Yves here. Brexit and the non-stop melodrama of the US presidential campaign means we’ve been spread a bit thin on other beats.
Voter Down Under are also having more theatrics than usual, plus things have been way too serious of late, so we thought readers would enjoy this primer for the upcoming vote. Thank Satyajit Das for sending it along. It appears to be the work of Chris Brown via Facebook.
Not sure how to vote on Saturday? Worried that the double dissolution will make it easier for the wrong people to get into the Senate? Me too. So I’ve written a cheat sheet that I can take into the booth with me to remind me who’s who.
Health Australia Party
Rebranding of the Natural Medicine Party, which was probably a better description. Anti-vaxxers, fluoridophobes and homeopaths trying to expand their business via changes to medical legislation.
Seniors United Party of Australia
Finally, a voice in parliament for the wealthiest generation that ever lived.
But only if your family consists of a white Christian man, a white Christian woman and at least two white Christian children and you believe everyone else is headed straight for hell.
Headed by David Leyonhjelm, who made it into the Senate in 2013 because of a herd of Lib voters being too stupid to correctly identify their preferred party. The Lib Dems are committed Libertarians whose ability to ignore all of the evidence on every possible issue would make any cult proud.
VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy
Flux (n) – an abnormal or morbid discharge of blood or other matter from the body. Whenever there’s a bill before the Senate, you use an app to discharge your opinion into a tame crossbencher and tell him (yes, it’s always going to be a him) which way to vote on each bill. Founded by two Bitcoin consultants, and works on the same blockchain principle, whatever the hell that means.
You wake up in an ice bath and realise that your left leg is missing, and Rupert Murdoch tells you that brown people and greenies and reds all conspired to steal your leg and are coming back for the rest of your limbs, but then why is Rupert wearing a blood-stained hospital gown, and why does his left leg look familiar, and there, on the knee, isn’t that the scar that you got when you were ten years old and fell off your bicycle?
You wake up in a shed and realise that your left leg is missing, and Rupert Murdoch tells you that brown people and greenies and reds all conspired to steal your leg and are coming back for the rest of your limbs, but then why is Rupert wearing a blood-stained hospital gown, and why does his left leg look familiar, and there, on the knee, isn’t that the scar you got when you were ten years old and got kicked by a horse?
Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
If you’re an economic progressive yet somehow still a dyed in the wool Christian homophobe, this is the party for you.
Formerly the Future Party. They’re still naïve, but now they’ve got a full quiver of policies, mostly geared toward fixing the shitblizzard of the last three years.
Australian Cyclists Party
Does exactly what it says on the box.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
This party is like the time I hurt my back a few years ago and thought the problem would go away like it always had before, except it didn’t and now I live with chronic back pain.
Voluntary Euthanasia Party
The kind of socialists you can actually have a conversation with.
Rise Up Australia Party
The actual worst. Founded by someone who got thrown out of Family First for too much hate speech, which is like getting kicked out of Labor for not doing anything.
The post-war European centre right party for Australia today.
Online Direct Democracy – (Empowering the People!)
Like VOTEFLUX, but with PollyWeb instead of the Bitcoin blockchain. (If you say that sentence backwards at the stroke of midnight when the moon is full, Lucifer will appear and grant you three votes on bills that will never get up.)
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
It turns out that this is about Derryn Hinch’s notion of justice, not about bringing Derryn Hinch to justice. Which is disappointing. A Federal party campaigning on State issues, implying either ignorance or extreme cynicism. My money is on cynicism.
Jacqui Lambie Network
Anatomically incorrect: the logo is a map of Tasmania, but the policy platform is an arsehole.
Pirate Party Australia
Basically progressive, and I agree with them on most things, but their ideas on intellectual property are anti-artist and their views on tax are just idiotic.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
Have you ever licked a gallbladder?
Supporting veterans with no nonsense, no political game playing and absolutely no policies.
Secular Party of Australia
Basically pretty great, but there are a couple of issues where the commitment to secularism starts to look a little like Islamophobia.
I don’t agree with everything they say, but I’m not really their target audience. This is essentially the party that the National Party should be.
Socialist Equality Party
Trotskyists. Well-intentioned but fanatical. These are the people who never forgot that Che’s real first name was Ernest.
Katter’s Australian Party
Uncle Ho and Margaret Thatcher cohabiting in a single mind.
Palmer United Party
The earth will shake violently, trees will be uprooted, mountains will fall, and all binds will snap – Palmer will be free. Palmer will go forth with his mouth opened wide, his upper jaw touching the sky and his lower jaw the earth, and he will swallow Odin in a single gulp. Flames will burn from his eyes and nostrils, and his sons will come after to swallow the sun and the moon.
Citizens Electoral Council
Possibly just straight-up insane. Climate deniers, but economically kinda socialist. Anti-Semitic and possibly white supremacist, but pro-immigration. They also claim that the Port Arthur massacre was commissioned by the British royal family and implemented by a mental health NGO.
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
The Eddie the Eagle of befuddled right-wing governance.
Animal Justice Party
Better people than me.
The Arts Party
Sound policies, surprisingly shitty logo. Come on Arts Party, you had one job to do.
Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)
Fielded candidates for the last six Federal elections. Seventh time lucky, guys.
Your racist Western Australian aunt.
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
The party’s charter is just a bunch of bible quotes. It’s like we’re in Pennsylvania in the fucking 17th Century.
Australian Sex Party
Are you turned on by sound economic and social policies with a strong evidence basis? Then number the box and put your ballot in the slot.
A broad suite of evidence-based best practice policies that only seems progressive because Australia is such a regressive ideological clusterfuck.
Nick Xenophon Team
A bit far to the right for me personally, but Xenophon has done exactly what an independent senator is supposed to do, and pretty close to exactly what he said he would do. Which is refreshing.
Drug Law Reform
Single issue party focused on treating drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal one. The stance seems well reasoned. It’s just a bit hard to take them seriously when their logo is a hemp leaf.
Formerly the Stable Population Party. They want a ‘sustainable’ population through lower immigration. If they actually cared about sustainability they’d be calling for a lower global population, but instead they’re calling for reduced population growth in a country with only 24 million people. Which means that what they are is simply racist.
Yes, they wear suits now, but at least those suits are made from sustainable bamboo in a small Liberian social enterprise that sponsors education initiatives for orphaned girls.
Australian Liberty Alliance
Angry Anderson (remember him? didn’t think so) vowing to stop the Islamisation of Australia. Last time I checked, Islam was holding steady at 2.2% of the population, so maybe one bald dickhead is all it takes to hold the hordes at bay.
Renewable Energy Party
Single issue, seems good prima facie, but founded by Peter Breen, who was Ricky Muir’s only staffer for a time. I can’t figure out whether this is a good sign (Breen taught Muir how to be a halfway decent senator) or a terrible sign (how can someone go from the petrolhead party to a renewables party and expect to be believed?).
Marijuana (HEMP) Party
Entirely about legalising weed, and there’s no suggestion that they’ve thought about a policy position on any other issues. My concern is that they’d side with anyone who takes snacks into the chamber.
Fair enough, but they’re also anti-sex education. So they’re imbeciles.