Find out what the candidates care about
Once you have found the House of Representative candidates for your electorate and the Senate candidates for your State or Territory, find out what issues they care about.
Look at what they write or say on their websites, social media pages, pamphlets or in interviews and speeches that they give. If a candidate mentions an issue a lot, it is probably something that they plan to act on if they are elected.
If a candidate has previously been elected to parliament, you can find out whether they have done anything about the issue you care about before. You can read what speeches MPs and Senators have made in parliament at www.aph.gov.au
In particular, parliamentarians use their ‘maiden speech’ (first speech) in parliament to highlight issues that are most important to them.
You can also see how parliamentarians have voted on particular issues through theyvoteforyou.org.au/people
If you aren’t sure what a candidate thinks about issues that you care about, call them at their office, attend events where they will be, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is their job to convince you to vote for them.
Find out who the candidates are
Candidates are strongly influenced by the values and the positions of their parties. MPs and Senators will normally vote how their party tells them to.
You can find out what parties are promising through their websites. Look for pages that are called something like ‘Our policies’ ‘Our values’, ‘Our vision’, ‘Our Plan’, ‘National Platform’.
The ABC has a useful tool called Vote Compass, which lets you check how your views on issues compare with the political parties: