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Polling booths and polling day - Guidance and QandA

 

Please use this guidance to support and represent Australian Parents for Climate Action at polling booths. See the quick summary table and QandA below.

Australian Parents for Climate Action volunteers can

Australian Parents for Climate Action won’t

Have great climate conversations with electors at polling booths.

Hand out ‘how to vote’ cards, scorecards, local group flyers, or  material other than our 'where do they stand' guide.

Wear an Australian Parents for Climate Action t-shirt.

Tell people how to vote.

Hand out our 'where do they stand' guide.

 

Display our “Climate Action Now” corflute signs.

While our “Climate Action Now” corflute signs don’t need political authorisations at other places, these can’t be used close to the polling booths.

Set up a stall outside the polling place: Stalls can be set up outside a polling place as long as they are 6 metres from the entrance to the booth and they do not obstruct voters access to the booth. Only hand out our 'Where Do They Stand' guide.

No electoral matter can be handed out near a polling booth if is doesn't have political authorisations (these are special identifying statements as outlined here). 

 

QandA

What is our campaign strategy around polling booths?


At polling booths, we encourage Australian Parents for Climate Action volunteers to engage in productive climate conversations at polling stations and across their communities, but not to hand out ‘how to vote’ cards as Australian Parents for Climate Action.


Our overall strategy is to work towards durable, multi-partisan support for climate action, before and after the election. We want all sides of politics to support greater action on climate change. In order to increase trust and confidence in working with all election candidates towards playing a greater role in championing climate action, we have chosen not to undermine their campaigns, including with “how to vote” cards, or scorecards. Instead we seek to present the facts about all candidates' policies alongside clear arguments for climate solutions. We want to raise the importance of climate change in our communities. We have produced a national “where do they stand guide”.

Shouldn’t we just work to change the government? To hell with non-partisanship!


As frustrating as the lack of action is, ours is a long-term strategy. This election is important. But so is every day and every parliament that comes after. We need a strategy that improves the climate policies of every government - for the duration of our children’s lives, not just this one. So, if Australian Parents for Climate Action ditches the trust we’ve built through genuine non-partisanship by supporting or opposing parties or politicians, we lose the chance to engage decision makers on climate in the future. There are many other organisations in the climate movement who are better placed to agitate. Our unique role is to unite all sides of politics around a common agenda for a better climate future. That’s part of our power - we get a seat at the table, when many other groups are excluded. What happens in one location is communicated through political circles (very quickly) and may affect Australian Parents for Climate Action supporters’ relationships with other decision makers. So, we choose to be genuinely non-partisan, because our kids’ climate is too important to leave to party politics. And it’s working - already more than 100 candidates have signed our pledge to support Solar Our Schools. This is a tremendous platform we can build on.

How does Australian Parents for Climate Action answer the question “who should I vote for?”


Australian Parents for Climate Action is intentionally non-partisan. That is our power - we engage with all sides of politics towards durable multi partisan support for climate action. On top of that, we can’t support or oppose any candidate under charity law. So, when someone asks “Who should I vote for?”, we can say, “You can vote for the candidate with the strongest climate policy. Here’s a link to our ‘where do they stand guide’.” Basically, we don’t tell people who to vote for, but we can empower them to decide, using our analysis.

Can we hand out scorecards or ‘how to vote’ cards?


Yes, you can, but not as Australian Parents for Climate Action. That’s an individual decision that can be enabled by other groups and campaigns.

What rules and laws do we need to be aware of?


Australian Electoral Commission rules and Australian Charity Not-for-profits Commission rules apply to everything Australian Parents for Climate Action and identifiable supporters do. Please get in touch with the staff team for any specific guidance. See the table above for a quick summary.

How to have great conversations with willing participants


Check out our expert climate conversations guide and resources here.

What we do: We can attend a polling booth as AP4CA and be present to engage in conversations. Just ensure that AP4CA volunteers do not tell people how to vote.

In short: we don’t tell people who to vote for, but we can empower them to decide, using our analysis: "Where Do They Stand" Guide.

Our approach: We aim to show a relatable and trusted voice of families who want what’s best for our kids. So please be considerate of others. Show others you are having fun. And get involved in local community activities, such as democracy sausages, wearing your Australian Parents for Climate Action colours.

 

 

Bring along your sign up sheets, or send people to sign up for local groups online. And consider hosting a post election social event at a pub, park, or playground, as a way to build relationships through a shared-experience. For example, https://www.ap4ca.org/post_election_get-together

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Australian Parents for Climate Action meet and work on the lands of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and respect that sovereignty of those lands was never ceded. We pay respect to Elders, past and present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.