Today we mark our national day of national celebration, Australia Day. There is certainly a lot to celebrate. We have a long history of stable, functional liberal democracy. We are peaceful, prosperous, and, as our anthem proclaims, “young and free”. As a nation we enjoy the type of ongoing progress that makes all our lives better – scientific, technological, social and political. However, this is also a difficult occasion to celebrate with untempered enthusiasm. For of course, it is the anniversary of British settlement – that is to say, the day the First Fleet arrived and forcefully took possession of this continent from its native people. Indigenous activists have every reason to prefer to call it “Invasion Day”, as it was indeed an armed invasion. Sadly, until very recently in our history, even this simple fact was not acknowledged; possession was claimed by the Crown neither by conquest nor a negotiated treaty, but the doctrine of Terra Nullius. Essentially, this was legal pretence that the land was uninhabited, that the previous owners simply did not exist. The forceful conquest together with the refusal to acknowledge it as such was a deep and tragic injustice, and its effects are still felt to this day in the ongoing dislocation and marginalisation suffered by Indigenous Australians.
The recent media attention on the tragic cases of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie has forced NSW to finally introspect and think about violence that we see directed towards young men and women. This is welcome, but unfortunately the response of the politicians in this state has been completely wrong.
The Federal Government has released a report on the state of the National Broadband Network (NBN). In particular, the report discusses the possibility of budget blowouts, and a failure to meet the deadlines promised by the Coalition. The new proposal to bring the NBN under budget will use pre-existing cable TV networks to provide connections. This means slower speeds for people covered by the NBN, while many apartments will not even be connected to the NBN. Contribute to this response: email@example.com The Future Party wants to respond to this. We want members to read the report’s executive summary (and the rest of the document if possible) so we can get firm ideas for a response to the proposed reduction in the quality of the NBN. Submissions close 31st of January 2014. We see technology as an important aspect of Australia’s success in the future, and we hope that you can help us to represent your thoughts and ideas about the NBN to the government. We would love to hear your critical appraisal on the Facebook page or at our monthly meeting in Sydney on the 15th Jan 2014. Please come along to talk about the next steps.
Many of you have joined us on Facebook to engage in heated debates over various controversial issues. If you’re in Sydney and would like to continue these discussions face-to-face, we meet every month on the 3rd Wednesday for our members meetings.
The Future Party today announced their 20/20 vision report – a plan to have a total net migration intake of 20 million people over the next 20 years to guarantee Australia’s future prosperity. The plan is built on the back of modelling results that show a demographic crisis will occur within 20 years without an immediate change to immigration policy.
Below you can find our preference list along with a short explanation of our choices.
- Future Party
- Building Australia Party
- Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP)
- Secular Party
- Bullet Train for Australia
- Australian Independents Party
- Senator Online
- Stop CSG
- Drug Law Reform Party
- Sex Party
- Animal Justice Party
- Wang, Tom (unaffiliated group AG)
- Carers Alliance
- Australian Democrats
- Voluntary Euthanasia Party
- The Greens
- Liberal Democrats (LDP)
- Pirate Party*
- Labor **
- Liberal/Nationals **
- Palmer United Party
- Socialist Alliance
- Socialist Equality
- Shooters and Fishers
- Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
- Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party
- Australian Republicans
- Smokers Rights Party
- Stable Population Party
- Non-custodial Parents Party
- Katter’s Australia Party
- Democratic Labor Party
- Family First
- Uniting Australia Party
- Stop the Greens
- No Carbon Tax / Climate Skeptics
- Australian Protectionist Party
- Whelan, Andrew (unaffiliated group F) ***
- Ungrouped candidates***
- Australian Voice Party
- Christian Democrat Party (Fred Nile Group)
- One Nation
- Rise Up Australia
- Australia First
The group ticket was determined on the basis of three criteria:
- Policy and values overlap
- Negotiated preference deals.
- A bias toward smaller parties over large parties
To see every party’s official preferences for the NSW Senate seat, click here.
Notes on some of the specific choices within this list:
* The Pirate Party told us they would not be doing preference deals and were instead having a vote of the membership to determine the group ticket, which they would publish on their website. This was certainly a decision we could respect as the Group Ticketing system is fundamentally flawed and undemocratic, with a high degree of incentive toward tactical voting and backroom deals. Accordingly at their request we wrote an open letter to their membership pointing out the high degree of policy overlap we had and offering to unilaterally preference them as least as high as they voted to preference us. However as the end of the draw on Friday, less than 24 hours before close of group ticket lodgements, they had not apparently had a vote, or decided on a preference list by other means. Hence we ultimately preferenced them lower than we had originally intended.
** The choice of how to preference the major parties was not a light one. Unfortunately under Abbott’s leadership the small l liberal aspect of the Coalition has been strongly de-emphasised and conservatism has become front and centre. Furthermore the Coalition’s primary message now almost entirely concerns managerial competence and not policy ambition, which may be a legitimate case to make regarding the house of representatives but has no role in the Senate. Their economics have been almost entirely populist rather than liberal, and of course exploiting xenophobia against asylum seekers for electoral gain is antithetical to Future Party values. On many major issues where the Coalition does have stated policy, it stands in direct opposition to our own, for instance, carbon pricing and the NBN. We also had to consider the likelihood of a Coalition victory in the lower house and the advantages of a Senate acting as a counterbalance to the government of the day.
*** Our basic methodology in distributing preferences beyond groups we had deals with was to first split the parties into “tiers” and then rank them within those tiers. In the case of both the unendorsed and ungrouped candidates we had no way of evaluating what they stood for and thus erred on the side of caution, ranking them behind all other tiers bar the last one. The exception was the “AG” column unendorsed group, headed by Tom Wang. We spoke to a representative of theirs in person at the ballot draw and therefore were able to form a (favourable) view on their policy platform.
We ranked individual candidates from each party in the order printed on the ticket (top down); for the ungrouped candidates we ranked them bottom up, on an ‘anti-donkey’ vote principle.
The purpose of this document is to discover all of the necessary points of consideration in the debate about refugees in an impartial, fact informed manner. The Future Party currently has no formal stance on how to prevent refugee deaths at sea. However, we do intend to increase refugee immigration intake significantly, regardless of policy with regards to irregular arrivals. We consider ourselves to be the most pro-immigration party in Australia.
We have taken the time and effort to outline some of the core arguments and some general conclusions. We do not believe that we have the answers to all problems. However, we believe that there are some arguments and assumptions that make sense, and others that don’t make sense at all. We hope that by reading through this document, and the initial conclusions, you can understand how the Future Party will use its power in the senate to ensure Australia continues to be a country that provides assistance to refugees while preventing perverse incentives that threaten the lives of people we wish to protect.
The Future Party endorses the redevelopment plans announced by the NSW state government earlier today. The plans would see development being built above open areas of the rail corridor between Redfern and Central station. Currently, the area is little more than a vast expanse of open air-train tracks. The state government is aiming to attract developers to submit plans for the area, which will likely feature a number of high-rise apartments and office buildings. The development will also aim to let pedestrians cross the rail corridor much more easily.
Increase housing supply is the key to easing the housing affordability crisis in Sydney and other major centres in Australia, and high density urban infill that is well supported by existing and new infrastructure is by far the most effective way to increase supply. The Central-Redfern rail corridor is the main public transport artery of the city and an ideal location to make use of unutilized space.
Higher population densities in inner city areas with matching investments in infrastructure is a key policy of the Future Party. Greater density means shorter travel times to jobs, and reduced per capita infrastructure costs for government. It also provides benefits to residents by putting more services within easy travelling distances of their homes.
The NSW government is to be congratulated for promoting these ideas, and it is essential that they follow through and deliver them – Sydney can’t afford yet another unrealised planning vision. The Future Party hopes we will see politicians of all parties around the nation come to terms with reality – that our cities badly need more housing and more density, if young people and struggling are to afford rents let alone home ownership.
If you would like to read the full proposal, it is available as a PDF here.