An independent is someone who isn’t a member of a political party, right? Well, not always, because the Australian Independents are now a registered party with the AEC, and are thus distinguishable from the other three sets of independents on the Victorian Senate Ballot.
A brief look at their policy page suggests a lefty social justice-oriented party with a very broad range of interests, but their Group Voting Ticket has a few surprises on it. First preference goes to the Australian Democrats, but then we move straight on to the Christian Bloc, with Australian Christian, Rise Up Australia, Family First and the DLP. I think we know where this lot are coming from – have I found an actual leftist Christian political party at last? The DLP is followed by the Australin Sex Party, which they must absolutely love, and Australian Voice, and then we have a mix of small parties from both sides of the right-left divide, though Drug Law Reform and HEMP are both placed solidly in the early 30s. Do I detect a yen for harm mimimisation policies? One Nation is the next somewhat viable party to get a preference but the absolute bottom of the ticket is actually Labor, with the Coalition above it, and the Greens being the first of the three major parties. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a party put Greens, Liberal and Labor in that order. Or at least, the first time at this election.