May 13, 2022

Federal politics

Election special: Who should you vote for?

By Russell Marks
Composite image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese speaking during the first leaders’ debate on April 20, 2022. Image © Jason Edwards / AAP Images

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese speaking during the first leaders’ debate on April 20, 2022. Image © Jason Edwards / AAP Images

Undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming federal election? Take our quiz to find out your least-worst option!

Opinion polls claim that between 5 and 10 per cent of all voters haven’t yet decided who they’re going to vote for at the federal election on May 21.

There are a few tools around that might help undecided voters make up their minds. The ABC’s Vote Compass is one: it comprises 30 propositions, and then lets you know which of the parties currently polling at least 5 per cent of the primary vote (that is, Labor, the Coalition or the Greens) best aligns with your responses.

Here’s a more finely tuned questionnaire to illuminate your electoral options, and it only has half the number of questions. Each response has a corresponding symbol, or group of symbols, which you tally up as you choose the responses best representing your point of view. At the conclusion of the questionnaire, we will explain how the symbol you selected most indicates your political alignment. Hopefully this will help guide your vote on election day.

  1. The greatest single achievement of the Coalition’s current nine-year term in government is:
  1. The sheer fact that it’s survived nine years despite having more prime ministers (three) than policies (one, which failed anyway – the religious discrimination bill). ■ ▲ △
  2. Its successful avoidance of such woke “reforms” as a kangaroo-court corruption commission and a market-based scheme to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and, in the process, destroy businesses, jobs, livelihoods and all light and joy in the world. ●
  3. Its magical ability to make most of Labor’s policies disappear. ▲
  4. Its bestowal of a knighthood on Prince Philip. 
  1. Campaigning leaders of major political parties should know what the cash rate is when it’s been the same for the past year. Do you agree or disagree?
  1. Somewhat agree. Ideally, yes, they should know it. But is this really the biggest issue facing Australia right now? If we’d wound back the negative gearing, capital gains and franking credits tax concessions years ago, we might not be in this mess. ▲ △
  2. Strongly disagree. Journalists who direct “gotcha” questions at politicians who can’t answer them are completely ruining politics. ■
  3. Strongly agree. Leaders who can’t give straight answers to basic questions are unqualified to be prime minister (unless they’re leading the Liberal Party, in which case it’s fine). ●
  4. What is a cash rate and how much do I get? ♞
  1. What is the best possible answer to the following question: “Was it a mistake not to announce that you were taking leave during the Black Summer bushfires?”
  1. “Frankly, yes. I’m human, and I made an error of judgement. I obviously didn’t think it was going to have any major consequences, but all I can do now is to apologise, promise it won’t happen again, and to focus on getting all possible support to our firefighters.”▲ △
  2. To say nothing while shaking in silent rage at the interviewer for an inappropriate length of time. 
  3. “Look, I can’t even believe we still have this concept of ‘leave’ in this country. We need to get productivity up and leave entitlements way down. Unions are really killing Australia.” ☹
  4. “I don’t hold a hose, mate.” ●
  1. Imagine you are the leader of a major political party. Who would you consult for advice about how to respond publicly to an allegation that one of your female staffers was sexually assaulted inside Parliament House?
  1. Your spokesperson for women, your specialist advisers and maybe even an expert or two: you’re conscious that you’re a man and you want to make sure get this moment right. ■ ▲
  2. Your specialist advisers and experts: you’re a woman yourself, but you want to make sure you’re conveying the most appropriate message in this particular moment. ♂
  3. Your wife, Jenny. ●
  4. Your Special Envoy for Women, Tony Abbott. 
  1. The policy differences between the Labor and Liberal parties can best be described as:
  1. The difference between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, which of course invokes the memorable comparison made by Bob Catley and Bruce McFarlane in their 1974 book critiquing the Whitlam government and its repudiation of radicalism in favour of a disturbingly conservative social model. ▲
  2. Massive. It won’t be easy under Albanese, you know. ●
  3. Ginormous. Here’s what Australia needs to do to the Morrison government: “shake it off”, like Tay-Tay.■
  4. They’re all snouts at the trough. You can never trust Labor, the Liberals, the Greens, the Democrats, One Nation, Family First, the Liberal Democrats, Nick Xenophon, Bob Katter, that Lambie woman, the Democrats, the Republicans or the Justice League of America ever again. (Though we’re preferencing the Libs, as it turns out, so you can probably trust them at least a little bit.) $
  1. A fair taxation system is one which:
  1. Encourages ambition and innovation while prioritising social cohesion and poverty elimination via universal social security and proper funding of public education, health, transport and our zero carbon goals. ▲ △
  2. Has me paying much less tax while other people pay more tax. ■
  3. Has everyone paying less tax while everyone also complains about public services going down the gurgler. ●
  4. Means sitting Coalition members in marginal seats have access to enough public funds to secure their re-election, and retiring MPs have access to extraordinarily generous pensions for the rest of their lives while they also earn big retainers as consultants to fossil-fuel companies. ●
  5. Please explain? ✪
  1. Scott Morrison is doing a good job as prime minister. Do you agree or disagree?
  1. Strongly agree. (I work for the Liberal Party and this is my personal opinion, which may or may not be shared by my employer.) ●
  2. Somewhat agree, mainly because he’s actually survived an entire term – that’s the first time since John Howard did it between 2004 and 2007 – and because he’s somehow managed to make us forget this government had two PMs before him. ●
  3. Neither agree nor disagree. I also can’t decide what movie to watch this weekend, who to barrack for in the footy or whether I prefer my chicken cooked or raw. ♞
  4. Somewhat disagree, mainly because I actually strongly disagree but I want to sound reasonable and I don’t want people to think there’s too much difference between me and him. ■
  5. Strongly disagree, because he’s a lying, sexist, pork-barrelling, hypocritical slime-bucket. ▲ △
  1. Classic chicken korma should include:
  1. Chicken cooked well enough to reasonably eliminate the risk of salmonella. ■
  2. A plant-based chicken substitute.  ▲ △
  3. Undercooked chicken that looks pink even through the curry sauce, and no matter what the lighting.  ●
  4. Fish and chips. It’s not spicy, right? ✪
  1. Locking up innocent people fleeing persecution in prisons detention centres run by the Australian government in other countries for indeterminate lengths of time is entirely consistent with Christian values. Do you agree or disagree?
  1. It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. They’re just not consistent, objectively, as a matter of fact. No, I’m not a Christian. ▲ △
  2. Somewhat agree. Don’t ask me to justify it. It’s just the most pragmatic response I can provide for the time being. We all want A Better Future, don’t we? ■
  3. Somewhat agree. It all depends on how you read the Bible. Matthew 25:31-40, which is the parable about Jesus being the stranger to whom the righteous gave food and drink, could well be a warning about fifth-column terrorists. ✞
  4. Entirely agree. What’s the issue? ●
  1. The solution to the crisis in aged care involves:
  1. Paying aged-care workers proper wages. ■ ▲ △
  2. Installing a registered nurse in every aged-care facility. ■
  3. Claiming credit for calling a royal commission whose recommendations we’re not prepared to implement. ●
  4. Investing in revolutionary anti-ageing technology, which is being designed by the same researchers who are about to solve the problem of CO2 emissions by capturing them all and stuffing them underground. ●
  5. Knighting Queen Elizabeth II. 
  1. The biggest threat to Australians’ freedom of speech right now is:
  1. The fact that Julian Assange is being deported from England to the United States to be prosecuted for publishing leaked secret documents that convey the truth about what the US and its allies really do (as opposed to what they say they do). ▲
  2. Australian laws that allow at least 22 government agencies to secretly access a journalist’s phone and internet data for the purpose of identifying the journalist’s confidential source, and which also make it a crime – punishable by imprisonment – to merely report on the existence of such a warrant. ▲
  3. An Australian law which makes it a crime for anyone who works in an immigration detention centre to tell anyone else, without the permission of the secretary of the Australian Border Force, about what they’ve seen or heard in the centre. ▲
  4. Codes of conduct that prevent, on pain of being sacked, anyone who works for an Australian government department or agency from saying anything publicly – even if they do so anonymously – which contradicts or criticises government policy. ▲
  5. Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which makes it unlawful (though not criminal) for bigots to say racist things about other people in bad faith. ● ⇨ ☹
  1. To solve the problems caused by incoherent leaders’ debates during election campaigns, we need:
  1. An independent Debates Commission, because a new bureaucracy is almost always the answer to everything. ▲
  2. More eloquent political leaders, with actual skills in oratory, rhetoric and persuasion. ✹
  3. A Worm, but not a left-wing one like we had before. ●
  4. To check out what’s available on one of the three streaming services I’ve signed up to and rarely access. ✔
  5. A former Skyhooks guitarist and a huge gong. ✔
  1. A hung parliament would be:
  1. The worst possible thing to happen to Australia since the murder of Phar Lap. ● ■
  2. A great thing, if the balance of power is held by Greens and teal independents who push a minority Labor government to actually create A Better Future. ▲ △
  3. A great thing, if the balance of power is held by sensible MPs who force the Libs to parachute Tony Abbott back into the prime ministership – or at least to install someone who can make this country great again. Like Peter Dutton. 
  1. Labor has dumped its past proposals to claw back some of the tax concessions that benefit investors (negative gearing, the capital-gains discount, franking credits), believing that those policies cost it election victories in 2016 and 2019. If it again fails to form government after the 2022 election, to what or whom should it attribute blame?
  1. Anthony Albanese. Life wouldn’t have been easy with him. ■
  2. I don’t really care how Labor will explain its own failure to win the second straight unlosable election, but “gutless incompetence” might be a good start. ▲
  3. ScoMo. He is truly a miracle sent from Heaven. ● ✞
  4. Rupert Bloody Murdoch. ▲ △ ■
  5. The free market. ☹
  1. After nine years of this Coalition government, Australia is in a better place than it was in 2013. Do you agree or disagree?
  1. Strongly agree. And it would be in an even better place had those Labor impostors not illegally occupied the ministerial benches for six interminable, pink-batted, carbon-taxing, anti-witch-ditching years. ●
  2. Somewhat agree. At least Peter Dutton is a few steps closer to absolute power. ⇨
  3. Are you kidding?! Stagnant wages, record household debt, record public debt, interest rates at emergency lows and on the rise, inflation hitting non-discretionary items, aged-care crisis, mental-health crisis, housing crisis… and they’ve ripped hundreds of billions out of the budget to give rich people tax cuts! On top of that, there’s no plan for carbon emissions, and no movement on the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Thanks for nothing, dickheads. ▲ △ ■


Now tally up the symbols that correspond with your answers. The symbol you have most of indicates your political alignment.

● If you collected mostly black holes, you should vote for the Coalition and its policy vacuum.

■ If you collected mostly squares, you need to vote for Labor and Albo’s hip new glasses.

▲ We suspect you know that the equilateral triangle = The Greens. You’re overeducated as it is.

△ Caught between the Blue and the Green? Find a teal independent and vote for them.

$ Clive Palmer has certainly spent enough cash to buy your vote, so you should probably give it to his United Australia Party.

✪ One Nation

✞ Family First

Clearly you’re a fan of blowing things up. Bring back Tony Abbott.

⇨ Go find a fringe Senate party way off to the right of One Nation.

☹ Is the Institute of Public Affairs running candidates this election?

♞ Donkey vote

✔ Isn’t this the sensible thing to do anyway?

♂ This is a trick response. All prime ministerial candidates in this election are men.

✹ Unfortunately there’s nobody for you to vote for, sorry.

Russell Marks

Russell Marks is a lawyer and an adjunct research fellow at La Trobe University. He is the author of Crime and Punishment: Offenders and Victims in a Broken Justice System (Black Inc., 2015). 

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