The Australian Sex Party and the Marijuana (HEMP) Party have reached an historic agreement to win seats at the coming federal election.
The parties will share joint tickets in a number of states in an effort to win the last two Senate seats in each jurisdiction.
Under the new Senate voting rules the last two seats in many states are an unknown quantity.
Details of the new coalition were announced at the Sex/Marijuana (HEMP) Party Queensland Senate launch on Sunday in Brisbane.
The new coalition will appeal strongly to voters with its socially progressive and economically prudent policies. The agreement would appear to be the first of its kind between minor parties in Australian politics and is in line with the urging of political commentators like Antony Green, following the new voting laws.
The parties will combine their resources and votes in Queensland, Tasmania, SA, WA, NT and the ACT. In NSW the parties will run separate tickets but will preference each other.
Australian Sex Party leader and Victorian Upper House member, Fiona Patten, said the arrangement created a new and exciting progressive coalition for Australia, that would give voters a real alternative to the dry and regressive policies of the three major parties.
‘The major parties have not delivered on so many important progressive social reforms and as a result, Australia looks like the Hermit Kingdom of the southern hemisphere”, she said. ‘Dying with dignity, marriage equality, legal medical cannabis and legal recreational cannabis have all had their advocates in the major parties but nothing has happened. The same is true for taxing the church, prison reform, standardised abortion laws, humane processing of asylum seekers and access to affordable legal aid.’
Ms Patten pointed to her record of getting socially progressive issues off the ground in Victoria since becoming a member of the Victorian Upper House in late 2014.
‘Progressive minor parties have a real ability to push the traditional parties forward. If elected to the Senate we will change Australia’s social environment to more like those of progressive European countries and the more progressive US states,’ she said.
Marijuana (HEMP) Party spokesperson, Andrew Kavasilas said that cannabis was the most widely used illicit drug in Australia.
‘We’re calling for a meaningful approach to medical cannabis that addresses the concerns and needs of hundreds of thousands of Australians currently using it for medical purposes’ he said.
‘Successive governments have continually avoided our farmers as they called for hemp seed food approval to allow them to access international markets. We want to be involved in the political discussions about how Australia regulates and taxes an ongoing cannabis industry worth a reported $5 billion a year.’
Almost half of all Australians have used cannabis at some point.
‘The nation’s pot smokers want to be treated in the same way as the nation’s drinkers’, he said.
‘Responsible use within a legal, regulated framework would empty Australia’s jails and put billions of dollars into the economy as has happened in Colorado and other US states.
‘If marijuana were to replace alcohol as the major social tonic in society, there would be less aggression on the streets, lower road tolls, less domestic violence, better sleeping patterns, more creative work output and less vomit on the streets.’
He also said that Marijuana (HEMP) Party supporters had pioneered medical cannabis in Australia over 30 years ago and had brought the issue to the forefront of Australian politics.
‘The major parties will continue to stall on medical cannabis even though they are all nodding their heads,’ he said. ‘Like gay marriage and taxing religion they all know that the majority of people want it but they can’t let go of their old attitudes. If we are elected, the SEX/HEMP coalition will make them wake up to themselves in ways they would never have dreamed of’.