Close analysis of the Senate voting tickets is, as always, like lifting up a rock and gazing in revolted fascination at what slithers beneath. I have only examined the New South Wales tickets to this point, but this has been enough to make clear that two minor parties which clothe themselves in sanctimony have been playing the lowest political games imaginable. The first culprit is Family First, which has cut deals with the Liberty and Democracy Party (whose policies include re-legalisation of recreational marijuana use by adults) and Pauline Hanson’s new party (representing a strain of right-wing politics from which Family First has always been very keen to distance itself), both of which have been placed higher than Family First’s natural philosophical ally, Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party.
The other is the Climate Change Coalition, which has put the Fishing Party higher than everybody except the Democrats and What Women Want. One wonders how those taken in by the Climate Change Coalition brand name would feel if they knew they were voting against the extension of marine parks. There is a very real chance they will end up finding out the hard way the Fishing Party has been tightly preferenced by a range of right-wing micro parties as well as Family First, which also has them ahead of the CDP. When all these votes are added together, it’s entirely possible that the Greens will be overtaken by the Fishing Party’s Garth Bridge. Throw a Coalition surplus into the mix, and the Fishing Party could very well win a seat that would otherwise have gone to the Greens. I hope Patrice Newell has a good time explaining that one to her fellow travellers on the arts-luvvie cocktail party circuit. And I say all that before I’ve even gotten around to considering the situation in Queensland, where the Climate Change Coalition has put Pauline Hanson ahead of Labor.