"Where will you give your preferences?"
"Isn't a vote for the Greens a wasted vote?"
"If I vote 1 Green, won't I risk electing the major party I don't want?"
"Do I have to follow your how-to-vote card if I vote Green?"
The simple answer is it's your choice: You choose where your vote preference goes.
You do not need to be dictated to by parties on how to vote. Your vote and your preference should not be directed by political deals you had nothing to do with.
The most important thing is that you vote "1" Green. After that, it's up to you.
In the lower house, political parties don't "direct" preferences or "give" preferences - they print how-to-vote cards. However, these are only a guide - the decision is yours. You choose where your preference goes by how you allocate numbers to the rest of the candidates after your first one.
For your vote to be valid, you must place a different number in every square of your ballot paper.
The Greens are not a preference machine
The Greens are not a preference machine for any other party. I am not standing to get someone else elected. I want to be elected as your parliamentary representative for Melbourne and to implement the policies and values that are important to our supporters and beneficial to the residents of Melbourne.
Your vote for the Greens is not wasted. Whichever party you put number 1 is paid public funding for that vote - and that has a real impact on the ability of a small party like the Greens to campaign. to stimulate debate on important issues and to put forward alternative policies to those of the large old political parties. The amount is currently about $1.40 per first preference vote in Victorian elections. It's more for federal elections.
Here in Victoria, electoral funding may only be paid to a party if they have already spent it on the campaign. In other words, parties may be reimbursed for expenses, but may not use the election as a money-making exercise.
After the last State election, the following amounts were paid to political parties
So if you give your first preference to the Greens, you are directing public funding to them - and away from the old political parties.
Your local representative
Your vote for me will not be wasted - if elected I will strive to represent you in the Victorian parliament, and if I'm not elected the message sent by a strong Greens vote in Melbourne will certainly be heard and will influence whoever is elected.
Double value voting!
In the Upper House (the Legislative Council), there are many candidates. You can number them all sequentially, and make the decision on preferencing for yourself, but any mistake in numbering them makes the whole vote invalid.
Special arrangements for the Upper House
Special arrangements for the Upper House
To avoid this problem you can put a "1" above the line in the box for the party of your choice - and then your preferences are distributed according to that party's preference allocation that is usually shown on their how-to-vote cards. By law parties must register their preferences for this purpose with the Electoral Office. You can ask to see how those preferences will be distributed if you vote "above the line".
No decision on how-to-vote cards yet
In the Melbourne lower house (Legislative Assembly) electorate, where I am standing, there is no "above the line" voting - and voters have to number all the squares. The Greens have not yet made any decision about our how-to-vote cards. We will finalize this closer to the election, depending on the candidates and the policies, and I will put a copy on this blog when it is available.
Don't risk putting the Greens second
In this seat of Melbourne the Greens have now come second for several elections - which means the preferences on our votes have not been distributed at all - it has come down to a choice between Labor and the Greens. That means that if you vote Labor "1" and then Greens "2" the second preference for the Greens will never be counted. It is the same as putting the Greens last.
The Greens will also need preferences from other candidates
Melbourne is very close - every vote will count
The Melbourne electorate will be decided on a handful of votes - every one of them is powerful.