Here's What Those Random Parties On Your Ballot Paper Actually Stand For

    From anti-vaxxers to animal lovers.

    There will be a slew of single issue parties sprinkled over particularly your Senate voting sheet on May 18.

    We've saved you some time by outlining what these sometimes misleadingly named micro parties are campaigning for this election.

    The Great Australian Party

    The Great Australian Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is all about: Splendour in the Grass.

    What it is actually campaigning for: The party is very into the Commonwealth Constitution, which it says dictates that citizens are the “Supreme, Absolute, Uncontrollable Authority” in the nation.

    This party wants the tax system reviewed to get rid of personal income tax, to stop foreign ownership of Australian land and assets, and to "eliminate" the Family Court by replacing it with mediation counselling.

    One of its candidates is former One Nation senator Rod Culleton, who you might remember was disqualified from the Senate in 2016. In 2017 the High Court ruled he was actually ineligible at the time of his election because he had a conviction for larceny.

    The Together Party

    The Together Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: Monogamy, team sport.

    What it is actually campaigning for: The party wants the government to better serve the "public interest" by investing in renewable energy, increasing funding for public broadcasting and diverting taxpayer dollars from defence to education and research. It wants to set up a national ICAC and to stop the privatisation of public assets. It would also support a treaty levy to fund compensation and reconciliation projects negotiated with Indigenous Australians.

    Love Australia or Leave

    Love Australia or Leave/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: I think we can all take a punt.

    What it is actually campaigning for: Harsher immigration policy, guns and job creation. It is campaigning against: foreign ownership, the "Islamisation" of Australia and halal certification. It is also campaigning to "make it illegal to burn the Australian flag" and to establish a "dedicated incarceration facility for terrorists".

    Seniors United Party of Australia

    Seniors United Australia/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is about: Franking credits.

    What it is actually campaigning for: Well, it is opposed to Labor's proposed wind back of imputation credits, but the party has a suite of policy proposals including a national dementia strategy, an improved Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme as well as a national palliative care scheme. The party was registered by a "group of Sydney retirees who refuse to be pushed around any longer". It wants affordable aged care, adequate staffing in nursing homes, a strategy to address elder abuse and a national inquiry into "retirement income".

    Australian Better Families

    Australian Better Families/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: Your auntie to stop tagging you in unflattering photos on Facebook.

    What it is actually campaigning for: The party wants a minister for men to ensure "national male health and education programs are in place and appropriately funded". The party wants to end homelessness in Australia and for the government to invest in renewable energy. It wants to reform child support payments and child access dispute processes. As part of its food security policy, the party supports the introduction of a minimum gate price of 70 cents per litre for milk.

    Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians! (previously Online Direct Democracy Party)

    Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: I mean, it seems pretty self-explanatory.

    What it is actually campaigning for: Actually, the party doesn't really have any policy platforms because the idea is that its candidates give voters a "direct voice" to parliament through collective decision making. Basically if they're elected they'll let you vote on legislation before the parliament in real time online. The new name incorporates the top issues identified in a survey done by the party.

    Involuntary Medication Objectors Party

    Involuntary Medication Objectors Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: I guess it is objecting to involuntary medication.

    What it is actually campaigning for: It is an anti-vaxxer party led by a man named Michael O'Neill who has been "involved in the natural health industry for 35 years". The party is campaigning against the government's "no jab, no pay" policy.

    Rise Up Australia Party

    Rise Up Australia Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is all about: Encouraging Australia to be its sparkliest and sassiest self.

    What it is actually campaigning for: The party, founded by evangelical pastor Daniel Nalliah, is against Islamic immigration and marriage equality. The policy proposals are opposed to multiculturalism, foreign ownership, unjust taxation and "counter-productive welfare payments". Nalliah has spoken at rallies organised by the anti-Islamist group Reclaim Australia.

    Yellow Vest Australia

    Yellow Vest Australia Political Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is all about: An Australian iteration of France's anti-fuel tax "Gilets Jaunes" movement or better outcomes for high-vis workers.

    What it is actually campaigning for: Actually it is a rebrand of the far-right nationalist organisation, the Australian Liberty Alliance. The party is concerned with the "Islamisation of Australia" and the "de-construction of Western civilisation".

    Affordable Housing Party

    Affordable Housing Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: Affordable housing.

    What it is actually campaigning for: Affordable housing. It is dedicated to "ending Australia's housing crisis and improving the rights of renters across Australia".

    Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party

    HEMP Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: The right to blaze it.

    What it is actually campaigning for: HEMP is looking to legalise and "regulate personal, medical and industrial" cannabis use.

    The Women's Party

    The Women's Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: Women.

    What it is actually campaigning for: The party is trying to legislate a 50% quota for women politicians and to close the gender pay gap as well as introduce greater childcare subsidies. It also has anti-corruption and climate change policies and would "consult and work together with First Nations women and men to address their welfare, health and cultural needs".

    The Australian Mental Health Party

    Australian Mental Health Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: To improve mental health outcomes for Australians.

    What it is actually campaigning for: It seems it is actually campaigning on policies to improve the mental health of Australians through increased access to psychological care, a harm reduction framework for drug and alcohol treatment and fairer private health cover.

    The party also supports closing the "funding gap" between public and private schools, enforcing higher taxes for big business and increasing the Newstart payment.

    Independents for Climate Action Now

    Independents for Climate Action Now/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: Action on climate change... now?

    What it is actually campaigning for: An emergency based climate policy, a 100% renewable energy transition, a plan to phase out fossil fuels and "planned adaptations" for unavoidable climate impacts. All of the party's policies are related to climate change.

    Australian Workers Party

    Australian Workers Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: Workers. Australian ones.

    What it is actually campaigning for: The party wants to "create decent local jobs", tackle housing affordability and protect the environment from climate change. As a micro party, the AWP acknowledges it can't "take power" but promises to hold "gravy train-snouts-in-the-trough careerist politicians" to account.

    Animal Justice Party

    Animal Justice Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: Veganism.

    What it is actually campaigning for: The party "won't stop" until it gets a permanent ban on all live animal exports. It wants to end factory farming, protect natural wildlife habitats and establish a Federal animal rights commission.

    Pirate Party

    Pirate Party/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is campaigning for: Eye patch rebates.

    What it is actually campaigning for: The party is against censorship online and for net neutrality and individuals having a legally protected right to control data collection on devices they own.

    Citizens Electoral Council

    Citizens Electoral Council/Facebook

    What you'd assume it is about: I don't know but I can't believe you made it so far down a list of micro parties. Get a bloody hobby!

    What it is actually campaigning for: They seem to be all about "breaking up the banks" and keeping loans and the holding of deposits away from "all other financial activities" like investment banking and stock broking. The party also wants an immediate moratorium on home and farm foreclosures to prevent "mass homelessness".


    Gina Rushton is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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