6 News Australia
Could the Freedom Party pick up seats at the Victorian state election?
Updated: Jul 5, 2022
The party's deputy leader has spoken to 6 News in an exclusive interview.
Deputy leader of the Freedom Party of Victoria, Aidan McLindon, has told 6 News that the party is more focused on having an influence in the election outcome, rather than actually winning seats.
McLindon has been in 7 parties over the years - originally the Liberal Party from 1996 until 2004, before joining the The Nationals in 2004, which soon merged with the Liberals to become the Liberal-National Party in 2008.
He a was elected as the Member for Beaudesert for the LNP in the Queensland Parliament in 2009.
In 2010, he left the party to sit as an independent before forming The Queensland Party.
That party later merged into Katter's Australian Party.
McLindon lost his seat in 2012, and ran as a senate candidate for Family First at the 2013 federal election.
In 2021, he was also briefly affiliated with the Australian Federation Party.
The Freedom Party's leader is Morgan C Jonas, who's been described as a "freedom activist" by some.
Jonas was originally going to run for the United Australia Party in the seat of Flinders at this year's federal election, but resigned & was replaced by Alex van der End.
He ended up running as an independent senate candidate alongside partner Monica Smit under the 'Group R' label, where they picked up 0.4% of the vote.
McLindon says "our focus is more in having an influence in the outcome," instead of getting their own candidates elected.
"If you win seats is an added bonus...but equally, every party has to channel their preferences somewhere."
While only voters choose preferences, it can get a little more complicated when voting for candidates running for the Victorian upper house, where Group Voting Tickets come into play.
According to the ABC, each group lodges a full ticket of preferences to all candidates on the ballot paper.
"When a voter selects a party using the group ticket voting square, the vote is deemed to have the full list of preferences lodged by that group."
This only applies when voting above the line, not below the line - and only for the Victorian Legislative Council.
GVT was abolished for federal elections before the 2016 federal election, and in WA following the 2021 state election - leaving Victoria as the only state with them still in place.
McLindon said "backroom deals that have been happening historically are, at best, unethical."
He says the Freedom Party will tell voters where their preferences go.
However, he did not fully commit to support for abolishing GVT, expressing concern about what the system would be replaced with.
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