Don’t let party names deceive; the long list of parties on offer for the upper house (Senate) for the federal election on May 18 are hard to navigate.
The buffet on offer includes far-left Trotskyites and far-right extreme Nazis.
Thankfully there are also parties that put science and human rights above corporate profits.
Well done, Australia, there’re all types of wackos to choose from. It’s an important choice as these people can hold the balance of power. Good luck!
Labor (www.alp.org.au) – Corporatocracy done on a diet of around half the fat and sugar of the Liberal/National coalition. Fun fact: Represents workers while also taking corporate donations. Slightly less destructive when it comes to destroying the atmosphere.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (www.onenation.org.au) – Dumb as paint and traitors to the nation (they asked US gun lobby the NRA to buy Aussie democracy for $20m). Cannot be shamed. Spawned the Nazi resurgence, along with the Liberal/National coalition.
United Australia Party (www.unitedaustraliaparty.org.au) – A Clive ‘Trump’ Palmer’s vanity project for more mining and a less stable atmosphere. Not to be confused with his dinosaur park and Titanic 2 project. Cannot be shamed. Wants to buy Aussie democracy for $50m.
The Together Party (thetogetherparty.org.au) – A Byron Shire lovechild, it’s progressive with good ideas, one of the only decent parties on offer.
Rise Up Australia Party (riseupaustraliaparty.com) – Extreme far-right Nazis. Nationalist, Christian, opposes Islamic immigration. Likes to wear matching funny hats, armbands, and uniforms.
Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party (www.australianhempparty.com) – A one-issue party with a bong in one hand and life-saving medicine and superior fibres in the other.
Health Australia Party (www.healthaustraliaparty.com.au) – Progressive polices around, um, health.
Pirate Party (www.pirateparty.org.au) – For those who like progressive policies in period costumes and an eye patch. Arrrrrrrr.
The Greens (www.greens.org.au) – You would think with exacerbated ecological collapse and wealth disparity, this party would do better. Yet it struggles with internal personality issues. They are hated by those who love coal and who are destroying the atmosphere – so that’s a good thing, right?
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (www.shootersfishersandfarmers.org.au) – Rednecks who take away votes from National Party rednecks.
Australian People’s Party (australianpeoplesparty.com) – Not to be confused with the People’s Popular Australian Party or the Popular People’s Australian Party. Calls itself centrist. But is it?
Socialist Alliance (socialist-alliance.org) – Socialism is often confused with communism, which is Kryptonite to the Liberal/National coalition. Calls itself anti-capitalist and eco-socialist and therefore only attracts those with the intellect and interest in such things.
Australian Conservatives (www.conservatives.org.au) – Led by Cory Bernardi, who was elected as a Liberal then immediately quit to become a fringe-dwelling far-right-wing, Christian corporate shill for capitalist Liberal values.
The Great Australian Party (www.thegreataustralianparty.com.au) – Calls for ‘restoration of the Commonwealth’ with some socially progressive polices. Handle with suspicion, though – it’s led by former One Nation MP Rod Culleton who has, ahem, done interesting things around sovereignty.
Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party (www.conservativenationalparty.org) – While fighting (and winning against) Nazis in WWII was considered a good thing, Fraser obviously thinks otherwise. Anning was in One Nation but found it wasn’t far right or loony enough for him. He offers a choice for the vanilla off-white Nazi or vanilla white Nazi.
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) (www.cdp.org.au) – Does the work of God, if God were a douche-bag bigoted twat.
Independents For Climate Action Now (i-c-a-n.com.au) – Progressive. Ahead of the curve, unlike most others. Candidates includes Gosford Anglican celebrity Father Rod Bower and Byron Shire resident and scientist environmental scientist Jim Tait.
Liberal Democrats (www.ldp.org.au) – Their classical liberal and right-libertarian principles include individual freedom and individual responsibility. As such, they make terrible lifeguards because, you know, you should have learned to swim properly and it’s all your fault. David Leyonhjelm gave the party a certain musty, dank, putrid smell. And despite his departure, it still remains.
The Women’s Party (thewomensparty.org.au) – Like the Liberal Party represents men (chromosome XY), the WP represents the other half, the XX chromosome women.
Seniors United Party of Australia (www.supa.org.au) – Lacks meaningful youth policies and promotes instead ‘keep them off my lawn’ ideas.
Socialist Equality Party (www.sep.org.au) – A Trotskyist party that harks back to Marx and Lenin Soviet Union theories. A model so popular that it later swept the world and led to rainbows, sparkles, and unicorns.
Australian Workers Party (www.australianworkersparty.org). While Labor is supposed to represent workers, maybe it is compromised because it takes corporate donations? Here’s another choice.
Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) Party (imoparty.com) – A party surely to attract voters with some of the highest rates of vax objectors – Byron Shire. Despite the name, it promotes individual freedoms that are largely unsupported by the major parties.
Democratic Labour Party (dlp.org.au) ‘social conservatism and favours distributism’ with strict Catholic overtones.
Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians! (onlinedirectdemocracy.org) – Is what is says on the bottle. Progressive.
Animal Justice Party (www.animaljusticeparty.org) – A voice for animals and vegans, in that order. Pass the salt! I’ll have mine medium rare.
VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy! (voteflux.org) – Interesting model where technology (your smartphone) provides realtime democracy. An elected Flux senator would vote not on party lines but on the majority response from the online poll.
Science Party (www.scienceparty.org.au) – As it says on the tin.
Citizens Electoral Council (cecaust.com.au) – A mixed bag – pro-union, protectionist, and climate denialist with a dash of conspiracy theories.
Sustainable Australia (www.sustainableaustralia.org.au) – Calls itself ‘sensible centre’ that aims to reduce immigration and wants the nation to be ‘better, not bigger’. Gets lumped into the anti-immigration bag for that. Has a suite of environmental policies to address climate change, including stopping Adani and new coal mines.
Australian Democrats (www.australian-democrats.org.au) – Once ran on ‘keeping the bastards honest’ and now campaigns on energy, climate, and political accountability. Fun fact – the Australian Democrats helped the Libs/Nats pass the GST into law in early 2000s. The party collapsed soon after and now it’s back. Descended from Liberal spawn.
The Small Business Party (www.thesmallbusinessparty.com) – Like small business? This is for you! As opposed to the big business parties of the coalition and Labor.
Love Australia or Leave (www.loveaustraliaorleave.com.au) – Binary, reductionist, and idiotic. According to this party, Australians must pledge allegiance to the nation, no matter how badly managed it is.
Independent – In case you feel like a lucky dip on a political hopeful with undercooked policies and a lack of experience.
• The Echo has written our own, unashamedly biased, cheat sheet for NSW upper house voters. Download it here as a PDF of find it in the Byron Shire Echo 8 May 8 and 15 May editions.