Victorian State Election 2018: Meet the Voluntary Euthanasia Party!

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

vep

Website: https://www.vep.org.au/vep_vic
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VoluntaryEuthanasiaParty/
Themes: Making sure voluntary euthanasia becomes legal.  That is literally their sole policy.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

Fiona Patten’s Reason Party and the Animal Justice Party are almost always the first two parties on the ticket, usually in that order.  Chawla and Lee make it into second place in South Eastern Metro, which is pleasing.  Sustainable Australia is usually in the top five, and Hinch and the LDP are in the top five about half the time.  The Socialists and Transport matters show up in the top five occasionally.

The Greens and Labor always show up in the top half of the ticket, with the Greens usually ranked higher than Labor.  The Liberals are usually towards the bottom of the ticket, and sometimes ranked backwards, for added animus.

At the foot of the ticket, we always have the Democratic Labour Party and the Australian Liberty Alliance, with the occasional independent.  We also always have some combination of the Australian Country Party, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, the Aussie Battlers and the Liberal Party making up the remaining three slots at the bottom of the ballot.

Essentially, the progressive and libertarian parties are favoured here, with the most conservative parties and the right wing crazies showing up in last place.  There are definitely worse tickets out there.

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

Continue reading

Meet the Small Parties: Voluntary Euthanasia Party

The Voluntary Euthanasia Party is a relatively recent party on the political scene – I first spotted it in the Western Australian Senate Election earlier this year, and this is their first time running in Victoria.

The VEP’s slogan is “Dignity and Choice for All Australians”, and on their webpage they tell us:

The Voluntary Euthanasia Party was created to provide the choice and dignity that current legislation is denying terminally and incurably ill Australians. The party hopes to provide a clear political outlet for the overwhelming public support for voluntary euthanasia. Over four in five Australians are in favour of new legislation and we wish to allow that sentiment to be clearly demonstrated at the ballot box. The Voluntary Euthanasia Party aims to ensure dignity in the final years of life, by raising the profile of this issue in order to engender the necessary political will for change.

Their website is pretty minimalist.  There is a form to fill in to join the party, the aforementioned preamble, and below, their party policy.  And there really is only one party policy, which is this:

We support the provision of medical procedures for the painless, assisted death of patients of a terminal or incurable illness, who are enduring unbearable suffering and who have expressed a desire for the procedures within appropriate legal safeguards. We believe that these patients deserve the right to make informed choices about the time and manner of their death through appropriate and humane medical assistance.

Apparently, more than 82% of Australians are in favour of allowing voluntary euthanasia, and the VEP basically exists to show the government that, in fact, there really are enough people who will vote on this issue that perhaps they ought to consider legislating about it.

Before we go into this further, let’s have a quick peek at the VEP’s Group Voting Ticket.

Continue reading

Western Australia Senate Group I ~ Voluntary Euthanasia Party

Yeah, this is going to be a more serious one.

I’m not sure I know how to write about the Voluntary Euthanasia Party.  I feel pretty conflicted about the whole idea of euthanasia, to be honest, and I don’t quite know how I feel about a party that makes this their sole platform.  And honestly, it doesn’t really matter how I feel about it at this point, because I’m not the one voting, but it’s quite odd to write about something that I’m really not sure I have a coherent opinion about at all.

The VEP is quite a new party – they seem to have formed in around April 2013, and only contested in a handful of states – and their front page states:

The Voluntary Euthanasia Party was created to provide the choice and dignity that current legislation is denying terminally and incurably ill Australians. The party hopes to provide a clear political outlet for the overwhelming public support for voluntary euthanasia. Over four in five Australians are in favour of new legislation and we wish to allow that sentiment to be clearly demonstrated at the ballot box. The Voluntary Euthanasia Party aims to ensure dignity in the final years of life, by raising the profile of this issue in order to engender the necessary political will for change.

Four in five honestly seems really high to me on this one (they later quote 82% of Australians being in favour of allowing voluntary Euthanasia).  I’d love to see where they got their numbers from and what questions were actually asked, because I would think that the combination of conservative religious people and people who are just kind of repelled by the idea would add up to more than 20%, even if you don’t count the terminally confused, such as myself.  But perhaps I just haven’t been paying attention to this issue sufficiently.

~~~~~~~~

OK, I’ve just went to their Facebook Page, followed a link, and spent twenty minutes reading horrifying stories of insufficient palliative care and I’m beginning to get an idea of where these numbers come from.  It’s fascinating, though, that an issue with so much community support gets so little time in the media and in politics – and of course, that is one of the things that the VEP is trying to change.

Continue reading