Make your vote count
The policies are out. The survey results are in. Now it’s your choice.
With marriage equality front-and-centre for much of the election campaign, most voters have a general idea where the parties stand.
Rudd says he will make it a priority. Abbott says it’s a decision for his party after the election. Milne says her party’s reps are the only ones who will all vote for it, always.
But with just a few days to go, supporters of marriage equality should be thinking about how they can maximise the chances for reform in the next parliament, given marriage equality will be decided on a conscience vote.
This means looking not just at the parties’ position, but at which candidates in your local area support marriage equality and whether they can or will vote for it.
AME’s election website www.vote4love.com.au allows you to do just this.
It’s also important to carefully consider how you will vote in the Senate.
In most states there are Labor and Coalition Senate candidates who champion marriage equality, and candidates who actively work against it.
In the Palmer and Katter parties there are also Senate candidates for and candidates against.
Most important of all, it is important the Greens retain leverage in the Senate so they can keep marriage equality a priority, particularly under an Abbott Government.
Don’t vote above the line and let the parties dictate where your vote ends up.
Vote below the line so you choose to make the Senate as marriage-equality friendly as possible (vote4love has all the info you need about Senate candidates).
Another really important source of information is the LGBTI issues survey conducted by the Victorian and NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobbies together with transgender and intersex groups.
It highlights valuable commitments from Labor and Greens not to support a civil union scheme before marriage equality is achieved.
It also includes important commitments from all three parties on a range of other LGBTI issues (here’s the link: www.vglrl.org.au/lgbti2013).
If Tony Abbott is right, and this is the most important election for a generation, then do everything you can to make your vote count on September 7th.