Meet the Small Parties: Australian Cyclists Party

I can see exactly what the logic was here.  “Hey, look!  A party for motoring enthusiasts got into the Senate!  Bicycle enthusiasts are the obvious next step!  Two wheels good, four wheels bad!”.

OK, I’m totally making that up.  I’m actually quite delighted to see brand new party for cyclists on the electoral radar, especially one that has a nifty version of the Australian coat of arms (emu and kangaroo both dressed very correctly in Edwardian fashions) with a bicycle wheel in the middle as its logo.  I’m sort of hoping they sell T-shirts.

Right. Time to stop being frivolous.  The Australian Cyclists Party (Victorian Election website here) is a brand new party on the Australian electoral agenda – I’m not sure if they have contested any previous state elections, but they certainly weren’t around for the federal one, so less than two years old.  I am fairly certain that they want me to look at their Victorian Election website, so I’m going to do that, as this is clearly where their attention is focused right now.

The front of their website has a rotating banner with three sets of photos and slogans.  The first is a link to their policies, with the slogan “Making Victoria More Cycle-Friendly”, the second is simply “East-West Link” (anyone want to bet that they are *not* against it?), and the third is an appeal for donations, with the aforementioned gorgeous logo.  I want to donate just for the logo.  Apparently, I am still frivolous.

Below the rotating banner, there are links to Values, Policies and Candidates.  We will start with their values, which are, apparently:

  • Honesty and integrity in how we act
  • Passionate about what we stand for
  • Aspirational and optimistic in our vision of the future
  • Affinity for the needs of our members
  • Respect for diversity among individuals and communities
  • Pragmatic in our approach
  • Determination in achieving our goals

They also swear to obey the Boy Scout Law.  (OK, I’m lying about that part.  I have no idea why this website is making me so silly, given that I actually really like them.  Sorry, fellow cyclists.)

They then go into a bit more depth regarding their values, talking about empowering individuals to be capable and self-reliant, strengthening communities to be resilient, investing in innovation, evidence-based approaches to policy, respecting the environment, and so forth.  The feeling I get from them is that they sit somewhere in the centre of the political spectrum – a little bit of the small-L liberal, but not terribly ideological in any direction.  This is a perfectly logical place for them to sit, since cycling isn’t – or shouldn’t be – a particularly ideologically based activity.

On cycling and mobility they add the following values:

  • Recognising the interdependence of transport, health, planning and other government functions in supporting the healthy modes of sustainable transport
  • Working to ensure cycling and other active transport choices are perceived safe and represent low injury risk
  • Fostering an environment of mutual respect and obligation by all individuals to each other regardless of their chosen transport choice
  • Ensuring enforcement measures and liability laws encourage safer co-existence of cyclists and other road users
  • Providing appropriate infrastructure and other measures to pro-actively and adequately support cycling – backed by all levels of government
  • Embracing the importance of community engagement and fair, equitable and evidence-based processes in assessing transport priorities and spending

Yes, please.

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