Australian election 2019: how to avoid voting for a terrible micro party in the Senate

Guardian Web |

Unlike Malcolm Turnbull’s 2016 double dissolution gamble, the upcoming federal poll is only a half-Senate election.

While neither major party is likely to gain a majority in the upper house, it is unlikely the Senate will be as diverse as the 45th parliament because successful candidates will need a larger quota to be elected.

There are, however, still dozens of minor and micro parties standing for election on 18 May.

Here is what you need to know about the parties confirmed by the AEC on as running Senate candidates:

Affordable Housing party

A single-issue party seeking to create affordable housing for all. Want to get rid of negative gearing on investment properties, restrict overseas buyers and temporary visa holders from buying housing in Australia, and increase rent assistance payments.

Running in: NSW

Animal Justice party

Currently has state upper house MPs in NSW and Victoria. Argues Australia’s treatment of “animals and the environments we share with them are often marred by a lack of understanding, leading to disrespect and cruelty”.

Running in: All states

Australian Better Families

Wants a “men’s minister” and to reform the child support system to remove incentives it claims benefit parents who “withhold access to children”.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, Tasmania

Australian Christians

Says its candidates are all “committed Christians” who oppose abortion, homosexuality, pornography and euthanasia.

Running in: WA

Australian Conservatives

Formed by the former Liberal senator Cory Bernardi and boasting prominent Christian lobbyist Lyle Shelton as a candidate, Australian Conservatives is a rightwing party that backs free-market economic policies and opposes the Paris climate accords, the UN convention on refugees and the Human Rights Commission.

Running in: All states

Australian Democrats

Once a major player in the Senate, the party was formed by the former Liberal politician Don Chipp. In the “small l” liberal tradition, it pursues broadly centrist economic policies, social liberalism and puts an emphasis on political accountability.

Running in: SA, NSW, Victoria

Australian People’s party

A self-described “centrist” party favouring populist economic policies. It says it wants to reduce the cost of living and immigration levels.

Running in: NSW

Australian Workers party

New left-leaning party with roots in the union movement. It boasts strong support for unions, protectionist trade policies and wants all essential services in public hands.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, Victoria

Centre Alliance

Founded by the former high-profile SA senator Nick Xenophon, Centre Alliance now boasts one lower house MP and two senators. It emphasises issues of consumer rights and political and accountability, and has previously used its kingmaker role in a parochial fashion to benefit SA.

Running in: SA

Christian Democratic party (Fred Nile group)

Led by the NSW upper house MP Fred Nile, the rightwing party advocates socially conservative policies including staunch opposition to abortion and euthanasia. Nile has previously described homosexuality as a “mental disorder”.

Running in: NSW, ACT, Victoria

Citizens Electoral Council

Sceptical of the banks, which it wants to break up, supportive of nuclear power, and anti-privatisation. When a CEC candidate is not running, the party advocates a vote for a host of parties including the Greens or One Nation. The party is part of a movement created by the convicted fraudster Lyndon LaRouche. The American, who died in February, was described as “peddling conspiracy theories, economic doom, antisemitism, homophobia and racism” in a Washington Post obituary.

Running in: NSW, NT, Queensland, Victoria, WA, SA

Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians!

Previously called Online Direct Democracy and Senator Online. The party advocates a direct democracy system in which citizens vote on legislation online.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, Victoria

Democratic Labour party

Combines a socially conservative outlook with centrist economic policies. Formed in the 1950s as a conservative, Catholic and anti-communist party.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, Victoria

Derryn Hinch’s Justice party

Focused on crime and law order issues and led by the former media personality Derryn Hinch. A populist party that fears “courts are more concerned with the welfare of convicted criminals than their victims”.

Running in: Victoria

Fraser Anning’s Conservative National party

New extreme far-right party created by Fraser Anning, who left One Nation soon after gaining a Senate seat during the Section 44 fiasco. Anning has attended rallies alongside neo-Nazisand advocated racist policies on immigration such as a ban on “black African” immigration.

Running in: All states and territories

Health Australia party

Believes “Australians should be able to choose between pharmaceutical medicine practitioners and natural medicine practitioners without being disadvantaged financially for their choice”. Opposes “no jab, no pay” legislation and has been accused of being anti-vax, which the party denies.

Running in: Victoria, WA, NSW

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (Hemp) party

Advocates the legal use of marijuana for personal use, medical, therapeutic and industrial purposes.

Running in: NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Tas, Vic, WA

Independents For Climate Action Now

The group’s most high-profile candidate is the Anglican priest Rod Bower, who is a prominent opponent of offshore detention policies, and is running on a platform of action on climate change.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, Victoria

Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) party

A new anti-vax party that also opposes fluoride in public water systems.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, WA

Jacqui Lambie Network

The former senator’s party is economically leftist and conservative on social issues, like its leader, Jacqui Lambie. She has advocated a huge boost to the pension, backed penalty rates, and previously supported a ban on the burqa.

Running in: Tasmania

Katter’s Australian party (Kap)

Socially conservative but economically leftwing party led by veteran MP Bob Katter. Supports trade protectionism and focused on rural and regional areas.

Running in: Queensland

Liberal Democrats

Its former leader, David Leyonhjelm, sat in the federal Senate between 2013 and 2019. The libertarian party argues for smaller government across economic and social policy, including a “flat” income tax and the legalisation of drugs.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, SA, Tasmania, Victoria, WA

Love Australia or Leave

Rightwing nationalist party calling for an end to the “Islamisation of Australia”, withdrawal from the UN and “the right to bear arms”.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, Tasmania

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

Led by Pauline Hanson, One Nation is a rightwing nationalist party that calls for Australia to cut immigration levels, implement a Trump-style “travel ban” on some Muslim nations, and withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, SA, Tasmania, Victoria, WA

Pirate party

Advocates for freedom of information, civil and digital liberties, privacy and anonymity and government transparency. Wants to “bring an end to state censorship of opinions”, repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and backs a universal basic income.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, Victoria, WA

Republican Party of Australia

Single-issue party that wants to end Australia’s constitutional monarchy in favour of a republic.

Running in: Victoria

Rise Up Australia party

A far-right and Christian party whose founder, the Pentecostal minister Danny Nalliah, has been a speaker at events organised by the anti-Islamist group Reclaim Australia. The party wants to limit Muslim immigration and also opposes same-sex marriage.

Running in: NSW, NT, Queensland, Victoria

Science party

Pro-science party that advocates the “pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of all of humanity” and wants to see technology “allowed to develop as quickly as possible”.

Running in: NSW

Secular Party of Australia

A “socially and economically liberal” party that calls for an end to tax exemptions for religious organisations.

Running in: Victoria

Seniors United Party of Australia

Proposing a national inquiry into retirement incomes, opposes Labor’s franking credits reforms, and wants increased funding for aged care.

Running in: NSW

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers

Policies include relaxing gun laws so it is easier for Australians to own firearms, as well as removing red tape for gun imports. Also wants to lift restrictions on recreational access to public land and promote the expansion of private game reserves.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, SA, Tasmania, Victoria, WA

Socialist Alliance

Leftwing “anti-capitalist” party that advocates a larger welfare state, opposes privatisation, significantly higher income taxes on top earners, and action on climate change.

Running in: NSW, WA

Socialist Equality party

To the left of the Socialist Alliance. A Trotskyist party that calls for the nationalisation of all major industries, including banking, telecommunications, energy, mining and agriculture. It is opposed to the MeToo movement, which it views a vehicle of the middle class, and trade unions, which is describes as tools of the Labor party.

Running in: NSW, Victoria

Sustainable Australia

Opponents of a “big Australia”, the party argues reduced immigration levels would benefit the economy and the environment.

Running in: ACT, NSW, Queensland, SA, Tasmania, Victoria, WA

The Australian Mental Health party

Policy prescriptions through the filter of mental health, with a focus on ending stigma and ensuring better access to mental health services.

Running in: Queensland, WA

The Great Australian party

A new party now spearheaded by the former One Nation senator Rod Culleton. It advocates the abolition of personal income tax, claiming it will recoup the lost revenue from corporations.

Running in: NSW, Queensland, SA, Victoria, WA

The Small Business party

Wants to axe payroll tax, land tax, cut stamp duty and cut “red tape” to benefit small business. Also wants to reduce immigration levels.

Running in: NSW, Victoria

Together party

Created by the lawyer and performer Mark Swivel, Together advocates for a national Icac, wants to “protect” the ABC and SBS, take action on climate change and opposes the privatisation of public services.

Running in: NSW

The Women’s party

Aims include working to ensure the equal representation of women, action on family violence and the wage gap.

Running in: NSW

United Australia party

A new party formed by the mining magnate and former MP Clive Palmer. The party has spent tens of millions on advertising. Palmer’s rhetoric is nationalist and populist but his policies veer from support cutting taxes and regulation to wanting to increase the pension and a softer refugee policy.

Running in: All states and territories

Voteflux.org

A startup party advocating direct democracy, a system in which Flux’s MPs and senators would “give up their autonomy”.

Running in: NSW, Victoria, WA

Western Australia party

A parochial party that wants to address the “missing GST billions and reduce the cost of living in WA”.

Running in: WA

Yellow Vest Australia

Anti-Islam party formerly known as the Australian Liberty Alliance. It has rebadged itself as Yellow Vest Australia, a nod to the French populist movement, although that movement is mostly driven by cost-of-living frustrations rather than cultural issues.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

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