Matt Hrkac's Blog
Victorian Greens seeking 'volunteer assistant organisers'
06 February 2019
No, the job title isn't 'volunteer assistant organiser' i.e a person assisting in the organising of volunteers, this really is a volunteer, assisting organisers or organising volunteers. It even states as much in the preamble:
Are you passionate about community organising? We are looking for an organiser – someone who can build a team to support our candidates and supporters to have thousands of meaningful and persuasive conversations with Victorian voters throughout 2019. This is not your average volunteer opportunity. The Victorian Greens are at the forefront of data driven community organising. We mobilise thousands of volunteers and talk to tens of thousands of voters. You will volunteer on weekends and evenings instead of weekdays, and you’ll need to be self-motivated and flexible – but you’ll meet amazing Greens members from all walks of life, and make a real difference to growing the political party that stands up for what matters. If you enjoy working with people and are passionate about building a progressive Australia, you’ll love this opportunity.
Yes, it certainly is correct that this isn't just your "average volunteer opportunity". Dig a little deeper into the position description, which is even more revealing:
Managing volunteers and supervising teams are listed as part of the "desirable skills" section. Now, people who volunteer for political parties and candidates will naturally fall into these responsibilities at the local electorate level - but this is arguably more high-level than that.
Then there's the part about meeting tight deadlines and managing logistics - again, more high level than the typical volunteer for a candidate standing for election.
But wait, it becomes even more damning:
To apply for these volunteer positions, applicants are expected to submit a resume and a covering letter addressing the selection criteria (being, the desirable skills section), with successful applicants expected to go through an interview process.
Lets take a look at the Fair Work Ombudsman, which categorises legal unpaid work into the following categories: unpaid trials (nope, this advertisement doesn't fit that), student placement (again, nope) and work experience and internships (fits closest into this category). Under this category, it states:
Unpaid work experience, job placements and internships that are not vocational placements will be unlawful if the person is in an employment relationship with the business or organisation they are doing the work for.
Digging deeper still:
If the purpose of the work experience, placement or internship to give the person work experience it is less likely to be an employment relationship. But if the person is doing work to help with the ordinary operation of the business or organisation it may be an employment relationship arises. The more productive work that’s involved (rather than just observation, learning, training or skill development), the more likely it is that the person’s an employee.
Now the people undertaking this particular role certainly aren't doing so just for observation, learning, training or skill development. It will be assisting with the ordinary operation of the organisation.
Is the work normally done by paid employees? Does the business or organisation need this work to be done? If the person is doing work that would otherwise be done by an employee, or it's work that the business or organisation has to do, it's more likely the person is an employee.'
Self explanatory. The Victorian Greens have employed paid organisers to perform this work in the past - even as recently as the 2018 Victorian State Election.
Although the person may do some productive activities as part of a learning experience, training or skill development, they're less likely to be an employee if they aren't expected or required by the business or organisation to come to work or do productive activities.
The people working in this particular role would be required to come to work and do productive activities - including managerial and supervision work. It states as much in the opening page of the position description that it is a 0.2 to 0.4 full-time equivalent position, or one to two days a week, plus weekend and evening work.
The person who’s doing the work should get the main benefit from the arrangement. If a business or organisation is getting the main benefit from engaging the person and their work, it’s more likely the person is an employee.
This one is obvious. It certainly isn't the person volunteering getting the benefit in this case.
Hence for the sake of determining whether this is a legitimate volunteer placement opportunity, or a position where those undertaking it should be entitled to the minimum wage plus the entitlements set out in the National Employment Standards (or in the case of the Victorian Greens, their enterprise agreement) - it is blatantly obvious that this is in breach as to what constitutes a lawful volunteer placement versus actual employment.
This isn't the first time that the Victorian Greens have advertised for unpaid volunteers interns - but that was at least done under the auspice of no expectations on part of the interns and volunteers to turn up, nor has there been any expectation that they perform tasks that are not to the benefit of the intern or volunteer.
If the Greens want to be taken seriously about workers rights and fair wages, they should pay their employees the appropriate renumeration that they are entitled to - or don't engage anyone at all.
Photos: Melbourne rally against nazis, racism and fascism
12 January 2019
Around 500 people attended a rally in Melbourne against racism, fascism and nazis today - organised by the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism in response to known neo-nazis rallying (under the guise of a "political meeting") at St Kilda Beach the week prior.
The winner of the most truthful sign at the rally goes to:
...and the winner of the sign that asks the question that should never have to be asked, but yet here we are:
Victorian Election 2018: Victorian Upper House - likely outcomes
27 November 2018
- Labor: 15 certain, as many as 18.
- Coalition: 10 certain, as many as 12.
- Greens: 0 certain, 1 highly likely, outside chance of 2.
- Others: as many as 10.
Eastern Metropolitan Region
Both of the major parties currently sit at two quotas each. If there is no significant below the line leakage, it is likely that those two quotas should hold up and elect two from each of the major parties. The Greens have been knocked down to half a quota and it is unlikely they'll recover enough or get the required preference flows (due to a small Labor surplus) to retain their seat at this point - with a Druery micro likely to get the fifth spot.
Eastern Victoria Region
Both Labor and the Liberal/Nationals sit at just above two quotas each. I have indicated in the graph above that two each from the major parties are certain to be elected but the second seat for each becomes dicy if their vote declines as the count progresses. Shooters, Fishers and Farmers have likely lost their seat to another Druery micro.
Northern Metropolitan Region
Labor currently have two quotas and 0.7 of a third. They should easily retain two seats and highly likely a third. The Greens have fallen below a quota and the Liberal Party vote, despite also being under a quota, has also recovered as the count has gone on whilst the Greens have gone down. The Greens should retain their seat off the back of a large vote for the Victorian Socialists, however any further decline in either Greens or Socialists vote will put this seat at risk. The last spot will likely be between the Liberal Party and a Druery micro.
Northern Victoria Region
Labor and the Liberal/Nationals both have a quota each, as well as a significant portion of a second quota each and will both get one seat each on this basis. Shooters, Fishers and Farmers have increased their vote to nearly half a quota but look likely to be defeated at this stage unless if below the line preferences favour them significantly. The last three spots will be between Labor, Liberal/Nationals and an array of Druery micros.
South-Eastern Metropolitan Region
Labor have just over three quotas with little surplus and the Liberal Party has one quota with a significant surplus. This will certainly see two from Labor elected and highly likely a third at the expense of the Greens, whose vote has slumped significantly to around 0.3 of a quota. The Liberal Party will get one elected, with the final seat to be between the Liberal Party and a Druery micro.
Southern Metropolitan Region
The two major parties have two quotas each with likely enough of a surplus to not put the election of two of each into doubt. The final seat will come down between the Greens, on 0.75 of a quota and a Druery micro - the Greens will struggle without a significant flow of below the line preferences but are nonetheless an outside chance of retaining their seat, especially if there is a high leakage of below the line preferences favouring the Greens.
Western Metropolitan Region
Labor have two quotas and 0.84 of a third. The Liberals have one quota and 0.25 of a second. This will see at least two Labor and one Liberal elected, and highly likely a third Labor at the expense of the Greens, which saw its share of the vote fall to just over 0.5% of a quota. The final seat will be between the Greens and a Druery micro, with the latter likely prevailing.
Western Victoria Region
Labor have two quotas and around 0.3% of a third. The Liberal/Nationals have fallen below two quotas but have a surplus of over 0.8% of a quota. This will see at least two Labor elected and one Liberal elected, with possibility of a second Liberal though they aren't getting good flows of preferences above the line. It is likely the final two seats will go to micro parties.
Victorian State Election 2018: Results Live
24 November 2018
Welcome to the live thread for the 2018 Victorian State Election. Polls are due to close any minute now and we should be seeing some meaningful results come through in about an hour. View the seat number tracker, which will count the number of seats each party has retained in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. The Legislative Assembly Pendulum page will also be updated throughout the night to reflect seat gains and retains. Stay tuned.
6.00pm - polls are now closed and counting will begin in any moment.
6.30pm - some early results coming in from a few small rural polling places. They (predictably) show a strong Nationals result, but nothing definitive as yet.
7.10pm - there are big swings to Labor across the state and particularly within electorates located in suburban Melbourne. These results do not look very promising to the Coalition.
7.42pm - This has been a very quick night. The result for the Coalition in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne can be described as nothing other than a bloodbath and Labor looks to substantially increase its majority. The Greens are also looking very shaky in the inner Melbourne suburbs.
9.03pm - I have 55 seats as certain Labor Party gains or retains, and 12 certain Liberal Party retains, with 1 Green and 1 independent. The remainder of the seats, mostly within the 5% to 10% range for the Liberal Party, I consider to still be in doubt to varying degrees.
Friends don't let friends vote above the line
16 November 2018
The Victorian Legislative Council has produced a remarkably consistent list of candidates between each region. This consistency, with pretty much every party contesting every region, is no doubt the work of Glen Druery - the 'preference whisperer' who orchestrated a series of complex preference deals that got Ricky Muir elected to the Senate at the 2013 Federal Election on just 0.51% of the primary vote.
These same complex preference negotiations got two Shooters and Fishers Party MPs, a Democratic Labour Party MP, Fiona Patten of the Sex Party as well as James Purcell of Vote 1 Local Jobs elected on a minuscule percentage of the primary vote in their respective regions,
Druery, now a staffer for Federal Senator Derryn Hinch, has struck again. Reports are that Druery charges a fee of $5000 for each minor party to be involved in his alliance. He then charges a stipend of $50,000 if a candidate he engaged is successfully elected.
The system of Group Voting Tickets, whereby parties can dictate where their preferences go to if they are eliminated from the count, has been thoroughly discredited and has become nothing more than a farce - especially if it can become a nice little money-kicker and business model for preference whisperers such as Druery.
This was the system used for the Federal Senate prior to the 2016 Federal Election, until it was rightly reformed to allow above or below the the line semi-optional preferential voting. Group voting tickets are still in use in Victorian State Elections for the upper house.
The conservative parties have kept their preferences largely as a block. However, the progressive parties have not been so disciplined. In a number of regions, the Labor Party have directed preferences to a combination of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party and the Aussie Battler Party ahead of the Greens.
On the contrary, despite their bellyaching on social media, the Greens have directed preferences to a combination of Sustainable Australia, Health Australia Party, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party and the Aussie Battler Party ahead of the Labor Party in most regions.
The Transport Matters Party as well as Hudson for NV also appear higher than the Labor Party on the Greens group tickets for some regions; likewise, they appear higher than the Greens on the Labor Party's group tickets for some regions.
The Reason Party have also directed their above the line preferences to Derryn Hinch's Justice Party, Transport Matters, Sustainable Australia and hard-core libertarian Liberal Democratic Party ahead of both Labor and The Greens.
The Animal Justice Party are also directing preferences to the above mentioned Right-wing minor parties ahead of both Labor and the Greens.
All of this means that a 1 above the line vote for any of these parties risks parties of the Right getting elected, thus helping Druery to make his living, rather than a progressive of one stripe or another getting elected.
Would a voter of the Greens be pleased to know that vote would potentially be contributing to the election of nationalists into the state parliament? Would a voter of the Reason Party be pleased to know that their vote could potentially deliver a seat to the tough-on-law and order and right-wing reactionary populists Derryn Hinch's Justice Party?
Would a voter of the Labor Party be pleased to know that their vote could contribute to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidates getting elected?
No, neither groups of voters would. They would infect be mortified if they were to find out that the party they are voting for could deliver a seat to someone of the complete ideological opposite.
None of these parties can take the moral high-ground here. As they have all done deals with parties of their ideological opposite.
In fact, the only party that can rightly and legitimately take the moral high-ground is the Victorian Socialists - who have directed preferences in an order, in every region, that their voters would likely go with anyway. They have directed preferences to The Greens, followed by Reason and Animal Justice Party, followed by Labor in most regions.
However, there is a way to completely break the back of Druery's business model. That is by voting below the line.
In Victorian State Elections, you only need to number in sequence from 1 to at least 5 below the line to cast a valid vote. However, it is recommended you go beyond that, numbering as many boxes in sequence as you can.
This means you can vote for Labor, or the Greens, Reason and Animal Justice Party and ensure you preference other progressive parties, without unwillingly directing your preferences to right-wing parties - you can leave them unnumbered completely.
If you intend to vote for any of the Right-wing parties, voting below the line is helpful for you too.
The point being, regardless of which party you vote for in the upper house, in this state election; voting below the line takes control of your preferences away from the preference whisperers and gives it to you, the voter.
However, it probably isn't the readers of this blog who have to be convinced. Most people who avidly follow politics are already well informed and educated as to how voting and preferencing works. At the last state election, 93.8% of Victorian voters placed faith in their party of choice to direct preferences by just voting 1 above the line. It is these people that need to be convinced and informed.
So get the message out there. Tell your friends, your neighbours, your coworkers and your family: in the upcoming Victorian State Election - vote below the line and explain to them how easy it is. This is the way, and only way, we can bust the business model of Druery and ensure an upper house that is representative of the voting population.
With group ticket voting, it has become clear that voters can no longer trust parties to direct their preferences in good faith. Take the power, and your vote, back.
I have had polls up for about a week now, asking website viewers what percentage of the state wide primary vote that they think each of the three major parties will get.
Here is a visualisation of the results so far.
For Labor, a large majority of respondents believe that the party will get between 35% and 45% of the state wide primary vote.
In 2014, Labor achieved a primary vote of 38.1%, indicating that the party will hold its ground at worst or at best, improve its vote by a few percentage points.
Of particular note is that a significant minority of respondents are optimistic that Labor could get a primary vote of more than 50% in the upcoming state election, while very few respondents think that the party will get less than 35%.
The results for the Liberal Party are a little more mixed. Like with Labor, a similar large majority of respondents believed that the Coalition will get between 35% and 45% of the state wide primary vote.
However, in contrast to the Labor Party, a significant minority of respondents believe that the Coalition will get less than 35% of the state wide primary vote, while very few think that they will get more than 45%.
In general, most respondents believe that the Coalition will get a lower primary vote than Labor in this election at worst and will lose further ground compared to their 2014 result.
The Liberal and National parties got a combined primary vote of 42% at the 2014 State Election.
For The Greens; an overwhelming majority of respondents agree that the party will get less than 12.5% of the vote and little over 50% contend that the party will get less than 10% of the primary vote.
The Greens got 11.48% of the vote in 2014, indicating that at best the party will hold its ground and at worst, will go backwards, compared to 2014.
Very few respondents believe that the Greens primary vote will improve in any significant way - which is indicative of the trend for the party over the last decade where it has held its ground or gone backwards in state and federal elections over that time period.
*Disclaimer: the above poll results are in no way scientific and merely serve to provide an indication of what primary vote each party may achieve.
Newspoll: Labor leads 54% to 46% in Victoria
29 October 2018
A Newspoll of Victorian state voting intentions (courtesy of GhostWhoVotes on Twitter) with just 25 days to go until the State Election, has shown that Labor is on the front foot and has pulled well and truely streets ahead in its fight to retain government in Victoria. It leads the Coalition 54% to 46% on a two party preferred basis, a swing of +2% to Labor since 2014 and +3% since the last Newspoll.
On the primary vote, Labor sits at 41% (a swing of +2.9% since the last election, and +1% since the last Newspoll), the Coalition on 39% (-3% and -2%) and The Greens on 11% (-0.5% and steady).
The poll also asked questions on approval and disapproval of each leader, as well as questions on preferred Premier.
On the former: Danial Andrews has a +5 net approval rating with 45% (+2 since last Newspoll) approving of his leadership, and 40% (-7) disapproving. Matthew Guy has a net approval rating of -15, with 31% (-1) approving of his leadership and 46% (+1) disapproving.
On the latter question: Daniel Andrews leads Matthew Guy as preferred Premier by a large margin - 45% (+4 since the last Newspoll) to 29% (-5).
Photos: Nauru and Manus In Crisis - Bring Them Here Rally
28 October 2018
Photos from the refugee rally in Melbourne on Saturday, October 27, organised by the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) calling for the closure of the Manus Island and Nauru off-shore detention centres and to settle asylum seekers in Australia.
Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association (VAHPA) Secretary Craig McGregor.
A couple of fascists gatecrashed the rally and attempted to intimidate the attendees by filming them. The fascists were soundly outnumbered and the rally proceeded undeterred.
The rally was attended by at least 2,000 people calling for the closure of the Manus Island and Nauru off-shore refugee detention camps.
Courtesy of GhostWhoVotes on Twitter, a new ReachTEL poll released tonight of Victorian state voting intentions shows the Labor Party leading the Coalition on a two party preferred basis, 52% to 48%. This result, completely unchanged since the 2014 State Election, indicates that the Labor Party is on track to retaining government at the upcoming November state election.
On primary vote, the Coalition sits on 39.4% (−2.6% since the 2014 State Election), Labor on 37.6% (−0.5) and The Greens on 10.9% (−0.58). The poll also shows the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party sitting on 4% of the vote, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party on 2%, Reason Party on 0.9 and collective others on 4.2%.
Daniel Andrews leads on the question of preferred Premier, with 51.3% of respondents preferring him over Matthew Guy. 48.7% of respondents prefer Matthew Guy.