Julia Gillard sits at her desk, behind her are collection of personal photographs with her smiling with her friends and her partner. The positioning of these photographs, the fact she is dressed completely in white and is sitting down are not random happenings. This scene has been carefully plotted by the Labor party so the public feels like they can relate to Ms Gillard as a person and in no way should she come across as threatening. Three weeks ago she became the 27th Prime Minister of Australia after the Labor party decided the public’s opinion of Kevin Rudd had changed so dramatically it would surely lose the imminent federal election if they went into it with him installed as their leader. Today she is announcing that we will be given the opportunity to choose if we would like to give her the chance to prove herself as our Prime Minister or if we would prefer the Liberal Party offering of Tony Abbot.
Even though Australia doesn’t operate on a two party system there really isn’t any chance a party besides Labor or the Liberals could get enough votes to form government. This year the race looks to be quite close, which means whichever minor party who manages to do well may have a major influence over the direction this country takes over the next four years.
The major parties focus their policies on who will get them the most votes and that means older generations, religious groups and big business. The minor parties potentially can reach a lot of voters who feel alienated by not being able to relate to the “important issues” that the major parties keep telling them about.
One such minor party is the newly formed Australia Sex Party. The ASP was formed in 2008 and had it’s official launch at the Melbourne Sexpo. The leader of the party is Fiona Patten, who is also the the CEO of Eros Association – Australian’s national adult retail and entertainment association. With beginnings in the adult industry and featuring the word “sex” in their name the ASP certainly isn’t going after the conservative vote. Such conservative voters would be appalled with the ASP’s policies such as introducing a R 18+ and X rating for category video games, abandoning Senator Conroy’s planned Internet filter, ending tax exempt status for religious groups and creating a national uniform law on pregnancy termination making it similar to divorce law so that women to could seek a legal, no-fault and guilt free process for termination.
Whatever the outcome on Saturday August 21 one thing we know for sure is that we are going to be seeing and hearing a lot more, more than most of us would normally like, from the main candidates. Hopefully the focus will be on what the party will be able to do for the country, if we reward them with our vote, and doesn’t just descend into a childish blame game that is all to common in Australian politics.
The election is on Saturday August 21.
The Mission Statement The Australian Sex Party is a political response to the sexual needs of Australia in the 21st century. It is an attempt to restore the balance between sexual privacy and sexual publicity that has been severely distorted by morals campaigners and prudish politicians. Tolerance of sexual free speech and sexual expression is one of the main hallmarks of free and democratic nations. Intolerance of these qualities is one of the hallmarks of autocracies, dictatorships and theocracies. The vast majority of Australians are relaxed and tolerant of a broad spectrum of sexual expression but state and federal governments have increasingly ignored this demographic and pursued policies and legislation that have restricted sexual free speech and expression – often under threat of large fines and even jail sentences. The Sex Party is fed up with wowserism in Australian parliaments. It is frustrated by the lip service paid to gender equality and sexual identity by the major parties when real and meaningful law reform stalls on factionalism and behind the scenes handshakes with religious leaders. The Party has registered with the Australian Electoral Commission and has signaled its intention to field candidates at all levels of government over the coming years.
- Bring about the establishment of a truly national classification scheme which includes a uniform non-violent erotica rating for explicit adult material for all jurisdictions and through all media including the Internet and computer games.
- Introduce an R and X rating for computer games
- To overturn mandatory ISP filtering of the Internet and return Internet censorship to parents and individuals.
- We oppose the mandatory retention of all Australian users’ internet browsing history and emails by ISPs for at-will inspection by law enforcement agencies, and support strong judicial oversight over the ability of law enforcement to access individuals’ internet and email data.
- To bring about the development of a national sex education curriculum as a first step in preventing the sexualisation of children.
- Development of a national internet education scheme for parents.
- To enact national anti discrimination laws which make it illegal to unfairly discriminate against people or companies on the basis of job, occupation, profession or calling.
- To bring about equal numbers of women in the Parliament through enabling the Federal Discrimination Act to have jurisdiction extending to political parties.
- To create total equal rights in all areas of the law for gay, lesbian and transsexuals.
- Overturn racist laws that ban adults living in and visiting aboriginal communities in the NT from possessing erotic and sexual media.
- Ensure the sexual rights and freedoms of people with a disability and the elderly.
- To enact national pregnancy termination laws along the same lines as divorce law — which allow for legal, no-fault and guilt-free processes for women seeking termination.
- The listing of Viagra, Cialis and other drugs used to treat sexual dysfunction, on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
- Overturn restrictions on aid to overseas family planning organisations that reference abortion.
- Protection of Children
- Convene a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in the nation’s religious institutions.
- Develop global approaches to tackling child pornography which focus on detection and apprehension of the producers of the material.
- Ensure that the introduction of paid maternity leave is fair and equitable for small businesses.
- Abolish sex slavery and sexual servitude by introducing non morality-based immigration policies that allow bona-fide sex workers to work legally in Australia.
- Ending the tax exempt status for religions.