It’s the eve of the federal election, and I’m still no closer to deciding who to vote for than I was a month ago.

I have seven choices for the House of Reps: Family First, the Australian Democrats (lurching back for another election, like something out of a George Romero movie), Labor, the whiggish Liberal Democrats (whose candidate, incidentally, is serial killer Ivan Milat‘s sister-in-law), the Greens, the Christian Democrats, and the incumbent Liberal, Alby Schultz.

(And then there’s the 84 candidates for the Senate, arranged in 33 groups…)

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Vote-a-matic quiz tells me that I should vote for Labor, but I’m still not convinced, so I’m going to go through this handy spreadsheet, issue by issue, to try to decide. If I agree with a party’s standing on a particular policy, they get a +1; if not, they get a -1.

I had hoped to deal with each issue individually here, but it’s a pretty Herculean task. Instead, here are the tallies (parties with candidates for the seat of Hume are in bold):

  1. Socialist Alliance (+35)
  2. Greens (+32)
  3. Secular Party (+19)
  4. Sex Party (+17)
  5. Democrats (+15)
  6. Liberals (+11)
  7. Liberal Democrats (+10)
  8. Labor (+6)
  9. Nationals (+3)
  10. One Nation (-6)
  11. Family First and Christian Democrats (-11)
  12. Democratic Labor Party (-17)

The problem here is that the Greens and Socialist Alliance have policies on everything—perhaps a symptom of endless caucusing—which skews the results in their favour. If we take this into account, we get the following order. (In effect, I’m giving the parties the benefit of the doubt.)

  1. Sex Party
  2. Secular Party
  3. Socialist Alliance
  4. Greens
  5. Democrats
  6. Liberal Democrats
  7. Liberals
  8. Nationals
  9. Labor
  10. One Nation
  11. Family First
  12. Christian Democrats
  13. Democratic Labor Party

I’m not sure I feel comfortable with the top end of that order—I’m not a huge fan of either Socialist Alliance or the Greens, although the Sex Party has impressed me, despite their moniker—but the bottom end looks about right. With any luck, I’ll have this nutted out by morning.

(Incidentally, if you happen to be voting in the seat of Fowler or in the ACT, please consider voting for Thomas Dang or Senate candidate Matthew Watts, respectively. They’re both old friends and exemplars of integrity and industry. You could do far, far worse than be represented in parliament by these fine, young gentlemen. Good luck, guys!)