The disastrous Victorian Labor Party Senate preference deal with Family First at the last federal election – the deal that led to the loss of Senator Jacinta Collins – has sparked much debate in Crikey of late. And it was also on the agenda when the Labor women’s ginger group, Emily’s List, met in Melbourne last weekend.

The Labor women resolved unanimously to request that the party never enter into a preference deal with Family First again – a protest against the impact of the Victorian deal and Family First’s evangelical Christian policies. There’ll be a whole new focus on Family First in the lead up to their first senator, Steve Fielding, taking his place. The sisters have spoken – but with talk on the increasing influence of the fundamentalist vote, what will the bruvvers say?

PS: Wonks, rejoice. Forget optional preferential voting. There’s a world of electoral system delights here .

Peter Fray

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