Federal Election 2019: Meet the Australian Mental Health Party

Summary

Website: https://www.amhp.org.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAustralianMentalHealthParty/
Slogans:
Better Minds, Inclusive Society, Smarter Economy
Themes: Policies which allow the whole person to flourish.  Centrist, but probably more left-leaning, since they are very much people before economy.  Climate change is real, and while their policies are non-specific, they evidently feel we ought to do *something*.  Very big on person-centred systems.
Electorate:
Upper House: QLD, WA (running as Ungrouped Independents in both states)
Preferences: In both states, the AMHP has preferenced only candidates from the Greens, Labor and the LNP, but rather idiosyncratically ordered.  According to their website ‘Based on our analysis and debate within the party, we think these candidates will best represent good policy on mental health and well-being.’

So in WA, their first two preferences are Greens candidates with strong disability advocacy cred, and their first Labor candidate is a Yawaru man from Broome who advocates for constructive relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.  Their first Liberal Party candidate is Trish Botha, who is fourth on the Liberal ticket, and an evangelical pastor.

In QLD, they preference Tania Major, a Kokoberra woman and an Aboriginal activist, and the fourth ranked candidate on the Labor ticket, followed by Paul Scarr, from the moderate wing of the Liberal Party, then Frank Gilbert of Labor, who I suspect was chosen for his experience working at Lifeline, and Nicole Tobin of the Liberal Party, who is an advocate for special needs children.

Essentially, it looks to me as though the AMHP takes the view that they don’t really care about your other political leanings, provided you are committed to disability and/or mental health advocacy.  I’m a bit concerned about the evangelical pastor, however, because some evangelical churches are extremely poor at dealing with mental health issues.

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Meet the Small Parties: The Australian Mental Health Party!

The Australian Mental Health Party is a very new party indeed – so new, that their website hasn’t entirely caught up with the fact that they have successfully registered with the AEC (congratulations, guys, you have!).

As such, they have, at this stage, a single policy statement, rather than a larger raft of policies, and they do not yet have any candidates listed.  (This is where it’s a pity I’m going to be overseas for five of the next six weeks, because this post cannot really do them justice – so if you think that a single-issue mental health party might be your cup of tea, I’d strongly encourage you to visit their website again closer to the election).

The AMHP also has a Facebook page, which is more up to date, and mostly seems to collect news about how various policies affect the mental health sector.  Quite a useful resource, actually.

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