Federal elections in Australia are nearly always a two-horse race -- but that doesn't mean you should automatically limit your vote to just the Labor Party or LNP. This year, there are more than 50 small parties running in the election; all with differing policies, election promises and worldviews. Below The Line is a website designed to inform you about the little guys running against our country's Goliaths. It's likely that at least one of these parties will match your personal politics better than the big two.
Voting picture from Shutterstock
Voting in the Senate means deciding between putting a 1 on the party of your choice above the line, or numbering a boatload of boxes underneath. Voting below the line allows you to control where your preferences flow, but it can be a fiddly process -- especially if you take the time to research where everybody stands on key issues.
However, if you're not a fan of the major parties, it's definitely worth the effort and is a far more intelligent solution than drawing a big pair of genitals on your voting ballot.
The Below The Line website attempts to simplify things by giving you key information on every party in your division -- you can find out which candidates are running in your area, check out their websites and drag-and-drop the order to match how you want to vote.
You can then print out a PDF of your preferences to take along to your local voting booth. (Note: This is also a handy way to ward off the relentless party faithful with their 'how to vote' cards.)
If you're planning to vote before the election, the Below The Line website will arm you with all the information you need -- you can read some additional tips on casting postal votes and finding early voting centres here. Personally, we'll be rocking up on election day, if only for the obligatory sausage sizzle.