One of the frustrating things about voting is that I don’t know what all the independents and small groups stand for. And I reckon I’m not alone in this – otherwise Antony Green would be out of a job.
After all, the name Democratic Labor Party sounds reasonable enough, but they want to get rid of the Family Court, make abortion illegal, stop single women and lesbians having kids through surrogacy, IVF or adoption, and they’re against legal recognition of non-heterosexual relationships:
Absolute opposition to legislative or administrative measures that undermine or degrade marriage by conferring on homosexual, lesbian or transsexual pairings any form of legal recognition of their relationships, per se, whether through “civil unions”, “relationship registers” or other legal device.
On the other hand, the Liberal Democratic Party supports assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, motorcycle and scooter riders using public transport lanes, and the decriminalisation of activities in which you only hurt yourself (eg, BASE jumping, personal marijuana use). But they’re against affirmative action and want to abolish the Anti Discrimination Commission and Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia.
I didn’t know this before I went to vote, and so had to make a judgement about their policies based on their names alone. Likewise with all the independents. How does this help democracy?
We need to make it better. Parties and independents should have to come up with one meaningful sentence – not “stop the boats” or “moving forward” – that will appear on the ballot paper below their name, so that people can make an informed vote about the smaller parties and independents.