People know the word sex gets attention, so having it in your party name gets you noticed, says Amber Petty.
I heard there was some sort of Australian Sex Party out there, thanks to Adelaide agency Fnuky's cheeky 2010 election campaign for them, aptly titled Jerk Choices.
At the time, I rather naively thought they might be a bunch of randy people whose mission it was to have us all propped up at strip shows or running around nude at the beach. Although why they'd want us nude at the beach, I don't know.
So when I met a smart young man recently who insisted I must meet his friend Fiona Patten, a member of the Australian Sex Party, I was a little intrigued. Intrigued to think he saw more sex in me than I have seen in myself but, as they say, sex sells and I was on board for an introduction.
I walked into our meeting place, eyes darting around to see if I could guess who looked the most like a "sex party" candidate.
Far from being what my gullible self may have presumed seeing - a woman in tasselled bikini top waving a copy of FHM at me - an elegantly dressed lady smiled across at me.
I decided that if anyone was looking sex party, whatever that even means, it was probably more me.
Fiona is clever and committed and just happens to be passionate about a lot of things that relate to sex and the adult entertainment industry. Which I might add is far broader than vibrators and sex workers, people. So many questions, so little time.
Most people understand the word sex is guaranteed to get attention. So having it in your party name is going to get you talked about, and Fiona knows that. However, after learning more about their policies, I was genuinely impressed.
Indeed, the weightiness of some of their major social policies overshadowed the connotations embedded in the party's catchy name.
For instance, there is their stance on drugs and abolishing crime penalties for people found purchasing, carrying and consuming drugs for personal use.
As a headline, this might not sound like a great idea but dig a bit further and there is merit to its premise.
For example, the ASP models its drugs policy on Portugal, a country well known for its drug issues (especially hard-core drugs) in the past.
In 2001, Portugal became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Under that country's current laws, people found in possession of small amounts of drugs are sent to face a panel comprising a psychologist, a social worker and a legal adviser.
The panel puts the person under what I see as a healthy interrogation to find out, first, the extent of their drug use, but with the aim getting to the real root of the problem, which isn't always about the drugs.
Fiona herself visited Portugal and was privy to the process first-hand.
She witnessed one particular young man who did not actually have an issue with drugs as such.
As a result of the non-judgmental and thorough panel discussion, he admitted that he only did the drugs after consuming alcohol.
From follow-up questions on how often he was going out for a drink and all the steps that led up to this, it became clear that this was simply a man with a temporary drink problem.
He drank because he was lost. He didn't have enough of a sense of purpose by way of a job, so this became the starting point of fixing his drug issue and all the dark dots in between.
Not rocket science, just an acknowledgment by a progressive government which accepts that working backwards often leads to the real issue.
The problem with most people who make laws and decisions about drugs is that they themselves have never done drugs. They may well know a lot about what's popular opinion on an issue.
But their mission should be about helping people in society who are beginning to get off course, not treating them like they are already at The End.
Source: Adelaide Now