Saturday, April 23, 2022

Tasmania Senate 2022: Prospects and Guide


Likely 2 Liberal 2 Labor 1 Green 1 JLN if Lambie Network vote mostly holds up
If Lambie Network vote crashes then multi-party contest for final seat

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Tasmania's list of Senate candidates has been released.  Tasmania has 39 candidates in 14 groups with two ungrouped, down from 44 candidates in 16 groups plus four ungrouped in 2022.  Of the groups that ran columns last time, two have disbanded, two are not running and one (Garland) has switched to the Reps.  Three groups that did not run last time are running, one of which (Local Party) is new for this election.  None of the groups that ran last time were direct victims of the recent cull of ballot clutter.  One recognisable impact of the 1500 member rule to Tasmania is that Steve Mav has joined One Nation instead of founding his own party.  

This piece gives some basic information and views about the parties and lead candidates, and some general background to the contest.  The party candidate section includes a lot of opinions about candidates and parties, and it is normal for this article to display more whimsy and snark than some of my other guides.  Parties that are not what they seem and candidates who don't impress me will be called out as per normal.   More content will be added in as time permits, so it may be worth checking back before voting to see if I've added any more details re candidates.

For advice about how to vote in the Senate see How To Make Best Use Of Your 2022 Senate Vote.  (A new edition is coming and will be released just before voting opens.)  I will be listing how-to-vote cards for the Tasmanian parties, but I strongly recommend ignoring all Senate how-to-vote cards since following any Senate how-to-vote card that doesn't number all boxes will weaken the potential power of your vote.

Several candidates appear to be possibly ineligible under Section 44.  A Section 44 section is at the foot of this article.


Tasmania currently has five Liberal, four Labor, and two Green Senators plus Jacqui Lambie.  Lambie was first elected as a candidate for the then Palmer United Party in 2013 but left it and formed her own Network.  As recently as the 2011-4 term Labor had six Tasmanian Senators, but one seat was lost to Lambie in 2013, and another to the Liberals in 2019 (as a result of a combination of system quirks that saw the Liberals only defending one of their four seats at that election - see 2019 edition).  

Lambie, Labor Senators Carol Brown and Catryna Bilyk, Liberal Senators Richard Colbeck and Claire Chandler and Greens Senator Nick McKim are not up at this election and will next face the voters in 2025 should they contest (unless there is a double dissolution sooner).  

In 2016 and 2019 Tasmanian Labor preselections attracted controversy, with then-incumbent Senator Lisa Singh dumped down the ticket to sixth and fourth respectively.  Singh won in the 2016 double dissolution entirely on below the line votes. She polled a similar vote in 2019 but was not able to attain the higher quota. In this case Labor's ticket order has not attracted any controversy.

The Liberal ticket was contentious in 2016 when veteran Senator Eric Abetz was retained on top of the ticket and incumbent Senator Richard Colbeck was dropped down to fifth.  Colbeck received a substantial below the line vote but was unable to save his seat.  He later returned on a recount and was placed top of the ticket for 2019.  

The 2022 preselection saw Abetz demoted to third and at this election he is the only Tasmanian candidate who is running a significant below-the-line vote campaign.  This is amusing given that in 2016 alleged destabilisation by the Colbeck below-the-line campaign was one of 20 documented excuses offered by Abetz for poor Liberal performance in the state and nationwide.  Forces supporting Abetz's preselection opponents weaponised a recent history of the party gaining Reps seats in years without Abetz on the ballot and losing them in years when he was on top of the Liberal ticket. 

The Tasmanian Senate contest could have major implications.  Tasmania is the only seat where the right failed to win three seats in 2019.  Another 2-2-1-1 result (or less likely 3 Labor at JLN's expense) could stand in the way of a Coalition/One Nation majority or blocking majority, depending on results in other states.  A second seat for JLN could give the Tasmanian-based minor party a major seat at the table (the ultimate prize, though fairly unlikely this time around, would be for it alone to decide the fate of every vote with Coalition and One Nation on one side and Labor and the Greens on the other).  

The contest has seen opposing parties fall over themselves in the rush to each declare their party to be the one true party that can beat Eric Abetz (putting Abetz last on the ballot paper being an unofficial state political sport).  


This section is in large part lifted from my recent Senate Prospects article, which also includes comments on Tasmanian Senate polling.  

As with last election, Tasmania looks like a boring contest if the Lambie Network vote stays high.  It becomes interesting if this is not the case.  The only known reason why it might not be is Lambie herself isn't on the ballot.  

These were the leading primary totals in quotas (a quota is a seventh of the vote) last time:

Lib 2.202 Q
ALP 2.141
Green 0.882
JLN 0.624
PHON 0.242
UAP 0.185

However, over a quarter of Tasmanian voters vote below the line.  Labor's vote included .137 quotas of below-the-lines for Lisa Singh that were not #2 for Labor (about half of this going to the Greens) and Lambie's included .122 quotas that were 1 for Lambie but 2 for candidates not on the JLN ticket.  So it's best to think of Labor as coming off a base of around 2 quotas and JLN off about half a quota plus whatever personal vote Tammi Tyrell can attract. 

The main question is how much of the JLN vote will stick with the party without Lambie herself being a candidate.  Her name will appear above the line but there will be some awareness that it's not actually her.   The party is campaigning actively to link Lambie and Tyrell. 

It isn't too useful to look at the exclusion points in the 2019 count because in Labor's case Singh stayed in the count for a long time care of her high below the line vote.  Lambie ultimately beat One Nation to the final seat by 0.55 quotas, which would have become about 0.6 quotas after unused Labor preferences (a massive margin).  At the point of the Liberal exclusion she was 0.476 quotas ahead of the Liberals (6.8%).

If the Lambie Network gets, say, half a quota, then the Liberals need a swing to them on primary vote to win, of say 5% allowing for Lambie's better preference-getting.  Labor would need a primary vote swing of about 8%.  Both these results seem wildly unlikely.  Eric Abetz will draw some voters to the ticket to cast below the line votes for him but it's hard to see the added value of his BTL campaign exceeding maybe 2%.  His own BTL vote is hard to guess at and might be similar to that polled by Colbeck.  However, he needs a massive BTL vote (I think at least 7% but more likely 9% or more) before he becomes significant independently of the Liberal Party total.  There are two ways he would be significant - if he either became the effective second candidate knocking out Askew, or if both Askew and Abetz stayed so high in the count that they outlasted all opponents (highly unlikely unless the Liberal vote is huge).  

Where things get interesting is if the Lambie Network drops to, say, a third of quota or below.  Now nobody in the race for the final seat would necessarily have anything much.  In this case there are at least four contenders: JLN, Liberal, Labor (subject to Labor getting a swing of a couple of percent, or say 4% on the non-Singh party vote) and One Nation.  One Nation's candidate, Steve Mav, is a rather well-known and controversial Tasmanian political figure (albeit a serial candidate who likes to wave signs at cars and almost always loses) and polled 1% as an ungrouped independent below the line in 2019.  The Local Party is also rated by some left political tragics but has been polling poorly in the north, though Wilkie's endorsements may carry some value in the south, and they have substantial union and Climate 200 support, so they shouldn't be written off entirely either.  

I've tried to find a pathway to the Greens losing, but I found it heavy going.  It would need their vote to be trashed by Labor and the Local Party, with one major and JLN both then getting over them.  The harder I looked the more I felt that it was unrealistic.  I've also tried to find a pathway to either major only getting one, but it takes a really massive swing against.  

Parties and candidates: a subjective guide

Here is my guide to the parties running for this Senate election.  Mostly I include background on the lead candidate or competitive candidates only, but I will also mention any interesting/concerning minor candidates (especially since there's an argument that because of Section 44, even seemingly unelectable candidates are important). Parties are listed in ballot order.  Where opinions are offered, they are obviously purely mine, and if you don't like them feel free to go and write your own somewhere else, or contest them in comments. I may add more links later, but I will not add or change any material on request except to correct clear factual errors that are not a result of me being obviously silly.

Poll position this time is Sustainable Australia (no I will not write their full name unless I am paid Dick Smith's entire personal fortune), whose lead candidate for the third time is Todd Dudley, a well-known St Helens environmentalist.  This party's placement on the spectrum is controversial - in many respects it campaigns on environmental issues similarly to the Greens, but it also argues for immigration restrictions.  While it does so mainly on ostensibly environmental grounds, it can do so in a rather dog-whistly and alarmist manner, causing many on the left to regard it as xenophobic. Its Twitter operatives become irate when challenged on this aspect.  I am unaware, however, of Dudley ever involving himself in the immigration side of SAP's position.  

I think we all know what Australia's leading retro-right party Pauline Hanson's One Nation is by now, but its 2022 Tasmanian run has extra interest with the signing of Steve Mav.  Mav is a serial candidate with a long and growing string of Ls to his name since a couple of Argentine-ant inspired Ws on Glenorchy Council in 2000 and 2005.  He's a political human headline known for his turbo-charged Trumpy right-wing comments and his campaign schtick of waving signs at passing cars.  A Liberal in the distant past, Mav is often challenged by opponents over his work as CEO with the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation.  He decries the ripoff allegations as "fake news", since proceedings against him were abandoned.  (It's doubtful many PHON voters would care if the claims were true anyway.)  In 2019 Mav ran from the ungrouped column, polling 1% in an enormously expensive bid - the highest percentage for an ungrouped candidate in a state (not territory) since 1974.   PHON are also heavily into the anti-COVID mandates movement, and unfortunately into voter fraud conspiracy theories (including a video that spuriously hints the 2010 election may have been stolen by multiple voting). 

Third up is the Animal Justice Party, which holds seats in the NSW (on merit) and Victorian (by preference harvesting) upper houses.  The party is philosophically radical (in what I find a simplistic way) and opposes practically all killing of animals, humane or not (including when for environmental control reasons) as well as the sale of pets "other than from shelters or rescuers".  Lead candidate Ivan Davis ran for Derwent in 2021 and is a former farmer, Army musician and SAS trooper and has also done all this: "taxi driving, door to door sales, pruning grape vines, night supervisor in a half-way house, managing a community housing project, shop attendant, bus driver, complementary therapist, abattoir worker, labourer, close protection in an extreme environment, employment consultant, and finally an English teacher in China." He has been involved in recent animal rights protests.

Next we have the Australian Labor Party.  The Labor ticket is headed by Anne Urquhart, Senator since 2011 and Helen Polley, Senator since 2005.  Polley has attracted much controversy for her Shoppie social issue views, and is still reminded by opponents of chartering flights between Hobart and Launceston (2014) and workplace culture investigations (2013).  She has attracted more positive attention for her funky glasses and colourful social media videos.  Urquhart has been almost never controversial, though an intervention in Tasmanian Labor's David O'Byrne mess fuelled unconfirmed rumours that she exists.  In the theoretically winnable (if Labor gets extremely lucky) third position is graphic designer and Masters in Politics and Policy student Kate Rainbird, and number four is former accidental Franklin state MP and current Labor staffer Daniel Hulme.  Hulme was also a Clarence Councillor in the 2014-8 term but was defeated after not submitting a photo or candidate statement.  Five and six are teacher Wayne Roberts (a former state candidate) and student Chris Gourlay.

Legalise Cannabis is the former Help End Marijuana Prohibition and what you get is what it says on the label, a party devoted to legalising dope for personal use and making medical marijuana and hemp growing easier.  Its lead candidate is disability support worker Matt Owen, support candidate in 2016 and 2019, who would be hard pressed to add as much colour to my guide as Alfred Informal did last time.  I have at least found that he has or has had a large beard.  Tune in, turn on and drop out for more if I can ever find it.  Candidates for this single-issue party at other elections have been a rather mixed bag in terms of their views on other things, and have included vaccine and climate change sceptics.  

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers are pro-gun, pro-hunting, pro-4WD, pro-fishing, pro-resource-industries and not surprisingly anti-Green.  Lead candidate is Ray Williams, a Liberal state candidate in 2002, a Derwent Valley councillor and an indie for Derwent (state seat) in 2011 before for some reason running with the Citizens Electoral Council wackjobs in 2019.  Williams is a guns and fishing tackle shop owner and mentor to the Hutchins School Sports Shooting Team (yes I was surprised to learn such a thing exists too.)  Williams recently successfully gatecrashed an Australia Institute forum and is opposed to Tasmania becoming a cashless society.  The Shooters benefit from beliefs that the Coalition has economically sold out rural and regional voters.  This however gets less traction in Tasmania than in western NSW and rural Victoria (my theory on this being that Tasmanian communities are closer to and more connected to the cities).  

I almost skipped and had to go back and add the Australian Federation Party, a minor piece of boringly-named ballot ballast once known as the Country Alliance.  The Country Alliance was a sort of alternative version of the Nationals but after mergers of various micro parties it is not at all obvious what this melange is meant to be now.   Lead Tasmanian candidate is lawyer Ray Broomhall, who actually gets a bio link in this article for being so esoteric, but was also the registered officer for the now thankfully defunct No5G Party.  He has recently appeared on behalf of some health workers who were fighting against vaccine mandates (bit of a contradiction in terms, that).  Broomhall is supported by ex-Palmer United candidate Justin Stringer, who ran an invisible campaign at the 2021 state election and recorded the lowest percentage vote in the state.  The AFP has aroused my ire by registering a snazzy logo with a tick symbol, which may cause voters to use ticks in voting (treated as a 1 in the Senate but informal in the Reps, if you were wondering).  Its website outlines a six-step process by which elected members (if there ever are any) would be accountable to their constituents and then goes on to tell us all that COVID is no big deal.  The party is economically nationalist and supports banning international corporations from lobbying MPs (good luck with that one.)  Candidates for this rabble in other states include noted anti-vaxxers, a Putin sympathiser who was kicked out of the UAP and also Australia's number one party-hopper, Vern Hughes.  For more see Andre Brett.

Number eight is the Local Party, a newly formed Tasmanian-centred left-populist party that claims to be a party of independents although this is quite obviously (i) impossible and (ii) an attempt to have their cake and eat it too.  (Their defence is that members have a free vote on everything, but this is also true in many other parties, including Liberal backbenchers.)  Indeed it only welcomes independents if they sign on to a constitution committing them to climate change, support for "integrity" and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.  The party has some interesting touches, including requiring that candidates must live in and have a community presence in the electorates they run for (which at least means none of its crew are mainlanders) and also its commitment to citizen juries.  Lead candidate is Leanne Minshull, Fern Tree tavern publican and former Wilderness Society campaigner.  She also started the Tasmanian branch of the Australia Institute.  The Local Party is attracting endorsements from Clark independent Andrew Wilkie, who has suggested it should have been called the Local Network.  But then we would have had the Local Network and the Lambie Network and that would have been confusing.  Second candidate Linda Poulton is a solicitor involved in the apparently successful campaign against the proposed Westbury Prison, and has been strongly praised by Tasmania's former renegade Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey.  The Local Party's website says "We’ve had enough of career politicians, always desperately trying to beat the other team, either dodging bullets or firing them." but this hasn't stopped them putting out a video that sledges the Liberals, UAP, One Nation and JLN.  In the last weeks of the campaign it has emerged that some unions are backing the Local Party on the supposed grounds that Labor cannot win three.

Next up we have the Greens, led by Peter Whish-Wilson, surfer, former stockbroker, vineyard owner and former anti-pulp-mill activist.  Oh and Senator since 2012.  The support card is environmental lawyer Vanessa Bleyer, who also appeared in Michael Staindl's failed Section 44 challenge against Josh Frydenberg, and conservation consultant and former karting champion (!) Tabatha Badger.  Badger is co-ordinator for a campaign to restore Lake Pedder (Tasmania's longest running pipe dream apart from the kunanyi cable car).  She also climbed Federation Peak during the campaign, and after writing this candidate guide I think we should send the other 38 candidates up there too.  Business-y preselection auditions for Bleyer and Badger sparked fun on Twitter with party members dissing the Tassie branch as corporate Tree Tories.  The Greens ran a great scare campaign in 2019 based on them nearly losing their second Senate seat to One Nation in 2016, although them losing to One Nation in a half-Senate election was completely preposterous.  It will be a challenge for them to convince their voters they are anything but safe this time around, or any chance on earth of getting two.  

Are we there yet?  Number ten is the Liberal Democratic Party.  It is still the Liberal Democratic Party one last time after the Liberal (without the Democratic) Party won a High Court case for the right to own the word "Liberal" but stuffed up the process it created (seriously) by being too slow to start it then getting suckered by a loophole.  The LDP is a US-style ideological right-libertarian party that aims to support individual freedom in both social and economic areas but also in the ownership of dangerous guns, and, I can now add, the spreading of dangerous viruses.  It has at some point added some populist-right touches including support for voter recalls and voter vetos of legislation. For the fourth election in a row the LDP has failed to find a Tasmanian-based lead candidate.  The interloper this time is one Topher Field, a Victorian Youtube personality, film director and anti-mandate activist.  Field was last year arrested for alleged incitement but I have not heard of any charges that might affect his eligibility for office.  Field has been trying to encourage voters for "freedom friendly minor parties" (translation: parties that oppose vaccine mandates even if some of them are fascists) to cross-preference each other using videos involving marbles.  Unfortunately, his Senate explanation is, literally, a few marbles short.  A valiant effort but it uses only six quotas worth of marbles rather than seven (the appalling Hare quota rather than the Droop quota), and hence prematurely excludes both major parties' third candidates.  See also: The Weekly.

The United Australia Party is the former Palmer United Party, and claims to be a continuation of the historic United Australia Party although it isn't, and also claims that the UAP had three Prime Ministers when it only had two (Billy Hughes was an ex-PM by the time the original UAP was formed).  The UAP is often wrongly blamed for the previous election result via false claims that its voters' preferences swung the election.  In the leadup this time its big-spending, brash, prolific yellow populism has taken a more radical turn towards the anti-COVID mandates movement, it is running some very different candidates under the leadership of COVID quack cure promoter Craig Kelly, and it has been railing against Labor, Liberal and the Greens pretty much equally so far.  Lead candidate Diana Adams has worked as a carer and run a family day care business and has been an active speaker in the local anti-mandates movement.  The UAP has long supported regional taxation zones, which I believe are currently unconstitutional.  

The Liberal Party of Australia ticket is headed by Jonno Duniam, a generational replacement for Abetz, and not that much less conservative.  A long-term former Liberal staffer, Duniam was elected at the 2016 double dissolution and is now Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and for Industrial Development.  He is widely regarded as a rising star in the party, though this term did feature one little embarrassment.  After going on Sky and talking the sort of stuff that people do on Sky, Duniam had to apologise to Sarah Hanson-Young and the Bob Brown Foundation for false and defamatory comments linking them to dangerous protests.  Second and probably assured of re-election unless overrun by a huge Abetz below the line vote is Wendy Askew, appointed to replace David Bushby in 2019 and yet to do anything embarrassing enough for me to mention it here.  And yes, third and probably relying both on the BTL campaign in his name and a decent ATL vote for the party is veteran ultra-conservative culture warrior Eric Abetz.  Abetz has been a Senator since 1994 (the year he voted against overriding Tasmania's appalling anti-gay laws of the time) and this is the first time we get to see an actual test of his personal vote appeal.  A minister under Abbott, Abetz was dumped by Turnbull and has remained on the backbench ever since.  His hits this term have included being accused of slut-shaming Brittany Higgins (which he denies) and a number of anti-mandate statements (which might be viewed as shrewd attempts to compete with the One Nation/UAP vote).  There is a rather hokey active below the line campaign on behalf of Abetz underway with signs and fliers including one that carries "testimonies" from people apparently not important enough to be worth naming.  Abetz claims to support "personal freedom and medical choice" (especially in the area of vaccination) but this will be news to those familiar with his long history of opposing euthanasia and abortion.

In column 13 on the ballot is the Jacqui Lambie Network, named for the incumbent Senator who was comfortably returned to the Senate after a Section 44 hiatus in 2019.  The early Lambie of her PUP and post-PUP days was a mini-Hanson but over time her politics have shifted mostly away from the right (with advisers to match) - though one exception is on China - and she is now a vocal adversary of Scott Morrison.  Lambie Network appeals to disengaged and working class voters with an ocker style and anti-political rhetoric ("politics without the politicians").  Past polls suggested her appeal was very blokey causing her to call female voters "bitches" in a typical loudmouth moment.  This time the lead candidate is long-time Lambie staffer Tammy Tyrell, also a former job training adviser, farm worker and food packer (among other things).  Tyrell was not well known before this campaign and has been introduced by an acclaimed candidate video and a billboard appropriating an anti-Tasmanian joke: "two heads are better than one".   The question is whether head number two has all that much to say on the campaign trail, and there have been concerns that nowhere near enough has been heard from Tyrell in this regard at candidate forums and so on.  (That said, a lot of these concerns come from the Local Party, who sledge JLN constantly.)  The Lambie Network are running Lambie's father Tom Lambie as second support candidate (presumably to stress the Lambie name on the ballot) but despite his UK citizenship triggering Jacqui Lambie's disqualification from the Senate in 2017, he seems not to have renounced it in time (see Section 44 Section).  

Last and (you might very well think that, but I couldn't possibly comment) is the Informed Medical Options Party.  This misleadingly named party denies being anti-vaccination but objects to water fluoridation and vaccination mandates (including in childcare and education) and spreads fear and doubt about the impact of vaccines.  Lead candidate is Lynne Kershaw, a former Democrat (the Democrats have so, so much to answer for) and former media and events manager for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.  Like many in such parties, Kershaw cites family experience of claimed vaccine reactions as reason for getting involved.  

In the ungrouped column (and only able to receive votes and preferences below the line, ie no chance) is Steve Crothers,  an anti-vaxxer and anti-5Ger who puts IMOP in the shade with claims that COVID is a "fake pandemic" and that PCR tests can't detect it.  He is better known as a black hole denialist (yes really) and pseudoscientist with a long list of dubious credentials.  Crothers has been endorsed by the unregistered far right AustraliaOne party of Riccardo Bosi, a charming individual who often calls for public figures to be executed.  

Crothers' very politically different companion in the ungrouped column is Fenella Edwards, a writer/producer, rap singer, stand-up comedian and poet, also a former science communicator and statistician.  Browsing her Twitter feed and Facebook I find her politics to be mostly green left, including involvement in Tarkine protests. She also supports "legalising marijuana and magic mushrooms".  Following a tipoff I verified some odd social media material such as a tweet stating an intent to sever Elon Musk's penis (rescinded one month and eight days later), and have seen some even stranger claimed posts that I have not yet verified but see no reason to doubt.  During the campaign Edwards has supported excluding trans women from women's sport, having also approvingly shared a Katherine Deves article in Crikey last year before Deves was prominent.  

(An acknowledgement to Micah Lambert, whose tweeted guide I found useful re Broomhall and Crothers.)

How To Vote Cards

Here I will note the how-to-vote cards issued by parties in the Tasmanian race as I become aware of them.  How-to-vote cards are recommendations put out by parties only.  The vast majority of Tasmanian voters don't follow them, and I strongly recommend not following them.  They are noted here for interest only.

Sustainable Australia: Open ticket

One Nation: Shooters, Liberal Democrats, United Australia, IMOP, Federation

Animal Justice: Labor, Sustainable Australia, Greens, Federation Party, Local Party

Labor: JLN, Green, Local, Animal Justice, Liberal Democrats

Legalise Cannabis: Open ticket

Greens: Animal Justice, Local Party, JLN, Legalise Cannabis, Labor

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers: Open ticket

Federation Party:

Local Party: Open ticket

Liberal Democrats: United Australia, One Nation, Shooters, Federation Party, Liberal

United Australia: Liberal Democrats, IMOP, One Nation, JLN, AFP

Liberal: United Australia, Liberal Democrats, JLN, Shooters, One Nation

JLN: Shooters, Labor, Liberal, United Australia, Greens

IMOP: Federation Party, Local Party, Liberal Democrats, United Australia, One Nation

It is bizarre that Labor are recommending preferences that include the Liberal Democrats (they are doing this in most states.)

There has been interest in the Liberals putting JLN above One Nation (a unilateral decision, not a deal).  This is unlikely to have that much impact since if the Liberal vote is not greatly above two quotas, then I would expect most of Eric Abetz's votes to be his BTLs which will not follow the card.  Also, the card will probably only get a 10% or so follow rate among the ATLs anyway.  Alternatively, if the Liberals have much more than two quotas, they may well outlast the Lambie/One Nation contest anyway.

The One Nation decision to put Shooters second seemed a little surprising given the party's closeness with the Liberal Democrats and UAP (which extended to Mav and Adams appearing in Field's candidacy announcement video).  I wonder if it is connected to their view of the individual Shooters candidate.  

Section 44

Many uncompetitive candidates at this election will be ineligible under Section 44.  That only means they will be disqualified if elected, not that they cannot run, are likely to be subject to any penalty, or that their ineligibility will impact the result.  However it is surprising that parties still expose themselves to embarrassment by running candidates who appear to be ineligible. 

The candidate checklist system in use is flawed as a result of proposed changes not being passed - in particular details of the candidates' places of birth are usually absent.  However the forms are a chance for candidates to demonstrate that they are clearly eligible and a number have not done this.  

I am not a lawyer and do not have full information but there are a number of candidates who I am yet to be convinced are eligible after reading their form and online descriptions of relevant countries' laws, especially concerning automatic citizenships by descent.   They may nonetheless be eligible (eg for the UK, citizenship by descent often depends on whether parents were married.) 

In particular I am not convinced the following are eligible:

* Lambie (JLN) - Scottish, has applied for renunciation but no evidence renunciation completed in time.

* Croft (LDP) - parents from UK, has applied for renunciation but no evidence renunciation completed in time.

Owen (LC) has a British father and may or may not be a dual citizen by descent depending on circumstances (form does not clarify).


  1. Interestingly, the current legal proceedings around the logging near Derby are Bleyer Lawyers vs Abetz Curtis.

  2. "Hutchins School Sports Shooting Team"

    Is the sport hunting the poor?

  3. Topher's marble video with all it's grating flaws will probably do more to educate Australians on how the senate voting system works than the last 30 years combined of civics education in schools...

  4. The Australian Federation Party is the latest vehicle for Vern (Man Of A Thousand Parties) Hughes. Forty years ago Vern was hawking his wares in the Communist Party of Australia.

    1. Is it? Vern Hughes was trying to contest the last Vic state election with the "Aussie Battler Party". Although he may have jumped onto the Federation Party since then.

    2. Yes he is the lead Victorian Senate candidate for the Australian Federation Party.

    3. I'm not entirely sure why I know who Vern Hughes is. I remember hearing about him for some reason, and reading his wikipedia article, which was a complete mess, didn't seem to have any explanation of why he should have a wikipedia article in the first place, and seemed to have be mostly written by himself.

  5. Received an Eric Abetz flyer in the letterbox. Clearly been produced in the electoral office printer. Not a Liberal Party logo to be seen. Slogan: "Advancing Tasmania's Interests." Surprisngly mentions Judeo-Christian values only the once.

  6. Hi Kevin. With the recent preference fight between PHON and the Libs, how do you think this will effect the chances of Mav and Abetz (and Lambie) to secure the 6th Senate spot. It seems to have shut the door for Mav surely?

    1. I think it will have not that much impact as the Liberals are unlikely to have a substantial surplus in ATL votes over two quotas. If Abetz is excluded early, the votes distributed will be mainly his BTLs unless his BTL vote is very poor. Also, relatively few voters follow Senate HTVs though in the case of the Liberals a 20% follow rate might occur.

  7. 39 looks like the magic number for Eric Abetz this year