Lazy Luddite Log

28.4.19

2019 Federal Clumps

I’m adapting my Clumps for the use of progressive voters in the 2019 Australian Federal Election for the Victorian Senate contest. Gone is my complex ideological model for something that better fits the spirit of the age. What punters ask is simply ‘are they on my side?’ I can answer by sorting all the parties into just three clumps named (1) Yes (2) Maybe (3) No.

Another way to look at these clumps is by reference to the two major parties: (1) Better Than Labor (2) Between Labor And Liberal / National (3) Worse Than Liberal / National.

You need to number six-or-more groups above the line or twelve-or-more candidates below the line on the Senate white ballot paper.

I provide short descriptions of parties to help in the task of arranging preferences within (or indeed across) my three clumps. In preparing for this I made a study of the candidates via Wikipedia, party websites and media reports. I will overlook the preference recommendations of parties because such decisions are often strategic rather than political.

Within each clump I present the parties in alphabetical order.

1. THE ‘YES’ CLUMP – BETTER THAN LABOR

Australian Democrats – This social-liberal party is a pale ghost of its former self but still has a progressive platform to warrant its inclusion on this list.

Australian Workers Party - This is a social-democratic party with a focus on getting governments back to supporting employees and local jobs. Are economic protectionists but, unlike others further down this list, reject cultural isolationism. Are basically like left-faction Labor if they were independent.

The Greens (Vic) – This is the most successful progressive party in Australia with a strong presence at all levels of representation. They have grown into an effective force for reform in the Senate.

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party – These activists wish to integrate hemp products into our economy and society on environmental, harm-minimization and personal autonomy grounds.

Pirate Party - This party is populated by Internet geeks and presents policy in the form of a member-run wiki. They are particularly interested in online civil rights and privacy issues.

2. THE ‘MAYBE’ CLUMP – BETWEEN LABOR AND LIBERAL / NATIONAL

Animal Justice Party - This party focuses on animal liberation and veganism. I’m okay with much of what they say but some may find them too radical for their tastes.

Derryn Hinch's Justice Party - Normally one expects ‘law and order’ candidates to be conservative but this party is more difficult to box. Some would argue that they are moderates because ‘the pendulum has swung too far’ on issues of criminal justice. On a host of other issues it almost looks like Hinch just tosses a coin to make a decision.

Health Australia Party - This party focuses on health issues and on the surface look fine. But if you take a closer look you find a connection with alternative medicine and New Age beliefs. Take only as recommended and make sure you are inoculated.

Independents For Climate Action Now - They say that addressing climate change is so important that it needs politicians solely focused on it who can work with all everyone across the political spectrum to act while we still can.

Republican Party Of Australia - A party focused on political reforms such as us becoming a republic. Vague on other issues and so look okay but best to be wary.

Secular Party Of Australia - I suspect many in this party forget that a secular society is one that accommodates all religions rather than one that lacks them. However they may provide a useful counterpoint in an electoral contest that includes many fundamentalist religious parties.

The Small Business Party – These are classical liberals who say that the self-employed and small-time employers are undervalued for the economic contribution they make. Leader Angela Vithoulkas is into some innovative concepts such as a city ‘night mayor’.

Socialist Equality Party - This is a Marxist-Leninist group. On an issue-by-issue basis you may well agree with them on many things but personally I have a problem with anyone whose doctrine includes talk of violent revolution.

Sunny Chandra & Robert Whitehall - This group have a focus on regional development by prioritizing non-urban areas for immigration.

Sustainable Australia - This party seems to think that population within our borders is the only issue that defines environmental problems, rather than the consumption patterns of persons and industry worldwide.

Ungrouped - The problem with independents is that it is difficult to find information on many of them and they can represent any kind of politics. Err on the side of caution unless you have information on specific candidates. These candidates only appear below-the-line.

Voteflux | Upgrade Democracy! - This party has a gimmick rather than an ideology. They have an app rather than any kind of policy platform. If they have opinions nobody will know because they will do whatever they are told by whatever group of voters can be bothered getting online and directing them.

3. THE ‘NO’ CLUMP – WORSE THAN LIBERAL / NATIONAL

Australian Conservatives - The party started by Cory Bernardi who felt that the Coalition were lacking in religious conviction. Basically like Liberal / National but more morally conservative.

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) - For these fundamentalist protestants everything is dictated by what they want to think God says. A wonderful excuse for prejudice towards anyone who is different from them in terms of sexuality or family values or religion.

Citizens Electoral Council - The CEC is an insular cult-like group with international connections to the LaRouche Movement. They think some of the strangest things and nobody trusts them. They deride rock-and-roll and for that alone I oppose them.

Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians! - Formerly named Senator Online and with a similar modus-operandi to VoteFlux but here’s the thing – plebiscitary politics tends towards mob rule. The shouty new name for this group presages that, hence me placing them here among the scary populists.

Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party - The former One Nation splinter group of our worst senator. This time you can cry ‘fascist’ and I will nod in agreement.

The Great Australian Party - The party of former One Nation senator-elect Rod Culleton who was ineligible due to bankruptcy. Fixated on particular legal and financial issues (fancy that).

Labour DLP - The Democratic Labour Party is morally conservative and economically protectionist. Its members tend to be drawn from the working class Roman Catholic community.

Liberal Democrats - These libertarians with a deceptive party name want to minimize public sector involvement in all aspects of life except legal defense of person and property. In advocating for such they enjoy dismissing the needs of everyone along the way.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation - This party of xenophobes and malcontents just keeps on coming back. They fragment and rupture but always seem to find fresh blood for one more shot at tarnishing our polity.

Rise Up Australia Party – A party of fundamentalist protestants founded by Pentecostal minister Danny Nalliah. Even more extreme than the Fred Nile Group. Are anti-environmentalists and all kinds of phobic.

Shooters, Fishers And Farmers - You might think Ricky Muir is alright but these hoons want to hunt and fish across the land. Overall are pretty conservative while wishing to limit further natural conservation.

United Australia Party - Clive Palmer is back for more and bags of dosh help him do that. If he had a normal ego I suspect he would just be another Liberal or National member. This is pretty much a party for maverick neo-conservatives.

Yellow Vest Australia - These jerks ran last year as the so-called Australian Liberty Alliance. Are seeking to associate themselves with that French protest movement but are nothing but angry home-grown xenophobes. I keep calling them ‘yellow jackets’ and they are rather WASPish.

I'm happy to discuss these and other parties in comments or private message if you prefer. I will also edit content as new information comes to hand..

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Dumber Clumps

Some month ago I presented a new and simpler form of my ‘Clumps’ analysis of political parties for the 2018 Victorian State Election on Facebook. However I forgot to also blog it so I'm adding it here now...

I’m adapting my Clumps for the use of progressive voters in the 2018 Victorian State Election Legislative Council region of Southern Metropolitan. I’m also abandoning my rather complex ideological model for something that better fits the spirit of the age.

What punters ask is simply ‘are they on my side?’ I can answer by sorting all the parties into just three clumps named (1) Yes (2) Maybe (3) No.

Another way to look at these clumps is by reference to the two major parties: (1) Better Than Labor (2) Between Labor And Liberal / National (3) Worse Than Liberal / National.

I will provide short descriptions of parties to help in the task of arranging preferences within (or indeed across) my three clumps.

In preparing for this I have made a study of the candidates via Wikipedia, party websites and media reports. I overlook the preference recommendations of parties because such decisions are often strategic rather than political.

If you live in one of the other seven Legislative Council regions you will need to do your own research (but will see many of these same names).

The Victorian Legislative Council election uses non-exhaustive preferential voting. If you choose to go below the line you only need to vote for five candidates by filling in the numbers 1 to 5. Just my ‘Yes’ clump will provide more than five candidates for anyone wishing to follow my advice.

Within each clump I present the candidates in alphabetical order.

1. THE ‘YES’ CLUMP – BETTER THAN LABOR

Australian Greens - The Greens are the most successful progressive party in Australia with a strong presence at all levels of representation. They have grown into an effective force for reform, with five members in the Legislative Council and another three in the Legislative Assembly.

Fiona Patten’s Reason Party - The Sex Party changed its name to Reason to more fully reflect its positions on civil rights, personal autonomy, harm-minimization, evidence-based debate, cosmopolitan values and a mixed economy, all from a secular liberal perspective.

Voluntary Euthanasia Party (Victoria) - This issue-specific group has the aim of improving palliative care and preserving death-with-dignity for the terminally ill in this state.

2. THE ‘MAYBE’ CLUMP – BETWEEN LABOR AND LIBERAL / NATIONAL

Animal Justice Party - This party focuses on animal liberation and veganism. I’m cool with much of what they say except for the banning of kangaroo consumption – skippy is too tasty.

Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party - Normally one expects ‘law and order’ candidates to be conservative but this party is more difficult to box. Some would argue that they are moderates because ‘the pendulum has swung too far’ on issues of criminal justice. On a host of other issues it almost looks like Hinch just tosses a coin to make a decision.

Health Australia Party - This party focuses on, well, health issues and on the surface look fine. But if you take a closer look you find a connection with alternative medicine and New Age beliefs. Take only as recommended.

Hudson 4NV - Josh Hudson of Tatura is a rural independent who has decided he will improve his profile if he has a party name and fellow candidates across the state. His priority is for Northern Victoria and he name-drops respected independents (at both state and federal levels) from that region. His proposals seem fine for his electorate but I’m voting in Southern Metro you cheeky bastard!

Sustainable Australia – This party seems to think that population within our borders is the only issue that defines environmental problems, rather than the consumption patterns of persons and industry worldwide. Honestly, there are better environmentalists on this list.

Transport Matters – This ticket was started by taxi drivers challenged by the advent of ride-sharing schemes. They have quickly developed a platform for the expansion of both private and public transport infrastructure. Apparently taxi drivers are in a prime position to talk passengers into voting for this party, so be prepared if you take a taxi in the next few weeks.

Victorian Socialists – This electoral alliance has a large program intended to attract working class votes. On many isolated issues I agree with them but I cannot overlook the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of violent revolution that motivates key affiliates of this alliance. It’s also difficult to forget how annoyingly domineering they can be within activist and student movements.

3. THE ‘NO’ CLUMP – WORSE THAN LIBERAL / NATIONAL

Aussie Battler Party – What a dodgy name! I took a gander and saw the writings of an erratic thinker who is frustrated with contemporary mores, bureaucracy, corporations and the world beyond our shores. I reckon sometimes private citizens should just stay that way and let others take care of public life.

Australian Country Party - This party is for former Nationals who wish to be more economically protectionist and culturally isolationist than the Coalition will let them. Rural-identifying yet moderate voters would be better off finding another party to support.

Australian Liberty Alliance - These jerks talk the libertarian talk while walking a militant xenophobic path. Of my own free will I declare them the worst party in this election.

Labour DLP - The Democratic Labour Party is morally conservative and economically protectionist. Its members tend to be drawn from the working class Roman Catholic community.

Liberal Democrats - These libertarians with a deceptive party name want to minimize public sector involvement in all aspects of life except legal defense of person and property. In advocating for such they enjoy dismissing the needs of everyone along the way.

Shooters Fishers & Farmers Vic - These hoons want to hunt and fish across the state. Are pretty conservative while wishing to limit further natural conservation.

And this same week I have blogged a similar advice column for the 2019 Federal Election...

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