'Let The People Decide'


Today New Matilda finishes our series on the minor parties seeking your vote for the Senate by turning to Senator Online. Here’s what the online political party has to say about where they stand. Read the rest of the series here.

Senator Online
We are a participatory democracy party where we will conduct online polls for any legislation before parliament. Any citizen, over 18 who is on the electoral role will be eligible to register to vote. Then our Senator/s will vote in parliament the way the majority have voted online. Its about taking back power from politicians, special interest and lobby groups and putting it back where it belongs, in the people's hands.

With around 50 parties contesting the election, preferences have been very complex. For a full list of preferences we usually direct people to the http://www.belowtheline.org.au/ website. As mentioned in the next question we have chosen to preference all minor parties before the majors, then we have varied our preferences for the majors across the states so as to not favour any particular one as follows:

• NSW – Labor before Liberal before Green
• VIC – Green before Labor before Liberal
• QLD – Liberal before Green before Labor
• TAS – Green before Labor before Liberal

As Senator Online is all about democratic reform, we believe in supporting minor parties in an inclusive way. Otherwise we'll be stuck with the status quo where the major parties are always re-elected and so decisions are being driven by Career Politicians, Big Business and Lobby Groups. So we have taken the pragmatic approach to preference all minor parties before the majors, regardless of whether they are from the right or left. 

As a participatory democracy party, whilst individual Senator Online candidates have issues they are passionate about (e.g. NSW Senate Candidate Tony Barry is passionate about stopping CSG mining), our party itself does not have any defined policies. So in terms of what issues the party will focus on if elected, initially as we are only likely to have one or a few senators, we will mainly be focused on getting the public's opinion on legislation presented to parliament by the major parties. However, in the longer term we are looking at developing a wiki and online forum. This is the end goal where the people themselves develop, discuss and put forward the legislation/issues they choose and our senators will then act mainly as facilitators. The people will decide.

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.