Friday, August 16, 2013

Game Of Thrones Explains How To Vote

I wrote this a few months back, but still feel it is as relevant as ever with the election date only weeks away now.

Edit: GetUp! has a Game Of Seats video out now, check it out:
(My writing brief was to try having Game Of Thrones characters explain the Australian preferential voting process in a rap, so it may get a little convoluted. Perhaps try the official website for a simplified overview: )


So you want to vote for Senate and the House Of Reps?
Better grab a notepad and write down these easy steps
And before you have completed your electoral sheets
Spread the word on how to vote by tweeting hashtag #GameOfSeats

Got a Federal Election set for the 7th of September
Every adult citizen must vote, regardless of race or gender
When you’re numbering your ballot preferences, remember
Like Theon Greyjoy, every box must be filled by a member
The House of Representatives
Tends to be quite argumentative
Independents, Libs, Nats, Greens, Labor
Find them all on your green paper

 To ensure pure authority
Gotta win absolute majority
Fiddy ‘Cent plus one. Half, plus a head
The least popular has their ballots spread
To the nominee numbered as the second preference
If no winner has made up the difference
Keep repeating, round after round
Until a clear victor is found

So don’t think your vote goes to waste
Even if your first choice hasn’t placed
Take it from this royal midget
Brother, you don’t want to miss a single digit
Upper, Lower, in the House
Time to turn this party out
People, choose your chamber elites
And change up the names in this Game of Seats
Hit the booth and vote, forsooth
From old to youth, uphold the truth
Now hold your horses, people, wait one minute
I’ve yet to get to voting-in the members of the Senate
For in parliament of Canberra, it must be understandable
 The government is bicameral (and hence not eunuch-ameral)

So whilst Lower House majority is insurmountable
The Senate has power to keep their actions accountable
Every bill, they can choose to amend it
Or deny, block supply, and end it
Not be locked into soulless hypocrisy
Of hollow party policy, democracy defended
Imagine, a PM ruling with an iron fist
With power over both Houses - you know what a tyrant is?
If the Senate majority is the party ruling
There would be no opposition numbers for fair duelling
Such a government could suppress any voice that’s unsavoury
Pass bills without challenge, such as Work Choices slavery

No prevention of Intervention, Asylum Seeker Detention
Or contention for ending the Disability pension

So to counter this possibility, the best defence is
First, be sure of your party's chosen preferences
You can vote above the line, adding just a 1 is fine
Or below you must go every row - every member, a number you must assign

The system is preferential, each transfer vote has potential
To have swing that is influential, so your numbering is essential
There are 76 Upper House positions
States vote in 12 (territories, 2 politicians)
Thus, we tally up the number of the formal votes they’ve won
Divide it by the number of Senate posts, plus one
Then we add one to THAT number to determine the Quota

So ta keep the playing field even, we ask each voter
To keep in mind which major party would win seats in the Senate
By votes transferred on by a minor party or Independent
And who would benefit from quota surplus transferred to others
Which could smother Senate numbers with one ensemble of brothers
There are many House bannermen for the Wolves and the Lions
And so too, your Senate members will each have an alliance

From the Carers to Democrats, to the Shooters And Fishers
Vote for Sex or for Hemp or for Socialist politicians
For 6 years they will keep in check even the best minister
I wish Westoros had a system more like Westminster

Keep your government modest, just make one lasting promise
Vote your Senate in wisely and let’s keep those bastards honest
Upper, Lower, in the House
Time to turn this party out
People, choose your chamber elites
And change up the names in this Game of Seats
Hit the booth and vote, forsooth
From old to youth, uphold the truth

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