Political parties you should know about before the election

June 15, 2016
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If you’re anything like me, your news feeds have been flooded with election news and hype for the past few weeks. Liberal? Labor? The Greens? If you’re feeling a little stuck between the two major parties, fear not! There’s a plethora of smaller political parties you can vote for come July 2. Here’s five of ’em.

Australian Sex Party

Founded in 2009, the Australian Sex Party (ASXP) is dedicated to preventing the government’s encroachment on civil liberties, and prides itself on “common sense policies”. Among other policies, ASXP aims to enact marriage equality, establish uniform abortion laws, eliminate GST on women’s sanitary products, and the full decriminalisation of sex work.

ASXP is running for the Senate in Victoria, and also has candidates for the House of Representatives in three Victorian electorates.

Drug Law Reform Australia

The Drug Law Reform Australia party is focused on decriminalising and regulating drug use. The party maintains that while drug use can be harmful, criminalising drug use ultimately brings more harm. In achieving this aim the Drug Law Reform Australia Party hopes to establish a Royal Commission Enquiry into the use of Illicit Drugs, enable parliamentary conscience votes on issues relating to drug use, as well as to regulate the production and sale of drugs, in lieu of current models in countries such as New Zealand and Switzerland.

The Drug Law Reform Australia Party is running for both the House of Representatives and Senate in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.

CountryMinded

CountryMinded is a rurally based party founded on the primary aim of making the public more rurally focused, and re-establishing agriculture as the backbone of Australia’s sustainability. CountryMinded’s policies are largely agriculture-based, such as improving animal welfare standards in the live export trade and increasing our use of renewable energy. The party also has policies on social issues such as addressing socio-economic barriers faced by Indigenous Australians, and increasing rural Australians’ access to mental health services.

CountryMinded is running for the New England seat in New South Wales, as well as the Senate in Queensland.

Pirate Party Australia

Based on the Pirate Party of Sweden, The Pirate Party is centered on protecting core values of freedom of information and culture, civil and digital liberties, privacy, government transparency and a participatory democracy. Policies include net neutrality, ending censorship, and establishing a national Bill of Rights.

The Pirate Party is running for the Senate in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, as well as the New South Wales seat of Bennelong.

Arts Party

For any artists out there, the Arts Party is centered on the idea that art has the power to change both individuals and society. This sentiment is echoed in the party’s policies, which include making subjects in the arts mandatory in primary schools, reversing Sydney’s notorious lockout laws, and increased protection of Australian Intellectual Property.

The Arts Party is running for the Senate in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, and has House of Representatives candidates in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria.

Whether it’s an alternative government to Liberal or Labor, or a campaign for a particular cause, there’s a political party for every persuasion and belief. I’ll see all those registered to vote (I hope that’s all of you), in the polling booth!

Kim Koehlmeyer

Kim is an Arts (Journalism)/Law Student at Deakin University and deals primarily in memes.

Image: Official Legalize Marijuana Facebook page

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