The Minors Have Their Say


Today New Matilda’s coverage of minor parties contesting seats in the Senate kicks off. We’ve sent questions to parties across the political spectrum and we’ll be running their answers on the site in the lead up to the election.

The Australian Sex Party
The Sex Party stands for freedom of personal expression. Every time a new law is introduced we want an old one deleted. We are drowning in laws that control personal behaviour and it’s about to get a whole lot worse. We see the influence of religion on politics as sinister and pernicious.

We place the more libertarian and social parties at the top of our ticket and put religious parties at the bottom. So we put First Nation, Drug Law Reform and the Democrats up front and Family First, DLP and Rise Up Australia at the bottom. Then we look to do deals with all the others (including the three majors) in such a way as to give us the best chance at getting elected. Unlike 30 per cent of parties, we will never break or dishonour an agreed preference deal and we will never fail to lodge a Group Voting Ticket.

Getting elected is what is driving our preference decisions. Seventy per cent of parties contesting this election are social conservatives and you have to number them all somewhere. If we can see a way to do that that maximises our chances without necessarily maximizing theirs, we take it. We preference pragmatism with ideology.This sometimes means that we cop a bit of flak for not putting this party above that one but we are confident in our ability to accurately read the signposts and not accidentally get right wing parties elected on our votes. The Sex Party is the only libertarian party that gets votes from some conservative sectors and then transmutes them into progressive votes via our preferences.

There are plenty of differences between the Sex Party and the Greens, even though voters might see us as having similar stances. We are a civil liberties and personal freedom party. Our two main policies of regulating and taxing marijuana and getting rid of the undue influence that religion has on politics, are not shared by the Greens. They dropped drug law reform as a major policy a few years ago and shy away from religious policies like making churches and religious businesses pay fair taxation. We want non-compulsory voting introduced for 16-18 year olds, more protection for live music venues and sexual services for disabled people on Medicare. We also want a statutory right to privacy established. Chalk and cheese.

What are the three key issues for our constituents that are being neglected in the current debate? Drugs. Religion. Civil liberty. The freedom to smoke a joint rather than drink a beer. The freedom to have a secular parliament not dominated by religious types. The freedom to get online and not have your data harvested or your viewing content criminalised. The freedom for women to have a legal abortion around Australia despite the increasingly creative ways to restrict it.  

Budget surplus
Surpluses are not necessarily always a good thing. Research by Perkins and Gomez (2008) and Jiggens (2013) shows regulating and taxing marijuana and taxing the church and religious businesses results an extra $34 billion to the economy.

Carbon pricing
The rest of the world is moving toward a price on carbon. We need to move with the rest of the world. The problem for small business is it doesn’t know what’s coming next. We need a system that works internationally and doesn’t disadvantage pensioners, widows, unemployed and so on.

Asylum seekers/border security
Both major party policies stink. No gulags. We do not support locking children up. We would like to see more investment by Australia in the countries of origin of many asylum-seekers.

Schools funding
We are a party that bases policies on evidence. Gonski was well researched and showed a more equitable way forward. We question the entire basis for funding religious schools. We want chaplains out of schools and sex education to become part of the compulsory curriculum.

Civil liberties
No data harvesting, no internet filtering, no bans on X rated films, no sniffer dogs at rock concerts or on the streets. Making public broadcasters give minor parties some free airtime during elections and not just the majors!

Rise Up Australia
We have more than two dozen policy principles such as encouraging a multi-ethnic nation without cultural segregation (ie. Muslim enclaves), supporting our struggling farmers and local manufacturing, reforming inequities in the taxation system, reducing foreign ownership, opposing same sex marriage, reforming education and eliminating welfare wastage.

There are three areas that we think are being neglected in current debate. Firstly, Islamisation that is incompatible with the Australian way of life (enclaves, unlabelled Halal certification, full face veils). Secondly, laws that favour foreign companies and investors over local ones (foreign ownership, tax and tariff policies). Thirdly, Australia’s diminishing support for democratic Israel in the politically volatile Middle East.

We will direct our lower house preferences to parties that have policies which most match our own. Each electorate is obviously different and has different parties and candidates standing. Full details by electorate will be on our website shortly.

Our preference decisions are based on preferencing parties and/or candidates whose values and policies most match our own. We are not interested in playing political games because we don’t believe it’s in the best interest of the nation.

Budget surplus
We believe the federal budget has blown out because of poor financial management, including wastage on welfare for people who are not truly in need and policies that allow foreign companies to use transfer pricing to avoid paying tax in Australia. Our goal is to eliminate all federal debt and return the budget to surplus.

Carbon pricing
We will eliminate the carbon tax because it has increased electricity prices, raised the cost of living, moved businesses offshore, contributed to the unemployment rate and reduced investment in the resource sector. We believe that supporting innovation and educating citizens on environmental stewardship will have a greater impact on carbon outputs than an oppressive tax.

Asylum seekers/border security
We welcome people of all nations, but it must be on our terms and not those of unscrupulous people smugglers who risk lives to make profits. We believe that it’s irresponsible to allow our intake ratios to go unchecked and fail to have adequate services and infrastructure to support both existing citizens and new arrivals.

Schools funding
We believe that schools need to be funded equally. This applies to all schools. It makes no difference whether they are government or private. We will not differentiate between any type of private schools eg. Christian schools.  It is important that all schools can provide the same quality of education. See more here.

Civil liberties
We believe that all citizens have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” but not when their freedoms have an adverse impact on others. We believe that beliefs, laws, practices and policies should be compatible with the Australian way of life by balancing civil liberties with personal responsibility.

Private health insurance rebate
We believe that those on low income require greater government support to fund their health needs, while those who can better afford to financially support themselves contribute a greater amount. The health system needs reform across the board to better serve the people.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.