We have a Federal election on Saturday (thankfully – this campaign seems to have gone forever!). And of course we will have the usual wine and cheese fest.
Several polls have revealed that around 20% of Australians intend to vote for minor parties. This is no real surprise as I think pretty much everyone is becoming increasingly less enamoured of the two major parties.
As is our wont, we were having a lively political discussion about this issue the other evening. Joe/Frank, as is his wont, was explaining some of the crazier minor party platforms to us, so we suggested as a uni-break-activity he compile a handy-dandy guide for the family.
I adored it so much I asked if I could share, and so, here’s the Joe/Frank guide to the minor parties running for Senate in NSW:
I’ve listed up all the parties that you know nothing about and what they stand out in a short, easy to digest summary.
Health Australia Party – officially ‘a centrist movement in favour of “promoting open and transparent government” and “stimulating individual freedom of choice and thought”‘, in practice has interest in “natural medicine” (i.e. homeopathy), is in bed with the anti-vaxers and anti-flouride in the water (clearly they’re all a bunch of GOVERNMENT BRAINWASHING GIVING YOU AND YOUR KIDS AUTISM people). So yeah.
Seniors United Party – campaigning for the rights for the aged, the main purpose is to try and push for a parliamentary inquiry into the way that nursing homes are run. Also wants simplification of superannuation policies (from income and asset tests to a single means test that does not include the family home) and the introduction of a national Pallative Care system.
Family First – religious right party that has links to Assemblies of God and other conservative Christian churches. I won’t go into depth as they are reasonably well-known.
Liberal Democrats – libertarians. Not to be confused with the Liberal Party/Coalition, which many people did in the last election.
VOTEFLUX – no official policies, but are interested in parliamentary reform. This means that how their MP’s would hypothetically vote on a bill would be determined by the will of the people through the Flux app by putting up the legislation on the app and making them vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’. People however don’t need to vote on every issue in VOTEFLUX’s world, instead they can trade votes with other users or save them up to have greater influcence on issues they actually care about.
Teresa van Lieshout – perennial candidate who usually runs as an Independent (with stints in the PUP and other unsavoury right-wing parties) in WA. Has had unorthodox campaign videos (seriously, look it up). Fell out with Clive Palmer due to anti-asylum seeker views. General nutjob, tbh.
Democratic Labour Party – was a political party back in the 50’s and 60’s that mostly existed to keep the ALP out of power following a stoush against Communism (long story that isn’t really relevant and you probably already heard of…) Anyway, they have since reformed (lol) and are basically the Catholic’s party, tend to be socially conservative (anti-SSM, pro-life, etc.) but is anti neo-liberalism (favour distributism as their economic philosophy instead of captialism or communism) and tend to be sympathic towards asylum seekers and want gambling reform amongst other things.
Science Party – formerly known as the Future Party, tends to be very progressive on technological issues and in general has an eye towards the future. Examples of this include opposing “unnecessary” regulation on new technology, increased immigration, higher population density, a republic, opposition to criminalisation of journalism and government monitoring of data and high-speed rail.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers – pro-guns rights in that they favour the right for all citizens to own a gun and want to expand hunting. Vaguely libertarian, in the sense that they want to reduce government regulations and the like. Supports rural industries and consider themelves anti-green.
Voluntary Euthanasia Party – what it says on the tin, and not much more.
Socialist Alliance – main far-left/radical socialist party in Australia. Has heavy involvement in the union movement, civil liberties campaigning, immigrants and Indigenous rights, and other leftist causes in Australia and around the world. Policies are what you’d expect.
Rise Up Australia – RWNJ’s, essentially. Claim to want to preserve Australia’s “Judeo-Christian values” and oppose “the spread of the Islamic doctrine in Australia” and same-sex marriage amongst other right-wing BS.
Online Direct Democracy – essentially read VOTEFLUX, with some further restrictions (e.g. they must abstain if there isn’t a clear majority – as in the vote doesn’t clear 55%+ and more than 100,000 votes).
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party – mostly follow the lead of Derryn Hinch. Although have some left-leaning policies – pro-SSM and voluntary euthanasia, pro-animal rights and wants further action on domestic violence, his main policies tend to criminal law reform, such as harsher bail and parole restrictions, and more importantly a national database of sex offenders.
Jacqui Lambie Network – again mostly the policies of Jacqui Lamie herself. Pro veteran rights and supports the implementation of a national Apprenticeship, Trade and Traineeship system with the help of the ADF and a carbon tax, but wants a ban on Sharia Law in Australia and wants ‘regulation’ of halal certification.
Pirate Party – based on the philosophy of pirate politics, which supports amongst other things reform of copyright and patent law, freedom of information, net neutrality and open content. In terms of Australia they also support things like clean energy, civil liberties, animal welfare, drug reform, the implementation of a bill of rights, and protection for whistleblowers.
Veterans Party – support the rights of veterans and care and support for them. For their full policy list read: http://www.advp.org.au/PDP_Files/Full_ADVP_Policy.pdf (unfortunately the most important ones haven’t been spelt out all that easily on their site or other sources)
Secular Party – support the seperation of church and state in Australia and related policies such as the defending of freedom of expression everywhere, promoting secularism worldwide and promoting the “fullest use of science for human welfare”
CountryMinded – claims to represent the interest of regional people and based around the philosophy that agriculture is “the key sustainable foundation of regional socioeconomic and political stability, both domestically and abroad for current and future generations” and therefore help foster awareness of rural issues and economies.
Socialist Equality Party – see Socialist Alliance. Bit of a Judean People’s Front/People’s Front of Judea going on here, you think.
Citizens Electoral Council – think LaRouchites and general nutjobs/conspiracy theorists. Tend to have some leftist views (e.g. they favour repealing all anti-union laws and repeal of anti-terror laws), but are climate change skeptics and amongst other conspiracy theoriesthink that the Port Arthur massacre was an inside job set up by the Royal Family.
Australian Motoring Enthuisatists Party – promotes the rights of motoring enthuisatists and road safety and vehicle regulations. In practice is the political wing of Ricky Muir, but he isn’t running in NSW. His actual ideology is hard to determine but he seems to be somewhat centrist/centre-left, and has the support of GetUp.
Animal Justice Party – pro animal rights. Specifically are in favour of policies such as banning the killing of wildlife for any purpose barring euthanasia, banning the use of animals in entertainment, banning exports of live animals to Australia for commercial purposes, and establishing animal specific under and overpasses to prevent roadkill.
Arts Party – for advocacy of the Arts community, and promoting the rights of budding artists and musicans.
Non-Custodial Parents Party – pro family law reform. In particular calls for laws to ensure that both parents to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, and for reform to Child Support to ensure that it meets its main goal, to support to child.
Mature Australia Party – calls for policies for all Australians (although with a focus of over 50’s) to secure and enhance their fundamental collective rights. Support amongst other things “remove all provisions which discriminate inequitably, or or against any individuals or sections of the Australian population in relation to conditions, penalties or privileges on the basis of colour, race, religion, or creed” and increasing the pension from below the national poverty line to a level around 75% of the official minimum wage of working Australians.
Christian Democratic Party – like Family First but more aggressive towards Muslims and the Greens (well Fred Nile is anyway) and perhaps more malicious in tone.
Australian Sex Party – also libertarians, but unlike the LDP they seem to put more focus towards social matters. For example they are opposed to internet censorship, support a royal commission into sexual abuse in Australian religious institutions, and is in favour of SSM, legalisation of cannabis and decriminalisation of harder drugs (although they also are in favour of instead using referrals to drug treatment centres)
Australian Progressives – left-wing party that calls for dental care to be added to Medicare, a federal anti-corruption body to be created, and increased funding to the ABC and SBS.
Nick Xenophon Team – who knows. Seriously, look at the sort of people he’s run with in the past over in SA. On paper they appear to be like the Democrats but with a populist and anti-pokies tinge.
Drug Law Reform – as it says on the tin. Specifically are lobbying to move debate about drug use towards decriminalisation and harm minimisation.
#Sustainable Australia – advocates a stable population for Australia, arguing that excess population would cause too much strain on Australia’s environment and economy. They also suggest that cutting high immigration rates (currently at 200,000, they suggest it should be at 70,000) would help improve our education and health care systems and they also propose improving public transport and revitalisiting rural and regional Australia.
Australian Liberty Alliance – OMG THE MUSLIMZZZ!!111!!!!! THEY’RE DESTROYING MY COUNTRY!!!11!!!11!11!! Suggest that Australia need a 10 year moratorium from Islamic countries unless they were persecuted non-Muslims. Also have general anti-Halal/anti-Islamisation views that need little introduction.
Renewable Energy Party – promotes renewable energy, and calls for the ‘utmost urgency’ into moving towards net zero emissions and by 2030 all of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources. Though the party leader is Peter Breen, solicitor that was once in the NSW Lower House under the “Reform the Legal System” banner and was an advisor for Ricky Muir before being sacked. Do we another Glenn Druery on our hands?
Help End Marijuana Prohibition – as it says on the tin. And not much more.
Hope that helps. Some of the parties info was hard to refine to a bite-size form, if you want I can go in depth for the vaguer ones.