Saturday, 24 August 2013

Senate Candidates - New South Wales

And, jumping all over the place, lets skip Queensland for the moment. No real intro blurb this time. Instead, here's an article that sums up what I was going to say about preference deals better than I would have.

You all know the drill, so let's get down to business. If you were tired of Old South Welsh candidates, then hold onto your ballots, as the Infographinomicon presents:

Senate Candidates for New South Wales

Liberal Democrats

General: The LDP is largely governed by the right-wing principles of economic freedoms, and the left-wing principles of social freedoms. This puts the LibDems at odds with most of the other parties on the political stage, which may be why their website supports this short quiz to help voters conceptualise where select parties fit on a two-dimensional scale of social and economic freedoms.
Policy 1: Deregulate and Privatise
The LDP supports an immediate end to state and federal government ownership of: [t]he National Broadband Network; [t]he ABC; SBS; Australia Post; Medibank Private; [e]lectricity generation corporations; [b]us, ferry and rail services. Over time, we also favour privatising: Government owned TAFE colleges; Government owned Universities; [m]ost government owned public schools; [m]ost government owned public hospitals; Government land and buildings that are not earmarked for specific Government use.
Policy 2: Equality before the law
"The Liberal Democrats believe a person’s sex, race, religion or membership of a demographic group should have no bearing on: criminal proceedings and sentencing, access to welfare payments, access to government services, or access to government employment and contracts.
"The Liberal Democrats would: [a]bolish all affirmative action programs, [a]bolish all government funded programs and bodies that cater to particular ethnic, racial, religious or gender groups, [a]bolish government funding for bodies that promote group discrimination such as the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia [and r]emove the power of all bodies except courts to issue binding decisions on matters such as discrimination and vilification."
Policy 3: Firearms
"The LDP regards the right to own firearms for sport, hunting, collecting and self-defence as fundamental to a free society."

No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics

General: Formerly the Climate Sceptics, this party opposes climate action of any kind, arguing that the science is not yet settled. However, this party has broader policies than those relating to greenhouse gas or the environment.
Policy 1: Climate Alarmism
Being the issue that spurred the creation of the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics Party, our position on climate alarmism is clear: Climate science is far from "settled", as evidenced by the revelations of recent months and years. The alarmist theories propounded by the IPCC and other political bodies are crippled by huge uncertainties. An objective and quantitative risk–benefit analysis of any proposed "climate" legislation is crucial. Elected members of the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics Party will: oppose any provision of any Bill that uses carbon dioxide as an arbitrary criterion; call for a Royal Commission into climate science; and urge Parliament to cease diverting attention to climate alarmism, to the detriment of real environmental issues.
Policy 2: Broadband Digital
"Communications are the lifeblood of the 21st century: All Australians expect and deserve access to a continuously-improving broadband infrastructure. Governments must ensure the highest level of service for the lowest possible cost with full transparency."
Policy 3: Political Campaigns
"We support the moves of the major political parties to reduce their reliance on private donations, but the health of our democracy demands that any resulting legislation should not simply entrench the positions of the major players: New parties and Independents must be provided public funding commensurate with that of established parties. Public funding of television and radio time must allow Australians to fairly hear all viewpoints."

DLP Democratic Labour

General: The DLP is a right-wing party with all the normal social-justice trappings; opposition to same sex marriage, euthanasia and abortion are among their most well-known policies. However, there are a few surprises in the DLP policy chest, and again I encourage you to follow the link below and look at some of the platforms that matter to you.
Policy 1: Asylum Seekers and Refugees
The DLP proposes "[e]nhanced cooperation with Indonesian Authorities, [d]educting $1million from Australia’s upcoming aid to Indonesia for every vessel of asylum seekers which leaves their Exclusive Economic Zone undetected for Australia, [i]ncrease our annual asylum seeker and refugee intake from Indonesia, [a]sylum seekers who then still come to Australia from Indonesia as an irregular maritime arrival will be transported to one of five UN accredited refugee camps of their choice...
"Processing will initially take place in a Secure Community. This process should typically take a matter of weeks. If a person’s refugee status is confirmed, he or she will promptly be relocated to a purpose-designed Regional Estate, to live in typical Australian housing and be provided with the opportunity to work, undergo education and training and integrate with the Australian community.
"Refugee status will be re-assessed on a set date after three years and again after a further two years. Should it be found possible for them to return home at either of these points, they will be able to do so. Should they not be able to return after five years, they will then be granted permanent residency."
Policy 2: Constitution and Democratic Rights
"We believe in the principle that the citizens of Australia should be able to initiate the introduction of legislation that provides for the holding of a referendum to alter the Constitution. Closing the gap between the people of Australia and the most important legal document, the Constitution, which rules them, enhances democracy and allows for a more transparent and dynamic Australia...
"Australia’s ratification of any United Nations or other international covenant must be revoked if it overrides the will of the Australian people, undermines established law or compromises the sovereignty of the Commonwealth or any State."
Policy 3: Marriage and Family
"The DLP supports "[v]oluntary marriage between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, with an aspiration for a lifelong commitment, [c]hildren being raised by their biological parents, both playing an active and supportive role where possible, [t]he rights of children, and the rights and duty of parents to discipline their children, [r]esponsibility in marriage and the obligations and love that sustain it [and t]he care for people lacking support of family or community; constructive marital relationships; or access to their biological identity."

Senator Online

General: In an attempt to move from a representative to direct democracy, SOL's key policy is to put the vote back into the hands of the public. Unlike the Australian Independents, who simply consult with their public, Senator Online will allow any and all of their legally voting constituents to contribute to a poll which will then inform their vote in whichever house their candidate is sitting in.
As such, this party has no policies to write up here.
Preference flows to SOL are unlikely to be illuminating, as this merely suggests that such parties expect strong public support/opposition to their platform rather than any indication that they agree with the principles of direct democracy.
Preference flows from SOL, on the other hand, may give an inkling as to where the party stands before receiving public feedback.
SOL's first preferences go to Stable Population, then Building Australia and then Bullet Train for Australia. Last places are Labor, the Liberal and Nationals bloc and then the Greens -- indicating general dislike of the control major parties have in a representative democratic system. Wikileaks and Australian Independents (who you would expect to have strongly aligned policies) came in 52-53 and 31-32 respectively (out of 110).

Voluntary Euthanasia Party

General: The VEP is a single issue party that argues for the decriminalisation and legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. The party does not outline any policies beyond achieving this legal change, so my readers must forgive me for only providing one policy here:
Policy 1: Party Policy
"Like 85% of all Australians, we support the provision of medical procedures for the painless, assisted death of patients of a terminal or incurable illness, who are enduring unbearable suffering and who have expressed a desire for the procedures within appropriate legal safeguards. We believe that these patients deserve the right to make informed choices about the time and manner of their death through appropriate and humane medical assistance."

Unaffiliated 2

General: I could not find any information on Andrew Whalan (possibly this one?) and his running mate Peter Grant Cooper. So here are the preferences: UN2 votes flow to the Democrats, the ungrouped Independents at the end of the ticket (some of whom are also incognito, suggesting either a secret underworld of political connections or a general preference for individuals not tied to a party line) and then Senator Online. If you support UN2 above the line the last place your votes will end up are Australia First, Sex Party and One Nation in a firm rebuke of extreme left and extreme right parties.
No party or group has placed Whalan particularly high on its preferences. Low preference rankings come to UN2 from Palmer United, Animal Justice and Family First (all offering 101st and 102nd), as well as Christian Democrats, Australian Republicans and the Secular Party (103rd, 104th). Make of that what you will.

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party

General: HEMP is a single-issue party with aims of decriminalising marijuana. As with most legalisation campaigns, this is based on the arguments that making something illegal does not prevent people using it, but provides revenue to organised crime, adds to the appeal of the illegal product (especially among younger people), prevents regulation, inhibits safe-use and quality control, and isolates users from professional help, assistance and education.
Policy 1: Marijuana Decriminalisation
"[T]o allow for health education, home growing, and regulated sales through registered outlets which will separate Cannabis from the criminality of the black-market and end consequent associated corruption."
Policy 2: Marijuana Medication
"[T]o allow medical use, utilising Cannabis’ painkilling, relaxing, anti nausea and healing properties."
Policy 3: Marijuana Economy
"[T]o establish a commercial hemp industry producing fuel, fibre, paper, textiles, food, oil and other environmentally sound products."

Carers Alliance

General: The Carers Alliance (not to be confused with the Country Alliance) is a party chiefly focused on carers and people with a disability. All of their policies stem from this concern, although there is enough diversity for me to detail below:
Policy 1: Education
"In regard to the education of children with disabilities and/or learning difficulties  we support: Choice in schooling; Equitable funding irrespective of the educational setting with funding following the child to ensure flexibility and choice (including home schooling); Universal design for learning
"Universal design for learning looks at 3 things too: Representation (methods and materials -the what of learning where the content is not dumbed down but there is a variety of modes of presentation and access); Expression (the how of learning – how the student can express understanding of the curricula, eg using electronic formats such as PowerPoint or verbal responses onto an MP3 device.  I also see this as using a variety of methods to measure and assessing how a child has learned as well as what the student has learned); Engagement (the why — which goes to motivation or why a child wants to learn and how to harness that spirit of inquiry into useful learning)"
Policy 2: Mental Health
"Carers Alliance is deeply concerned with the narrow scope of mental health policy from the major parties.
"Carers Alliance will work towards ensuring that 12% of the health budget is for mental health services...
"Mental health consumers should have mandated rights to service
"This includes: The right to expect  access to specialist medical services; The right to the least restrictive or intrusive effective treatment; The right to obtain treatment at an early stage of their illness in order to minimise the likelihood of involuntary admission to a treatment program; The right to having mental health problems or mental disorders assessed, diagnosed, treated and reviewed in accordance with professionally accepted standards; The right to have age, gender and culturally appropriate mental health services provided in an environment which is conducive to his or her continued participation in community life; The right to be protected from the threat of sexual harassment and abuse; The right to a co-ordinated ongoing range of adequately resourced care, treatment and rehabilitation; The right to have treatment appropriate to his or her health and rehabilitation needs..."
Policy 3: Veterans
"The intergenerational health impacts on children resulting from a parent’s military service is an ongoing issue of concern.
"Carers Alliance believes that disability and mental health issues of sons and daughters of returned servicemen and women should fall under the veterans packages of both TPI and goldcard as the health impacts of veterans children are more likely a direct consequence of their parents military service.
"These children should not have to wait until the death of the parent to qualify for the services this nation owes to our returned veterans. The Vietnam Veterans Family Study (VVFS) findings are due for release in 2012. If this study shows a dramatic rise in disabling conditions of Vietnam veterans children Carers Alliance will argue for this TPI cover to be extended to their sons and daughters.
"We believe our nation owes the best that it can offer to our returned veterans and their families."

Wikileaks party

General: One of the most high-profile parties in the election, the Wikileaks party is campaigning on a platform of transparency and accountability. Following several apparent problems with maintaining its own democratic mechanisms, at least one of this party's high-on-the-ballot candidates has withdrawn from the race.
Policy 1: Free flow of information
"We live in a media-ocracy. What is politically possible is defined by the media environment. And in Australia 98% of the print media is the hands of just three corporations. Seven out of ten of our national newspapers are owned by the Murdoch News International group. The WikiLeaks Party will push for radical change in media policy to increase Australian media innovation."
Policy 2: Asylum seekers
"Demand government accountability over treatment of asylum seekers, including support for: [r]eversal of the Rudd Government’s PNG arrangement; [p]rocessing of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by the Australian government; [a] cap of 45 days in immigration detention for any asylum seeker, for initial health and security checks, with any extension requiring judicial approval; [r]equiring the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to report to Parliament every 6 months on its case load, processes, results, and the health of detainees; [r]epeal of the excision of Australian territories from the migration zone."
Policy 3: Climate change:
"The WikiLeaks Party will:
"Ensure any tabled Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation addresses the criticisms of the EU ETS system, particularly the transparency with which permits are allocated to industry, the impact on food production, and the openness of industry reporting on measured emissions.
"Combat secrecy and corruption in the relationship between governments and fossil carbon industries, and support measures for the federal government to limit subsidies to coal terminal leases, coal transport-infrastructure expenditures, and diesel tax rebates for coal producing activities in Australia.
"Support legislative measures to encourage the development of renewable energy, including the Mandatory Renewables Energy Target, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and mechanisms to better allow the grid-integration of renewable energy sources.
"Ensure the change from coal based industries is done responsibly with concern for communities directly involved in coal production."

Rise Up Australia Party

General: RUA was lambasted by the media when it first appeared on the scene, with most of the criticism aimed at the party's leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah. In particular, his views as a young-earth creationist, his claims that he raised three people from the dead and his belief that Victorian laws allowing abortion were the cause of the tragic Black Saturday bushfires have been used to publicly discredit the party. The involvement of Christopher Monkton in the party's origins, a vow "to be politically incorrect" and criticisms of Julia Gillard as a "heathen... living in sin" and Bob Brown based on his sexual orientation have not helped to dispel these criticisms. However, I would encourage my readers to judge this party, and all of the others, based on its policies rather than its leader and its theatrics.
Policy 1: Burka/Face Veil
"Rise Up Australia Party will ban the face veil in public places. This does not mean the wedding veil or the religious head scarf, but the full face veil worn by a small number of Muslim women. It is the same face veil that has already been banned in France.
"We will do this because it is a security risk and a symbol of segregation. It is a religious mandate that originated in another nation that negates the need for the wearer to assimilate into Australian culture. There are even differences in opinion among Muslim scholars as to whether the face veil is a fundamental requirement of Islam. Some have even claimed that it is a cultural tradition that has been given undue religious significance."
Policy 2: Policy Principles #5-6
"To protect and enhance the right to private property and private ownership by working towards the dismantling of all unjust taxation, levies, duties, charges and imposts against the family home, family farm and business, and to empower individuals to effectively defend their homes, farms, jobs and businesses, and to ensure that economic, psychological and physical violence against any person, entity or property is a felonious act; this includes ‘anti-trust’ legislation that prevents cartels unfairly raising prices and limiting competitors (e.g. Coles+Woolworths, e.g. Telstra and NBN);
"To ensure that banking serves the national interests of the Australian people, being conducted under the direction of the Parliament, including that food production and essential infrastructure are financed at concessional interest rates, and that citizens’ personal deposits are protected by requiring that investment banking is kept separate from commercial banking as in the Glass-Steagall Act of the USA;"
Policy 3: Policy Principle #25
"To eliminate homelessness and deficiencies in aged-care by a variety of policies, including making low-cost housing more affordable by, inter alia, releasing more residential land, providing more jobs in rural/regional areas, and by substantially assisting the existing support agencies (such as Salvation Army etc) to provide low-cost communal housing and rehabilitation/job-training services;"

Future Party

General: As you might expect, the FPA is concerned with long-term visions to secure the nation's future. This includes social/international, environmental and economical security.
Policy 1: Promote Australia’s space research and space industries by:
"Giving additional funding to space based research in Australia; Establishing Australia as an attractive location to do various types of space research, e.g: launch and landing sites, astronomy; Establish programs to detect the possible collision of space objects with Earth; Contributing to international space efforts, such as Mars missions, extra-solar missions and the Deep Space Network.
"Space provides exciting opportunities for humanity to advance itself. Technological development occurring in space research and related fields has already provided us with new technology in the fields of communication, transportation, energy, physics and biology. Some of these technologies such as GPS and other satellite communication are used regularly by people all over the world.
"The Future Party believes that Australia has the potential to be a hub of space investment and technological development. To do so, however, would require Australia to make serious plans to invest in space research domestically and to attract investment from abroad."
Policy 2: Democracy
"The Governor-General will be elected by a two-thirds majority of a joint sitting of both houses of parliament. Formal ties with the Queen, and the Royal Family will be terminated... The name ‘Governor-General’ should be maintained, and the Governor-General should not be directly elected.
 "While it may be tempting to change name the ‘Governor-General’ to ‘President’, this name change contradicts what is typically seen as a role for the president. Presidents are typically the primary leader and the decision maker of a country. The Governor-General is typically a ceremonial role, with a few important constitutional duties...
"There are two primary reasons why a Governor-General should not be directly elected: The Governor-General is is a role which is largely ceremonial. Plebiscites (popular votes) should be reserved for important electoral positions and issues [AND] By voting for a Governor-General, it will politicise the position. If people vote for someone, it will increase the expectation that the Governor-General should play an active role in the manipulation of the democratic system.
"The Australian House of Representatives to become a multi-member seat system. The number of seats in the Parliament should be maintained as it is now. Electoral areas are to be combined to have 3 seats per electoral area. Each political party can hold 1, 2 or all 3 of the positions for a seat. All positions are up for re-election on every electoral cycle...
"Multi-member seats have 3 primary advantages: It allows smaller parties that hold a significant vote to be represented in parliament. The current system prefers the creation of a two party system; It is more representative of the proportion of people who vote for each political party; It prevents ‘swing-seat’ elections where the majority of areas are ignored during an election because they are considered ‘safe’. Such swing-seat elections simply pander to a small group of people while not considering the wider implication of policies on the ‘safe’ areas...
"To make the senate more representative of the will of the people, all 76 of the senate seats should be voted on by all Australians using proportional representation. At each election, 38 senators will come up for election, and serve 2 consecutive 3 year terms.
"To move to a hybrid electronic/paper voting system where: A voter is presented with an electronic touch screen that shows the parties and candidates for election. The voter then can order the votes according to their preference in party or candidate. When the voter has finalised their voting preferences, they are asked to confirm their preferences, then print out a paper copy of their voting intentions. This printout contains a serial number, a scannable barcode and the order of preferences. This can be used for cross checking of election results."
Policy 3: To establish a new city in Australia, called Turing.
"This city will: Lie between Sydney and Canberra on a high speed rail line; Be established as a university town, focusing on low-capital-cost science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects; Have a mandated high population density (for example, 50 000 people per square kilometre); Be designed from the outset to reduce surface congestion by creating subterranean roadways, which will increase surface area that is available to public space and parks; Be developed primarily through private investment and for private sale; Have slightly different immigration rules to the rest of Australia, allowing the city to grow in size, while allowing Australia to take advantage of the large number of potential immigrants that Australia turns away under current immigration rules."

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

General: There are many Christian parties in this election and, obviously, the CDP is just one of them. My question is 'Why are these parties invariably right-wing?' To an outside observer it would seem as though it is still impossible in the 21st century to be Christian and simultaneously okay with voluntary euthanasia or same-sex marriage. The CDP does not attempt to break this stereotype.
Policy 1: Islam
"CDP believes that Islam then poses a considerable challenge to the maintenance of Australia as a free society with a Christian heritage.
CDP considers it is appropriate to meet this challenge by calling for a moratorium on Islamic immigration into Australia while monitoring the willingness of the existing Islamic community to abandon support for terrorism, sharia law and separate communities.
CDP proposes a 10 year moratorium on Islamic immigration as starting point for a serious national discussion on this issue."
Policy 2: Media, Internet and Censorship
"CDP affirms that mandatory filtering at Internet service provider level should be introduced to exclude all material which would be classified X or refused classification.  The scheme should also provide a family friendly internet service with no material that would be rated MA15+ or higher.  CDP supports increased police resources to Internet monitoring in order to detect child sex offenders...
"CDP believes that the R18+ classification should exclude any depiction of actual sex or any implied depictions of sex with children.  The highest classification for computer games should remain as MA15+...
"As industry self-regulation is not working, CDP supports the introduction of a new scheme with greater enforcement powers.
"Reality television is just one genre where there has been flagrant abuse."
Policy 3: Climate Change
"In the current debate, some scientists say that the earth is undergoing a phase of climate change that is dangerously outside its normal warming and cooling cycles.
"This climate change, they argue, is both highly undesirable now for its attributed catastrophes today like droughts and, relying on computer model forecasts, they point to future ongoing catastrophes for humankind if it continues.
"They see this recent climate change as almost entirely due to humans’ production of green house gases, most notably increased atmospheric CO2 levels caused principally by both the combustion of fossil fuels and the planet’s reduced ability to absorb CO2 as the result of clearing of forests...
"On the other hand, other equally reputable scientists argue that the current phase of climate change is nothing new and is not outside the normal range of climate change cycles that have been happening for many years.
"The earth has been in the past much warmer and much colder than it is today.  These periods of warming and cooling are natural cycles for the earth and not man-made.
"The CDP: Accepts that the scientific debate around climate change is unresolved, and in that sense the CDP remains agnostic in respect to scientific elements of the climate change debate... Does not support carbon trading schemes as they are considered futile and create an unnecessary burden on our economy; Does not support Australia being a signatory to the Kyoto protocol; Encourages the development of economic alternatives to fossil fuels and cleaner coal mining technologies...."

Australian Labor Party

General: The ALP is one of the two major political camps of Australian politics (the other being the Liberal-National Coalition). Labor is also the country's oldest political party, and the current ruling party (although in conjunction with Greens and Independents). This party is the more left-wing of the major political groups.
Policy 1: Education
"We will build the schools of the future through our $15 billion Better Schools Plan so that our kids get more individual attention to be able to reach their full potential.
"As part of the plan, we want to put Australia back in the top five schooling nations in the world for reading, science, maths by 2025. To do this we have to ensure that every school is supported to reach their full potential.
"Under the plan, teaching quality will be lifted, principals will have more power to make decisions about their school and more information will be made available for parents through My School. Schools with students who need extra support to lift their results will be entitled to extra funding based on six categories: kids from low income families, Indigenous students, students with disability, kids with limited English skills, the size of the school, and those who attend rural and remote schools."
Policy 2: Disability
"We will continue to invest in our world class health and hospital system and we will invest in our communities through Australia's first National Disability Insurance Scheme - DisabilityCare Australia.
"Under Labor there are more doctors and more nurses. There’s also a record number of GPs and nurses being trained. And it's easier to get your visit to the GP bulk billed under Labor, too.
"Different communities have different health needs, and local communities deserve a say in how their health care is run. Labor has established Medicare Locals to deliver better health services local communities. Medicare Locals are the newest part of Australia’s universal health system and are delivering things like GP after hours, immunisation programs, mental health services, and much more."
Policy 3: Broadband
"Without world-class broadband, regional Australia will fall behind the rest of the country and world, and local economies will suffer. In the 21st century, broadband is basic infrastructure – regional Australians need it. It’s become an essential utility, just like electricity or water.
"That's why Labor is delivering the National Broadband Network: high-speed, reliable, affordable broadband to every home and business in Australia. The technology is future-proof and can be upgraded easily – future speeds will be even faster.
"The rollout of the NBN is progressing rapidly. High-speed broadband to homes and businesses in cities and the bush is being rolled out right across Australia. By June this year construction will have commenced or be complete for more than 1.2 million homes and businesses.
"The benefits of the NBN are clear: it will make a real difference to the lives of regional Australians in the areas of education, health and business. A student in Dubbo could participate in a specialist science class delivered by a teacher in Sydney, regional health patients will be able to receive specialist consultations from home or a local clinic without the need to travel and local businesses will have unprecedented opportunities to expand and reach new markets."

Katter's Australian Party

General: Bob Katter Snr. was a politician under the Country Party. His son, Bob Katter Jr. was later elected for the Country Party's modern incarnation, the Nationals. Eventually Katter Jr. left the Nationals to become an Independent. Now he is aspiring to lead his own minor party. His policies ave varied, but largely focused on improving the lives of workers in the Agricultural industry.
Policy 1: Aboriginal Affairs
""First Australians" will be given the same rights as enjoyed by the rest of the world and every other Australian – the ability to hold a title deed. 25% of Australia is “supposedly” owned by them; but without a deed they own nothing. They will have the right to a title deed to their home, farm, business and land so that they can say, like every other Australian, “this is my land”. This will facilitate and enable economic development, impossible without a title deed.
"All residential construction and other such public works will be carried out by local indigenous labour and unemployment benefits will subsidise such wages.
"First Australian lands and resources are made available for development and recreational rights at the consent of the local First Australians that can demonstrate a continued affiliation to the land over which the declaration applies."
Policy 2: Pricing Safeguards
"Both Labor and the LNP have stripped away almost every protection mechanism that was put in place to encourage the growth and development of our agricultural sector. Fair pricing safeguards have been removed, making way for foreign processors and supermarket giants to ride roughshod over farmers.
"We are the only farmers in the world without protection. Our shields and spears have been taken from us and we have been sent out to the battlefield of international trade like a crippled David without a sling shot up against the Goliath of competition."
Policy 3: Keep Our State Assets
"The Australian Party will stop the Labor Party and the Liberals selling off Queensland’s State owned power stations. We will stop the sale of the Abbott point Coal terminal. We will stop any further sales of our strategic State owned assets and we will implement strategies to see a reversal of past asset sales where practicable.
"Our state owned assets should be kept as state owned assets!
"Australians have worked hard over the years to build and develop these assets and today, should be reaping their rewards and benefits. Our roads, ports and railways, water and electricity, the Snowy River Scheme are all infrastructure we should be immensely proud of."

Australian Voice Party

General: The AVP is not exactly a single-issue party, but the main thrust of its policies are focused on reviewing the perks and abilities of politicians. This includes reforms to political retirement, donations and superannuation.
Policy 1: Politicians
"Prohibit a member of parliament from retiring in mid-term except for reasons of ill-health. Where a member of parliament retires in mid-term and forces a by-election, the costs of holding the by-election must be met by the retiring member...
"Prohibit donations that encourage a pay for influence system from corporate entities to political parties. This would include companies, trade unions, and foundations. Only donations from individuals or business of an indexed total of no more than $5000 in one calendar year will be permitted. The purpose of this proscription is to remove the corruption of the democratic process where corporate entities with vested interests seek to influence the stance of parties and governments through political donations."
Policy 2: Job Security
"Thousands of jobs have been sent offshore with call centre work out-sourced to countries that operate under exploitative wage and work practices.
"Australian Voice proposes that corporations that provide services within Australia should return these jobs to Australia. Should the corporations not see this as better business practice or as a commitment to the nation in which they operate in; they should be subjected to additional taxes and imposts to cover the social welfare burden imposed upon the Australian economy.
"Disabled people who have limited job opportunities should be given preferential assistance for training and placement in positions."
Policy 3: Illegal Immigration
"We recognise that when immigrants are welcomed into our country they obtain our social commitment. We likewise expect their commitment to respect and contribute to Australian society. We believe that all migrants coming to this country must speak or learn English and be willing to fully integrate into our communities and be willing to adopt our cultural values and traditions.
"As part of our global responsibilities, we believe that Australia should set realistic humanitarian quotas for various classes of displaced persons so that preference is given to the most needy and to those genuinely seeking refuge or asylum rather than to so-called “economic refugees” seeking to relocate to a more prosperous part of the world."

Sex Party

General: Despite an attention-grabbing name focusing on one particular area of policy, the ASP in fact has a wide range of liberal policies. There is, however, a large focus on gender, sex and sexuality as well, including equality for women (specifically advocating for more women in government), legalisation of same-sex marriage, legalisation of abortion, reform of the adult industry and eliminating discrimination against disabled people in relation to sex. Bursting onto the political stage last election, the Sex Party remains one of the most reported-on minor parties, and a potentially significant force in politics in the near future.
Policy 1: Federal Drug Policy
"Decriminalisation, not legalisation, of purchase, possession and consumption of all drugs for personal use, such quantity to be defined as an amount equal or less than 14 days supply for one person..." including the following legal changes for marijuana:
"Allow the possession, use and cultivation for personal use of marijuana by persons aged 18 and over; Allow for the licensing and taxation of growers, wholesalers and retailers; [r]etail outlets to be age restricted and be subject to zoning regulations (minimum distances from schools, etc). Licensing will include consumption "on-premises" plus take-out as well as retail only; DUI regulations amended to allow for maximum THC blood concentration much the same as for alcohol; Unlicensed commercial levels of production and distribution to attract heavy penalties; Percentage of tax collected to be directed towards education and harm reduction campaigns"
Policy 2: Federal Religion and Ethics Policy
"Ending the tax exempt status on all but the charitable work of religious institutions (remove ‘promotion of religion’ from exemptions).
"Supports stem cell research, including embryonic stem cell research, and maintains it is a vital medical issue, not a religious issue.
"Opposes a blanket ban on women wearing the burqa conditional upon it being the woman’s choice."
Policy 3: Federal Euthanasia Policy
"Voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide for patients with a terminal illness and suffering severe pain to be decriminalised.
"In addition to the patient’s primary medical practitioner a second and independent practitioner would be required to confirm his / her agreement with the diagnosis and prognosis.
"Information about palliative care options must be given to the patient and having been given this information the patient must confirm to the primary medical practitioner that all other options are not acceptable and that he or she wants assistance.
"A seven day cooling off period must then be allowed for before assistance can be provided."

Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party

General: The AFLP is a single-issue party with key policies emphasising the importance of recreational and commercial fishing. Maintaining access to fishing locations and legal rights to fish are among the party's key objectives.
Policy 1: Fishing industry, commercial
"Australian marine ecosystems are vast and well-managed, with the potential to sustainably supply all our seafood needs. The health benefits of a seafood-based diet are enormous. Australia’s aquaculture industry is at present small, but has vast potential. Sustainable, scientifically monitored fishing does not damage ecosystems or biodiversity. The aquaculture industry in Australia has not caused environmental damage. Australia has a responsibility to economically manage its exclusive economic zones, or other countries may petition the world in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for access to our exclusive economic zones. Failure to sustainably harvest our marine resource exports environmental problems to other countries less able to protect their marine environments, e.g. Thailand. The method of commercial fishing must be considered in discussions on sustainability, e.g. line fishing versus net fishing. Professional fisherman ideally should be based in a recognised geographical area, and have a responsibility for the sustainability of their harvest."
Policy 2: Fishing, amateur
"Amateur fishing is a social, cultural, and traditional right of all Australians. Amateur fishing is a regular pastime of at least 20% of the Australian population. Amateur fishing has huge economic importance to the Australian community. Managed amateur fishing has no effect on biodiversity or sustainability of the marine ecosystem. Amateur fishing has huge tourist potential and economic spin-offs. Amateur fishing is excluded from less than 1% of American continental waters. Amateur fishing is a cross-generational, traditional Australian recreational activity which should be encouraged at all levels of Australian government."
Policy 3: "[The Great Barrier Reef] is a robust ecosystem capable of adapting to environmental changes. After 200 years of European interaction the reef is in pristine condition and under no immediate threat. Is the least fished of all major coral reefs. Annual Catch (Great Barrier Reef) 25 kg/square kilometre. Annual Catch (World Reef) 7000 kg/square kilometre. Human intervention has produced no new major threats to the survivability of reef ecosystems. Existing threats to reefs are: Natural weather events such as cyclones, Climate change, Sea level change. These factors are not human related. Pollution, siltation, Crown of Thorns, eutrophication, anchors, spear guns, algal blooms and overfishing are all regularly cited but are not significant threats."

Australian Greens

General: The Greens were, not all that long ago, seen as a single-issue party and were regularly criticised for commenting on non-environmental issues. Now, it is fairly well know where the Greens stand on euthanasia, same-sex marriage and drugs. Then there a raft of specific policies that relate to the environment, such as low-emissions, high-speed rail, shark protection and clean energy.
Policy 1: Tertiary Education
"We believe a well-funded universal education system is vital for fairness and wellbeing in our society.
"These cuts hurt students. Uni students shouldn’t have to work long hours while they are studying. They need a decent living allowance so they can afford to meet accommodation, food and travel costs while focussing on their studies. Nor should they be saddled with huge debts once they graduate.
"Rising student fees and debt are locking out disadvantaged students from attending university. Large student debts discourage graduates from broadening their skills and career path to follow their dreams.
"As we enter a time of economic and environmental challenges, now more than ever we need accessible, well-funded and independent universities.
"We need your support to convince the government that increased public investment in universities makes good sense – that the benefits far outweigh the cost."
Policy 2: Justice Reinvestment
"Justice reinvestment is a detailed, place-based approach to the idea that prevention is better than cure. "By reducing the number of people in jail and the number of people returning to jail, it generates savings which can then be re-directed towards disadvantaged communities where most offenders are concentrated.
"While we will always need jails for the most serious offenders, there are many people who should be dealt with outside the prison system. Whether this is for mental health treatment, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, or doing community service, this would cost less yet give us better outcomes.
"The money saved can then be reinvested in the communities where most offenders come from, in programs which are proven to reduce crime.
"Less crime means fewer people in jail, fewer victims and safer, more caring communities.
"It’s also the way we can address the shameful rates of indigenous incarceration in Australia.
"Justice Reinvestment is a smarter, more cost-effective approach to criminal justice which has been successful internationally and will pave the way for safer, stronger Australian communities."
Policy 3: Handguns off the streets
"Despite an overall decrease in the use of firearms in violent crime over the past decade, handguns have emerged as the firearm of choice for crimes in Australia– particularly among those involved in the drugs market or gangs.
"The Greens are serious about tackling violent crime, and that means banning the importation, ownership, possession and use of semi-automatic handguns in order to make our streets and neighbourhoods safer.
"The gun buy-back enacted in the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996 proved incredibly effective, resulting in more than 700,000 weapons being surrendered.iv
"Statistics from the Australian Institute of Criminology show that the proportion of homicide victims killed by offenders using firearms in 2009-2010 is 18% lower than in 1995-1996.v Data shows that amnesties and buy-back schemes have tangible results.
"That’s why we will implement a 12-month amnesty and buy-back scheme for handguns prohibited by our tighter gun control laws. We will also enact a 12-month non-compensated amnesty scheme for already prohibited firearms. In conjunction with these measures, our plan also provides for the rollout a national public education campaign.
"Our plan to get semi-automatic handguns off the streets will pave the way for a safer Australia.
"In addition, we will continue to advocate for stronger regulation of legal firearms including consistent eligibility requirements based on a genuine need, consistent age requirements and strengthened storage requirements across the nation."

Palmer United Party

General: The PUP has received a lot of press, and yet very little public awareness of its policies. Broadly speaking, this party aims to unite the country by reducing government involvement and supporting free-market systems which will return wealth to local communities. The PUP claims descent from the United Australia Party, the precursor to the modern Liberal Party.
Policy 1: Carbon Tax
"Abolish the Carbon Tax"
Policy 2: Refugees
"Revising the current Australian Government’s Refugee Policy to ensure Australia is protected and refugees are given opportunities for a better future and lifestyle"
Policy 3: Mineral Wealth
"Creating Mineral Wealth to continuously contribute to the welfare of the Australian community. This will be achieved by utilising mineral resources from Queensland and Western Australia, and incentives from the Commonwealth of Australia to establish downstream processing in the States of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia; and exporting products at a higher dollar value, thereby creating more revenue, jobs, tax and more facilities."

Building Australia Party

General: The BAP grew out of general discontent from within the building and construction industries, but has branched out into many other areas of policy. A frequent theme of these policies is the construction of better infrastructure to deal with various problems -- a builders solution.
Policy 1: Health
"Building Australia Party will:
[a]ssist all residents access to Public Health and an efficient Public Health system; [support] nurses in their pursuit of an improved Nurse to Patient ratio in our hospitals; [s]upport the construction of Regional Centres of Excellence in specialist medical care, to provide confidence to people settling in a regional area... [b]e proactive in the field of preventative medicine; [s]upport the establishment of accessible eye, ear and dental specialist services to complement our existing medical services and take a positive and proactive role in the future all round health of our population; [a]cknowledge the vital role of Carers in the management of our senior and disabled residents."
Policy 2: Water
"Our generation has to secure the future growth of regional Australia by implementing plans to better manage our fragile river systems.
"Long considered the nation’s agricultural heartland and food bowl, accounting for nearly forty per cent of our agricultural production, the Murray-Darling basin is a river system in trouble.
"Enormous strain has been placed on the Basin’s communities, industries and natural environment by a combination of prolonged and severe drought, emerging changes in the climate and the impact of past water management decisions.
"In 2010, inflows into the Murray were at record low levels and without adequate water, the basin’s ecosystems will continue to decline.
This will threaten many species, the viability and productivity of Australian agriculture and rural and urban water supplies.
"Currently up to 40% of water is lost even before it reaches the farm through mere evaporation.
"Using less water doesn't have to mean fewer jobs or a reduced amount of food. It does mean we have to be more efficient.
"Substantial water savings could be made by increasing efficiencies, particularly for conveyance water, through lining channels and piping water to reduce seepage and evaporation.
"This should be done as a partnership between government and irrigators and would be a win-win for everyone, especially the environment."
Policy 3: Transport
"Building Australia Party will [o]vercome Traffic gridlock in metropolitan areas by a combination of making public transport workable and the number one choice of transport mode as well as expanding and improving the road design by changing the attitude of the traffic managers who do not want to improve the roads, as their view is it may encourage more users. In recognising that ‘not all’ are able to use public transport, the road pattern needs to be holistic, by providing alternative streamlined links between major carriers and retail/business hubs. We need to think smarter and spend more Federal dollars on road infrastructure planning and stop wasting funding on failed short sighted and short term fixes. Also, the charges for public transport use should be minimised in order to encourage people out of their cars."

Uniting Australia Party

General: The Uniting Australia Party (not to be confused with the United Australia Party - the precursor of the Liberal Party dissolved in 1945, or the Palmer United Party) is still working on its website, but I have synthesised the majority of their available policies below.
Policy 1: Foreign Affairs
"Stop selling our farming land to non-nationals, allow leasehold only, not freehold... Make our overseas aid more effective and spend more on long term infractructure and the creation of jobs... Decrease the incentives for illegal immigrants, make it harder for the people smugglers who are risking the lives of the refugees arriving by boat from Asia, while maintaining our moral obligations for legal immigrants and refugees. We welcome all new Australians who cherish the Australian way of life, and are willing to fit in and help to keep Australia a strong nation."
Policy 2: Welfare
"Stop the lifelong perks of ex Prime Ministers and MPs... Immediately increase aged and service pensions, how we treat the people who built and defended our country is a national disgrace... The welfare system needs major changes and resources, including child welfare, mental health and education, place more importance on our young Australians."
Policy 3: Financial Review
"Give larger rebates for gas powered vehicles, build gas fired power stations, and invest in alternative energy, solar and hydrogen. Stop the carbon tax in its current form as it does nothing to help reduce emissions... Cut back some of the unnecessary legislation and red tape that makes it difficult for business, and make the ACCC more accountable."

Stop The Greens

General: Formerly the Outdoor Recreation Party, the ORP/STG generally does not see eye-to-eye with the Greens. This party argues that the natural environment should be accessible to all, and actively managed as opposed to what it sees as the "locking away" and "neglect" proposed by the Greens.
Policy 1: Outdoor Recreation
"The party advocates: [f]ree access to public land; [n]o discrimination against 4WD vehicles [and n]o bull-bar restrictions [for four wheel driving]"
"Repeal of marine parks declared since 1995" and "[b]ag and size limits but no fishing licences"
"Repeal unjust and illogical gun laws, [allowing h]unting feral animals in National Parks, [removing the requirement of a] licence to hunt deer on private land, [and d]eregulate airsoft and paintball"
"Free access to public land [for hikers, bush walkers and skiers, a]llow dogs (under control) into National Parks [and e]xcise ski-fields from National Parks"
Policy 2: Social issues
The ORP supports the following social principles: "Personal choice and responsibility without government intrusion unless others are harmed; [t]he right of self defence and [l]egal assisted suicide; [p]roperty rights take priority over government rights; [a]n end to the nanny state; [v]oluntary voting, [r]ecall elections and [s]unset clauses on legislation"
Policy 3: Economy
"Reduce income tax and apply a high tax-free threshold. Reduce company tax."
Government services should not compete with the private sector (paraphrased)
"Reduced regulation [and n]o corporate welfare."

Smokers Rights

General: The SRP is a single-issue party dedicated to giving more freedom to allow smokers to indulge in tobacco smoking, and to wind back taxation, legislation and restrictions that impose on this practice.
Policy 1: Tobacco Taxation
"Stopping constant increases in cigarette taxes and, over time, reducing them to more reasonable levels."
Policy 2: Private Property
"Repealing laws imposing smoking bans on private property and restoring the right of private property owners to choose whether to allow smoking on their property."
Policy 3: Tobacco Sales
"Allowing retailers to decide whether to sell tobacco products and how to display them [and a]bolishing plain packaging legislation."

Bullet Train for Australia

General: Sometimes there are parties that, judging by their names, should be a single-issue party and then on closer inspection have a wide range of policies. Sometimes it is simply the case that the other policies are derived from or otherwise subordinate to the party's primary goal; sometimes it is more devious, in an attempt to smuggle an unpalatable platform into the Senate under the banner of a well supported issue.
This is not one of those parties. BTFA supports high-speed rail as an environmentally friendly alternative to flights or driving that will boost the local and national economies and create thousands of jobs. That is it, so I cannot offer any other policies below. Instead, here is a quote from their website:
"The Bullet Train for Australia Party has no official position on any other policy areas apart from High-Speed-Rail (HSR), Bullet Trains, Very Fast Trains, Fast-rail and related topics.
"This applies to all BTFA functionaries, dignitaries, candidates, volunteers and any other kind soul that may be involved with our party.
"We don’t wish to constrain the views of anyone, but when speaking on behalf of the party, everyone is focused on 1 (one) goal – getting a Bullet Train.
"When our candidates are elected to the parliament of the nation they will only promote high speed rail and pursue getting a Bullet Train as quickly as possible. Our elected MPs will abstain on voting from anything that is not related to high-speed-rail and getting a Bullet Train.
"Matters of conscience will be considered on a case by case basis.
"We hope this is clear to all and sundry.
"The Bullet Train Team"


General: The Liberal Party is the largest partner in the Coalition, and the main opposition to the ruling Labor Party. The Libs are a conservative party, born out of a convoluted history of break-away groups and coalitions. At present this party looks likely to lead the next federal government.
Policy 1: Paid Parental Leave
"Mothers will be provided with 26 weeks paid parental leave, at their actual wage or the national minimum wage (whichever is greater), plus superannuation...
"The Coalition believes that superannuation contributions must be paid while women are recieving paid parental leave so that women are not further disadvantaged when it comes to their retirement savings...
"Under the Coalition's scheme, fathers will be eligible for two out of the 26 weeks for dedicated paternity leave at their actual wage or the national minimum (whichever is greater), plus superannuation."
Policy 2: Carbon Tax
"If elected, the Coalition will take immediate steps to implement our plan to abolish the carbon tax: on day one, the Coalition will instruct the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to draft legislation that repeals the carbon tax and to have the legislation ready within one month; on day one, the Treasurer will notify the Clean Energy Finance Corporation that it should suspend its operations and instruct the Treasury to prepare legislation to permanently shut-down the Corporation; within the first month, the Cabinet will approve legislation to repeal the carbon tax; on the very first day of a new Parliament, the Coalition will introduce legislation to repeal the carbon tax; and within the first sitting fortnight of Parliament, the new government will introduce legislation to shut-down the Clean Energy Finance Corporation."
Policy 3: Stop the Boats
"The Coalition will restore Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs).
"TPVs are one of the key elements necessary to deny people smugglers a product to sell. They are an effective deterrent against arrival and act as a distinct disincentive for potential clients of people smugglers.
"TPVs deny permanent residence and therefore deny the right to make an application for citizenship. They also deny access to family reunion under any programme (which remains possible under Labor's ongoing policy) and deny the ability to leave and re-enter the country - those on TPVs who leave Australia are subsequently barred from returning...
"The Coalition will reserve the Refugee and Special Humanitarian Visa quota for genuine applicants who apply through the propper prrocess."

The Nationals

General: The NATs are the lesser half of the Coalition - always the bridesmaid and never the bride. A vote for the Nationals is largely the same thing as a vote for the Liberal party, although the Nationals are more focused on regional industries, such as agriculture, rather than its urban cousin's interest in industry. As such, many of their policies involve extending the benefits available to the urban population so that they may be enjoyed by regional communities. Many of these plans, for example their education policies, are too detailed and multifaceted to be summarised here, which has affected the selection of policies below.
Policy 1: Border Protection
"We commit to the re-introduction of Temporary Protection Visas and to the continuation of the Australian-funded and operated detention centre on Nauru to process arrivals and deter illegal immigration in the future.
"We will ensure that Navy and Customs personnel have the right modern equipment to turn boats around where it is safe to do so and stop illegal entry into Australia. We must defeat unscrupulous people smugglers."
Policy 2: Carbon and mining taxes
"The economy-wide, job-destroying, confidence-sapping carbon tax is a dead weight around the necks of every business, worker, farmer, senior and family ... and all for no environmental gain.
"We are opposed to it and, in government, we will repeal it. An economic environment conductive to wealth creation, productivity growth and job creation are all cornerstones of Nationals philosophy and policy.
"We will also repeal Labor's mining tax given the negative impact it will have on Australian families, obs, regional communities, superannuation savings, the economy and the international competitiveness of this vital Australian industry."
Policy 3: Climate Change
"The Nationals support effective global programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to insure against the risk of climate change. Wealthy industrialised countries like Australia must take a commensurate role in conjunction with the rest of the world in implementing a global response if we expect developing countries to contribute to the solution.
"Therefore, we support an Australian objective of a 5% reductin in emissions below Year 2000 levels by 2020, with larger reductions dependent on a strong international agreement being reached...
"Practical measures can be taken now, including... soil carbon sequestration, the revegetation of marginal land, bio-char, clean coal technology, carbon capture and the use of algae"

Australian Protectionist Party

General: Not to be confused with the Liberal predecessor the Protectionist Party, the Australian Protectionist Party believes in - and I want to stress that I am using the APP's language here - protecting Australia. This includes "protecting" us from "social-engineering experiments like Multiculturalism" which breed "ethnic and racial strife" as well as the more obvious environmental protections and tariff systems to protect vulnerable industries.
Policy 1: Protect our families
"Establish pro-family measures to protect the traditional family unit, which is the foundation stone of our national culture and way of life. Institute financial relief for families, enabled by schemes such as taxation “income splitting” for couples with children. Make education costs for children tax deductible."
Policy 2: Protect our way of life
"End the destructiveness of Multiculturalism and Political Correctness. Teach our students about the achievements and values of Australian society and of Western Civilisation. Immerse our youth in the traditions of the Australian national identity and culture. Enable criticism and challenging of ideas in the classroom, but without having a “black armband” view of history deliberately being pushed by teachers as a form of political activism. End government funding for the political ideology of Multiculturalism."
[N.B. In the "history wars", "black armband" is the opposite of "white blindfold", the former being a recognition of the destructive policies of colonists (including masacres, kidnappings and forced removal) on the Aboriginal population and the latter being a denial of many events (particularly the massacres) and down playing others on the grounds that they were well intentioned.]
Policy 3: Protect our people
"To have a sensible immigration programme geared towards accepting into Australia people from culturally similar populations, who will readily accept our way of life and the inherent values associated therein, thus enabling a relatively quick, easy and low-cost assimilation into Australian society. To implement an environmentally-friendly immigration policy, whereby the number of people gaining permanent residence are equivalent to the number of people permanently leaving, thus advancing the ecological sustainability of our community, and minimising the long-term effects of our population upon our country’s fragile environment."

Animal Justice Party

General: A truly single-issue party, the AJP supports a wide range of policies which support animal protection.
Policy 1: Live Animal Exports
"The Animal Justice Party (AJP) opposes the export of live animals of any species to any other country for profit, for whatever purpose, particularly for slaughter, on welfare, humanitarian, economic and societal grounds. We support an international ban of the long haul export of all live animals world wide. We demand an end to the export of live animals from Australia at the earliest possible time, taking into consideration any domestic welfare issues exceeding those faced overseas, that the animals previously earmarked for live export would suffer in the event of a ban."
Policy 2: Human Diet
"Millions of chickens, pigs, sheep and cattle are housed and transported in unbelievably cruel conditions and then slaughtered every year in Australia for food and for by-products such as hides, milk and eggs. Legislation throughout all states and territories of Australia exempts this ‘class’ of animals from practices which would ordinarily be regarded as cruel if they were inflicted on other animal species, and particularly on companion animals.. The industrial scale and abhorrent nature of the production and killing processes currently employed is at a level well beyond the worst nightmare of many.
"While it is a given that the demand from Australians for animal meat and by-products is highly entrenched and actively marketed and is unlikely to change significantly in the short to medium term, the Animal Justice Party believes the vast majority of Australians will not tolerate the unnecessary suffering of animals for food including through intensive ‘farming’, mutilation procedures without analgesia, and long-distance transport. Therefore, a major goal of the AJP is to bring awareness of these practices to the community, engaging them to exert consumer pressure and advocacy to expedite major improvements for ‘farmed’ animals. The AJP will seek to encourage action through the legislative and policy process to ameliorate any pain, distress or suffering to which animals used for food are routinely exposed."
Policy 3: Hunting
"Stamp out the killing of animals for human benefit, putting enforced protection laws in place."

Australia First Party

General: For all of the minor (and major) parties whose leaders' chequered past has clouded their political views, none have the notoriety of AFP founder Jim Saleam. Where I previously provided a Wikipedia link for Lyndon LaRouche, I will let others do the research on Mr Saleam for fear that linking to Wikipedia might constitute slander. However, politically the party is pretty well what you would expect from a far, far, far, far, far right party. Some have even called them Neo-Nazi, and the KKK has admitted to infiltrating the AFPs ranks (that is the Australia First Party, not the Australian Federal Police, with whom they have frequently clashed).
Policy 1: Forreing Affairs
"Ensure Australia Retains Full Independence: Protect our sovereignty (national, constitutional, and personal) and maintain an adequate defence whilst being compassionate and fair in our Nations international dealings.
"Control Foreign Ownership: Bring foreign ownership and investment back under control.
"Reduce and Limit Immigration: Immigration mistakes can be big long term mistakes. Immigration policy must take into account social cohesion, employment opportunities, urbanisation and environmental issues.
"Abolish Multiculturalism: End the divisive, government funded and institutionalised policy of multiculturalism."
Policy 2: Rebuild Australian Manufacturing Industries"This is the only way we can be self sufficient. It will provide jobs for our children, and help buy back the farm and allow Australia to be free of foreign debts. Our infrastructure has been run down over many years – it must be rebuilt. We must improve the practicality and relevance of our educational systems, and target government support for industry to diversify, innovate, perform, and expand. We recognise that small business is fundamental to this policy. A satisfactory financial environment is also essential."
Policy 3: Introduce Citizen’s Initiated Referenda"Amend the Australian Constitution so that the people can initiate constitutional referendums which, if approved by the Australian people, will amend the Australian Constitution. This simple step will confirm the political authority of voters and make politicians aware that they are the servants of the Australian people, not their masters."

Australian Independents

General: Australian Independents are, effectively, a party of Independents. That's right, it's a party of individuals without a party. Effectively, what this means is that all AIP candidates serve to represent their constituents, not a party line. The party requires all candidates to put their own convictions to one side and vote according to the views of their constituents, whom they regularly consult. As such there are no solid policy positions for the party, although there are some general points that the party takes as guidelines -- until the voters instruct them otherwise...
Policy 1: Homelessness and Poverty
"Around 125,000 Australians are homeless. The Australian Independents are committed to ending homelessness. 1 in 8 Australians are living below the poverty line. The Australian Independents are committed to pushing every Australian above the poverty line. The Australian Independents are fighting for an increase in the minimum wage to ensure that all wage earners are living above the poverty line.
"The Australian Independents acknowledge the contribution that churches make to our society and are for significant government funding to St Vincent's De Paul, Anglicare, The Salvation Army and other Christian welfare agencies.
"The Australian Independents are fighting for more public housing. The Australian Independents are committed to addressing the issue of housing affordability."
Policy 2: Health and Disability
"The Australian Independents are for significantly more fully funded medical and nursing university places, doctors, specialists and nurses. The Australian Independents are for significant investment in preventative health education, programs and initiatives. The Australian Independents are for all university student nurses to receive salaries for in-hospital work/training.
"The Australian Independents are committed to significantly more funding for mental health services, including funding for additional mental health beds, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatric Nurses. The Australian Independents are pushing for fully funded Medicare funded treatments and programs to tackle drug, alcohol, cigarette, gambling and obesity problems...
"The Australian Independents are advocating for the rights of people living with disabilities and their carers to fully participate in policies which impacts on them. The Australian Independents are for people with disabilities to receive improved education, health, housing, public transport, employment and social opportunities. The Australian Independents are for an increase in the wage threshold for Disability Support Pensioners.
"The Australian Independents support the National Disability Insurance Scheme. However, the Australian Independents are concerned that, in its current form, the NDIS, will not deliver real rights to those experiencing disability and their carers. The Australian Independents are pushing to ensure that the design of the NDIS is compatible with the needs of people living with disability and their carers. The Australian Independents are committed to funding a significant increase in the Carers Allowance. The Australian Independents are for a dramatic and long overdue increase in respite support for carers."
Policy 3: Asylum Seekers
"The Australlian Indpendents are for all refugees being processed in or near their own countries. The Australian Independents are for increasing the refugee intake to 50,000 per year. The Australian Independents are for asylum seekers boosting populations of small towns in rural and regional areas of Australia. The Australian Indpendents are for asylum seekers securing employment in rural and regional areas of Australia (currently there are over 100,000 jobs that urgently need filling in outback Australia). The Australian Independents are for all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to be transported back to their own countries by plane, for processing. The Australian Independents are for a wide-spread awareness raising campaign to inform asylum seekers of the locations of the processing centres in their own countries."

Drug Law Reform

General: Another single-issue drug legalisation party, the DLR does not provide anything more specific than the general ideal of legalising drugs, chiefly cannabis, on similar grounds to the HEMP party. "The party maintains that drug use can be dangerous and that problematic drug use is a major health concern, however criminalising drug use does more harm than good." The party also argues that the expensive $7 billion War on Drugs has failed, that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes, and that the $2.5 billion raised from regulation and taxation of cannabis can be used for dug education among children.
With only one issue to campaign on, I have not been able to list three here.

Socialist Equality Party

General: The SEP is proudly driven by a Trotskyist agenda, advocating such ideals as "[s]ocial ownership of the banks and major corporations", "[t]he international unity of the working class", and "[t]he political independence of the working class" along with aspirations to end war and protect the environment. However there are a few concrete policies listed here as well.
Policy 1: Jobs for all
"The SEP advocates a massive public works program, including the rebuilding and expansion of public and social infrastructure—roads, rail and public transport systems, housing, hospitals, schools and age-care facilities—to meet pressing social needs and make jobs available to all."
Policy 2: Free, high quality, universal health care and education
"First-class health care, including access to the latest medical technologies and treatments, must be guaranteed to all, without fees or caps on treatment. This must cover all health requirements, from birth to death, including hospital, dental, psychiatric, rehabilitation, aged care, and the needs of the disabled.
"Billions of dollars must be poured into education to ensure that free, well-staffed, quality public education, including child care and kindergarten, is available to all children and young people, regardless of where they live. All students, including overseas students, must have the right to access free tertiary education."
Policy 3: Full rights to immigrants and refugees
"The SEP rejects the reactionary framework of “border protection” upheld by all the capitalist parties, including the Greens. All refugees in detention centres must be released immediately and immigration controls and restrictions lifted."

Australian Democrats

General: Until recently the DEMs were the third force in Australian politics, since edged out by the Greens through a combination of factors. Unlike some minor parties, the Democrats actually provide lists of things they intend to do. Long lists. Many long lists. Hand-picking three would not do justice to the depth of detail available at the link below, so instead I will be providing three of the party's objectives, beneath which many specific policies have been proposed. I would strongly encourage following the below link for anyone considering voting Democrat above the line or in any way below the line.
Objective 1: Immigration
"The Australian Democrats believe in a non discriminatory immigration program which gives priority to refugees and family reunion, the total number of which, when included with overall population trends will not impede sustainability of the nation's natural resources.
Objective 2: Schools
"To provide and maintain a well resourced, free public education system
"To fulfill the right of every child in Australia to an equal level of educational opportunity, through the provision of a standard of teaching and educational facilities which enable the full development of their potential
"To promote education as the cornerstone of society, developing well informed, tolerant, responsible and critical citizens functioning as an integral part of the community."
Objective 3: Employment
"Reducing unemployment must be Australia's highest social priority. In particular, we recognise the urgent need to specifically combat the unacceptably high unemployment levels of young and older Australians."

Unaffiliated 1

General: The website for Tom Wang and Daniel O'Toole requires a little detective work to locate, so consider providing the link below as the first useful thing Infographinomicon has ever done for you (I pride myself on out-Sherlocking several other online electoral resources, including the MetaFilter community). Unaffiliated Group 2, or "Advance Australia in Asia" as they prefer to call themselves, consider our Asian neighbours to be central in the economic future. Messers Wang and O'Toole, however, do not operate on a single-issue platform as demonstrated below.
Policy 1: Family support and health services
"AAA is seeking two key areas of reform for family services. First, we will promote reforms so that federal health funding is granted to the states. Currently the states are given significant freedom in how they use the health funding they receive from the federal government. We will propose reforms that tie the states to minimum expenditure rules for key areas like emergency care, nurse staffing levels in public hospitals and aged care facilities. Moreover, AAA recognises that there are a significant number of families in Australia that take on the burden of caring for their retired and no-longer self-sufficient parents and grand parents. These multi-generational households reduce the burden on the health sector through their care and effort. To support these families, AAA proposes that they be granted special tax concessions to help make the challenge of providing care less burdensome."
Policy 2: Better business with Asia
"Australia has been attempting to finalise free trade agreements with China, South Korea and Japan for several years now. If successful, we will use our role in government to push for smarter engagement with our neighbours and assist in the conclusion of these agreements. Tom Wang, as head of AAA, possesses unmatched Asia-engaged negotiating skills and has a proven record of executing difficult deals.
"We will promote the establishment of Australian-Asian Business Centres in selected cities of Australia’s major Asian trading partners. They will employ teams comprised of people with deep knowledge of local markets and governments, as well as people with a strong understanding of Australian businesses and the regulatory challenges they face at home. These centres will work with Australian businesses to facilitate arrangements with local companies, helping both sides to reap the benefits that access to new and expanding markets afford."
Policy 3: Immigration
"AAA will also promote the creation of a new visa category that will reward those who can demonstrate that they have added value to our economy. The current ‘Significant Investor Visa’ aims to achieve something similar. However, its requirement of a $5 million investment means that our country is missing out on the myriad of other talented entrepreneurs that have proven their skills, but are yet to have reached such high levels of success. We envision several more practical categories that would encourage people with real ambitions for business development to become Australia citizens and residents.
"We will promote the creation of a visa category whereby prospective business migrants would invest $250,000 into a newly created Australian Social Development Fund. This money will contribute to funding Australian hospitals, aged care, and education. Following this initial investment, these visa holders will then have a two-year period in which to demonstrate that they have either: generated investment worth $2 million in Australia, or; concluded exports worth $5 million. If they can achieve this, they will be granted permanent residency."

Family First Party

General: The FFP is the most mainstream of several Christianity-based political parties in this election. Now very few people will dispute that love, peace and charity -- among a great many other virtues proclaimed in Christianity -- are fantastic starting points for any movement, particularly a political one. On the other hand, concerns about the separation of church and state have followed this party for some time, and in recent times Family First has sought to celebrate its origins in a church, while distancing itself from religion in policy.
Many of the "policies" outlined in the source document do not outline any specific course of action, but rather state guiding principals, such as "[w]e want to make sure Australian homebuyers can own their home by the time they retire" or "we believe that the plight of the poor ... is a collective responsibility." or "[m]arriage is exclusively between a man and a woman". Below are policies that at least hint at how the FFP aim at realising some of these principals.
Policy 1: Choice in schooling
"Parents increasingly choose to send their children to schools that reflect the values that are important to them. At Family First we ... believe that both public and private schools must be adequately resourced to enable the delivery of high quality education and to ensure that the rights of parents to choose is respected and supported."
Policy 2: Climate Change
"Family First opposes the carbon tax and renewable energy targets. It believes it is grossly irresponsible to proceed with these policies that involve major changes to the Australian economy. A proper, independent enquiry eg a Royal Commission, needs to be established to explore the scientific, social, environmental and economic impact of such a change."
Policy 3: Tax
"If the Australian tax system is to offer incentives to be productive, to expand activities, to shift from welfare to work, to pay tax and invest in the future then it must be simple, flat and, in the eyes of taxpayers, a fair system."

Stable Population Party

General: The stable population party is another single-issue party advocating a population that is "better, not bigger". To achieve this, they advocate a two-point plan. In addition to this
Policy 1: Sustainable Population 2-Point Plan
"Limit government birth payments to each woman's first two children. This law would apply only to births occurring more than nine months after it was passed. It covers the birth payment via the Family Tax Benefit A and paid parental leave. We do not support restrictions on family size - we simply support the withdrawal of government incentives to have large families.
"Adopt a balanced migration program, where permanent immigration is equivalent to permanent emigration. This is also known as 'zero net migration' (the world average). This would reduce annual permanent immigration from around 250,000 (including NZ) to around 80,000, and include flexible skilled, family reunion and humanitarian (refugee) components."
Policy 2: Trans Tasman Immigration
"Abolish the Trans Tasman Travel Arrangement with New Zealand in order to end uncapped migration. Permanent immigration from NZ would be included in the permanent immigration quota. The status of NZ citizens currently living in Australia would be determined following a comprehensive review of all immigration programs. A compassionate approach is advocated towards current residents."
Policy 3: Global Population
"Tie foreign aid wherever possible to the improvement of economic and environmental sustainability, with a particular focus on female rights and education, and on opportunities for women and couples to access reproductive health and voluntary family planning services to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. Our aim is to help stabilise global population at the United Nations' 'low variant' peak estimate of around 8 billion by mid century. "

Shooters and Fishers

General: The SFP makes no apologies for its positions based on "reason, science and conservation", even if they are viewed as "politically incorrect". It holds conservative social values, a support for multiculturalism and a belief that the environment should be protected for -- and yet available to -- public users as central tenets of its policies.
Policy 1: Live Export and Animal Activist Terrorism
"All Australians were horrified by the media reports showing the treatment of animals prior to slaughter in overseas countries. The kneejerk reaction by the Federal government to suspend live exports from Australia had, and continues to have, a devastating financial and social impact on livestock producers.
"The Shooters and Fishers Party supports the expansion of the live export trade...
"More than ever society is experiencing a growing level of anti-social and threatening behaviour from citizens representing various animal liberation organisations, acting and behaving like terrorist organisations.
"The Shooters and Fishers Party will table a Bill outlawing animal liberation based hate campaigning and terrorism."
Policy 2: Border Security
"Australia's border security has weakened markedly since the Labor government took office in 2007. Under successive governments border security has been mismanaged as evidenced by increasing numbers of asylum seekers arriving illegally, illegal firearms, illicit drugs and exotic diseases.
"Furthermore there have been revelations of corruption within the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, at our sea ports, major airports and our postal service.
"The Shooters and Fishers Party strongly supports measures to significantly strengthen border security against illegal arrivals, illicit drugs, illegal firearms and other contraband."
Policy 3: Firearms
"The Commonwealth Government has no Constitutional authority for the legislation and regulation of firearms laws other than those which apply to the Customs Act (importation). "The Shooters and Fishers Party calls for the abolition of the 1996 uniform National Firearms Agreement of COAG. The Shooters and Fishers Party vehemently opposes the establishment of a Commonwealth Firearms Registry, or any other interference by the Commonwealth in the constitutional authority of the States to legislate the ownership and use of firearms."

Stop CSG

General: Stop CSG is not exactly a single-policy party, but most of its policies, from health to land ownership, are directly related to the impact of coal seam gas mining.
Policy 1: Carbon management
"Elevated levels of carbon are having an adverse impact on human wellbeing, earth systems and ecosystems and we must immediately undertake a sustained process of carbon sequestration and carbon emission reduction.
"The cost of carbon management must be shared by industries, businesses, individuals, government and the broadest community. Carbon management is an international issue and must be subject of global coordination and cooperation."
Policy 2: Human health
"No industrial or business activity should be allowed or facilitated which can be proven to be injurious to human health.
"Prior to any business or industrial process receiving approval or commencing development work decision makers, regulators and financiers must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt through independently verified and validated research that the proposed business or industrial process will not be harmful to any person, waterway, atmosphere or other earth system, anywhere, at any time, now or into the future.
"Where human health or the environment has been adversely affected by any activity then the person who conducted that activity has the inalienable obligation to undertake and fully fund all necessary relief, mitigation and compensation actions until the process is ceased and the damage is repaired."
Policy 3: Coal seam gas
"Extraction and use of coal seam gas and other forms of unconventional gas is not sustainable. Industries should not be allowed to develop which are unsustainable and damaging to the environment, people and the economy.
"We oppose the coal seam gas and other unconventional gas industries and call for their cessation."

Australian Republican Party

General: The ARP is a supporter of independence from the British (and all other) monarchies. Interestingly, if elected, these candidates will have to swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II and pledge loyalty that would preclude then, or ever, advocating a republic. Exactly how these oaths are enforced has never really been considered in constitutional terms...
Policy 1: Constitutional change
"An Australian Republic - with a model where the Australian People become collectively sovereign when the reigning monarch cedes her sovereignty
"An Australian Charter of Rights, Freedoms, Choices, Values and Responsibilities"
Policy 2: Immigration
"Zero Net Migration whereby if, say, 200,000 people depart Australia in one calendar year then we allow 200,000 people from ALL categories to enter the country legally in the following calendar year."
Policy 3: Electoral reform
"Multi-Member Federal Electorates (say, 10 elected representatives for each of the say, 75 Federal Electorates) arrived at per the proportional, preferential voting system to establish and maintain a truly, multi-party democracy." [This is akin to how the senate is elected, except with only 150 seats nationally there would only be two divisions of the country].

Socialist Alliance

General: Despite being classed as one of the fringe-iest parties, the SA has - in my opinion - one of the best fleshed out and navigable policy rafts on the net. They have policies on everything from Palestine to Tibet, from agriculture to Coal and Steel, from education to energy to women's rights. Oh, and they are an alliance of socialists. I should probably mention that, because people need the obvious pointed out to them sometimes.
Policy 1: Arab Spring Uprisings
"The Socialist Alliance: Fully supports the mass uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East and recognises that these are directed both against political tyranny and the poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunity crated by Western-imposed neoliberal economic policy...
"Socialist Alliance will: Continue to publicise, support and explain the uprisings through Green Left Weekly, LINKS and other media; Campaign against imperialist military intervention in the Middle East, including organising and supporting protests; Campaign against imperialist political, economic and military support for tyranny in the Middle East and against the imposition of neoliberalism, including organising and supporting protests; Organise and support protests in solidarity with the “Arab Spring” uprisings; Work with Arab migrant and student communities in Australia to support the uprisings. However, this should not include endorsing calls for Western intervention; and [w]ork with Arab migrant and student communities in Australia to oppose imperialist intervention. However, this should not include endorsing support for “anti-Western” tyrants."
Policy 2: Equality
"Socialist Alliance will: Enact enforceable anti-discrimination legislation to protect lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, people living with HIV and trans and intersex people. We will remove existing exemptions from anti-discrimination legislation in relation to employment for private schools, religious organisations, the insurance industry, the tax system, superannuation etc. The Socialist Alliance will legislate for the right of trans and intersex people to be issued with passports, drivers licenses and other documents specifying the gender (or non-gender) of their choice...
"Guarantee the right of gay men and lesbians to adopt or foster children and to access free, safe reproductive technology like IVF. End discrimination against gay men, lesbians, trans and intersex people in child custody cases.
"Legislate against use of non-violent homosexual “advance” as a defense of “provocation” in violent crime.
"Provide full state funding for gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans people and intersex youth programs including refuges and housing services, health services, coming out, self-esteem and suicide prevention programs;
"All public funding for education, youth, aged, health, employment and welfare to be directed though non-discriminatory government and/or secular non-profit community organisations. Education in schools to incorporate positive material on homosexuality, trans and intersex peoples." [See also the SA's Intersex Policy]
Policy 3: Hijab
"Socialist Alliance condemns the rise of racism in Australia against people of Muslim belief or Middle Eastern background, especially since 9/11. Muslim women who wear the hijab or burqa have been attacked or harassed. Only last month, a woman soccer player in Melbourne was barred by a referee from playing because she was wearing a hijab.
"Socialist Alliance condemns the recent introduction of a law in France banning the wearing of prominent religious items, including the hijab, in state schools or the public service. While the law was ostensibly to defend secularism, its real target was France's Muslim minority.
"Socialist Alliance rejects the false argument that banning the hijab is about promoting women's liberation. Many of those who support such a ban show no such concern over sexist advertising or women's low pay. Only Muslim women can make the decision to wear or not to wear the hijab.
"Socialist Alliance commits to campaigning against any proposals to ban or limit by law the wearing of the hijab or burqa, and against informal discrimination in our workplaces and communities."

Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)

General: Another semi-single-issue party, the NCPP is most concerned with the impacts of non-shared parenting. This influences policies from health to unemployment to education. I use the word "policies" loosely, as the website only gives aspirations and general terms of support and opposition. That said, I have let this slide in the past, so...
Aspiration 1: Environment
"We wish to secure current economic growth and at the same time preserve the environment for Australians of the future.
"We maintain that the source of most of the future power generation in Australia will come from either coal or nuclear fired power stations.
"We are opposed to nuclear power on the basis of the inherent safety dangers involved. This leaves coal fired power stations as the main source of power.
"There are also other forms of power generation that are alternatives to coal fired power stations namely by using  wind and solar powered generators.
"We would support both these types of power generation. However both methods do have problems, particularly with distribution."
Aspiration 2: Housing
"Either owning or renting a house is getting beyond the reach of the average wage earner.
Unfortunately this is not as a result of true cost increases, it is as a result of Government policies...
"Very often, people have been affected by the effects of the Family Law and Child System cannot afford to own  a house or sometimes even to have rental accommodation. This is the result of assets being diluted by people who should not be the main beneficiaries of any family break-up e.g. lawyers, etc.
"We would support a complete review of the Family Law and Child Support legislation
"One of the other reasons is the general tax legislation. “Negative gearing” is pushing up the cost of houses and the subsequent rental costs.
"We would support the removal of the “negative gearing” provisions in the current tax legislation."
Aspiration 3: Child Care
"Either parent should be able to look after their children should the need arise... the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) payment [i]s now no longer split between separated parents...
"This change in 2008  created a hurdle for the non-custodial parent.
"This hurdle is that it now provides a financial benefit for the custodial parent not to permit the non-custodial parent to look after the children.
"We support the removal of these and any other similar contact constraints in our legislation."

Pirate Party

General: The guiding ideal of the Pirate Party is freedom. This is extended to a generally pro-choice position on most issues, including legalising non-addictive drugs, decriminalising other drugs and allowing same-sex marriage. This last point, however, is detailed below by making Marriage the purview of Religion and other groups, and retaining civil unions as the only legally relevant union between couples.
Policy 1: Remove copyright restrictions applying to publicly funded material
"Crown copyright will be abolished for all material produced by government, including: Bills, statutes, regulations, ordinances, by-laws and proclamations, and explanatory memoranda or explanatory statements relating to those materials; Judgements, orders and awards of any court or tribunal; Official records of parliamentary debates and reports of parliament, including reports of parliamentary committees; Reports of commissions of inquiry, including royal commissions and ministerial and statutory inquiries; Other categories of material prescribed by regulation. "
"Open Access provisions will be for required for all publicly financed scientific and academic research. Publicly financed institutions will be required to release all scientific and academic works under principles of Open Access. Publicly financed institutions will be required to provide all raw data collected (anonymised as necessary) in an open and searchable format, via government infrastructure if required. Repositories will be required to make publicly funded research available to the public under principles of Open Access, and free of charge.
"Government funded software will be made open-source, excepting cases where disclosure threatens national security."
Policy 2: Bill of Rights
"The Pirate Party will sponsor a referendum to introduce a Bill of Rights as a way to protect basic liberties.
"Australia is one of the few remaining western democracies whose citizens and residents lack any significant, constitutionally declared rights. This lack of protection creates an imbalance of power between individuals and the state, and poses risks to privacy, free speech and individual choice. A bill of rights is overdue as a way to restore balance and provide unambiguous checks on the creeping intrusion of the state into private life."
Policy 3: Replace the Marriage Act 1961 with a Civil Unions Act
"Couples in a union under the Civil Unions Act will be afforded the same rights available under the current Marriage Act. Civil unions will be available to all consenting couples. The legal age of consent for involvement in a Civil Union will be 18 years.
"The Civil Unions Act will provide a state recognized union with equivalent legal and monetary benefits to those provided currently within the Marriage Act. Couples in legally recognised unions from overseas will be recognised under this Act. An exception will apply to forced marriages instituted overseas, which will be considered invalid.
"The institution of marriage will be removed from the purview of state authority and instead overseen by secular and religious organisations who will have freedom to offer ceremonies in adherence with their own beliefs. No legal basis will be provided for any attempt to force any organisation to provide marriage services where such an act would be at odds with organisational values. No part of this policy may be used to override or contradict freedom of religion as granted by the Constitution of Australia.
"Forced unions will be banned."

Secular Party of Australia

General: If there was any political position universally accepted, then it would already be enshrined in law. Everything else is up for debate. That means that sometimes for a given party there will be a counter-party. This party does not need to be negative or agressive, merely advocate opposing views. That is the beauty of democracy -- that people can disagree about capital sufferage or universal punishment, and discuss it rationally (or shout incoherently across the parliament, if they prefer). For those who oppose the religiously-motivated parties, there is the SPA, advocating the seperation of church and state.
Policy 1: Education and Funding
"[T]he Secular Party of Australia would broadly seek to implement the recommendations of the Gonski Review, with some amendments. Firstly, if the financial resources available per student in a private school, including those provided by school fees, exceed the standard resource per student, government funding will be reduced accordingly and used to help bring disadvantaged public schools to the required standard. Secondly, to qualify for government funding a school must teach a secular curriculum, admit students and employ staff regardless of faith, and all religious activity promoted by the school must be voluntary and conducted outside school hours."
Policy 2: Personal Freedoms
"Personal freedoms should be based on modern secular humanist principles. Only secularism can guarantee religious freedom, and we endorse this freedom. However those who adhere to faith-based morality frequently seek to impose their religious views on the entire population. This occurs in policies concerning areas such as abortion, voluntary euthanasia, stem cell research, drug policy and gay rights.
"The Secular Party believes in equal human rights. Same-sex couples should enjoy the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, in inheritance, and for all ceremonial, financial, legal and medical purposes. Our policies on issues of high moral content, such as abortion and voluntary euthanasia, favour freedom of choice, and are based on rational assessment of the relevant issues."
Policy 3: Religious Attire
"The Secular Party believes that ideally, expression of religious belief should be a private matter for adults. However we endorse the right of adult individuals to wear clothing of their choice.
The Secular Party supports a ban on identity hiding-garments or other items, including burqas and "motorcycle helmets, in public places where there are legitimate security and/or safety concerns, or where personal identification is required. The Secular Party supports the right of relevant officials to request that such items be removed."

Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party

General: The AMEP is a party born from various aspects of motor sports and hobbies, with many policies relating to road safety, vehicle standards and road maintainence, but also branching out into other areas. Many of these areas are not well expounded, as shown below, and many would still consider this party to be of the single-issue variety.
Policy 1: Environment
"We support a balanced approach towards sustainability of the environment and the use of the environment, both for the survival of mankind and for the unimpeded recreational use of the environment."
Policy 2: Education
"We believe that every citizen has the right to receive an education of the highest standard whether it is trade qualifications, up skilling, early learning, primary, secondary or tertiary. An educated population is paramount to the growth and prosperity of the nation. Additional focus should be placed upon assisting those who are disadvantaged to fulfill their own individual potential."
Policy 3: Health
"We believe that every Australian should have access to a fair and equitable decentralised health system. We advocate the establishment of Regional Health Boards and decentralisation of health services to ensure local participation in service delivery."

One Nation

General: Every time I think One Nation is gone for good, in pops up again. The party has, in the past, been dogged by repeated gaffs and claims of racism. Again I would stress that people should judge the parties they vote for on their policies, not their media appearance. This is much less the result of affection for One Nation than a dislike of the power that relatively few media barons have over the political debates we hold in this country.
Policy 1: Compulsory Identification
"Australians have always been very protective of their identity, concerned about big brother watching. Now is the time for us to consider introducing secure identification that cannot be stolen by others to defraud our welfare, medical, schools, pharmaceutical benefits and any other taxpayer funded service...
"Australians can be electronically fingerprinted and these machines can be used in doctor’s surgeries, Centrelink and any other government departments that require identification.
"This is not an invasion of privacy. These days, there is all manner of information with regards to all of us, stored around the nation. This is ensuring that people no longer have the ability to defraud our system."
Policy 2: Immigration
"Australian “citizenship” is a valued privilege. One Nation would support a 5 year wait for new migrants to become Australian citizens. If they commit a criminal offence that carries with it a jail term of 1 year, they would automatically be denied citizenship and deported. To qualify they would have to have an understanding of the Australian Constitution and laws, pass a test in English and swear allegiance to the commonwealth and flag. For people to assimilate into a society they must be able to communicate, therefore English is a requirement for citizenship. Germany, Japan and other countries around the world ask those wishing to become citizens of their nations, to speak their language. Social security would not be available for new migrants for a period of five years. Migrants before arrival would be required to pass a complete and thorough health check before acceptance being granted including AIDS, Hepatitis and TB."...
"For those who are genuine refugees and not here for economic reasons are to be granted a temporary protection visa to be reviewed every 2 years. Depending on individual circumstances, to be sent back to their homeland if no longer a threat to their safety.
"Family reunion will not be available to those granted refugees status until such time that they may be granted permission to apply for Australian citizenship. This would not be available for a period of less than 5 years from date of acceptance as a refugee. "Australians must be assured of good character, loyalty to Australia and not an ongoing burden to the taxpayer living on welfare.
"All refugees must clear a health check as required by law.
"Terminate being a signatory to the outdated 1951 UNHCR Refugee Convention"
Policy 3: Multiculturalism
"Multiculturalism has failed everywhere. It is negative and divisive, a weight that is drowning our once safe and cohesive society. One Nation will abolish multiculturalism and the Racial Discrimination Act and promote assimilation, nationalism, loyalty and pride in being an Australian.
"As a government policy, multi-racialism encompassed measures to destroy the Australian culture. It played a large part in migrant selection in an attempt to prevent them from assimilating into Australian society. Exactly what was done and admitted to in England.
"One Nation intends to abolish multi-racialism and the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 based on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as it is unconstitutional. We would replace it with a policy of assimilation in which it will be made clear to all those applying to migrate to Australia that coming to Australia is a privilege that gives them an overriding, unifying commitment to Australia, to its past, current interests and future first and foremost.
"They must accept the basic structures and principles of Australian heritage, society and culture, the constitution and the rule of law, tolerance and equality, parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech and religion, and English as the national language. Whilst they may come from other countries and cultures, loyalty to Australia and Australian Nationalism must come first."

Independent (Ron Poulsen)

General: Ron Poulsen is a recurrent candidate for the Communist League, formerly contesting Blaxland and now entering the Senate race. I cannot find a website for Mr Poulsen, or even the CL, but I think it is safe-ish to suggest he may be a slightly left-leaning candidate. As such, I won't be doing the preference thing.

Independent (David Ash)

General: David is a barrister and advocate who publishes the Jurisprude, considers himself a small-l liberal and is passionate about advocacy. If that does not give you enough insight into his political views, here are the policies:
Policies 1: Reclaiming the word “marriage”
"In 1900, we the people gave the federal government ownership of the word “marriage”. We did it because the law and marriage were inextricably linked... 2013 is not 1900. These validations are invalid. Yes, government needs a facility to recognise unions and to cater for the consequence of their breakdown. No, it should not own the word “marriage”. When elected, I shall seek a referendum: Do you wish that federal parliament’s power over “marriage” and “matrimonial causes” be replaced with a power over “civil unions” and “family breakdowns”?" [N.B. this effectively treats all "marriages" under law as equal to (and infact examples of) civil unions, giving the word marriage religious and not legal meaning.]
Policies 2: Encouraging responsibilities along with rights
"When companies were created, paid up capital meant something. Today it doesn't. The $2 company does not even have $2. This wreaks havoc for small creditors. Relief from responsibility is not relief for irresponsibility. I seek to amend the Corporations Act so that any shareholders in the six months before a company is wound up are together jointly liable for its debts to an indexed total of $150,000, unless good cause is shown. Before you shareholders get hysterical, ask yourselves why you, who enjoy a better tax position than individuals, should object to something which still leaves you well ahead of those same individuals."
Policies 3: Taxation in the 21st century
"Our federal tax revenue is based on income tax and company tax. Both are difficult to police. Both are susceptible to globalisation. Should these remain the base? Is there an alternative? Where will we be in 2050?
"The answer is twofold. None of us know. And now is the time for us to make an educated guess. We must ask ourselves now whether our tax system will be able to exploit the promise of globalisation while catering for its uncertainty.
"I shall seek that federal parliament re-engage the constitutional body of the Inter-State Commission for the purpose of investigating and advising on the long-term sustainability of our taxation system, having particular regard to the need to complement and to compete with our neighbours and our trading partners; our aging population; national sustainability and our likely energy needs; and the integrity of our federal system."

Independent (Sam Nathan)

General: ... and that's all I know.
Preference Time! Independents, of course, cannot direct preferences, only recieve them. And only two groups do not treat the Independents as a single bloc: Socialist Alliance and One Nation. And SA only treats Poulson seperately (since Socialists are super effective against Communists), and still puts Ash, Nathan and La Mela (below) together. That leaves One Nation as our only real informer, or else assuming that the Independents are all much of a muchness. One Nation puts this candidate late in the midfield, just above La Mela, suggesting pretty well nothing at all.
Oh, for pebbles' sake, who knows?!

Independent (John La Mela)

General: John La Mela is a Liberal-turn-Independent, and probably an Independent Liberal. Also, he has an apparent problem remembering his address. I would again remind my readers to look at policy, not personality, but I cannot provide much more of either. This might be his twitter account, but it is not very enlightening:
So... preferences then. Except, as above, this again says nothing.
Dear New South Welsh politics:

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