If you’re voting below the line in the Senate, you need to know exactly what you're voting for. NM has been asking minor parties to tell us what they stand for. What are their policy positions on key election issues and what lies behind their preference decisions. Today, we hand over the mic to Katter's Australian Party and the Wikileaks Party.
Katter's Australian Party
Katter's Australian Party is about making government accountable to all Australians and ensuring the ongoing economic prosperity of our country for current and future generations. KAP is about ensuring that Australia is not sold for short term political or financial interests, rather that our sovereignty is protected for future generations.
We are committed to providing a genuine alternative major party in the medium to long term. KAP has not been founded to be a minor party and so the minor party mentality that has captured other parties is a point of difference for KAP.
The ALP is now a party so unrecognisable from its roots as to be largely indistinguishable from the Coalition in the first instance. The ALP and Coalition have been locked in an unending cycle of opposition that they have lost sight of their own ideologies, to the extent that in several instances we now have the ALP promoting market based ideology like an ETS for carbon pricing, while the Coalition is arguing interventionist policy on climate with "direct action".
Unfortunately the Nationals too have lost sight of their roots and their constituency and have become captured by the Coalition and the merging of the federal parties as in Queensland seems inevitable.
Small business is being paid lip service, while both majors allow big business free rein to capture ever increasing market share and control access to market at the expense of all others in the supply chain.
Meaningful investment in truly nation building infrastructure is severely limiting economic investment and development in the agriculture, resource and renewable energy sectors.
Governments continually look to divest ageing infrastructure including essential assets and services, exposing Australia to exploitation by foreign owned multinational corporations with little or no regard for Australians beyond the next payment. The reality is that if a government can not operate its public assets successfully, it should change the management, not sell the asset.
Our preference negotiations are as much the result of mathematical and pragmatic calculations to maximise the KAP vote as they are about ideology. It is interesting to compare the preference negotiations and deals of all the Parties and then consider the inordinate amount of scrutiny applied to KAP preferences. It would appear to be a serious injustice to malign KAP for preference outcomes at this point.
A balanced budget must be maintained over the economic cycle. It is vitally important that current government debt be managed responsibly and paid down progressively.
Carbon pricing is an important and valid way to concentrate the nation on the challenges of a changing climate. However, KAP does not believe the current Carbon Tax or the proposed ETS are suitable mechanisms given the fact the there are sectors of the economy which can not mitigate the increasing costs fairly.
Asylum seekers/border security
This issue should not be used to score cheap politics and it is reprehensible that people's misery is the plaything of major parties. KAP is committed to a bipartisan solution that will address the issue, but policy on the run is not appropriate on this issue. The boats must be stopped. Genuine refugees need to be assisted. Any entry into Australia must be subject to embracing the Australian culture and contributing to the economy through a social contract. Beyond these considerations KAP does not have a comprehensive policy position. We are concerned that the PNG solution is deeply flawed on many levels and political expediency has prevailed here. The Coalition has failed to address the unacceptable cost of detainment and processing and ultimately has not resolved a suitable strategy to address the ongoing problem that will not just go away
Education is a pillar of the future of our society. KAP is committed to greater investment in the capacity of our teachers and ensuring that teachers and principals have the necessary professional development to deliver the best possible standard of education. Further, KAP is committed to ensuring that life skills are incorporated into the curricula to ensure our young people are well prepared for an ever changing environment that will require increasing adaptability and coping skills not well addressed in traditional education systems.
KAP is committed to people's rights to live their life without excessive government interference. This principle extends to ensure government provides:
freedom of speech and expression, which should not be abused by intimidation, malice, violence or wilful intolerance
equity in opportunity
equality before the law
acceptance of personal responsibility and accountability
Private health insurance rebate
The rebate scheme has been an unmanageable financial burden on government. There is a need to rationalise health systems and associated bureaucracy. The federal health department employs approximately 4000 people and not one of them treats a single person on the front line. KAP is committed to delivering meaningful and appropriate criteria to assess senior bureaucrat performance and remuneration in the context of actual service delivery on the ground.
The Wikileaks Party
The Wikileaks Party is standing in this election because we want to give Australians a chance to vote for a party that will not make deals in the Senate and which values truth, accountability and justice. We don't want to keep the bastards honest, but make the bastards honest.
We stand for greater privacy protection for Australians against intrusions by US and Australian security agencies. Remember we now know, thanks to Ed Snowden and Wikileaks, that every time an Australian emails, posts on Facebook, tweets, texts, or phones someone in the US, that is being recorded by the US.
Greater accountability for government spending is also important. Both ALP and Coalition have made lavish promises and would create spending mechanisms like special funds – eg Abbott's climate change action fund. WLP in the Senate would demand that government open all spending to parliamentary scrutiny, so we can rein in government spending based on mates' deals and pork barrelling in marginal seats. We will make calls for all minutes notes and advices on spending to be tabled in the Senate. This is the Senate's job and it should do it.
Australia is contemplating going into a US led Syrian intervention. Government should not be allowed to make a decision to send troops into a war without Parliamentary approval.
We've given our preferences to the Sex Party, Pirates Party and Greens first of the majors. Commitment to true independence in the Senate and maximising freedoms drove that decision. The WLP was formed only a few months ago and for the vast majority of people involved this election is their first campaign. On the recent preferences controversy, we have made statements about this issue and we have learnt from the experience.
The WLP is not a party of the left or right. We seek to maximise personal freedoms and want government to roll back its intervention into peoples' lives.
We are not surplus fetishists and cuts to spending should be made on the basis of rational policy making, not to win votes.
A carbon tax, with no exemptions is the most rational way to deal with climate change. It taxes the polluter.
Asylum seekers/border security
We oppose cruelty to innocent people and the creation of gulags, such as we have on Nauru and Manus Island. There needs to be a regional solution, recognising that people movement is inevitable and that people smugglers are a natural reaction to regulatory failure.
Schools funding as originally proposed by Gonski was rational and fair. However, politics has destroyed it.
We support a Human Rights Act and greater protection for journalists in relation to their sources. We also want to see whistleblower protection laws apply across the public and private sectors with no exemptions.
Private health insurance rebate
We support the public health system being available to those who need it most and those who can afford private health insurance should take it out without a taxpayer funded incentive.
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