Lazy Luddite Log


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.


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.


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 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.


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 the 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.



  • This time I got fewer comments on the usefulness of my work. I also noticed that more friends (or friends of friends) were making their own Senate guides. The other thing (which was a bit frustrating) was that some friends expressed the topsy-turvy belief that critiquing the substantive policy of a party is 'being soft on them' as opposed to speculating wildly on their suspected motives.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 19 May, 2019  

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