaloon Aquifer as originally posed by the Sydney Catchment Authority, and more recently by the Government-approved Coal Mining Exploration by Cockatoo Coal, under Exeter and Sutton Forest.
Need I say more?
|The current Member for Kiama, Matt Brown, as I like to imagine him.|
The NSW Electoral Commission has a helpful "idiots guide" to filling out the voting card.
I learned something, and that is that for the Upper House, if one wishes to vote "below the line" (so as to determine your own preference distribution) you need only fill in 15 boxes, not each and every box for each candidate. That's what I shall do, in the Upper House.
My reason for wanting to check that is that I was concerned that the Greens had made a decision to not "distribute preferences" for voters who opt to fill out a singe vote 1 "above the line" for their party.
Preferences are important.
If you are a person inclined to vote for other than one of the two major Parties, then your vote may well "expire" unless you direct your own preferences down the line. What's the point of having the right to vote if your vote is not effective?
I certainly do not wish to see my vote vanish in thin air. I want it to count.
That's why I shall be voting by putting in all the preferences available - in the Lower House ballot paper, and at least 15 preferences in the Upper House ballot paper - below the line. That way it is MY VOTE, not the vote determined by some back-room party hacks who think they know best what I want my vote to do. *** DJW EDIT Please see the comments below. My observation is challenged as not quite accurate.
Anthony Green advises that the voting above the line allows for some degree of preference indication, but surely this applies only after all the first party candidate votes have been exhausted?
- "In the Legislative Council, a single '1' will only count for the selected party and there are no between-party preferences.
- "If a voter wants to in the NSW Legislative Council, they may number the boxes above the line in order of preferred party, and these will be implied as being preferences for individual candidates." Source