Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Fiona Patten’s Reason Party

I don’t have time to read all of this!
The Basics

reason.jpg

Website: https://reasonvic.org.au/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ReasonVIC/
Themes: Evidence-based policy, sensible compromise, harm minimisation, individual liberty. Socially progressive, economically centrist.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

Patten has put the Voluntary Euthanasia Party first in her preferences wherever they are running. The Animal Justice Party is second everywhere except South Eastern Metropolitan, where she has put them third after Chawla’s grouped independents, and Eastern Metropolitan where she has put them third after Sustainable Australia.  Sustainable Australia is always in the top five, and the Liberal Democratic Party and Hinch’s Justice Party are also there most of the time.  Vote 1 Local Jobs also makes it in, and the Socialists appear a few times.

She favours Labor over the Greens in some electorates and the Greens over Labor in others, and they are usually in the upper middle part of the ticket.  The Liberals are always the last of the major parties, and occasionally they are in the bottom five.

Reliably last on her ticket are the Australian Liberty Alliance, with the Democratic Labor Party ranked just above them.  The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers are usually third last and the Australian Country Party are also usually in the bottom five.  Ungrouped independents of all stripes are usually just above the ALA, and the Aussie Battlers also make regular appearances near the bottom of Patten’s ticket.

This is an interesting ticket, because the bottom half of it is a pretty close match to my own leftie preferences, but the top half has a few oddballs in it.  I’m disappointed, but not surprised, to see the Liberal Democrats up so high – my biggest issue with Patten’s previous party, the Australian Sex Party, was that it was too libertarian for my taste – but there are definitely some social justice tendencies in here, and I’m glad to see Chawla and Lee getting some more love!

The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations

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Meet the Small Parties: Australian Sex Party

Ah, the Sex Party.  Always good for a giggle.  Always embarrassing to Google. Always impossible to write about without veering into innuendo.

I have mixed feelings about the Sex Party.  I want to like them.  For one thing, their ads are funny.  For another, well, everyone else on the left of politics seems to like them.  And yet… well, at least as of last time, I found I didn’t, quite.  They tend to be a little to libertarian for my taste, and perhaps the trouble is that for all my lefty, feminist ways, I’m actually fairly conservative in some areas.  Then again, they seem to re-invent themselves for every election.  Perhaps we will get on better this time?  (Get on, not get it on, come on, people!  If we don’t at least start with our minds out of the gutter, we are going to be plumbing positively subterranean depths of the sewers before we’re done here.  Speaking of dirty.)

The Sex Party has launched a whole new website for their Victorian campaign (I also do not recommend Googling ‘Victorian Sex Party’ any time soon), with the super-classy address wegiveafk.org.au .  This goes with their tagline: The Sex Party – We Give a F**k.

Right away, you know that nobody here is trying for good taste.  Which is nice, because it means you know where you stand.  They probably all Googled Victorian Sex Party, too.  Possibly in images.  (No, I haven’t done that, nor am I recommending it, and if you do, the results are on your own head.)

Their front page makes the following bold announcement:

IN AN AUSTRALIAN STATE ELECTION FIRST, WE’RE ASKING YOU, THE VOTERS TO DECIDE A POLICY WE RUN ON.

We’re asking you, the voters, to decide a policy we run on. Why? Because, we realise that your vote is the most simple, yet powerful way to ensure your voice for change in Victoria is heard. So, we’ve put together three ideas for change, that would have an impact on Victoria. Vote daily for the change you want to see, when you vote the Australian Sex Party into the Upper House on November 29th. The winning policy will become an issue we raise in the Legislative Council in the first 100 days, all thanks to you. Read more about our other Victoria Policies.

I have to say, this is a very interesting tactic. Quite aside from the entertainment value, it sends the message that this is a party that wants to listen to its constituents.  Very canny, especially in the current climate, where one all too frequently feels that none of the politicians are listening to anyone.

The three proposed policies are 3-hour tickets on public transport, bicycle helmet freedom, and motorcycle filtering in traffic, and yes, I voted – for the three hour tickets.  Anyone who thinks that driving on the roads in Melbourne without a helmet is a good idea is misguided (there are some interesting discussions going on about whether bicycle helmets actually make people safer.  So far as I can see, they don’t necessarily make you safer from accidents – people may take more risks when wearing them – but they mitigate the damage when you do crash.  The best way to make people safe on bicycles is better roads and better driver education.  Sorry, I seem to be obsessed with bicycles this election.  Has anyone guessed my secret favourite one-issue party yet?), and I have no opinion about motorbikes, but I was not happy when Myki went to 2 hour tickets.  I want my three-hour ticket back!

That was fun, wasn’t it?  I have to give it to the Sex Party (I can’t believe I just wrote that), they understand marketing.  Possibly because sex sells.  (You saw that coming, didn’t you?)

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Victorian Senate Group AC: Sex Sells

And now we come to the political party that makes everyone giggle when they hear about it – the Australian Sex Party.  I’ll say this for them – they are a party with a sense of humour, which is always refreshing, and their ads are quite clever and very funny.

I’ll admit up-front that I’m a little off the Sex Party just now, because when I previewed them yesterday, I wound up reading their statement on why they put the Greens behind One Nation on their ticket, and it really managed to irritate me.  It wasn’t the preferencing itself – I do get that small parties, including the ones I do like, might find it strategically useful to preference people I don’t like, but they went beyond pointing out that this was a tad hypocritical of the Greens, who have also made dodgy preference deals in the past (which is an absolutely fair counter-argument) to starting to blame the Greens for the WikiLeaks debacle:

Not only did these hypocritical Greens supporters hit the Sex Party. They drove several Wikileaks candidates and party officials to resign over their preference deals. One person was also on suicide watch and yet the Greens army kept firing away on social media like a large group of priests pointing the finger at a sex worker saying, ‘You’re the cause of all this paedophilia!’. It’s a common tactic amongst pious people. When you’re having difficulty in your own house with an issue, isolate a group of people who are smaller than you are and have fewer resources and accuse them of doing the same thing. The Church are masters at it.

Nasty.  And, in my view, uncalled for.  Attacking the hypocrisy of the Greens is fair enough – it sounds like they’ve laid themselves open to it, which is a shame – but seriously, the WikiLeaks people did that to themselves.  I don’t think it was the Greens who drove them to suicide watch.

Having got that off my chest, let’s check out how their group voting ticket actually looks, and yeah, it is a little weird.

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Politics: Federal Election – Let’s Talk about (the Australian) Sex (Party), Baby!

Don’t tell me this isn’t the party you’ve been waiting for. I can already *feel* the bad puns forming. In fact, I’m feeling so overwhelmed by the sheer, uncensored number of potential bad sex jokes I could get into this post (as it were), that I don’t even know where to start.

The Australian Sex Party is not, as you might think, a joke party, though it is definitely a party with a sense of humour. Nor is their site completely un-worksafe, though it definitely contains more nudity than your average political website. Their slogans range from the reasonably sane ‘Protecting your personal freedoms and sexual rights’ to the slightly sillier tag-line ‘Australian Sex Party – where you come first’. And the mouse over text is ‘we’re serious about sex’, just in case you hadn’t figured that part out.

Oh, I can’t help myself. Just insert an appropriately inappropriate joke about members of parliament here. Bonus points if you use the word ‘turgid’, which, is a word that goes with both masculine members and political debates nearly as well as whipped cream goes with… never mind. I’m done now. Maybe.

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