I really was enjoying living in the land of policies that didn’t raise my blood pressure, but now we must return to the Outdoor Recreation Party, which also goes by the catchy name of Stop the Greens.
Already, we know so much about them…
The Outdoor Recreation Party does not have a Group Voting Ticket in the Senate, so we’ll be taking a look shortly at where others have preferenced them, but this also seems like a good time to raise the issue of connections between libertarian micro-parties. You see, as you might have noticed, there have been five parties in Victoria who didn’t manage to complete Group Voting tickets – The Liberal Democrats, One Nation, the Australian Republicans, Smokers Rights, and this party, Stop the Greens. With the possible exception of the Republicans, all of these parties are on the far right and have libertarian tendencies, and it’s actually very unusual to have registered parties failing to lodge tickets, because the advantage of having people able to vote for you above the line is absolutely huge. Apparently, the reason for this was that David Leyonhjelm, the registered officer for both Stop the Greens and the Liberal democrats, was responsible for putting in Group Voting Tickets for four parties in the Victorian Senate, and was ‘overwhelmed‘.
This is hardly surprising, as one usually has one registered officer per party. Crikey has written an article suggesting that the LDP, Smokers Rights, the Republicans and Stop the Greens are very closely linked, and may have been intended to funnel votes to each other, though clearly this did not work out in Victoria. (One Nation is apparently not part of this group – it’s just disorganised) Certainly, the evidence suggests that they are working together very closely, and it’s interesting to note that three of these parties were only registered in the last couple of months, and that Leyonhjelm was involved with both.
I’ll let you reach your own conclusions on that one, but it seemed relevant to mention it. We shall now turn to the question of who likes Stop The Greens enough to put them high on their Group Voting Ticket.
The Citizens Electoral Council seem to be their biggest fans, putting Stop The Greens at 14-15 on their ticket. The SEP, who really can’t be relied upon, put them at 9-10 on one ticket, but at 71-72 on another and 41-42 on the third. I’m really getting to look forward to the SEP, I must say. Rise Up Australia has Stop The Greens at 27-28 and DLP put them 25-26, because neither of them like the Greens either. And the Stable Population Party put them dead last in Victoria. Interestingly, parties like the Climate Sceptics and Country Alliance, who I would have expected to be natural allies, only put them at around 50.
Let’s have a look at their website, which shouldn’t take too long, as it isn’t one of the most detailed political sites out there.
The Outdoor Recreation Party is committed to less government control over outdoor recreation.
We believe public land should be accessible for recreational purposes and actively managed, not locked up and neglected. We support access by aircraft, boat, vehicle, bicycle, horse and on foot.
We support the preservation of environmental values with a scientific and prioritised approach in which people are viewed as integral and not alien to the environment.
Have you noticed how ‘scientific’ almost always means ‘science that we agree with, because the rest is bullshit?’. Yeah, I thought you might have. They claim to have their roots in the 4WD movement, and again we have this idea of driving as a culture and a movement, and I *still don’t get it*.
The People page tells us a bit more about where Stop The Greens is coming from:
The Outdoor Recreation Party values the natural environment within the context of a prosperous society based on respect for individual freedom, personal responsibility, small government and the protection of private property.
Oh goodie, more libertarians. Seriously, where are all the libertarians coming from this election? I don’t understand the appeal.
The Outdoor Recreation Party is smart green, not extreme green.
Take note of this, because they really like this whole ‘smart green’ vs ‘extreme green’ bit. We are then treated to a whole list of things that extreme greens are purported to believe, and what smart greens really believe. Extreme greens apparently want the government to do everything, but smart greens want personal responsibility and accountability and real science (smart greens apparently ‘oppose technology and innovation with slogans and faith-based rhetoric’, which was not something I noticed when Adam Bandt came to our Institute to talk about protecting medical research, but perhaps that’s because I’m an extreme green and don’t understand science the way smart greens do).
And now we shall have some policies, which are basically a cross between the Shooters and Fishers (unsurprising, since their lead candidate is a former Shooter and Fishers candidate) and libertarian policies. All of the policies are single bullet points, so short of listing them, it’s hard to engage with them, as they do not go into any depth or talk about how any of them will be achieved.
On the Environment, they want free access to public land and no discrimination against 4WD vehicles or bull bar restrictions. They want to repeal marine parks declared since 1995. They want to repeal ‘unjust and illogical gun laws’, which probably means all of them. They want better safety and fewer tolls for motorbikes, and they want to increase speed limits and get rid of ‘hoon’ laws. You get the general picture.
On social issues, which they seem to care about far less, judging by the amount of space given to them, they are all about personal choice and responsibility, and want the right of self defense, an end to the nanny state, and voluntary voting. They are also pro-euthanasia.
On economics, the want to lower taxes, reduce regulation, and prevent the government competing with the private sector.
And that’s really about it. I realise that this is quite a brief post, but this is a set of policies that honestly gives the sense of having been thrown together in about five minutes by someone who didn’t feel like spending much time on it, and this disinclines me to spend a lot of time on the policies myself – especially as we have, in fact, seen them all before. There is nothing there that isn’t either on the LDP or the Shooters and Fishers ticket, and I have to say, it’s one of the most uniformly unappealing set of policies I’ve seen so far. Everyone else has managed to come up with at least one policy that I like…