Who the hell are all these people on the Victorian Senate ballot paper?

I was browsing through the list of parties on the Victorian Senate ballot for the 2016 Federal election and saw a few names I’ve never seen before. I couldn’t gather from their party names what they’re on about, so I thought I’d write this post with brief explanations of the different parties on the ballot for Victorians. It’s not very comprehensive – you should do your own investigation into each party if you have more than a passing interest.

This is mainly to expose those parties that have decent enough sounding names “oh families, I like families” then when you actually look at their policies, “you want to do what to immigrants and gays?!” you realise they’re not people you want to align yourself with. So from left to right on the huge ballot paper:

DERRYN HINCH’S JUSTICE PARTY
Most of us know who Mr. Hinch is – TV dude who did TV stuff, got shoved in jail twice and is the lucky recipient of the first spot on the ballot. What’s his reason for bothering with this politics bullshit? Most of his policies surround the legal system and how he perceives it to be warped. Derryn thinks judges hand out far too lenient sentences and too many crims getting away with stuff on technicalities. People getting out on bail then bashing and raping women, domestic violence sufferers not getting the justice they deserve and building a public sex offender database.

COLLYER David & MITCHELL-COOK Wanda
These two don’t have their party affiliation labeled (apparently due to “stupid new electoral laws“, but they’re both on the Australian Democrats website as candidates representing their party. David Collyer is the campaign manager for Prosper Australia – a think tank that thinks about property investing as it stands today is a drain on Australian society and property developers don’t pull their weight. Wanda is a nurse educator at the Menzies Institute of Technology, as well as running a pain management clinic, program, something or called Kikqua Therapy that she seems to have invented, as there’s fuck all info about it anywhere else on the internet and nothing in any medical journals.

The Australian Democrats themselves are pretty central and don’t have anything particularly interesting to offer – kinda like a grab bag of popular ideas.

ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY
First impressions: Senator Poon, lol. Besides that, they do what their name says – looking after the animals. A quick flick through their policies doesn’t highlight anything morally corrupt (to me). The most “out there” idea they have is that they want to educate people not to eat meat. Which actually isn’t that weird and good common sense, even though I love meat.

AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
You know who these people are, I assume. Not gonna bother explaining what their deal is.

SCIENCE PARTY / CYCLISTS PARTY
The nerds and the lycra crew are combining their forces in Victoria! As a certified nerd, I can dig pretty much 100% of what they’re standing for. Interesting that they propose the creation of an Australian Charter City. WTF is a charter city? Basically a place that’s set up to be a center of science and technology excellence in Australia. They wanna call it Turing (I wonder why) and place it between Sydney and Canberra, hooked up with a fast train. Subterranean roads and its own immigration laws. Basically a nerd utopia. They also want a space agency, which is probably more realistic than their charter town.

Basically the Science Party wanna spend more cash on science and tech researching. They want a republic. Simplifying the tax system. Decriminalisation of drug use and a focus on mental health. A full fibre NBN. No nukes, but they’re cool with GMOs.

The cyclists part of the ticket is again, what they say in their name – more bikes and better bike related policy! Nicholas Dow is a “hardcore cyclist” (obivously) and someone made a small doco about him: https://vimeo.com/27393987. He really likes his dog (and his bike).

PALMER UNITED PARTY
Clive Palmer’s politcal party still exists but Clive isn’t going up for re-election and they’re just contesting the senate this time around. They’re all about a federal ICAC, removing politican entitlements, changing the way companies pay tax (so they pay less, in the hope this would “turbocharge” the economy). Also they have a very bad website with a very bad URL and a Tasmanian dude called Quentin von Stieglitz.

JACQUI LAMBIE NETWORK
Jacqui cracked the shits with Clive Palmer after piggybacking his name to get elected as a Tasmanian senator, so she made her own party. Her schitck is mainly about veterans. Making sure the people in the ADF are treated much better than they currently are. She’s also a member of the Halal is a conspiracy to fund terrorism brigade, so yeah.

AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIANS
Christians. That are Australian. Their central tenets are that Australia is a Judeo Christian country goddamn it and it should remain that way (aka: watch out for those sneaky Muslims and their Sharia law). Also they love “families” but their definition of family is a man, woman and some kids. No gay families and no gay marriages. A consistent theme through their messaging is that Christianity and Australian Values are under attack – but don’t say who from or where, but if you read between the lines, it’s clearly anyone who isn’t Christian.

SUSTAINABLE AUSTRALIA
Sustainable Australia. Sounds good hey? Sustainable is good, everyone likes things that are sustainable. They basically want Australia to stop growing – lowering birth rates, wayyyyy lower immigration levels and promoting the concept of a sustainable Australia. Dick Smith is a big proponent of this and made a documentary called Population Puzzle.

PIRATE PARTY
The nerds reading this are probably familiar with the Pirate Party – an Australian version of the Swedish and now global (but still pretty fringe) movement. In Iceland they’re actually one of the main political parties. Their main reason for being is copyright and patent reform and free sharing of knowledge. The heavy tech involvement also means they have a much stronger grasp on tech issues than most other parties. They don’t like data retention and really hate censorship. They love to arc up when these topics are talked about.

SOCIALIST EQUALITY PARTY
This is the Australian branch of the *clears throat* International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), the World Party of Socialist Revolution. If Trotsky and Lenin mean something to you and you like that, well these people represent you. In a nut-shell: death to capitalism.

HEALTH AUSTRALIA PARTY
They’re a bunch of anti-vaxxer quacks. They say they want to “remove the influence of multinational pharmaceutical companies”, which we all know is code for “vaccines are poison”. Their full policy document is littered with key phrases from the anti-vaccine movement and they believe that natural medicine should be “placed on an equal footing with pharmaceutical medicine”. The Health Australia Party also don’t like fluoride in our water. The guy that leads the party runs an alternative medicine clinic in Coffs Harbour.

RENEWABLE ENERGY PARTY
It’s what you expect – they want renewable energy rolled out across the entire country by 2030 and by 2035, 40% of our transport derived from renewable energy. By 2050 all of Australia emits net zero greenhouse gases. Also a strong stance on climate change.

VOTEFLUX.ORG | UPGRADE DEMOCRACY!
Another “direct democracy will solve all our problems” platform startup. Using the software package these people have developed, Australians/members of Flux would be able to vote on issues over the internet, then the elected senator would act based on those results. Because of this they actually don’t have any policies for you to judge on. Read up on direct democracy over representative democracy (what we have now) and think about if you think this is a good thing. Switzerland does this sort of thing, for example.

FAMILY FIRST PARTY
Senator Bob Day is the leader of this party, so it’s easy to see what they stand for based on his moral compass by checking out his Twitter feed. Against safe schools, against gay marriage, doesn’t think taxing ciggies does anything except revenue raise and of course, wants to reinstate “family values” (code for taking us back to the good old days when you can beat your wife and kids and there weren’t any funny smelling brown people).

CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY (FRED NILE GROUP)
Fred Nile is a shitstain on Australian society and represents everything hateful in our otherwise excellent country. A party of bigots in the same vein as Family First.

THE ARTS PARTY
People who think the arts are very important. Improve access to books and music and museums and galleries and movies. Improve funding for all the creative industries, including video games. Also the usual lefty stuff like legalising weed, stop treating refugees like shit and letting the gays do their thing.

DLP DEMOCRATIC LABOUR
I really can’t get a read on the DLP. I think they’re like an evil ALP. Their main beef is abortion and how they don’t like it. They somehow get elected in Victoria at the state level and consistently stir shit trying to ban abortions.

CITIZENS ELECTORAL COUNCIL
When I was 18 and living in St. Albans, they had a table outside the local library and because I was an 18 year old dork who still went to the local library for fun, I talked to these crackpots and their ideas that global warming is fake and that we are on the brink of permanent financial disaster unless we nationalise everything. Lyndon LaRouche is their hero.

SECULAR PARTY OF AUSTRALIA
Removing the influence of religion in our society. No religious education in schools, removing the national school chaplaincy program, allowing gay marriage, legal euthanasia, pro-abortion and generally pro anything held back by religion.

AUSTRALIAN LIBERTY ALLIANCE
Racists.

NICK XENOPHON TEAM
Main reason to exist is anti-gambling. Massive restrictions on gambling advertisements, online gambling and reigning in pokies. Also wants the government to buy exclusively Australian things and wants labeling laws beefed up to accurately portray where the stuff inside a box comes from. Anti GMO though.

AUSTRALIAN MOTORING ENTHUSIAST PARTY
Based on Ricky Muir’s performance in the senate so far, surprisingly normal and not racist like we all thought they might be. Their core values are common sense. The AMEP’s focus is cars and making more roads.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY
LGBT equality and letting them get married.

PAULINE HANSON’S ONE NATION
Huge racists.

SOCIALIST ALLIANCE
If you think the Greens aren’t left wing enough.

AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PARTY
Let farmers do their thing, let people shoot stuff and make things better for people living in country towns. They also want to remove local councils from the legal system – something about inefficiency.

MFP
John Madigan’s Manufacturing and Farming Party. John Madigan used to be part of the DLP, but quit. He’s anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage. Offering a Thermomix as a prize if you enter his raffle to raise funds to help him get re-elected. Cut from the same cloth as Tony Abbott via his affinity with Bob Santamaria. His other claim to fame is wanting an enquiry into the Essendon bombers doping issue. He reckons there’s some funny business going on and the Bombers are innocent (or less naughty than they’ve been accused of being)

DRUG LAW REFORM
De-criminalise drugs and move to a harm reduction/public health approach instead of punishment.

VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA PARTY
Allow people to decide when to end their own life.

MATURE AUSTRALIA
Seniors concerned about their superannuation and pension. Have a bizarre policy to utilise all our coal and natural gas to generate electricity, as well as renewables. How can you advocate for burning all our fossil fuels when you say you realise renewables have a place? Surely if you realise renewables are the good shit, you’d leave the fossil fuels in the ground?

LIBERAL/THE NATIONALS
The incumbents.

SHOOTERS, FISHERS AND FARMERS
They wanna go camping wherever they want, shoot whatever they like, while fishing anywhere there’s some water – chuck in a bit of 4WD action too. Absolutely hate inner city latte sipping hipsters deciding what happens in rural areas. More defence funding and stronger border protection.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Libertarians. The crucible of current senator, David Leyonhjelm. Want to bring back guns and remove foreign aid. Are upset that Australia is a “nanny state” and that government causes more problems than it solves. One of the profiles of a WA senate candidate caught my eye: “Connor is a Draftsman who lives in Bunbury, Western Australia. He is passionate about Bitcoin, the blockchain, firearms and other disruptive technologies.”

RISE UP AUSTRALIA PARTY
Ultra racists.

AUSTRALIAN PROGRESSIVES
Progressive, left-leaning policies, based on evidence. Some key policies: a federal ICAC, integrating dental care into Medicare, pro-gay marriage, increasing refugee intake, making our education system more like Finland’s and moving to 100% renewable energy by 2036.

THE GREENS
They’re large enough now that it’s pretty clear what they stand for.

AUSTRALIAN SEX PARTY
Less religion influencing our lives, drug decriminalisation/harm reduction, rights for sex workers, very friendly to LGBTIQ people and care about animal welfare.

UNGROUPED
Randos who couldn’t get a party to back them or find one they agree with.

JUHASZ Stephen – fuck all about this guy on the internet, no idea who he is. Only thing remotely connected to him, I think, is this ranting submission to a Financial System Inquiry about how banks should be allowed to fail, which doesn’t actually have his name in it, but the filename is Juhasz_Stephen.pdf – might not even be him. Not on Facebook or anything like that either. Weird. The AEC says he is a student at Deakin Uni and lives in Geelong.

UPDATE: a cool dude called Silas emailed me some relevant info he found out whilst doing his own research – here’s a press release Stephen Juhasz has sent some people, and here’s a flyer/poster (front, back) he’s made up.

ARASU Karthik – Karthik made himself a nice video. Wants a public holiday for Diwali and Eid, no tax for new “moms” in the first 3 years of being a mom. Multi-level car parks at train stations (err, dude, this is a Federal election), lower tax in regional AU, no plastic bags and a random grab bag of ideas.

HALL Dennis – just has a Facebook page. Opposes same sex marriage and the safe schools initiative. Posts a lot of christian-esque stuff on his facebook page. Looks like your crazy uncle who talks a lot of shit.

SPASOJEVIC Dana – a truck driver with basically no policies outlined anywhere. No website and a basic Facebook page. What the hell?

KARAGIANNIDIS John – tried to crowdfund some campaign money and nobody gave him any. Another basic Facebook page and some very loose, ranting policies such as “Reducing unemployment by fostering innovation and job creation opportunities.” and “Transparency and accountability in government: “Keep the bastards honest”.

LUTZ Geoff – this guy is an internet ghost as well. No website, no Facebook, nothing outlining why he’s bothering to run for the Senate in Victoria. On the AEC website, he’s listed as a “Semi-retired Orchardist” UPDATE: I received some more info about Geoff, who used tobe a chestnut farmer. He’s spent many years on the Moreland city council, who started out as a Liberal, went independent, tried to join the ALP (who wouldn’t have him) and ended up as a Democrat. Now just runs for the senate for the fun of it, I guess?

MULL Allan – a man who loves wearing red shirts and hats with pom poms on them. A farmer from Tawonga with another grab-bag of policies. Predominately focused on farmers and land rights for farmers. Also wants to kill reduce foreign aid to food only (no cash, no engineers, no technical support, no help running elections, etc.) and look after Australia’s veterans a bit better.

RYAN Chris – another no website, no Facebook dude. Is a lawyer from Point Lonsdale. His email address is nicklennie7@hotmail.com tho – dunno why it isn’t chrisryan7@hotmail.com or something. Who’s Nick Lennie? Or Lennie Nick? UPDATE: Silas, again, contacted Chris Ryan, asked what his policies are and received this as a response.

VADARLIS Eric – quite an accomplished lawyer and also a dairy farmer. I think this is the same Eric Vadarlis who was part of a legal case against the immigration minister at the time, about the infamous MV Tampa. There’s a decent wikipedia entry about the case. Eric’s senate election platform is strong on refugee rights.

DICKENSON Mark Francis – here’s his gofundme page, where he’s raised $120. A very odd blog URL “http://000000000k.blogspot.com.au” where he writes about how disillusioned he is with the ALP/LIB duopoly and that nobody represents the average person. Dislikes corporate welfare, wants a federal ICAC – general loathing of the status quo.

SHMUEL Immanuel – has a website for his financial services and travel agency business, but not for his senate election campaign. Only thing on his Facebook page about his run for the senate is this photo, outlining a totally nonsensical ideology. “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”

FLOYD Glenn – classic unhinged bloke. Absolutely hates government corruption and wants way more transparency. He reckons all the current politicians are bribed. Wants 9000 child care centers. Thinks psychiatrists kill more people than cancer. Like I said, textbook unhinged. Website is fun read.

URIE Meredith – doesn’t really have any policies and is more focused on “inclusiveness” than actually saying what she thinks backed up with evidence. Recorded a couple of audio interviews with random people about topics she thinks are important (how jobs and the environment are connected). A few YouTube vids nobody as watched.

NYE Trevor William – another all caps ranter on Facebook, haha. Mainly concerned about the sale of Australian land to the Chinese, has a motorbike as his profile pic on Facebook.

HAWKS Peter John – a “silent majority” nutbag that is afraid of social engineering from the lefties.

BESLIS Christopher – top 3 policies: abolish politician perks, reduce politician salaries, then remove ATM and bank fees. Clearly the three most important issues facing Australian society today. UPDATE: Chris actually sent me an email! Here’s what he said. Seems like a normal enough person with goals that aren’t crazy. Everyone wants a federal ICAC (except the guilty).

After reading all this, you’re probably wondering how you can number all those boxes on the giant form? Kenneth Tsang has created a handy website that’ll make a neat printout for you to take to the booth on Saturday, so you can just copy the numbers off that onto your ballot and move on to the sausage phase of the voting process.