Victorian Senate Group X: The Mystery Republicans

This is a bit interesting.  I can’t actually find any webpage for a political party called The Australian Republicans, which is going to make it a bit tricky to explore their policies in detail.  I have, however, found the lead candidate for Victoria, Peter Consandine, on the executive of a site for The Republican Party of Australia, which I’m going to presume is either the same party or a very closely-related group.  I’ve also found him writing about an Australian Republic on The Drum.  In lieu of better options, I will use these two resources to try to glean a sense of The Australian Republicans’ policies – if anyone reading this has better information, please do let me know.  I’m happy to come back and revise this post.

Edited to add – aha!  I’ve now discovered that the first of these sites does appear to be the main one, so I’ll let you read the article on The Drum yourselves, and just comment on the rest.

It turns out that the Australian Republicans also don’t have a group voting ticket.  I’m beginning to think that they are trying to make my life difficult on purpose, and will start blathering on about the Royal Baby any minute now out of sheer frustration.  But setting aside petty acrimony, let’s see what the other parties think of them instead.

Nobody seems to absolutely hate this lot, but very few people have put them anywhere useful on their tickets.  The anarchist Independents have them at 13-14 (of course they do), the  Secular Party has put them at 16-17 (perhaps because the monarchy comes with an Established religion?), WikiLeaks, Labor, the CEC and the Greens in the late 20s to early 30s, but mostly, they are lurking around the 40s-60s on people’s group voting tickets.  Essentially, most people don’t seem to care very much one way or another, which is probably why the last referendum on a Republic failed, too.

Onto the policies, starting off with their key platform: that Australia needs to cast of the shackles of monarchy and become a republic.

The Republican Party of Australia site in forms me that it’s a ‘futuristic, secular-humanist, free enterprise libertarian party of the Enlightened Centre’.  I especially like the bit about the Enlightened Centre, because I’m pretty sure that’s how all political parties think of themselves.  Or at least most of them.  They also want to be very clear that they have absolutely no links whatsoever with the American Republican Party.  I’d want to be clear about that, too, if I were trying to sell myself as a secular humanist party.

They also want us to know that they are pro-republic, but that they are “an alternative Republican party to the Labor party in that it champions People’s Sovereignty and it is therefore a Republican party which advocates Direct, Popular Election of the Australian Heads of State”.

OK then.

Moving on to the not-entirely-easy-to-find policy page I discover The Ten Point Platform of the Republican Party of Australia – Federal Election 2013, and it’s by the lead candidate on the NSW senate ticket, so it looks as though I really have found the right political party.  Note to small political parties: it’s really, really helpful if the name of your political party on the AEC website matches what you are calling yourselves in real life.  Just a hint…

And their policies are blessedly short.  In fact, they are so short that I will quote them in full, adding my commentary as I go:

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

So far so good.  For what it’s worth, I am incredibly neutral about a republic.  It might be good.  It might be bad.  I sort of like having someone who isn’t a politician in charge, but I really don’t feel strongly either way.  (And, as mentioned above, this probably puts me in good company with most political parties out there).

An Inquiry into the way Australia governs itself with the view to reducing the three levels of governance by one to two so that Regionalism, de-Centralisation and planned land management practices may be developed, implemented and sustained

OK, but which level are you taking out?  Top, bottom, or middle?  I’m not convinced that de-centralisation is the best idea if you want to be able to put together larger infrastructure projects (railways with matching gauges, for example – does anyone else remember when you used to have to get off the train from Melbourne to Adelaide at, I think, Nhill, and get onto a different train with wheels that were a slightly different distance apart?), and it’s certainly a problem if you are dealing with rivers or other resources that cross multiple districts and might be depleted at one end before they reach the other.

A revived Federal Land Value Taxation regime (a la 1910-1952) with the view to reducing the number of land value taxation systems from two to one. Thus, the continuing ‘Shed a Tier!’ campaign.

Not too sure what this is about, sorry.

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

Oh yes – let’s have every level of government look like the Senate!  Complete with crazy ballot paper and crazier parties!  Actually, I really am in favour of this one, it would get us some really interesting governments and might allow more possibility for minorities to be heard than the current two-party system.  Then again, it might get us Italy.

Equitable Justice principles to be enshrined in law to ensure equality of opportunity for ALL Australians…the first principle being the recognition of the indigenous population of the nation as the First Australians in the Commonwealth Constitution

Agreed, absolutely.

Water Security, Food Security and Energy Security: The Holistic Trinity!

Secular-Humanist ethics, precepts and policies to clearly delineate State and Church matters 

Also very nice.

No Emissions Trading Scheme and thus no commensurate wholesale rorting and corruption by those who would damage &/or destroy the Australian economy

Whee!  Did you see what happened there?  We went from a straightforward statement of intent (No ETS) to wild accusations of corruption and in fact malice in one short sentence!  That’s classy writing, right there.  I especially like the way that not only does the ETS *obviously* lead to corruption – this being so self-evident that it can just be linked with a ‘thus’ and no justification at all, but that clearly, anyone who thinks is a good thing is out to Destroy the Economy.

Of course, now the Greens are all gnashing their teeth and muttering “Curses!  They have discovered our evil agenda!”.

Well, perhaps not.  But I do suspect that this is a fairly big dig at the Greens, who have been accused of being watermelons – green on the outside, but red in the middle, those economy-destroying commies…

This is what happens when I write posts while sleep-deprived.  I do hope my sarcasm is evident.

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.

And this is, of course, a leaf from the Stable Population Party’s book.

And that’s about it.   A bit too libertarian for my taste, though they are quite up-front about it, which is always good.  And a bit narrow in their focus, which is largely on the reform and shrinking of government.  But that’s OK – small parties do generally grow from one central, big idea (like fishing, and at least we can be grateful that the Republicans have a bigger idea than that), and eventually branch out if they want to become a mainstream party.  I have to say, I wish they weren’t branching out in the direction of railing against the ETS, but I’ve definitely seen worse this election.

I do wish their website matched their name, though.

4 thoughts on “Victorian Senate Group X: The Mystery Republicans

  1. So glad you highlighted the non sequitur in the sentence about the ETS!

    It just occurred to me you might enjoy the blog ‘Philosophy Strikes Back’ by my friend Christina. You might like to start with the post which is the most election-focussed of her analyses.

    I’ve let Christina know about your blog, too, and I’ll be spreading the word to my other friends. I think you really deserve a wider audience!

  2. Pingback: My personal How to Vote Card… | Cate Speaks

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