Voting for 12 Below The Line: Sneak peak at understanding 2022’s Australian Federal Election (or [swamped and kill me now] How do I Choose my Votes?)

Disclaimer: Yeah, while I’ve tried my best to show you my research, some of this is remembering stuff kinda-vaguely and putting it in a different way or through my ways of speaking. Enjoy.
If there are unedited bits needing rewriting and you are a kinda social media friend, a heads up would be nice. Cheers.

Newish or remembering brushing up your skills and hating remembering on How to Choose 12 people to vote for Below the Line?

I’ve got some tips for ya. From a middle-aged (is almost 40 middle aged?) disenfranchised, peeved off and frustrated Australian voter.

You can check out info on voting in the senate at AEC – Australian Election Commission website.

Don’t have a Drivers License or Passport? Yep.
Legislation needs to be changed. I think possibly it’s left over from when cars came to Australia. A copy and paste job no doubt. Legal Aid and various human rights law round-tables have probably already written examples of changed legislation.

Politics… Are you a bit frustrated and uncertain?

  1. It aint your fault. We’re in a weird, coercively controlled relationship. Promised the world to own our own home and to be protected forever. Entertained and reassured by possible but understandable lies, reminded life is messy gaslit (past-tense) into thinking mental gymnastics and maybe trusting politicians again is part of life.
  2. Yes, getting information is hard and virtually or actually impossible. It’s a deliberate design feature. We are each made to feel apart-from *insert example here*. (see: silo, separate, uni-lateral, de-centralise, un-ratified)

Here’s how I worked out who to vote for below the line in past years. This year too in Senate Estimates. (See: appointment with your accountant and someone saying “You spent How much on That!” or maybe a family chat or fortnightly share-house meeting)

TV or live-stream on mute.
Yep. I muted (and fast forwarded and rewound bits of) the candidates and politicians and watched their attitudes and body language. Found out what’s going on occasionally. You can try any video method including interviews, panel shows, ParlWork and any Senate chamber or Senate Estimates.

Made three lists. Yes, Maybe, No. Write more than twelve people to vote for if you like, obviously. Every vote below the line counts. Text yourself the names if you like.

Hope you’ve got Pen and Paper/ good memory, audio recorder or hopefully someone who can record a list of 12 for you.

A sticky note with the number 12 on it helped. It is way too easy to forget the point of watching politicians.

It also took…

Time. Multiple viewings. Conversations and real life.

Able to click closed captions/ mute/ rewind.

Bucket loads of patience and frustration and giving it multiple goes. Kindness and self-care.

Hints: I didn’t even note which party my picks were in. So maybe you don’t? (See: Concious Voting vs Party Votes)

I actually ended up making three lists. They were Yes, Possibly? (Need more info), NFW/ No.

Need info about what you’re watching?

Parl Info provides rough schedules / time and attendance at senate chambers at work. It’s on a separate website from Parl Work.

Why? Because. (Let me fast-forward the inevitable Why Argument: Because. Sure. Well sure but… I dunno, just because. Well YOU change it then.)

I mean, obviously if you can, follow the senators audibly or the Closed Captions etc enough to follow which arguments and life values are being espoused. (See: spake, spoken, shared, come-from, way of being. And getting at).)

Question Time (or please kill me now)

Mode of Delivery: TV or streaming or downloading from Parl Work.

I reckon the Question Time broadcast is, for some arrogant bastards loud and rude politicians, like acting in a daytime soap broadcast live. No one watches it, or for long. Unless it’s unfortunately their job.

The plots/ story-lines could be good, entertaining, even educational, but ultimately shallow and frustrating and disappointing.

One bright spark is the occasional politician (and the person saying Order a lot) who says – Hey… you you know people are watching us right? Like, with sickened horror?

Alas, it takes years for us to find out who kidnapped the baby twins. Then, for our patience, we’re gaslit shown that it was in fact triplets. Then come to a rude-stop (see also: abrupt halt, fast, abrupt, strong, surprising) that the “real” mother was the egg donor wait.. was it the womb holder… or what-bloody-ever did what-ever.

Feeling like: How is this still happening, in 2022, in Modern Australia?

My point is, the reason your or your neighbour’s human rights keep being breached grass is hip-high again is found in the concept of Declarative Statements or Statements of Compatibility with the United Nations Human Rights Charter while passing legislation, funding programs etc.

Example of a bill that passed both houses on 30th March 2022
with a Statement of (Declarative Statement) of Compatibility of Human Rights.

Literally. (see: In Practice, a job Function, Written Agreement, in Law etc)

Disability Royal Commission Public hearing 18 : The human rights of people with disability, Virtual Hearing – Day 1
Timestamp 2 hour 26 Minutes

Maybe your search for another rental property is frustrating and has scary implications.

Yeah, to fix that, someone has the job to copy and paste paragraphs of, say, the United Nations Charter of Human Rights from one document to another. Stating that – paraphrasing… guessing actually – every human being has a right to sleep somewhere safe.

A google search for Royal Commission human rights charter Constitutional Law is here: Royal Commission human rights charter Constitutional Law

It’s the same paragraphs in our laws that blocks action on preventing Neglect in Aged Care and for First Nations people, especially those in regional areas, to have basic human rights and the final word about mining and destruction on land owned by Aboriginal peoples.

Unfortunately this is deemed Very Complicated and Not That Easy. Added subtext here includes: Why would I do That when everyone else gets away with it?

Disability Royal Commission Public hearing 18 : The human rights of people with disability, Virtual Hearing – Day 1
Timestamp: 4 hours 12 mins 39 seconds

Basically a few people are bad apples and the iron rings holding the barrel together. They declare meaninglessly words to a document funding something – a Declarative Statement – that results in less funding for those of use who need, um, somewhere safe to live.

In practice, the tax payers pay for, say, a graphic design company to rebrand a website about domestic violence. This apparently does not impact service delivery or investment in or the ability to staff a domestic violence safe-house. Because they said so.

Same if you are a casual contract public servant trying to say – hey – are there seriously 200k incoming calls to Cenrelink right now? We need more staff!

Or going around in click circles on ParlInfo and ParlWork trying to watch senetors do their job.

Or maybe you are a pandemic Centrelink recipient who is looking at the dashboard and feeling like “What is Going On!”

This despite logging in – Tick. Speak to someone on the phone – Tick. Visit a Centrelink office and speak to someone behind the desk. – Tick. (Like am just leaving the front desk now and am being ushered to a computer to try and log in to the Centrelink dashboard… – What is Going On!)

Yes, Centrelink have known about payments not showing for years. In 2017 in fact, myself and a scared mother, and possibly a few CALD persons had the exact same problem. You are and should not be seeing – on your dashboard – You have Not Received any payments in the last 12/18 months and/or There are No Payments Scheduled.

This is not new. It is seen as unimportant. Through a declarative statement.

So, here is your time to declare your chosen senators. Choose your 12 or more people to vote for below the line. Choose them well.

Please. Every vote below the line counts.