Tiara’s Really Short Summary of the Lesser-Known Australian Political Parties
(so not Labor, Liberal/Nationals, or Greens)
Two elections ago, while I was languishing on a bridging visa in Brisbane frustrated that most politicians wouldn’t respond to my letters about making said bridging visas less like hell on Earth, my matey/partner at the time — an Australian citizen — felt sorry for me and suggested I look through each party’s policies so I could make up my own list of preferences for him to follow. I spent some time looking through each party’s policy, noting just how many misleading names there are, how many “single-issue” parties sneak in unrelated policy, how people can be easily tricked by voting for someone against their interests if they aren’t paying attention.
(My top choice then was the Australian Democrats, which apparently is forced to run White Label this year due to some election law.)
After seeing a campaign ad by another party with a very misleading name, and reading discussions about who to vote for, I decided to do the same thing with this year’s crop of parties. I still can’t vote — I’m off the bridging visa and onto permanent residency, but only citizens can vote — so this is the best way I can participate in the democratic process.
Note: This is purely my opinion after semi-quick studies of each party’s policies on their website. Some of these comments are a little silly. Please do your own research as well! If you’d like more in-depth analysis, check out Cate Speaks.
#Sustainable Australia: Blame Immigrants For Everything
21st Century Australia: Imagine if a tech startup bro wants to Disrupt! politics with Innovation! but does fuck-all research. For example, they seems to assume that visas are free (seriously, one of their policies is “we’ll defeat the boats by allowing people to buy a visa!!” 😑)
Animal Justice Party: Make Australia Vegan Again (also similar to Sustainable in that they’re both all about “population control”)
Australia First Party: Make Australia White Again (sample policy: no more mosques)
Australian Antipaedophile Party: Vehemently anti sex-ed because they believe that it sexualizes children, also possibly anti-adoption
Australian Christians: Make Australia Christian Again
Australian Country Party: Rural-centric, anti-fracking, pro-Indigenous, more progressive than their name sounds
Australian Cyclists Party: Teach Kids How To Cycle! Let’s Have Everyone Cycle! (Actually pretty solidly single-issue compared to some others)
Australian Defence Veterans Party: Veteran-centric though they have a zillion policies that have nothing to do with veterans, not very friendly to diplomats or visa holders, somewhat pro-tourism??
Australian Equality Party (Marriage): Make Australia Queer (Again?). Specifically addresses bi, trans, and intersex people and LGBTIQ minorities (race, ability, etc), pro-decriminalisation of sex work, pro-refugee. Tiara’s #1 This Year.
Australian Liberty Alliance: Anti-Islam, Affirmative Action is Racist, pro-Israel, We Accept Homos But You Are Not Good With Kids, pro-Work For The Dole, has the charming line “Giving birth should not be considered a substitute for income.”
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party: The motorist version of the Cycling party (in that they’re both very solidly single-issue)
Australian Progressives: Pretty much what you’d expect a lefty party to be, lots of policies around business though not much on immigration (pro-refugee), likes the Finnish education model
Australian Recreational Fishers Party: Strong fishing-related policies (anti-trawlers) with support for free healthcare and education. Prefers Greens.
Australian Sex Party: Yay sex workers! Super secular! Tiara has personal reasons for not liking them that much even though they share most political POVs.
Bullet Train For Australia: Pro East Coast bullet train, pro marriage equality, believes in climate change, pro-live music, wants to limit poker machines
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group): Makes the Australian Christians look left-wing.
Citizens Electoral Council of Australia: Mostly focused on various finance-related policies, banning video games, or Microsoft secretly being worse than Nazis. Very conspiracy theory-esque (Orlando is a cover-up!).
Consumer Rights & No-Tolls: No Tolls! No Animal Cruelty! No Extra Surcharges! More environmentally-focused than their name suggests.
Country Liberals: L/NP based in Northern Territory (there is a similar Country Labor party)
CountryMinded: Rural-centric, pro-environment, thinks “boat people” — or what they call “irregular maritime arrival” — and “real asylum seekers” are two separate groups and are not fond of the former
Democratic Labour Party (DLP): Strong and specific policies around agriculture and Indonesia (for some reason), another use of “irregular maritime arrival”, decent policies re disability, fans of Family First, “rejects politically imposed multiculturalism”
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party: The justice system is not tough enough on criminals! Maximum sentences for all! Bail sucks! Parole sucks! Sex Offender Registries are AWESOME!
Drug Law Reform Australia: Pretty focused on decriminalising cannabis and ecstacy, not sure if they cover any other drugs.
Family First Party: Make Australia Straight Again
Glenn Lazarus Team: If you like footy you’ll like this guy
Health Australia Party: Pro-natural medication, pro-medical cannabis, anti-flouride, wants some immigrants to work for 7 years in agriculture before getting PR
Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party: Pretty much what it says on the tin. Allied with Australian Sex Party to share tickets in some areas.
Jacqui Lambie Network: Support Kurdish Fighters Protecting Us From Sharia Law! (in bold & italic!) Very focused on defence and veterans. Appeals for reforms to Halal food labelling by specifically mentioning that Sikhs can’t eat Halal — even though nobody on her end is actually Sikh.
John Madigan’s Manufacturing and Farming Party: Very specifically about manufacturing, farming, and the people involved in those industries.
Katter’s Australian Party: Policies are EXACT COPY of CountryMinded — are they related? Or is it plagiarism?
Update: There’s some relationship between the two!
Liberal Democratic Party: Pretty much the Australian Libertarians
Mature Australia Party: Live in Australia for 5 years before you can apply for PR and make sure you don’t break any laws at all in that time or else we’ll deport ya. Not as focused on mature-age Australians as the marketing may look like.
Nick Xenophon Team: First party I’ve seen to suggest locking up terrorists in Australia in the country as opposed to removing their citizenship or deporting them. In favor of French secularism laws (the same sort that brings about Ban the Burqa). Likes immigrants if they’re willing to stay in rural areas for a while.
Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting): Almost every other policy gets pulled back to supporting non-custodial parents even if it has nothing to do with parenthood. Generally anti-Government-intervention.
Online Direct Democracy — (Empowering the People!):
(and everyone voted so hard that Parliament House caught on fire and burned down)
Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop The Greens): Fuck off Greens, let us hike/drive/hunt/fish/keep pet koalas as much as we want
Palmer United Party: Some very complicated tax math. Really into local wealth creation, has nice words for both Joh Bjelke-Petersen and multiculturalism
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation: Anti-Islam, anti-multiculturalism, pro-cannabis, ID Cards for Everybody
Pirate Party Australia: Anti-censorship (and thus anti-hate-speech laws), pro-Net Neutrality, pro-Basic Income, copyright skeptic, suggests one queue for all asylum seekers seeking to enter the “region”
Renewable Energy Party: Solidly single-issue on Renewable Energy for All!
Rise Up Australia Party: Multiculturalism is Bad! We should be Multi-Ethnic with One Culture instead! True Equality means not supporting ANYTHING focused on one specific race, gender, or sexual orientation! (Their words, not mine.)
Secular Party of Australia: Funding mosques and schools with halal certification is not a public benefit! Refugees bring extreme religious values! Ban the Burqa!
Seniors United Party of Australia: Focused on supporting senior citizens in NSW, though detailed policies aren’t yet available.
Science Party: Lefty scientists, basically. (Uniquely) Wants to increase immigration to support Australia’s ageing population. Very interesting idea around building a STEM-centric Charter City. Also:
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party: Anti-gun control, domestic interests above all else
Smokers Rights Party: Stop persecuting smokers! Preferences Liberal Democrats.
Socialist Alliance: Anti-capitalist lefties, as the name suggests. Some very country-specific policies. CITIZENSHIP FOR ALL, FUCK VISAS!
Socialist Equality Party: Socialist Alliance taken up a few notches
The Arts Party: Arts for All! Not exactly single issue but very focused on arts policy (though there is a slight tangent on legalizing cannabis)
The Australian Mental Health Party: Better Mental Health Care for All!
Voluntary Euthanasia Party: As their name says. Euthanasia was actually a pretty common topic even for seemingly unrelated single-issue parties.
VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy!: Online Direct Democracy with better UI
So far most of these parties seem to agree on being against fracking/CSG mining and pro-euthanasia, regardless of political persuasion.
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