We now turn to the ungrouped candidates, commencing with Teresa van Lieshout (note that this page connects to a YouTube Channel, as this seems to represent Ms van Lieshout’s most current work). Ms Van Lieshout is running as an independent, but is affiliated with the Australian Protectionist Party (I’m not sure if she is a current member, but they are encouraging their members to vote for her) and the West Australian Party (which seems to be inactive at this point). She was briefly pre-selected as a candidate for the Palmer United Party, but parted ways with them over their stance on refugees, which she viewed as too lax.
Here’s a bit of autobiographical information from one of Ms Van Lieshout’s recent YouTube clips:
I’m an Australian born Christian Teacher, with a Master of Education, 17 years teaching experience, written and published 4 books of non-fiction literature, political candidate, the WA govt. is extorting and stealing what little wealth I have, to make me homeless, or jail me for my political and economic views; since 2008, they’ve wasted millions $$ tax money trying to destroy my life, and my family’s rights, liberal/labor/greens politicians are evil monsters, society must fight to get them out of our parliaments.
The law I follow is the law of the New Testament. We are living in the last days, in the time of the Book of Revelation, political made laws mean nothing and are made by evil corrupt greedy politicians to destroy our rights, interests, and freedoms. Christians will judge the world, so all concerned are in offence against me, the politicians are going to hell for their evil against me, my family, and our society.
OK then. Her YouTube video about why you should vote for her is illuminating. My personal favourite part is when she starts her section on who should vote for her with “Well, first of all, all the white Australians should vote for me, because racism against white Australians is definitely on the increase”.
I have waded through many right wing and mildly xenophobic websites in my time, and I am well aware that this sentiment exists, but usually people make a bit of an effort to code it so that it isn’t quite this blatantly obvious. It takes a very special sort of person to actually say this out loud and in public and on the internet and with a straight face.
Other people who should vote for Ms Van Lieshout are women (she will fight for their rights), Christians (because she will promote the teaching of the New Testament in schools), gay people (because she doesn’t agree with gay marriage she does support civil unions – and I find it interesting and illuminating that she apparently thinks that this is honestly the best deal they are likely to get and thus a vote winner), workers and the poor (because she will fight for a strong economy and the right of all Australians to have a job), teachers (because she will make teachers the most important professionals in Australia), Aboriginal people (because she will fight for their rights, specifically their rights to have jobs and improve their economic situation – I do find it interesting that her social justice policies all tend to centre around strengthening the economy and providing full employment – I wonder where this leaves people with disabilities?), and of course all patriotic Australians.
Given Ms Van Lieshout’s falling out with the Palmer United Party, I decided to try to find out a bit more about this, and came across the following quotes, from an interview in Perth Now:
“Their asylum seeker policy is garbage because he wants to fly people in – which means Clive Palmer is really engaging in human trafficking,” Ms van Lieshout said. “What they did to me was very nasty, very dishonest and very evil. They can’t win without me, because I am one of the smartest people in this country.”
The devoutly religious Ms van Lieshout will now stand for the far-right Australian Protectionist Party (APP), whose policies include a zero-net immigration policy, saying migrants should be “sourced primarily from traditional sources such as Europe and Britain. That is to enable a homogeneous society where we can all live in harmony, free from the ethnic and racial strife caused by social-engineering experiments like multiculturalism,” the APP says on its website.
So by patriotism, it sounds like Ms Van Lieshout means the White Australia Policy.
Having established what Ms Van Lieshout thought of Palmer’s asylum seeker policy, I made the mistake of checking her YouTube channel to see what her policy looked like. And, honestly, I can only describe it as hateful:
This is the Northam Detention Centre. It holds eighteen hundred Muslim men asylum seekers and I will fight politically for all of them to be deported back to their country of origin… I’ll fight for all asylum seekers to be deported back to their country of origin, particularly Muslim men, because they are dangerous to our nation and I will fight for federal funding to continue to have this detention centre converted to a TAFE centre, a TAFE technical Training Centre… Eighteen hundred Muslim men being held in this detention centre is a waste of tax money – they all should be deported to country of origin…
And tough luck if your country of origin is trying to kill you. The possibility that many of these Muslim men and women may be seeking asylum because they don’t like the sharia laws in their own countries seems to escape her. The fact that many of these countries are war zones, that many refugees are children, and that one simply cannot ethically just dump people into war zones because we don’t like them also seems to have passed her by. (And, actually, what about the risk to Real Australians who have to fly the planes back to these dangerous countries under this policy? Hasn’t she thought of that?)
This is nasty, nasty stuff. Ironically, I do think that converting detention centres into TAFEs would be a better use of tax money, but the rest is sheer horror.
Ms Van Lieshout has an admirable passion for education, though I find her emphasis on teaching religion in schools a little concerning. She also has a serious beef with psychiatry and wants to have psychiatry abolished in Australia. This appears to have been inspired by her brother’s involuntary institutionalisation for schizophrenia. She has posted many, many videos on this subject, and compares psychiatry with genocide and the Holocaust. I think this really comments on itself, don’t you?
In conclusion, I agree with Ms Van Lieshout on precisely one issue: you should vote below the line. She is passionate about this, and so am I. Voting below the line is excellent! Voting below the line ensures that *your* preferences are counted, and you are not at the mercy of deals made by larger political parties! Best of all, voting below the line allows you to put Ms Van Lieshout dead last on your ticket. The opportunity to do this almost tempts me to move to Western Australia…
Edited on June 20, 2014 to add: Ms Van Lieshout found this post in mid June, and left a very large number of comments, both on the post, and then in response to other commenters. I have left her first few comments below, as Ms Van Lieshout felt that I had mis-represented her opinions, and I figured that she had the right to re-state them in her own words, regardless of my personal opinion of these words. Please note that Ms Van Lieshout’s comments may be triggering to some people, as they contain references to violence and sexual assault, and are perjorative to Muslims. I really am sorry about this – I don’t know what the best balance is between giving people a say and protecting readers and commenters from excessive vitriol. In this case, I chose to disallow all comments after the first few, because I felt that the tenor of the continuing comments was abusive and / or offensive, and I didn’t feel that there was anything constructive to be gained by allowing the conversation to continue. I shall work on a comments policy and post this in the next few days if possible.
All comments on this blog are now set to go directly to moderation, and I will not be approving any further comments on this post.