SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 - ELECTION DAY
I'm a permanent resident, not a citizen of Australia. I don't have
the right to vote here, but I will attempt to give some input
regarding how I would vote, and why. Note: I am not suggesting
that anyone vote as I would. Also, various statements here have been
quoted from parties' sites or from Wikipedia. Also, note that this
is a diary entry.
A fairer and more detailed/comprehensive analysis would take a lot
more time and effort. I am going to try to zero in on the things that
most jump out at me. I am not addressing all parties, or ranking them
strictly as Australians are required to do.
These are the two I like the best, and if these parties could be
combined into one party, that would be ideal. The Greens are very
organized and have put a lot of thought into a broad range of
topics/areas, and have drawn up detailed plans for tackling all
issues. If this could be combined with the Pirate Party's more
intensive analysis of modern communication/information/cultural
issues, we'd have a very comprehensive party. The Pirate Party is not
a 'joke' party, or a special interest party. They have provided
comprehensive analyses of all the major issues. Their info is more
accessible, clear and detailed than that of Australia's two major
parties, Labor and the Liberals.
SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME:
LGBTIQ equality/rights, marriage equality. I think we need to address
this as soon as possible.
I support voluntary euthanasia.
I support a secular society, separation of church and state.
Bill of Rights added to the Constitution.
The end of the monarchy - Australia becoming a republic.
I support renewable energy and tackling climate change.
I supported the Apology, and didn't support the Intervention in the
NT, and I still think Australia has a long way to go to address the
inequality that Aborigines and Indigenous Australians encounter.
Currently illicit drugs, including marijuana, should be legalized,
(and treated like other drugs, including alcohol and tobacco), or at
the very least decriminalized.
Sex work should be legal and destigmatized.
Abortion should be available country wide, and treated as a matter of
I don't support the detention centres. Australia can afford to let
in more asylum seekers. Perhaps there should be fewer rewards for
the Australians who opt to reproduce.
I support the NBN - National Broadband Network - which would catch
Australia up with the rest of the world, but also on a more personal
level, it would allow GK to share streaming video of Australian
wildlife (possums) with more than one or two people outside his
network at a time.
Say no to censorship. Free, fair and independent media.
I would like to see free tertiary education.
It would be good if dental care was considered an integral part of
Secular Party (as with the Pirates and Greens, this party is
good on many of the issues I am most drawn to)
BASIC PARTY TENETS of the above parties:
Pirate Party Australia is founded on the basic tenets of:
Freedom of culture and speech, The inalienable right to liberty
and privacy, The protection of the freedoms provided by the evolving
global information society, The transparency of institutions, and The
restoration of the freedoms and balance lost through the encroachment
of harmful and overbearing intellectual monopolies.
As part of an international movement, we seek not only to change
national laws, but to reform perceptions and effect worldwide change.
We seek this democratically, through parliamentary elections and
lobbying of government.
Copyright laws are among the most expansive intrusions by the state
into our daily lives. They control what we can see and read and say.
They impose artificial scarcity on expression and content, which
mimics the genuine scarcity of physical resources. They influence
art, culture, and technology...
While both major parties whip up hysteria to paint the other as
untrustworthy and economically incompetent, their similarities run
deep. An issue they have both artfully avoided is the bipartisan
support for attacking civil liberties in Australia through growing
warrantless surveillance regimes.
Other than environmentalism the party cites four core values:
ecological sustainability, social justice, grassroots democracy and
peace and non-violence.
The Secular Party of Australia stands for true separation of church from state, ensuring freedom of and from religion, and a liberal, secular democracy.
Freedom of thought and expression.
A high-quality education system that is universal, secular and free.
Equality and non-discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religiosity and sexuality, including marriage equality and LGBTI rights.
The right of Australians to control their own destiny, such as voluntary euthanasia.
The abolition of government subsidies and tax breaks for religious organisations.
The use of science for human welfare, such as stem cell research.
The use of Australia’s seat on the UN Security Council to promote secular democracy, the reduction of poverty, and the urgent prioritisation of international policies on climate change.
SPECIAL INTEREST PARTIES I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE NOTE OF:
They seem fun, but they still have serious stands on important
issues. They are against internet censorship, propose that a way to
help Tasmania's economy is to legalize and tax marijuana, as well as
decriminalize other drugs, want to legalize voluntary euthanasia,
support same-sex marriage equality, as well as uniform abortion laws:
allow for legal, no-fault and guilt-free processes for women seeking
termination, overturn racist laws that ban adults living in and
visiting aboriginal communities in the NT from possessing erotic and
sexual media, they propose taxing the churches and taking churches
out of education.
Sex is an important part of life, and quality of life. The Sex party
addresses this from many angles, including the concerns of LGBTIQ
individuals, those with disabilities, seniors, aboriginal NT
residents, and those who work in adult industries.
Voluntary Euthanasia Party
"Over four in five Australians are in favour of new legislation
and we wish to allow that sentiment to be clearly demonstrated at the
ballot box. The Voluntary Euthanasia Party aims to ensure dignity in
the final years of life, by raising the profile of this issue in
order to engender the necessary political will for
This party has been formed mainly to bring awareness of this
issue further into the open. Most Australians support the need for
new legislation, but the problem is that this is an issue that it is
still difficult to talk about openly, and not enough progress is
Philip Nitschke is a candidate in ACT.
HEMP Party (Help End Marijuana Prohibition)
Re-legalise and regulate Cannabis for personal, medical and
industrial use in Australia. It's long overdue.
THE MAIN CONTENDERS:
Labor vs Liberals:
These are the big two. It is infinitely preferable that Labor
It is not realistic that the Greens or Pirates will get in.
I like that Labor clearly states that it is time for same-sex
marriage equality. They also support NBN. Liberals do not
support same-sex marriage equality, or NBN. Also, I have always
admired that not long after Kevin Rudd was initially instated as
Prime Minister in 2007, he issued the Apology to indigenous
Australians regarding the stolen generations.
'Liberal' is an odd name for a party that is actually pretty
conservative (centre-right). I would put the Liberal party in the
'bottom of the list' section.
OTHER SPECIALIZED ISSUE-RELATED PARTIES OF NOTE:
These parties, like the Voluntary Euthanasia party, do not have
complete platforms, but appear to be concentrating on raising
awareness of certain issues.
Animal Justice Party - calling attention to animal rights, but
do not appear to have a full program of responses to issues.
No CSG: No Coal Seam Gas. This is another serious
environmental issue that needs more awareness, but in the overall
sense, this party doesn't have a complete platform.
Many parties who oppose asylum-seekers and multiculturalism seem to
support or reward mainstream Australians for having as many
children as possible. In contrast:
Stable Population Party: no rewards for breeding, immigration
balances emigration (They embrace mulitculturalism)
PARTIES I WOULD NOT VOTE FOR, OR WOULD PUT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE
LIST, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
No Carbon Tax/Climate Sceptics
Outdoor Recreation Party/Stop the Greens
Australian Christian Party
The problems with most of the above: many of their policies seem to
be based on racist and/or homophobic ideas, and/or denial of the need
to address climate change or other significant environmental
It seems there is the possibility that Murdoch has some agenda at
present to support the Liberals and get rid of Labor. He's an
influential person, and has control over much of the Australian
media. Polls reported in said media seem to be saying that Liberals
are coming out ahead, and there are constant attacks on Labor and
Rudd in particular. However, is it really true that the Liberals are
ahead? Who should we believe?
VOTING AND THE HOMELESS
The issue of not having a fixed address has been a problem. For this
election, a new program has been instituted in which people can use
their last known address or the address at which they grew up.
Another issue is that the mentally ill often find the whole system
related to the voting process frustrating or too much to deal with,
and this program also aims to help with that.
On a personal note:
Australia's mandatory voting laws would have caused me serious stress
when I came of age almost 30 years ago. At that time, there was no
internet to consult. I have heard that you can mail in a vote before
election day, but it is difficult to be sure I would be considered to
have a valid excuse if I had no official diagnosis at the time.
However, the fine is $20, and only increases if you don't pay that
fine on time? Although, when I was 18, I wouldn't have had any money
to pay a fine. The stress of fines, the threat of jail, not knowing
what was happening, and the possibility of having to deal with the
authorities might have led to a suicide attempt.
ON PARTY WEBSITES:
One thing I will say: some (most!) parties need better websites. What
I look for in a political party's website is: a summary of philosophy
or ideals, and a summary of stands regarding issues. If either of
these or both are hard to access or decipher, and/or it is not easy
to find the party's stand on major issues, I feel alienated.
As for my particular interests.. Even the parties that support
voluntary euthanasia laws and putting more resources into mental
health are not likely to affect my immediate future. Because I don't
have a painful physical
illness, I probably remain in the
category of not being 'of sound mind', or not competent to rationally
assess my future. My situation is complex, and it does not seem
likely that any mental health resources are going to have an impact
on my life or outlook.
I am hoping to get this entry up before the polls close! Which
explains why it looks like it could use some organizational help and
Yikes. The Liberals won. On the plus side: Adam Bandt of the Greens
retained his seat in Melbourne.
->exile on meme st: a diary