Federal Election 2019: Meet the Republican Party of Australia

Summary

Website: http://therepublicans.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RPofA/
Slogans:
Australia. Great Country. Even Better as a Republic!
Themes: Pro-republic.  Pro-marijuana.  Anti-union. Also, completely disorganised.
Electorate:
Upper House: VIC
Preferences: Unknown.  These are not organised people.
Previous reviews

Policies & Commentary

I was a bit surprised to learn that the RPA was contesting this election, because when I visited their website, it seemed to have been untouched since 2017.  Moreover, their policies all date back to 2014 or earlier.  Their Facebook page is only slightly better, with its most recent post being from October last year.  This is not a promising start, even for a single-issue minor party.

Under ‘Latest News’ we learn that ‘We do not have to wait until the Monarch dies to get a Republic!’  This is exciting, but it leads… to a document that is so badly formatted I can barely read it about the history of the republican movement in Australia.  Really, this website looks like it has been abandoned and allowed to fall into ruin.  The formatting was ruined first.

It’s very difficult to motivate myself to care about a party that doesn’t seem to care about itself, but let’s see what we can find on the policy page.  They have seven policy documents, several of which are one or two sentences long.  And what a fascinating mix of policies they are!

They want to phase out dual citizenships entirely over a five year period.  That was a complete policy, in case you were wondering.

Also, they want a Federal Homeland Security Department if not  Commission ‘with ALL States and Territories combining their resources to ensure both cohesion and co-operation in the pursuit of a maximalist approach to well-being, protection and, indeed, the security of ALL the citizens of Australia.’

… I don’t know what this means, but it sounds like pretty hard core policing, and combined with the previous policy makes me eye them a bit suspiciously.  I think I’m detecting a wee bit of xenophobia here.

They have a policy on the ‘RULE of LAW’ which is also a bit unintelligible.

There is no such thing as unlimited power – be it legislative, executive or judicial;

The powers conferred by law must be exercised lawfully, rationally, consistently, fairly and in good faith;

The courts of the land have the ultimate responsibility of resolving disputes about the limits of official power and in doing so they, like those decisions they review, must act lawfully, rationally, consistently, fairly and in good faith and within the proper limits of their constitutional function;

Laws are to be interpreted in accordance with their text, context and purpose and in accordance with common law and statutory rules of interpretation;

Laws are to be construed, where choices are open, so as to avoid or minimise their impact on fundamental common law rights and freedoms.

OK?  I guess?

They want a Federal Independent Commission against Crime and Corruption.  They think they explain why, but their explanation is entirely circular: we need one because we think it is necessary.

They have a policy on Proportional Representation, only it’s a download, and both the links are broken.

Hilariously, they have a quite detailed and almost coherent policy on ‘The Trillion Dollar Australian Crop’, which turns out to be ‘INDUSTRIAL and MEDICINAL HEMP’, which they feel is sustainable and could be ‘a potentially important if not crucial employment-generator at both home and abroad and simultaneously an export revenue-generator.’

Look, it’s a cheap shot, but I do have to wonder if they have been sampling their product here, because this website is just atrocious.

Oh, and here we are – miracle of miracles – a page with more than three sentences on it that are not about hemp, and hooray, it is their Ten Point Platform.  (Would you like to guess how many points it has?  The answer is not ten.  I mean, they clearly started out with ten, but then they added some, but not all, of the aforementioned policies, plus a few more.  This may be the most hilariously disorganised website I’ve seen so far.

Anyway.

The RPA wants a republic, and a charter of rights, freedoms, choices, values and responsibilities.   They want to reduce the three levels of government, and they want fewer electorates with more MPs per electorate, with proportional representation.  Now that, right there, is an interesting and appealing policy.

They want land tax, water security, food security and energy security – but no emissions trading scheme ‘and thus no commensurate wholesale rorting and corruption by those who would damage &/or destroy the Australian economy’.  Well, then.

They want equal opportunity for all Australians, including indigenous recognition, and they want zero net migration.

whereby if, say, 200,000 people (non-citizens) depart Australia in one calendar year then we allow 200,000 people (non-citizens) from ALL categories of migration to enter the country legally in the following calendar year…

So yeah, I think they swallowed the whole ‘illegal asylum seekers’ thing wholesale, and I don’t think I was imagining that whiff of xenophobia.

We are then treated once again to the marvels of marijuana, and other policies as previously described.  In addition, we have a plan to establish Wattle Day on September 1, to replace the Queen’s Birthday weekend.  I’m in favour of a public holiday in September, so I shall graciously permit this one.

They have a weird and incoherent policy on state republics with elected state governors.

Ooh, and they seem to be very anti-union and kind of pro- Work Choices.

1. Direct engagement between employers and employees through the re-introduction of individual, statutory contracts underpinned by a statutory safety net which allows NON-Union collective agreements;

2. Urgent reform of so-called UNfair dismissal and general protections laws to ensure that employers are NOT forced to pay “go away money” to settle claims which are without merit;

3. Ensurance that strikes that take place during bargaining periods can ONLY be instigated as they relate to matters pertinent to the employment relationship and NOT to a union’s (wider) wish list of claims that centre on a union’s agenda;

4. Union powers to enter a workplace must again be ‘made sensible’ and backed-UP by an enforceable code of conduct for union officials who are provided with the privilege of entering an employer’s premises;

5. Re-Structure the Fair Work Commission and create enduring, modern institutions e.g. an Australian Employment Tribunal and a [possibly] separate Australian Employment Appeals Tribunal modelled on international best practice(s).

Look, I’m pretty pro-union, but even setting that aside, that first point is a really crappy one for employees.  In general, the employer already has more bargaining power than a prospective employee when it comes to negotiations.  Reintroducing individual contracts and taking away unions makes it much harder for people from disadvantaged groups to avoid discrimination, and it also makes it easier for unscrupulous employers to erode wages and conditions.

And that’s it.

Oh, there are so many reasons not to vote for these people!  I mean, I’m pretty ambivalent about a Republic, to the extent that it wouldn’t sway me to vote for or against them.  But the level of disorganisation and incoherence on this website does not, to me, suggest a group of people who should be trusted with governing the country.  And the edge of xenophobia and strong anti-union stance are also not particularly endearing qualities.

The bottom third of my ballot is getting crowded, but I’ll find room for them somehow.

Eurovision Theme Song as determined by me, very objectively

I have been racking my brains for the last twelve hours to think of a Eurovision song peculiar enough for this party.  I mean, how do you reflect ‘disorganised, pro-marijuana, anti-union’ in a single song?  I don’t think you can.  Even Eurovision doesn’t usually go to that level.

Fortunately, Eurovision is absolutely overflowing with singers doing the vampire schtick, which kind of fits with a party that appears to be dead, but is suddenly rising from the grave to run candidates, despite policies that make about as much sense as setting fire to the stairs you just climbed up.

What do you know, it turns out there is a suitable song for the RPA after all…

2 thoughts on “Federal Election 2019: Meet the Republican Party of Australia

  1. I have to admit, I read their ‘Rule of Law’ section with a jaundiced eye. I mean, it’s a fairly basic if idealised explanation of how the legal system already operates. It’s not really a policy as such, beyond ‘keep on keeping on’.

    I’m just trying to work out if it’s in reaction to:
    – We’re Still Salty Over The Dismissal, it was an overreach (likely, given the crowd)
    – I Just Don’t Like Justice Kirby and His Judicial Activism (possible, though I’m laughing to myself over the fact that this lot probably are fine with Mabo, which would be a decision that was… everything they’ve just ranted about being bad, as far as making judges making legal decisions goes)
    – Separation of Powers Means All Powers Hold Up Their Side of the Deal, I Watch Too Much US Politics and The Fact Nobody Is Stopping Trump From Breaking Laws Annoys Me (possible, but seems a bit too current for how outdated you say the website is)

    They’re not filling me with much confidence as a party, though.

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