I am actually a bit disappointed to see the Liberals advertise “Just Vote 1”.
The theory is that the major parties are the least likely to have their preferences distributed, so if you vote for anybody else they don’t mind if you vote does not count. Effectively the major parties want a two-horse race, and deny those who want to vote elsewhere first then your vote does not matter.
Minor parties have been important in Australia, and have a significant role to play. The major parties may not like that as it can make life a bit harder for them. It is about accountability and transparency. The electorate is not simply Red and Blue, but many shades of many colours.
If you are in an electorate with a strong independent, of either Labor or Liberal leanings, and I was to vote for one of them, it is important that I mark my second choice, otherwise my vote will die, which may well help the opposite of my inclination.
If either of those independents out-polls the Liberal or Labor candidate, then the same falls true.
Those who don’t like preferential voting speak about first past the post however to get past the post you need half the votes +1.
I would urge everyone to exercise their democratic right to cast preferences as far as you like, and make your vote count. Voting for a minor party is not a waste of a vote, however to ensure that the vote stays live you need to exercise your preferences. We can make a difference.
The good thing about preferential voting is it allows me to say who I want elected the least as well as who I do want elected.
In reality to two major parties have given me no indication or confidence that we can just leave everything to them and it will be alright. I have the right to recognise that we may well have one of the big two winning overall, but in my electorate they needed a few preferences to get there and they should not take my support for granted.
I say vote all the way, distribute your preferences!