As Australians head to the polling booths today, they’ll be confronted by an overload of information about dozens of parties hopeful to earn a vote on their ballot paper.
There are a handful of minor parties we’re well accustomed to that have received considerable airtime in the media – Pauline Hanson’s One Nation or Richard Di Natale’s Greens, for example.
But what about those parties you see on your ballot paper and think, ‘who on earth is that?’
Yahoo News Australia has laid out six of the less publicised, more outlandish parties that you might not necessarily know too much about.
Pirate Party Australia
The Pirate Party is running for the Senate in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and WA.
While they sound like they might be about parrots, ships and eye-patches, the party actually takes a serious stance on digital activism and human rights.
The party’s values are centered around “freedom of information and culture, civil and digital liberties, privacy and anonymity, government transparency and participatory democracy”, according to their website.
Founded in 2009, the party is based on the Pirate Party of Sweden – whose sudden popularity in 2006 created a rise of parties with similar names and goals around the world.
Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party (HEMP)
It’s probably fair to say this party’s intentions are pretty self explanatory.
But for anyone who is unsure of what they stand for, the party’s website says it wants "to integrate the whole plant into our everyday lives for medicine, food security, the environment and social harmony".
Based in Nimbin, the unofficial cannabis capital of Australia, it was set up in 1993 and runs for the Senate in all states and territories.
Yellow Vest Australia
If the Yellow Vest Party doesn’t ring a bell, it could be because they’ve recently changed their name.
Before the 2019 campaign began, the party was known as Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA).
The party aims to move away from ‘big government’, and stands for “an integrated multi-ethnic society with one set of laws for all, regardless of colour, gender or creed”.
The Yellow Vest Party is built on Judaeo-Christian and humanistic foundations and believes there is no place for racism, political correctness or tolerance for the intolerant.
Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party
It’s safe to say we’re all well aware who Senator Fraser Anning is.
The politician was catapulted into the limelight following his controversial comments in the wake of the Christchurch Massacre and his subsequent egging by the aptly named ‘Egg Boy’.
But have you ever wondered what his party is actually all about?
As expected, it’s a far-right party that plans to introduce “social cohesion by an immigration program that gives preference to those best able to integrate and assimilate.”
A topical policy is the party’s push to the right to own firearms and the ability to use them in self-defence.
The party is running for Senate across all states and territories.
The Science Party “aims to increase the opportunity for individuals and push society towards the pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of all of humanity,” its website states.
At the heart of their plans, the party wants to double scientific research funding to $18.4b while they’d look to implement an Australian space agency.
Legalising driverless car testing and increasing health research to end ageing is also high on their agenda.
Voters in NSW will be the only state where the party appears on ballot papers.
The party probably doesn’t catch the eye as much as it used to since its change of name in 2009.
The Reason Party was formally known as the Australian Sex Party and was born out of an adult-industry lobby group in 2009.
The party’s policies focus on drug reform (including a push for pill testing at music festivals), limiting the influence of the gambling industry, increasing vaccination awareness and decriminalising sex work.
Reason Party leader and Victorian MP Fiona Pattern is a former sex worker who has been considering a name change for the party since she was elected to the Victorian upper house in 2014.
"The Sex Party was this grand, bright new child on the block. Now I think we've grown up and we're at another level,” she said, according to the Bendigo Advertiser.
Rather than just a name change, the Australian Sex Party was completely closed down and the Reason Party was formed as a new party.
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