Lazy Luddite Log


Clumps Return

I originally did this for the 2013 Federal Election Senate contest. Now I’m adapting it for the use of voters in the 2014 Victorian State Election Legislative Council region of Southern Metro specifically. You can see the text of the original Clumps post here.

I’m sharing a method of mine to help me decide my below-the-line preferences in the Victorian state election. It is written with progressive voters in mind. In presenting these clumps I have made a study of the candidates via (i) Wikipedia (ii) party or candidates webpages (iii) my own link into the Zeitgeist as a long-time activist. In assessing I have chosen to overlook preference recommendations of the groups on the grounds that these decisions are often strategic rather than ideological.

My own intention is that once I have ordered those clumps I can then order the specific groups within (or in some cases across) those clumps. Note that these are all judgement calls and in many cases clumps could have been defined differently or particular groups could have been put into different clumps.

Feel free to do your own if you find this method useful. Likewise if you live in one of the other seven regions you will need to do your own research. Finally take a look at the bottom of this note for an important difference in the voting method for Legislative Council ballot papers.

I present my clumps moreorless in reverse order of palatability for me. I have included the letter designations (A to R) for each group on the white Legislative Council ballot paper.

RELIGIOUS ULTRA-CONSERVATIVES: Australian Christians (A), Rise Up Australia Party (D), Family First (N)

For this lot everything is dictated by what they want to think God says. A wonderful excuse for prejudice towards anyone who is different from them in terms of sexuality or family values or religion. They tend to be accepting of different backgrounds and can look multicultural. But they want a society in which we have a homogenous culture defined by fundamentalist Christianity. Tend to be pro-business and anti-environmentalist. Note that I have put the DLP in another clump.

REACTIONARY RECREATION: Shooters & Fishers Party Victoria (M)

I call them this because they may well never have gotten political if particular laws did not interfere in how they like to live. Government regulations protecting Australians and the natural environment piss them off. They want to fish, hunt and hoon all over Australia. Are necessarily anti-environmentalist. Tend to be conservative or libertarian to the extent they have an ideology.

COMMUNITARIAN: Democratic Labour Party (B)

Imagine a community that both takes care of you via welfare and industry protection _and_ polices your personal behaviour 'for your own good'. The Roman Catholic DLP epitomise this and it is an unusual political tradition with a long history. I have made this separate from the mostly Protestant religious clump because the DLP are far more into interventionist economics.

LIBERTARIAN: Liberal Democrats (C)

These have an ideology wishing to minimise government involvement in all aspects of life except legal defence of person and property. So in economics it is sink or swim for both persons and corporations (we just happen to know that corporations are better swimmers who tend to swim right over the rest of us). And in personal life it is literally your decision and therefore your problem whatever the consequences. The tone is different from what a lot of us feel. Rather than "yay celebrate difference" it is more "do whatever see if I care".

COALITION AND SUBSTITUTES: Australian Country Alliance (O), Palmer United Party (P), Liberal (Q)

This clump is for our neo-conservative Liberal and National coalition but also for parties that would otherwise be them but have some sort of issue with those major parties. It may be personal differences with key figures. It may be problems with party culture or structures. It may be a sense that the Coalition are neglecting some deserving interest they are supposed to support or possibly some ego that they neglected to stoke.

ISSUE-FOCUSED: Australian Cyclists Party (E), People Power Victoria – No Smart Meters (H), Animal Justice Party (I)

This lot seem okay but do take a closer look online. A group named People Power existed in the past and I would have put into the small-l liberal group (see below) but I cannot be sure they have the same identity – the focus for them now seems very much on the alleged radiation concerns of modern wireless technology.

MODERATE: Group (F), Labor (L), Ungrouped (Neophytou)

It seems that Group F involves members of the latter-day Australian Democrats whose party lacks registration in Victoria. My former party is odd now - well more odd than it was. They were once a progressive party whose very moderate methodology attracted non-progressive voters. In contrast the current group seem to honestly think they can be 'centrist' in an electorate that includes Labor.

Labor are the party of the mixed economy and political compromise and wanting to be progressive but getting scared of conservative lobby groups. As centrists they can and do preference in all sorts of directions and let opportunism dictate such decisions.

From his own online presence the Ungrouped independent seems moderate to me but do take a look for yourself.

SMALL 'L' LIBERALS: Sex Party (J), Voluntary Euthanasia Party Victoria (K)

I put these together in this group because in one way or another they emphasize personal autonomy and civil liberty. They are culturally permissive. Economics is mixed (if tending to free-market).

PROGRESSIVE: Greens (G), Group (R)

Since the disintegration of the Democrats I think that the Greens are the best progressive party in Australia. And the independent candidate Luzio Grossi (a professional photographer and one-time Sex Party candidate) seems pretty progressive too.

* * * * *

There is one thing that makes the Victorian Legislative Council election different from a Senate election and that is the use of non-exhaustive preferential voting. If you choose to go below the line you only need to vote for five candidates by filling in the numbers 1 to 5. This option makes advice like mine that much less useful than if you had to fill in all the boxes!



  • I adapting my Clumps for the use of progressive voters in the 2018 Victorian State Election Legislative Council region of Southern Metropolitan. I also abandoned my rather complex ideological model ( for something that better fits the spirit of the age.


    What punters ask is simply ‘are they on my side?’ I can answer by sorting all the parties into just three clumps named [1] Yes [2] Maybe [3] No.

    Another way to look at these clumps is by reference to the two major parties: [1] Better Than Labor [2] Between Labor And Liberal / National [3] Worse Than Liberal / National.

    I will provide short descriptions of parties to help in the task of arranging preferences within (or indeed across) my three clumps.

    In preparing for this I have made a study of the candidates via Wikipedia, party websites and media reports. I overlook the preference recommendations of parties because such decisions are often strategic rather than political.

    If you live in one of the other seven Legislative Council regions you will need to do your own research (but will see many of these same names).

    The Victorian Legislative Council election uses non-exhaustive preferential voting. If you choose to go below the line you only need to vote for five candidates by filling in the numbers 1 to 5. Just my ‘Yes’ clump will provide more than five candidates for anyone wishing to follow my advice.

    Within each clump I present the candidates in alphabetical order.


    Australian Greens - The Greens are the most successful progressive party in Australia with a strong presence at all levels of representation. They have grown into an effective force for social-democratic reform, with five members in the Legislative Council and another three in the Legislative Assembly.

    Fiona Patten’s Reason Party - The Sex Party changed its name to Reason to more fully reflect its positions on civil rights, personal autonomy, harm-minimization, environment, evidence-based debate, cosmopolitan values and a mixed economy, all from a secular liberal perspective.

    Voluntary Euthanasia Party (Victoria) - This issue-specific group has the aim of improving palliative care and preserving death-with-dignity for the terminally ill in this state.


    The 'Maybe' Clump follows in the next comment...

    By Blogger Daniel, At 30 November, 2018  


    Animal Justice Party - This party focuses on animal liberation and veganism. I’m cool with much of what they say except for the banning of kangaroo consumption – skippy is too tasty.

    Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party - Normally one expects ‘law and order’ candidates to be conservative but this party is more difficult to box Some would argue that they are moderates because ‘the pendulum has swung too far’ on issues of criminal justice. On a host of other issues it almost looks like Hinch just tosses a coin to make a decision.

    Health Australia Party - This party focuses on, well, health issues and on the surface look fine. But if you take a closer look you find a connection with alternative medicine and New Age beliefs. Take only as recommended.

    Hudson 4NV - Josh Hudson of Tatura is a rural independent who has decided he will improve his profile if he has a party name and fellow candidates across the state. His priority is for Northern Victoria and he name-drops respected independents (at both state and federal levels) from that region. His proposals seem fine for his electorate but I’m voting in Southern Metro you cheeky bastard!

    Sustainable Australia – This party seems to think that population within our borders is the only issue that defines environmental problems, rather than the consumption patterns of persons and industry worldwide. Honestly, there are better environmentalists on this list.

    Transport Matters – This ticket was started by taxi drivers challenged by the advent of ride-sharing schemes. They have quickly developed a platform for the expansion of both private and public transport infrastructure. Apparently taxi drivers are in a prime position to talk passengers into voting for this party, so be prepared if you take a taxi in the next few weeks.

    Victorian Socialists – This electoral alliance has a large social-democratic program intended to attract working class votes. On many isolated issues I agree with them but I cannot overlook the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of violent revolution that motivates key affiliates of this alliance. It’s also difficult to forget how domineering they can be within activist and student movements.


    The 'No' Clump follows in next comment...

    By Blogger Daniel, At 30 November, 2018  


    Aussie Battler Party – What a dodgy name! I took a gander and saw the writings of an erratic thinker who is frustrated with contemporary mores, bureaucracy, corporations and the world beyond our shores. Mate, I reckon sometimes private citizens should just stay that way and let others take care of public life.

    Australian Country Party - This party is for former Nationals who wish to be more economically protectionist and culturally nationalist than the Coalition will let them. Rural-identifying yet moderate voters would be better off finding another party to support.

    Australian Liberty Alliance - These jerks talk the libertarian talk while walking a militant xenophobic path. Of my own free will I declare them the worst party in this election.

    Labour DLP - The Democratic Labour Party is morally conservative and economically protectionist. Its members tend to be drawn from the working class Roman Catholic community.

    Liberal Democrats - These libertarians with a deceptive party name want to minimize public sector involvement in all aspects of life except legal defense of person and property. In advocating for such they enjoy dismissing the needs everyone along the way.

    Shooters Fishers & Farmers Vic - These hoons want to hunt and fish (with some interest in farming) across the state. Are pretty conservative while wishing to limit further natural conservation.


    I got some feedback to say that that had, as in the past, been useful.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 30 November, 2018  

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