EDITORIAL: How to cast a vote that will count

The Socialist Alliance's preferences flow to left-wing parties before the two big parties, then right-wing parties last.

Green Left Weekly is a paper that proudly campaigns for left-wing issues in Australia and around the world, and aims to be a forum for news and debate to support these struggles. It supports the Socialist Alliance as a political party that brings together these issues.

In the federal election, we’re calling for a vote for the Socialist Alliance and the Greens.

It may feel as though there is not much of a choice, but don’t be fooled into thinking you have to give your vote to Labor as the lesser evil. Giving your vote to a smaller left-wing party sends a message to Labor that they can’t take your vote for granted.

Even if you know the small party won’t be elected, your vote won’t be wasted. Your whole vote will be transferred to the candidates in the order you choose on your ballot paper.

In the Senate, if you “vote 1” above the line, be aware of seemingly progressive parties who — if they don’t get enough votes to be elected — will give your vote to small right-wing parties before progressive parties.

In NSW, the WikiLeaks Party has given preferences to ultra-right-wing parties Australia First, the Non-Custodial Parents Party and the Shooters and Fishers ahead of the Greens and the Socialist Alliance.

In Western Australia, the WikiLeaks Party gave preferences to the National Party before the Greens. In Victoria, it preferenced the Fishing and Lifestyle Party, Smokers Rights and the pro-business lobby Building Australia Party, ahead of the Greens.

In Victoria and NSW, the Australian Sex Party gave preferences to One Nation, the Non-Custodial Parents Party, Climate Sceptics, the Shooters and Fishers and Katter’s Australia Party before the Socialist Alliance and the Greens.

The Stop CSG [coal seam gas] Party has given preferences to the Australian Protectionist Party and Australia First, and to Family First in NSW and Queensland.

Because of these deals, there is a chance Pauline Hanson could be elected as a NSW Senator for One Nation, and that Greens Senator Scott Ludlam could lose his seat in WA.

You can avoid this by voting below the line, and numbering every box. Or, in NSW, Vote 1 for the Socialist Alliance, whose preferences flow to left-wing parties before the two big parties, then right-wing parties last.

The Socialist Alliance campaigns consistently for refugee rights, marriage equality, action on climate change, more funding for health and education, and a whole range of other progressive issues. Read the election scorecard on page 12 to see how the Socialist Alliance compares with other parties on these issues.

Green Left Weekly believes these struggles can be strengthened by building a political movement that can fight for them through all avenues open to the people, including inside parliament.

But if this political movement is going to win, it is going to need the active involvement of the majority of people to build it all year round, not just at election time, and make it the true democratic expression of what Australians want.

So, don’t just vote, get involved. Join the Socialist Alliance and get involved in local campaigns to build the struggle for a better world.

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