The countdown is over. We voted this morning. Robyn told me afterwards that she’d voted for Family First. It was a funny joke. We laughed.
Here’s why I don’t vote for Family First…
- While I appreciate that Family First put the family first and often that means supporting things that are good for Christians and Christianity – I think their very presence dilutes the conservative vote and is counterproductive for Christians looking to vote on their issues.
- I don’t like the idea of giving politicians a mandate to turn Australia into anything other than the democratic system we have now – theocracies are great provided you’re a believer. Which I am. But they don’t do a good job of protecting minorities or other interests. I’d rather a candidate sympathetic to all than a candidate only sympathetic to me.
- It’s not the state’s job to convert people to Christianity – it’s ours. Separation of church and state is a protection for the church too…
- Better the devil you know – I know that the LNP and the ALP will act in a predictable manner based on their convictions. The same can not be said for Family First members. There have been too many loose cannon loonies running for the party for them to have much credibility as a united voice. The idea of a united Christian voice is nice in theory – but you only have to look at the Uniting Church to see it in practice.
- It’s a wasted vote. Unless we’re voting for a Federal senate spot the party will never the numbers to get candidates into seats. What’s the point of voting for Family First when you can be voting against a party you disagree with and keeping them out of power.
I have no numbers to back this up. But I’m sure I could find them. I know that some people who are single issue voters on abortion will get angry when I say this. But voting for family first when you’re a nominally conservative voter who doesn’t like abortion is pretty much a vote for Labor – who (despite their name being similar to the act of giving birth) are the most likely party to legalise abortion in Australian states.
Obviously the preference system allows you to make this statement while still essentially voting for the LNP – but a real statement would be made by the number of people not preferentially voting at all – and ousting a government without having to rely on preferences at all.
It may be a principled move. It may make a statement. But it’s a phyrric victory only. So I won’t be making that move any time soon.
This is too late to change anyone’s mind anyway. But it’s my two cents worth.
Also, I think it’s slightly ironic that the Greens print out how to vote cards. They’re such a waste of paper. Perhaps we should change the legislation to allow each nominated candidate to place a “how to vote” card in the voting booth. That’s under 10 printouts per candidate per booth – rather than thousands.