Figuring out who to vote for in ten minutes

Even if you have a good idea of what party you want to vote for – or don’t want to vote for – it’s worthwhile taking ten minutes to research who is standing for your seat. Remember, you’ll need to number your preferences. (For more on the specifics of voting, check out our previous coverage on the election campaign, or to learn about preferences in under two minutes, you can watch this video.)

Chances are there’ll be a few wild cards in your seat – independents who may be more popular than you realise – and it’ll be worthwhile knowing their stance.

So…

  1. If you know your electorate, skip this step. Otherwise go to this site and type in your details to find your ‘state district’.
  2. Go to this site from the ABC and find your electorate.
  3. Read as much as you like – but the candidates are listed down the bottom. There are short bios, and you can click through to their websites to read their policies.

Congratulations, you’ve just become considerably more informed than the average voter. In the opinion of Slow News Weekly, this makes you a great citizen. There are two popular, lazy stances when it comes to voting that people like to pretend are noble. They’re not.

‘All politicians are corrupt, your vote doesn’t mean anything.’

‘I’m going to vote for party x because they’re the only party worth voting for. I’ve always voted for them.’

Rubbish on both counts.

Remember: your vote counts. Even in a ‘safe’ seat where you think you know the result already. Preference voting can change the game significantly.

Also remember: you won’t be voting for Pauline Hanson, Malcom Turnbull or Bill Shorten. They’re federal politicians who are federal leaders of their party. This is a state election. And unless you’re in Palaszczuk’s or Nicholl’s electorate, you won’t be personally voting for them either – they’re the leaders of their party. You’ll be voting for a candidate who may belong to a party. Across the state, if enough of that party win seats, they’ll form the Queensland government. However, whoever wins your electorate is still in charge of representing your voice.

Let’s take a quick glance at the big issues and how the two major parties, Labor and the LNP, are attacking them.

Jobs and unemployment

  • Labor will extend several of their programs to give business incentives to the unemployed, including students and over 55’s. They’re planning to spend many hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • LNP has outlined a program to re-train and re-skill mature-age workers valued at twenty million dollars.

Mining and Infrastructure

  • Labor will not support a federal loan to the massive Adani project. They’re planning to invest in several big rail projects across Maryborough, Mount Isa, Townsville and the ‘Cross River Rail’ project in Brisbane.
  • LNP have a program to upgrade 11 big infrastructure programs across the state. They’re setting up a company to build and upgrade dams.
  • Both parties have $30 million set aside to improve marine infrastructure.

Family and communities

  • Labor will extend the first home owner’s grant until June. They’ll build an indoor sports complex at Zillmere, and invest more money in country racing clubs.
  • LNP will provide free swimming lessons for babies and toddlers. They will halve the price of driver’s licence fees for seniors. They want to introduce and trial a new domestic violence scheme that has been built in consultation with domestic violence victims. The scheme would include introducing a ‘domestic violence’ criminal offence – there is none currently, simply ‘assault’ charges. They would also want to create a law that would allow the disclosure of past domestic violence offences to the offenders’ intimate family.

Electricity

  • Labor will install solar panels and other energy efficient measures in 800 schools. It will also put a down payment on a solar thermal plant to supply base load power.
  • LNP will scrap renewables subsidies to save money on power bills.

Law and Order

  • Labor will establish new specialist counter-terrorism team of 85 officers.
  • LNP will initiate a trial youth curfew in Townsville for six months, work with the federal government to stop child support going to kids in detention and set up two new youth detention centres.

Public Transport

  • Labor wants three new Gold Coast train stations by 2023, and half-price public transport for people with Department of Veteran Affairs white cards.
  • LNP will double the rail network for some of the Sunshine Coast, and have free off-peak travel for seniors.

Environment

  • Labor will reward landholders and producers who reduce emissions and will set up a land restoration fund.
  • LNP will plant three million trees and trial an environmental benefit bonds program to pay the private sector to fix environmental problems.

Schools

  • Labor wants six new schools, and will refurbish seventeen. They want to expand music and reading programs.
  • The LNP will re-establish a government department to advise on the future needs of schools, and trial a school truancy plan featuring officers in North Queensland get kids ‘off the streets and into schools’.

Health

  • Labor wants 3,500 new nurses. They’ll re-develop Logan, Caboolture and Ipswich hospitals and increase funding for drug and alcohol treatment services.
  • LNP want ice rehab clinics in Toowoomba, Caloundra, Wide Bay and Cairns. They will establish a new planning commission for new and replacement hospitals.

Photo at the top by Glenn Hunt for The Guardian.

If you like this blog, share it around. Enjoy your free sausage at the polls.

Back at the end of the week with the news.

 

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