Election Decision D-Day for Victorians is almost here. Saturday 26 November is the official Victorian Election Day though many Victorians have already cast their vote at prepoll centers which opened on Monday 14 November.
In the back of Victorians’ memory and Melbournians in particular is the 262 days of lockdown ordered by Dan Andrews in 2020-21. I lived through all those days of lockdown in Melbourne and it was truly a horrific scaring experience. Dan Andrews was a dictator during those lockdowns controlling every aspect of our daily lives. His menacing lecturing and hectoring daily press conferences determined what we were and weren’t allowed to do.
Victoria’s lockdown number 6 ended over a year ago. 2022 saw Dan Andrews slowly remove most remaining restrictions. In this election campaign, the pandemic is officially over as Dan Andrews did not renew the pandemic declaration which expired on October 12 shortly before the official election campaign period.
But with another covid wave underway which won’t be the last many Victorians rightly fear and if Dan Andrews and his Labor Government are re-elected for another 4 years on Saturday that the era of covid restrictions, mandates, and even lockdowns may not be over.
The police state covid response is the Andrews Labor Government’s most egregious policy against the Victoria people, but there have been others. The misuse of taxpayers’ funds and cronyism by the Andrews Government has resulted in 5 investigations by the state’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission. Victoria’s debt is the highest in the country. Almost every major infrastructure project has experienced a cost blowout. Waiting times at emergency departments and elective surgery have increased.
The Government’s social agenda has seen so-called conversion therapy banned which criminalizes private conversations about sexuality and gender identity between people. They are also establishing a treaty between the state Government and Indigenous Victorians.
This election Dan is promising another radical agenda. A government-owned renewable energy company bringing back the State Electricity Commission (SEC). More debt through the most expensive piece of infrastructure in the state’s history the Suburban Rail Loop.
Liberal Opposition Leader Matthew Guy is the only viable alternate Premier to Dan Andrews. He has not impressed freedom advocates or the wider electorate. In every poll he falls short of defeating Dan Andrews’ Labor Party on Saturday. His and the Liberal Party’s platform’s main message is they are not Dan Andrews: they won’t be as corrupt, autocratic, and divisive as Dan Andrews.
Who is Premier after Election Day will be determined by which party/parties can form a majority Government in Victoria’s 88-member lower house the Legislative Assembly. Members are elected from 88 single electoral districts using the preferential voting method. Candidates that can realistically win those seats are Labor, the Liberals, Nationals, Greens, Teal Independents and other community Independents. Independent Ian Cook is running in Dan Andrews’s own set of Mulgrave and if Cook is able to win even if Labor was re-elected in with a majority of Legislative Assembly seats Dan couldn’t be Premier.
Victoria has a 40-member upper house the Legislative Council. Apart from money supply bills legislation must pass both houses to become law in Victoria. For the past four years, Dan Andrews has had three reliable members of the upper house crossbench to pass his legislation, most important extensions to the State of Emergency and the Pandemic Management Bill. The three stooges are Samantha Ratnam of the Greens, Fiona Patten of the Reason Party, and Andy Meddick of the Animal Justice Party.
Members of the Legislative Council are elected via proportional representation from 8 5-member regions every four years so minor and micro parties have a more realistic chance of being elected. Victoria remains the only jurisdiction in Australia whose upper house is elected using group voting tickets. This is where if you vote above the line with 1 next to the party of your choice, that party determines where your preferences go and your preferences may end up electing a party you may not agree with or never heard of.
Heston Russell and Chris Burson of the Angry Victorians Party leaked their Zoom call with preference whisper Glenn Durery who has worked with and for minor parties for close to 25 years in the group voting ticket system to get them elected from small primary votes on preferences from other parties. Durery admitted his goal in arranging minor party group voting tickets in Victoria was to elect a crossbench that the Dan Andrews Government could work with. He also admitted the Sack Dan Andrews Restore Democracy was one of his parties used to harvest preferences for the parties he is working to get elected.
If the polls are correct and Dan Andrews’s Labor Party wins a third term forming government in the lower house a major handbrake on its legislative agenda is if there is an upper house crossbench that is pro-freedom and anti-Dan’s socialist agenda. So who are the freedom parties running in each of the 8 upper house regions that Victorians can vote for? I’ve created a freedom party guide summarizing their policy platforms and listing their most prominent candidates.
Led by anti-lockdown activist and Host of the MCJ Report Morgan C Jonas with former Queensland state MP Aidan McLindon as Deputy they promise to remove all pandemic legislation, and mandates and have a state royal commission into the Andrews Government’s covid lockdowns.
One Nation and its federal leader Pauline Hanson needs no introduction. The party for 25 years has advocated Australia first policies and for the protection of Australian sovereignty and culture. Pauline Hanson introduced a bill in the Senate last year to ban vaccine passports. Warren Pickering who was the party’s Victorian Senate candidate at the federal election is the party’s state leader.
Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party (UAP) Version 3.0 ran in the federal election under the leadership of former Liberal MP Craig Kelly with the slogan freedom forever. It was not surprising that it was the state of Victoria that elected a UAP Senator Ralph Babet who has been a vocal advocate against medical cohesion and anti-Australian cultural marxism. The state leader of the UAP is former state Liberal MP Geoff Shaw, also running is Ralph Babet’s brother Matt. The party does not have any Victorian state policies clearly believing their national policies against lockdowns and mandates apply just as much at the state level.
Candidates running for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) include former Liberal MLC Bernie Finn and former Labor MLC Adem Somyurek. The DLP was formed during the Labor split of 1955 and is the official Labor Party according to the Supreme Court of Victoria. In addition to running on its traditional platform supporting life, families, children, workers and religious freedom, they are committed to removing all pandemic legislation, and mandates and will hold inquiries into abuses of power and police brutality during the Andrews Government’s lockdown.
The Family First Party has reformed and is running in all Upper House and lower house regions. Its state leader is Lee Jones. As the name suggests it advocates policies that are pro-family, and its platform is more focused on cultural and social issues, particularly removing cultural Marxist indoctrination in the education system. Family First will push for a Royal Commission into the Andrews Government’s pandemic response and restore the primacy of parliament overseeing public health.
The Liberal Democrats are a classical liberal and libertarian party. It has two MLCs in the Legislative Council David Limbrick and Tim Quilty. They have a detailed policy platform which includes establishing a Bill of Rights for Victoria, having safeguards in place for emergency powers, and real teeth for the state’s integrity agencies. They also want to end nanny state laws, cut green tape to increase energy production, and cut government waste to reduce the debt and deficit.
The Angry Victorians Party is the state branch of the Australian Values Party founded by Retired Special Forces Major Heston Russell who is based in Queensland. Its policy platform is focusing on rebuilding Victoria both economically and mentally. Its slogan is people, not politics. Its state leader is Army Veteran and former Police Officer Chris Burson. Seeking re-election with the party after failing to register her own Victorian Independence Party is Catherine Cumming MLC who generated controversy by saying she wanted Dan turned into red pink mist.
All parties except the Angry Victorians Party participated in Reignite Democracy Australia’s crowd-driven election Q&A event filmed by Real Rukshan.
Above and Below the Line Voting
For those who want to vote for one of the freedom parties that I have listed in the Upper House, there are two voting options. If you just want to put a simple 1 above-the-line party of your choice in your region the Victorian Electoral Commission has published all parties’ group voting tickets on its website.
If you want to control your own preferences like you can in the Senate in the federal elections you must number the individual candidate boxes below the line at least 1 to 5 to cast a valid vote.
It is compulsory to vote in Victoria so best cast a valid vote and make your small contribution to the makeup of Victoria’s Parliament for the next 4 years.