In the race for the Queensland Senate, the Liberal National party is giving its preferences in the Senate to Family First, led by Wendy Francis. Francis said today on Twitter that legalising gay marriage is like legitimising child abuse. Even though she appears to have deleted her tweet, quick action by Twitter user Toby Nieboer means we have a copy of what she said:
Click here to see the original Twitpic by Toby Nieboer
So, what does it mean when I say the Liberals (actually the Liberal National Party, the Queensland branch of the Liberal Party, led federally by Tony Abbott) are giving their preferences to Family First?
Well, if people voting for the Senate in Queensland just put “1” in the box for the Liberal National Party, they give the LNP control of where their vote goes if the LNP has any votes left over after all their candidates have been elected, or have been knocked out of the race. And the LNP have made a decision that Family First will be the very first party with a chance to use any of their left-over votes. Makes you wonder just what sort of ignorant bigotry the LNP leadership is comfortable with.
So, if you’re voting for the Senate in Queensland (or anywhere else in Australia), you should vote “below the line” instead. This means you control where your vote goes, not some party boss you’ve never heard of. In Queensland this means you need to fill out all 60 boxes in the Senate, from 1 to 60, in order, with your favourite candidate at number 1 and the one you hate the most at number 60.
There’s a site called “Below the Line” which helps you – you still have to work out which parties you like, but once you’ve done that, it lets you print out a personalised How to Vote card reminding you how to fill out your Senate voting paper. You can take that card into the polling booth with you.
Update: Over on the Brisneyland community on LiveJournal, GreenGlowGrrl has done some research into the Queensland Independent Senate candidates - well worth a read if you are voting below the line in Qld