Mungo MacCallum, Ocean Shores
Jo Wilkins in her letter to Echonetdaily is simply wrong.
While optional preferential voting is available in state elections in New South Wales and Queensland, it is not in federal elections. A ballot paper for the House of Representatives that simply numbers the Greens candidate number one is invalid – in that sense it could be seen as a vote for Tony Abbott (it obviously isn’t a vote against him) but it will be ruled out as informal.
To be counted, the paper must list all candidates in order of preference — from number one to the least liked. Thus a Green voter will have to choose between Labor and Liberal if his/her vote is to matter. The choice may be unwelcome. But it is unavoidable.