Editorial – How to Vote Conservative

Now that pre-polling has opened for the 2016 federal election, The Marcus Review considers how small government and conservative voters can go about getting the job done at the ballot box.

Not as easy as just voting Liberal

This quote could come back to haunt Liberal strategist Mark Textor and Malcolm Turnbull:

The qualitative evidence is they don’t matter,’’ Mr Textor said. “The sum of a more centrist approach outweighs any alleged marginal loss of so-called base voters.’’

Regardless of what you might think of the strategy itself, it clearly shouldn’t include openly telling a significant section of Liberal voting base to go and stick it – an approach which has largely been mirrored in the Turnbull-led Liberal’s policies to date (e.g. superannuation).

It also appears that Textor and Turnbull have forgotten the golden rule that it’s far more profitable to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one. This applies double in the case of long term customers who, in this particular case, have plenty of time and intelligence to plot their revenge.

The question is how they will go about it.

First up – don’t vote for Labor and Bill Shorten

Regrettably, this is a something that needs to be addressed. This is because there is a small, but not insignificant, collection of people who think that it would be better if we had Labor really stink things up for the next three years. Under this strategy, a true conservative/small government hero could then take back the Liberal party and bring back the glory days at the next election in 2019. In this respect, we are told to think of the next 10 years, rather than simply the next three.

Firstly, why stop at 10 years? What about the next 100? All the record would show under this strategy is that Labor would have been given another three years it didn’t deserve (and 9 out of 12 since 2007). Putting Labor back in so early – when it should be reinventing itself – would only encourage it to move even further to the left than it already has. This is something Australia can ill afford.

This then leads to the second point – never underestimate the damage that Labor could do in the next three years. Given the barely punished and unreformed union corruption which we have, combined with Labor’s insane policies regarding the NBN, education and negative gearing (among many others), an already tattered budget could easily become an insurmountable Greek style catastrophe.

Thirdly, there is no guarantee that Labor would be voted out at the 2019 election, particularly if the Liberals fail to pluck Australia’s next national hero out of thin air. Do the people advocating this approach really want to risk six or more years of a Shorten/Plibersek led Labor? To me, it seems that these people have forgotten that a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

So please, no voting for Labor and Bill to teach Malcolm a lesson. Trust me when I say there are better ways.

The principled method

Sites like stopturnbull.com have come up with a very interesting strategy for conservatives, the spirit of which appears to be endorsed by Andrew Bolt and The Spectator’s John Stone.

Essentially, it requires you to take note of all the ‘progressive’ and spineless Liberals who voted for Turnbull in the leadership spill and punish them accordingly:


Ideally, you should avoid a party-based “above-the-line” vote in the Senate, and instead number all the boxes in the following order:

All the dedicated conservative Liberal Senators/candidates.

All the dedicated conservative National Senators/candidates.

All the conservative minor party Senators/candidates.

All the other Liberal-National Senators/candidates.

Everyone else.


Although minor parties are unlikely to win many seats in the House of Representatives, and usually have no influence, it is still useful to give reputable conservative minor parties (eg. Family First) your first preference. Remember, every first preference vote attracts a certain number of dollars from the taxpayer, and better they go to a principled party like Family First, than to the Turnbull-led Liberal Party.

Eliminating left-faction leaders in the Liberal Party

In the normal course of events, you should give the Liberal Party your second preference, below a reputable conservative minor party, but if you’re in a seat with a notorious and influential leftist-‘progressive’ Liberal, who uses their party room influence to push the party to the left, you should put them LAST in your preference list, below Labor.

You need not be squeamish about this. Replacing an influential Liberal leftist-‘progressive’ with a Labor leftist-‘progressive’ is a net gain for conservatives because ‘progressives’ lose influence in the Liberal party room.

While this method is well principled, it does have flaws. Firstly, the time and effort required make it doubtful that it will have enough take-up to make a difference. Secondly, it would also (slightly) improve Bill Shorten’s chances of becoming Prime Minister – something no conservative should ever contribute to (see also above).

An easier, less risky way

You could do a lot worse than using the above method. However, if it is not for you, then there’s also a simple option which will get the job done without increasing the risk of a Shorten government:

  • Senate – find several conservative/small government minor parties and candidates to your liking (e.g. Liberal Democrats, Christian Democrats, Australian Liberty Alliance, Family First) – and vote for them before voting Liberal/National and completing your vote. Try to get in as many as possible before you vote Liberal. By all means, go below the line if you want to get personal. Otherwise, getting in 5 or 6 parties before you vote Liberal should get the job done above the line.
  • House of Representatives – do the same. If none of your preferred conservative/small government parties are running in your electorate, then hold your nose and vote Liberal/National first without exception.

Remember, every first preference vote attracts a certain number of dollars from the taxpayer, and better they go to a principled party like Family First, than to the Turnbull-led Liberal Party.

In a perfect world, the minor party/parties of your choice will get Senate seats and hold the balance of power in the Senate, or even the House of Representatives (you never know). This would then force the government to take better account of your views on any piece of legislation (in much the same way that Labor had to with the Greens). If your chosen minor parties don’t go anywhere, then you still have the Liberals as your fall back without unnecessarily increasing the risk of a Shorten Labor government.

Having voted Liberal 1-1 on both tickets my entire voting life, I can safely say that there is a stone-cold, zero percent chance that I’ll do so this election. Something tells me I’m not alone.

7 thoughts on “Editorial – How to Vote Conservative”

  1. Thanks for that. The Christian Democrat guy in WA looks like winner. Andrew Bolt has some info on him on his blog today, Mark Imisides is a PhD in chemistry and a climate change sceptic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting Mark. Anything further you can tell readers here about your party’s position on the federal budget would also be greatly appreciated.


  2. The Pickering post pointed out that the AEC instructions on TV and on teh INternet do not match the legislated amendment. http://pickeringpost.com/story/looks-like-the-electoral-office-has-stuffed-up-again-/6000
    Pickering sugggests that you read this http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/ems/r5626_ems_955e56de-c7ba-4a4a-8ca1-01ab948694f5/upload_pdf/Revised%20EM_%20Commonwealth%20Electoral%20Amendment%20Bill%202016.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf
    I sent an email to Mathias Cormann:
    “What is to be done about the electoral commission instructions on TV and on the Internet not matching the amended legislation?

    Can this be challenged at the polling place?”
    I got this response immediately:

    The AEC advertising on TV and on the Internet on Senate voting arrangements is correct and 100% consistent with the amended legislation.

    In all my interviews on this, I have always made very clear that to vote in the Senate above the line as a voter you are instructed (consistent with the legislation), to number at least 6 boxes from one to six in order of your preference.

    I have also consistently pointed out in response to relevant questions that if a voter makes a mistake and does not follow the instructions on the ballot paper and instead numbers just one, or two or any other number of boxes less than six above the line (and does not make any other mistakes rendering the ballot paper informal), then that vote will still be counted towards the Senate result as a result of the savings provisions included in the legislation.

    However, any voter voting just one above the line would have their vote exhausted and no preferences allocated to contribute to the result once all the candidates on that party’s or that groups ticket have been excluded from the count.

    That is entirely consistent with what the AEC says, as summarised by the Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers here: http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/05-13e.htm

    Best wishes

    I live in Bass. We have the best NHR in Canberra. He was a staunch Abbott supporter. Only an idiot would not wish to see him return. The only alternatives are a nasty labour lawyer and a green clown that looks like Ronald MacDonald.

    The senate of course is a different story. This is the way I prioritise the senate ballot for Tasmania:

    1 ROBINSON Tony Australian Liberty Alliance
    2 KAYE Max VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy!
    3 HORWOOD Susan Australian Liberty Alliance
    4 MEAD Clinton Liberal Democrats
    5 ALSTON Ian Liberal Democrats
    6 POULTON Adam VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy!
    7 MADDEN Peter Family First
    8 ROBERTS Andrew Family First
    9 McCULLOCH Kate Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
    10 MANZI Natasia Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
    11 NERO-NILE Silvana Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
    12 ABETZ Eric Liberal
    13 PARRY Stephen Liberal
    14 BUSHBY David Liberal
    15 GORA Mishka Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
    16 HOULT Michelle Nick Xenophon Team
    18 COHEN Nicky Nick Xenophon Team
    19 CASS Suzanne Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
    20 BAKER Daniel Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
    21 THORNTON Meg Citizens Electoral Council
    22 KUCINA Steve Citizens Electoral Council
    23 HARKINS Kevin Australian Recreational Fishers Party
    24 EVANS Carmen Australian Recreational Fishers Party
    25 ALLEN Matthew Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
    26 MIDSON Ricky Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
    27 CRAWFORD David Antipaedophile Party
    28 MARSKELL Kaye Independent
    29 TEMBY Richard Mature Australia
    30 RUSSELL Grant Independent
    31 LANE George Independent
    32 O’HARA Scott The Arts Party
    33 VOLTA JoAnne The Arts Party
    34 BEVIS Karen Animal Justice Party
    35 BAKER Alison Animal Justice Party
    36 WILLINK Hans Science Party
    37 CHOI Jin-oh Science Party
    38 LAMBIE Jacqui Jacqui Lambie Network
    39 MARTIN Steve Jacqui Lambie Network
    40 WATERMAN Rob Jacqui Lambie Network
    41 MANSON Rob Renewable Energy Party
    42 JOYCE Sharon Renewable Energy Party
    43 COLLINS Francesca Australian Sex Party
    44 OWEN Matt Marijuana (HEMP) Party
    45 MORGAN Kevin Palmer United Party
    46 STRINGER Justin Leigh Palmer United Party
    47 VON STIEGLITZ Quentin Palmer United Party
    48 URQUHART Anne Australian Labor Party
    49 POLLEY Helen Australian Labor Party
    50 BROWN Carol Australian Labor Party
    51 BILYK Catryna Australian Labor Party
    52 SHORT John Australian Labor Party
    53 SINGH Lisa Australian Labor Party
    54 REYNOLDS Anna The Greens
    55 WHISH-WILSON Peter The Greens
    56 McKIM Nick The Greens
    57 TUCKER John Liberal
    58 COLBECK Richard Liberal


  3. I have Kelly ‘Fruitbat’ O’Dwyer in my electorate so the only real choice in the house of reps is the LDP. But as she is one of the 54 I must do my duty and not vote for her. (I’ve seen her twice handing out flyers in Toorak Village so I assume she’s getting desperate.)


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