Election 2013 notes: thinking about voting in the Senate

  Attempts to overturn the Federal have occurred often and over many years now - all in the Senate chamber. The Senate, will be the chamber that deliberates further on euthanasia in the coming parliament.
Euthanasia Laws Act 1997
Voting in the Federal Election for the Senate poses questions for the voter concerned about the issues of euthanasia & assisted suicide.
1.  Do I put a '1' against my party of preference (above the line) and therefore accept the distribution of preferences lodged by that party?
Sure, it's the easiest way to vote in the Senate - especially considering the size of the Senate ballot paper in many states. However, reading preference flows is not easy- even for the savvy punter. How do you know that your preferred party hasn't given their preferences to a party or candidate that supports euthanasia & assisted suicide? How do you know that all the candidates for your preferred party are worthy of your support?
2.  Do I fill out the entire Senate Ballot paper Below the Line putting a number against every single candidate?
Voting Below the Line
This could be quite a time consuming effort; and there's a risk that, because you could be numbering more than 100 places, that you could make a mistake and risk invalidating your vote. It does have the advantage, however, of giving you the opportunity to make a clear, personal choice.
There's no easy answer and how do you know which candidates and parties are sound on the question of euthanasia & assisted suicide, anyway?
We don't have all the answers. The two major parties don't have a position on euthanasia & assisted suicide; they simply allow a conscience vote. The micro parties tend to be more single-issue focussed and most don't give any indication either way. But here's what we do know:
Parties with a pro-euthanasia and/or pro-assisted suicide position (alphabetical order):

Australian Democrats - support nationally consistent voluntary euthanasia laws
Australian Greens - announced a party pro-euthanasia initiative for the Senate post the election.
Australian Independents Party - policy to allow the elderly to die with dignity.
Liberal Democrats - believes adults have a right to end their own lives, with or without assistance, and to have access to information to help them do it.
One Nation Party - support euthanasia
Pirates Party - support allowing people to, 'end their lives with dignity and peace if they so choose.'
Sex Party - say that, 'The right to choose to die with dignity should be a basic human right.'
Stop the Greens (Outdoor Recreation Party) - support 'Legal assisted suicide'
Voluntary Euthanasia Party - enough said.
Parties who oppose euthanasia & assisted suicide (alphabetical order):
Australian Christians
Christian Democratic Party
Democratic Labour Party
Family First Party
Katter's Australian Party
Non-Custodial Parents Party
Rise Up Australia Party
What you can do?
If you want to vote above the line (putting a '1' only against a Group of your choice) we recommend that you consider looking at the preference tickets of the seven parties (above) who oppose euthanasia to see which of them most fits with your own thinking. The fact that they oppose this agenda suggests that their preference flow would take this into account.

Be wary of placing a one above the line for any other minor or micro party. Analysis suggests that some of these parties have a preference flow through to the Australian Greens in some instances.
You can access the lodged preference tickets for all parties by clicking on the following links:
NSW | Vic. | Qld | WA | SA | Tas. | ACT | NT (Links to the AEC website Senate pages)
If you want to vote below the line(controlling your own preference options) we suggest that you make sure to read our Senate Candidate Survey.

The survey is set up to reflect the candidate listing on the ballot paper. This means that you can print off the survey and write down your numbering system at home before you go to vote!
The Survey

This is a guide only. We acknowledge that readers may well have other concerns that will influence the way they decide to vote. We thank those parties that oppose euthanasia & assisted suicide but we recognise that not all readers will support all that these parties stand for (this is, therefore, not an endorsement).

NB: The ABC's election analyst, Antony Green has a short video about preferential voting HERE.
Will your vote make a difference?Regardless of whether or not your preferred candidates are successful, the major parties review voting trends after each election. If enough people follow this kind of pattern, it will be noticed.