And here we go - diving in, once again, to political mayhem!! Here is PART II of the definitive guide to NSW Senate Candidates, 2013. (If you missed it, find Part I here.) Hold onto your hat, Bob Katter!!!
BTA - Bullet Train for Australia. Asperger Syndrome and Train-spotters party goes high tech?? Single issue (well, that's Aspergers, for you!) and weird initial preferences, but the last three are Greens, Labour, Libs then One Nation. Bullet Train Senators promise to abstain from voting on all other issues (excepting "matters of conscience"... hmmm)
LIB - Libs!
APP - Australian Protectionist Party. Scary Racist Rednecks. With guns. Preferences from Right to Left as you'd expect.
AJP - Animal Justice Party. Interspecies equity means affirmative action for Animals, too. Skippy for PM!! Their policies only relate to the treatment of animals. However, if live exports and factory farming of animals makes your blood boil, they may be the candidates for you! Preferences all over the place, except that the Shooters party is last, of course.
AFP - Australia First Party. This party's official platform is to "tell those LibLab Bastards where to get off!" They have "rules of engagement" in the war against refugees. They are anti-multicultural, anti-gay... hell, they are anti-everything. Except beer (just as long as it's Australian beer). Preferences begin with Family First and meander strangely from there. (I smell a preference deal!)
AIN - Australian Independents. This relatively new political group seems committed to fostering true participatory democracy, and requires candidates to be able to put personal beliefs aside, if necessary, in order to fully represent their constituents. Moderately progressive, their policies are quite "solutions focused", and though some aspects might be argued as impractical (eg, some aspects of their refugee policy), it is heartening to see a party with such a positive approach - not to mention, beautifully airbrushed leaders!!!
DLR - Drug Law Reform. (The other kind of "crackpots"??) Single issue party, standing on the premise that prohibition of drugs causes more harm than good (black market, criminal activity, etc.) No other policies. Preferences to Democrats and other moderate progressives, then major parties (Greens to Libs) and extremist parties last.
SEP - Socialist Equality Party. An Australian branch of an international Socialist Workers Union. Undoubtedly, they are Spies!!!! Preferences run Left to Right, as you'd expect.
DEM - Australian Democrats. These guys have been around a while. A moderately progressive party, they have detailed policies on most areas of concern. Broadly speaking, they stand for egalitarian values, including multiculturalism, equality under the law, and participatory democracy. They are concerned about climate change, controlled population growth, allowing for compassionate processing of refugees. Their preferences are apparently strategic, as they make no sense whatsoever!
Tom WANG. (Independent - but with a name like that, he should seriously consider running for the Sex Party! ;) His political banner is "Advance Australia in Asia". He is interested in strengthening Australia's trade relations with Asia, and encouraging immigration on "economic merit". Few policies on anything else. Preferences first to Clive Palmer's mob (presumably a "business thing"?) then moderates through to radicals, with ALP before Libs somewhere near the top.
FFP - Family First Party. "Conservative" Christian party. No policy on refugees. Climate change deniers, Unsurprisingly, opposed to marriage equality. Preference extreme right first, down to major parties, Greens, then Sex Party last (such spoil-sports!!)
SPP - Stable Population Party. Because we are SOOO overpopulated! These guys believe stemming population growth will solve everything else. Period. I can't figure out their preferences. They seem to be aiming to confer no advantage on anyone. Except Clive Palmer - they put him last!
SFP - Shooters and Fishers Party. I made a mistake in Part I. THESE are the guys who put snipers in state forests! AND they are very proud of it. (See here). They do have policies on other areas. Big on border protection, which includes keeping out black market commodities, asylum seekers and exotic diseases. They are concerned about population control and foreign ownership, and in favour of mining and industry. And guns. Their preferences run, quite logically from extreme right (One Nation) to the Greens.
SCSG - Stop Coal Seam Gas Party. A single issue party, but possibly an issue that will affect many other areas. Not affiliated with any other political party, but sprinkled amongst their hodge podge of preferences, is Greens first, ALP somewhere below them, and Libs towards the bottom.
RPA - Australian Republicans. The Queen is dead - Long live the Republic!! Self- described as "a futuristic, secular-humanist, free enterprise libertarian party of the Enlightened Centre." (????) Few detailed policies, but a commitment to a two-tiered, American style presidential replublic, zero population growth, recognition of "first Nation" Australians, Water food and energy security, and an end to any emissions trading scheme, on economic grounds. Preferences mostly moderate liberals, Coalition before Greens, then ALP.
SA - Socialist Alliance. These are the guys you see hanging out on street corners and Uni campuses, handing out copies of the Green Left Weekly. All about social justice for workers and the poor. Good to see we have a few extreme leftists, to balance the preponderance of extreme right parties, this year! Preferences... Greens first, One Nation last.
NCP - Non-Custodial Parents Party. Single Issue. Self-explanatory. All about family law and parental access. They do have other policies, though these are fairly sketchy. Preferences begin with One Nation, and run down from the extreme Right, putting the Greens last.
PIR - Pirate Party. Why is this not numbered RRRRRR!!!!??? My absolute favourite, and I think we should all vote for them because of their name!! Turns out, they are all about copyright. (What a disappointment - I was thinking if we could get these guys AND the Sex Party in, it would make for some swashbuckling, kinky fun in parliament!) In actual fact, they do have policies on other things too, which are progressive, and ever-so-slightly anti government (as befits all true buccaneers;) Their preferences put the greens first, and One Nation last.
SPA - Secular Party of Australia. Gotta have an antidote to all those "Religious Right" options!! These folks stand for rationality, scientific evidence, and the abolition of Scripture in Schools. They describe their policies as "Socially and economically Liberal". Preferences put Democrats first, and Christian Democrats last. Greens before ALP, before Libs, somewhere in the middle.
AMEP - Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party. Yet another party that believes government shouldn't restrict motoring fun! It seems we Aussies are remarkably passionate about our recreation and lifestyle!! Preferences are a little uneven, but favour the far Right.
ON - One Nation. Under Pauline Hanson. Please explaaaain why Fish and Chips is not our National Dish?? No Foreign food. No Foreign ownership, and NO FOREIGNERS!!
Ron POULSEN Independent. Member of the Communist League. Hails from the Seat of Blaxland, in the Blue Mountains.
David ASH Independent. Barrister. Calls himself a "Small l-liberal". Seems to have a "philosophy" more than any policies. Work it out if you can!
Sam NATHAN Independent Mystery Candidate!
John LA MELA Independent. Apparently an "advocate for Veterans Affairs and Coal Seam Gas mining". Not sure if he's for or against CSG. Why not ring him and find out??
And there you have it!! All makes perfect sense, now, doesn't it?? Ahh well... this is Aussie politics, after all!