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The lowdown on Super Saturday by-elections

Image of GetUp members GetUp members will be handing out independent issue-based how-to-vote cards in the Super Saturday by-elections to progress the fight for a fair, flourishing and just Australia.
To inform our how-to-vote cards, GetUp conducted research and surveys of political parties on their positions, across 7 issues of great importance to GetUp members. We've combined that information with insights from campaign partners, further research, and recent policy announcements and statements from candidates and party spokespeople.

In all strategic decisions, GetUp's guiding principle is to help GetUp members (and the values they embody) have the greatest impact on the issues they care about most -- because it's not just about making our voices heard, it's about making them matter. To read more about our methodology and research, read on.
GetUp gets involved in election campaigns where there is:
1. A motivation: a clear distinction between the parties or candidates in the race, on the issues that matter most to the GetUp movement.
2. A movement: of members who approve of being involved, and are themselves eager to be involved;
3. An opportunity: an opportunity for members to participate and create positive change on the issues they care about.


GetUp members get involved in elections in a range of ways — whether it's making calls to speak to voters, chipping in for a billboard, volunteering their time for a cheeky tactic, or speaking to voters on election day at their local polling booth.

GetUp takes a range of information into account when deciding how and whether to campaign during elections. The GetUp Strategy Team run polls of voters, as well as talking to GetUp members on the ground, over the phone and on the internet. Together, we have conversations about where and when GetUp members want to put their force into political campaigns -- if they do, how. We brainstorm together in cafes, libraries and parks -- and when we can't be physically together, we work through questions of strategy and priority in surveys.
In these by-elections, GetUp has created independent, issue-based how-to-vote cards for the electorates of Longman and Mayo. On election day in Mayo, volunteers will be distributing printed cards at 12 polling booths - click here to register your interest.

How-to-vote cards tell voters specifically how to cast their vote if they support a given issue. The featured issues reflect a combination of priorities identified by the GetUp movement and issues important to local voters, as identified through polling and voter research.

Testing has shown that how-to-vote cards can have a significantly bigger impact on voters than a scorecard that tells voters where the parties stand across a variety of issues.
This isn't our first rodeo.

GetUp members have handed out independent issue-based how-to-vote cards in the 2015 Queensland state election, the 2016 federal election, and the 2017 Queensland election – and we've seen a consistent and measurable impact throughout those election efforts.

In the 2015 Queensland election, an independent analysis showed that GetUp's how-to-vote effort influenced the outcome in 7 out of the 9 seats we targeted, helping determine who was able to form government in a knife-edge election.
GetUp regularly surveys the GetUp movement on the issues that matter most to them -- including in the annual GetUp Vision Survey, national sample surveys, and localised surveys over the last six months.

The featured issues in a given electorate reflect the combination of issue priorities from member surveys, and issues important to local voters, identified through polling and voter research. In the months leading up to the by-elections, surveyed GetUp members said some of the most important issues to them included stopping the corporate tax cut, protecting the ABC from funding cuts and privatisation, opposing the Adani Carmichael coal mine, and improving health & hospitals funding.
We seek to provide helpful information for GetUp members and local voters, embodying GetUp's values as a progressive movement in our assessment of parties and candidates. We prioritise ensuring our how-to-vote cards are easily readable and not so complex as to be incomprehensible to voters. Accordingly, GetUp's how-to-vote cards do not feature every political party, nor do they give a comprehensive review of each candidates' policy positions.

A requirement for being featured on our election day materials was that candidates (or their party) score well on our policy scorecard. Additionally, they must have demonstrated their legitimacy in support from the community (through either holding a seat in an Australian State or Federal Parliament, or strong support in polling); and not be in contravention of our core mission (for a fair, flourishing and just Australia).

GetUp's scorecard and HTV did not feature parties whose policies would lead to a less fair, flourishing and just Australia. This means:
  • Where parties may have had policy alignment with GetUp members on the 7 issues areas GetUp surveyed in this by-election campaign, but policies in other areas which directly contravene the GetUp movement's progressive values, they were not featured on our how-to-vote cards.
  • Our view is that candidates or parties that take openly hostile policy positions to fundamental human rights don't deserve a vote in this by-election. This means that any political party which takes a policy position which deprives people in our community of their fundamental rights (e.g. as a result of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or gender) has not been featured.
  • When it comes to how-to-votes: as a result of our compulsory preferential voting system, we have to give these parties a number on a HTV card - and you'll find them around the bottom of the list.

Preferencing is no perfect science. In deciding the order of preferences, we aimed to prioritise candidates or parties whose overall contribution to politics appeared broadly aligned with the GetUp movement's core values -- for example, candidates who are in favour of participatory democracy, equality and climate action; and whose policies don't our contravene fundamental human rights and the core beliefs for our movement (e.g. support of multiculturalism, women's rights, and equality for all - no matter who you love or worship).

We didn't receive responses to our policy survey from every candidate and party running these by-elections. However, we independently scrutinised the parties or candidates; and combined it with survey responses we did receive. These inputs helped inform the fact base and the order of the candidates featured on our How-To-Vote cards.

For more information, check out our Super Saturday by-election scorecard. This scorecard may be updated over the course of the campaign as more information comes to light about the candidates and where they stand. If you spot something that you think is missing - email [email protected]
GetUp is backing policy positions on the issues identified as top priorities by GetUp members – protecting public broadcasting, improving health and hospital funding, making corporations pay their fair share of tax, stopping the Adani Carmichael mine, securing a strong and independent federal anti-corruption watchdog, ensuring evacuation of all refugees and people seeking asylum, and defending charities and journalists from legislative attacks on civil society. In turn, we're giving voters information about how to support parties and candidates who support these policy positions.
Mayo HTV ABC indexation freeze amounts to cuts, ABC press release, 8 May 2018