Preference flow reasons

According to Antony Green’s blog, Pirates at the Canning by-election directed preferences to Labor ahead of Liberal 55.9% of the time.

I know that our party doesn’t fit on a left-right spectrum as neatly as other parties, because we try to choose the right policy for each situation, though I admit I was surprised that there would be so many people preferencing Liberal ahead of Labor.

I know that Canning is not perfectively representative of the community at large, but I doubt it is hugely different.

Personally, I think they’re both terrible options. For me, I just recognise that Labor has a few decent policies, and that for every bad policy they have, Liberal seems to have a worse corresponding one, so I’d choose Labor over Liberal

So, if you feel like sharing, who preferences which of those two parties ahead of the other, and what reasons do you have?

Liberals where positioned above Labor on the card, some people donkey vote with preferences.

Canning preferences aren’t that surprising. When it comes to the really big, macro questions—fundamental liberties, the role of the state and so on—Labor and Liberal are peas in a pod. When it comes to the smaller questions of policy there’s a lot of vagueness this far from the election. I’d put Turnbull in front right now because I have some time for the guy. He might not be the best possible PM, but he is the best available in that parliamentary chamber.

It is said that by-elections are more about the candidates than policies, because parties rarely bring out new policies for by-elections, and they know they arent going to change the government.

Perhaps the Lib candidate being ex military has more to do it with than anything else.


But also preference flows are a meaningless concept where all votes exhaust to a major. You have to know when it exhausted at one of the two parties to take a reasonable guess at the voter’s intent.

I find these kinds of games pointless, and only give Antony Green a reason to be dragged out of the crypt every now and then to write opinions and try to explain to people how the voting system works with a touch screen vote counting system that hardly works (I love watching him live!).

There are no reasons. Australians rarely have a well thought out reason for why the vote, in my experience. The deeper question here is why is voter literacy and intention so slow in a country where voting is mandatory?

I suspect Pirate voters are smarter than your average bear and most would not donkey vote or military vote or mindless vote.

Look on the other side. Donkey/mindless voters are probably more likely to see “Pirate” and go “Oooh I’ll vote that” and then donkey.