politics

From anti-vax to 'pro-life': What every single minor party actually stands for.

To keep up to date with the federal election campaign as we head to the polls to vote on May 21, visit our election hub page. There you'll find analysis, explainers and all the results of our Mamamia Votes survey.

As someone who decided to vote early, I was surprised to see just how many political parties there were on the ballot paper that I had never heard of.

Going back and forth, I knew I'd personally struggle to number one to 12, so I decided to do the top-six option. And even then I found it difficult. Because dotted around the major political party boxes, there were a dozen parties that felt completely foreign to me. Party names I hadn't seen before.

My fear was that I would vote in high preference for a party that didn't at all align with my views. A fear that a party masquerading themselves by an inconspicuous name, actually stood for something I would never throw my support behind.

To make things less confusing for everyone who is yet to vote, here is the guide I wish I had before entering the polling booth. 

But first, watch: Where the major parties stand on climate change. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Animal Justice Party.

Like the title suggests, this party loves animals and essentially wants to seek out justice for them.

The Animal Justice Party has a "long-term vision for a kinder Australia", aiming to give a political voice to animals, to pursue the vital issues of animal protection through Australia's political system and encourage political parties to adopt animal-friendly policies.

The party has candidates across Australia, except for the Northern Territory.

Australian Christians Party.

This party is on the conservative side, hoping to elect a "Christian voice amidst the voices in parliament". The Australian Christians Party plans to see marriage as "only between a man and woman", has zero tolerance for drugs, and suggests an inquiry into increasing the legal drinking age to 21. 

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It also focuses on religious freedom and wants there to be further "research and scrutiny" into whether carbon plays a role in climate change. (FYI carbon does in fact play a role in climate change, this has been proven by scientists). Last but not least, they want to restrict IVF to only married couples and stop all legislation on approving euthanasia... 

All the candidates for the Australian Christians Party are from Western Australia.

Australian Citizens Party.

The Citizens Party (formerly the Citizens Electoral Council) has a predominant focus on all things economics and business. Their policies are focused on big banks, making a "public post office a people's bank" and rejecting the "hysteria and alarmism" associated with climate change. 

They also want to help the population "rise above" addictive violent video games, dangerous drugs, mass-produced Hollywood movies and banal popular music. Yep, you read that right.

They have candidates in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales.

Australian Democrats.

The Australian Democrats were once a major player in the Senate, but over the years it has dwindled in voting popularity. Their policies are fairly similar to the Greens, and overall they are calling for evidence-based governance along with integrity, truth and transparency. 

There are candidates in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

Australian Values Party.

This party aims to "bring balance into the centre" of politics. Their policies are focused on government and media accountability, better support for defence veterans, better biosecurity, a review into ABC funding and supporting "responsible firearms ownership".

There are candidates for Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.

Listen to The Quicky. Election Explainer: everything you want to know but are too afraid to ask. Post continues after audio.


Derryn Hinch's Justice Party.

Named after its head honcho, the Justice Party is run by Derryn Hinch. Policy plans include reforms to bail, parole, family courts and domestic violence law, "more jail, less bail", veteran affairs, regional rails and aged care worker ratios.  

The party has candidates in Victoria.

Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance.

Another party named after someone... this is an "anti-communism party" that focuses on supporting Hong Kong, Uyghur and Tibetan communities, strengthening Australia's democracy and fighting against corruption, along with "standing up to China".

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There are candidates in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

Federal ICAC Now.

This one is fairly self-explanatory. Basically, they're a political party aiming to establish a federal ICAC to ensure less "corruption" in government. This would include limiting donations to parties, real-time disclosures of donations, etc. 

This party has candidates in Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

Federation Party.

The Federation Party is quite similar in values to that of the Australian Christians Party. As for what they stand for, they're opposed to funding and teaching gender fluidity in school and believe the pandemic response was "totalitarian". Also, the party takes a pro-life stance which isn't a surprise. So keep that in mind when voting...

There are candidates in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.

Fusion.

This political party is a "fusion" of Science, Pirate, Secular, Vote Planet and Climate Change Justice parties. They're very Green in vision, and their policies reflect exactly that - with a major focus on the environment. Examples include plans on negative emissions, renewable energy, high-speed rail and ecological restoration. 

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Fusion has candidates in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. 

Great Australian Party.

This party is led by One Nation senator Rod Culleton. As for their policies, they have a zero-tolerance policy towards crime, backing "mandatory jail" for violent crimes and boot camps for juvenile offenders. They would also like to relax firearm laws, support clean energy and believes in "zero net immigration". 

The Great Australian Party has candidates in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory.

Indigenous-Aboriginal Party.

Uncle Owen Whyman, a Paakindji man from Wilcannia, has started the first political party in Australia that focuses on Indigenous people. It's a grassroots party that aims to provide all Australians with "an alternative to the main parties".
Their policies focus on incarceration rates, the second wave of the stolen generation, education, keeping sacred sites protected, treaty and constitutional recognition and more funding to prevent youth suicide. 

The party has candidates running in Queensland and New South Wales.

Informed Medical Options.

To put it simply, this is a party that supports anti-vax sentiment. There's no more to be said.

They have candidates in the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

Jacqui Lambie Network.

Politician Jacqui Lambie decided to start her own political party recently. Matters of importance to the Network include veteran affairs, "cleaning out the corruption in Canberra", encouraging manufacturing in Australia rather than overseas, and fighting foreign interference - specifically with China in mind.

Her party is running only in Tasmania.

Katter's Australia Party.

Former Nationals MP Bob Katter is yet another person to start his own party. It's a right-wing party that focuses on relaxing firearm restrictions and crocodile culling laws, hopes to lower power prices, increase access to vaping products and boosting North Queensland infrastructure.

Candidates are in Queensland only.

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Kim for Canberra.

With financial backing from Climate 200, Kim Rubenstein is a law academic from Canberra who wants to make a change in government. Some of her party's policy priorities include climate change action, a federal ICAC, women's safety, establishing a First Nations' voice in parliament and a more humane refugee policy.

Given her party name is 'Kim for Canberra' it makes sense that Kim is indeed only running in the ACT.

Legalise Cannabis.

This is another party that is pretty self-explanatory. They want to make cannabis legal, allow citizens to grow the drug in their gardens or homes, and make all historical personal-use cannabis criminal records expunged. 

There are candidates in all states and territories.

Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats have the belief that a smaller government will have better success than a larger government, along with an emphasis on personal responsibility and freedom. They wish to institute American-style "recall elections", wind back all COVID restrictions, ensure free speech, make superannuation voluntary and "decentralise the education system". 

There are candidates in all states and territories.

Local Party.

The Local Party aims to focus on candidates that have a strong local approach to politics. They have selected people who are "independent local leaders who are already contributing to their neighbourhoods".

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As for the issues they stand for, the party has a pretty big focus on salmon farming and marine issues, which is specific to Tasmania, and then a wider focus on poker machines, advocating for "citizen juries" and addressing climate change.

This party has candidates in Tasmania and South Australia.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

This party I think we're all well aware of and the things Pauline Hanson stands for...They stands for "Australia and Australian values." They want to withdraw from the United Nations Paris Agreement, reduce the refugee intake, and roll back abortion laws. 

The party has candidates in all states and territories. 

Progressives.

The Australian Progressives Party speaks to their name - progressive. They tout themselves as choosing "empathy over fear, ethics over influence, evidence over opinion and transparency over silence". Their plans for politics include ending poverty in Australia, the growing homelessness crisis, addressing climate change, "dismantling corruption" and advocating for fairness across genders.

There are candidates in Victoria, ACT, Queensland and South Australia.

Reason Australia.

Reason Australia's most well-known candidate is Jane Caro. The party says its public policy is loosely based on two basic principles - evidence and compassion.

Focusing predominantly on social policy, the party hopes to decriminalise all drugs, promote comprehensive sex education in schools, support Indigenous Australians and make childcare and childhood education free. They also want to look into integrating the four-day working week and ensure media diversification.

There are candidates in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.  

Rex Patrick Team.

Rex Patrick Team is mainly campaigning for greater "transparency and accountability" in government under the tagline "keep the bastards honest". The party is also campaigning for more Australian manufacturing and jobs, saving the Murray-Darling basin, and stopping foreign interference. 

Candidates are in South Australia only.

Seniors United.

The Seniors United Party of Australia (SUPA) consists of a group of Sydney retirees who plan to "stand up to corporate greed and power". They hope to better represent older Australians in government.

Their plan is to push for policies that benefit retirees and pensioners, establish reforms in legislation surrounding dementia and palliative care, more support for old army veterans, and aged care reform.

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There are candidates running in Western Australia and New South Wales.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

This party has a large focus on regional Australia. Key issues they're passionate about include wanting greater scrutiny on foreign land purchases, the expansion of the live export trade, reduced restrictions on "law-abiding firearms owners" and to expand private game reserves and hunting areas.

Candidates from this party are only in New South Wales. 

Socialist Alliance.

The Socialist Alliance is, as perhaps predicted from the name, a socialist party. That means they are heavily involved with trade unions, climate change action and student movements. For this election, the Socialist Alliance is taking a strong left-wing stance on refugee rights, and Indigenous rights. They are proposing that the banking, energy and mining sectors are nationalised - as they are pretty anti-privatisation.

There are candidates in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

Sustainable Australia Party.

The Sustainable Australia Party is an independent community movement focusing on an, "economically, environmentally and socially sustainable Australia".

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They want to see an enforced biodiversity and native species program, free university and TAFE education, more action on climate change, dental included in Medicare and restriction on immigration to keep Australia's population under 30 million by 2050. They want to do that by reducing our immigration cap from 200,000 per annum, to just 70,000....

Candidates are running in every state and territory. 

TNL.

TNL, formerly registered as The New Liberals, is an Australian political party formed recently. They market themselves as not "professional politicians" but people who have lived experience and expertise in relevant fields. Their policy plans include action on climate change, establishing a federal ICAC, boosting foreign aid, new lyrics for the national anthem, restricting mass political advertising, real-time political donation disclosure, and restricting politicians to serving only 12 years in parliament.

This party has candidates in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.  

United Australia Party.

This party is also known as Clive Palmer's United Australia Party, as it's headed by the mining magnate himself. They are quite a divisive right-wing political party whose policies include:

  • Anti-lockdown measurements
  • Getting rid of vaccine passports
  • Abolishing the National Cabinet
  • Free speech (including removing powers of censorship from Facebook and Twitter)
  • More resources for mining

The party has candidates in all states and territories. 

Victorian Socialists.

Much like the Socialist Alliance party, the Victorian Socialists are a hard left-leaning socialist group. For this federal election, they want to abolish GST, develop a more progressive tax system (which includes a wealth tax for the 'super rich'), reverse casual employment trends, changing the voting age to 16, restore universal health care, implement free dental care and negotiate a treaty to "to respect Aboriginal sovereignty and land rights".

As the name goes, they only have candidates in Victoria. 

Western Australia Party.

This party's ideological focus is a combination of centrism, populism and regionalism - which basically means they sit in the middle of left and right-wing politics. They claim to fight for the everyday man and have a strong focus on rural communities. Because of this, they are keen to change tax laws in Western Australia, removing payroll and capital gains tax there. 

And as expected, the party only has candidates in Western Australia.

Happy voting!

Feature Image: Canva/Mamamia. 

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