ASP News & Updates

Nous Sommes Charlie!

Sent to the French Embassy in Canberra, 8.1.15

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Fiona’s First Vote

Fiona-in-Parliament

Fiona (in blue) sits on the cross bench for the first time.

 

On Tuesday 23rd December I was sworn into the Victorian Parliament and cast my first vote. It was to elect a President for the Legislative Council. The President acts much like the Speaker in the lower house except that their vote is counted the same as any other member of the Council.

 

There were two nominations for the job – the Liberal incumbent, Bruce Atkinson and Labor’s Gayle Tierney.

 

In the days leading up to the opening of parliament, surprisingly there was very little lobbying for either candidate. As someone new to this game, I wondered if the choice of President was a little like the selection of the Pope, where it is considered poor form to campaign on behalf of a candidate and we all just sit back and wait for the puff of white smoke to appear on top of the building!

 

I’ve known Bruce Atkinson for many years and on matters of social policy we agree on many things. He’s pro-choice and anti-censorship. His Presidency has been recognised as fair and balanced by many on both sides of parliament. From what I had read about Gayle Tierney on her website, she seemed like an impressive character but I didn’t know her personally and had never spoken to her. More to the point I suppose was the fact that she hadn’t called to introduce herself and have a chat. As many of my friends will attest, I’m the sort of person who loves a chat and it’s the way I tend to evaluate people, rather than what I just read about them. Premier Daniel Andrews was on record as saying that he would be working hard to negotiate with the cross bench in the Upper House to make sure they voted for his agenda. Neither he nor Labor’s candidate called anyone on the cross bench to see how they would be voting.

 

While protocol may have dictated that the government should hold the position of President, Labor doesn’t have a majority of seats in the Legislative Council. They have 14 seats and so do the Libs. The remaining 12 seats on the cross bench are drawn from six different parties and in my opinion, it is not in our interests for Labor to hold the position of President. As it turned out, my colleagues from the smaller parties disagreed with me and voted for the government candidate. One would have expected the Shooters Party and the DLP to vote for the conservative candidate but it was the Greens and myself, voting quite independently of each other, that elected Bruce.

 

I believe that my chances of getting a fair hearing in the parliament are better served with a non-government President. The President maintains the order of debate and standing order 12.07 states that the President should have regard to the proportionality of the political representation in the Upper House. From an independent perspective, this is a crucial standing order and one I feel will be better upheld via a non-government President.

 

Acclaim Magazine Posts New Sex Party/Lush Vid

Melbourne’s top inner-city hipster mag has posted the Sex Party’s new joint
production with celebrated artist, Lush, in a hilarious swipe at conservative political
messages. Check it out here.

Read more: Acclaim Magazine Posts New Sex Party/Lush Vid

Euthanasia and Sex: Little and Big Deaths Join Forces

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The Voluntary Euthanasia Party and the Australian Sex Party will come together tomorrow morning, at 11am, on the steps of Parliament House for a media conference.

Dr Phillip Nitschke and Fiona Patten will announce their formal preference swap arrangement for the Upper House, with both parties going straight to each other in Southern and Northern Metro.

Voluntary euthanasia is demonstrably the biggest single issue where both major parties are out of step with community opinion and the opinions of their own party members. The ABC’s Vote Compass poll showed that 71% of Coalition voters want voluntary euthanasia legalised while 79% of Labor voters do. However both parliamentary parties remain implacably opposed to initiating new laws.

Read more: Euthanasia and Sex: Little and Big Deaths Join Forces

Victoria - you can vote for us everywhere

Our candidates are standing throughout Victoria.

Find out more about them here

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HTV-UpperHouse

The Sex, Votes and Rock ‘n Roll Election Campaign

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The Australian Sex Party and The Basics Rock 'n Roll Party have announced a formal preference swap in the upper house region of Northern Metro for the upcoming Victorian State election and will celebrate their union with a joint campaign through the streets of Melbourne this Sunday.

Rock n Roll and Sex will campaign together off the back of a decked-out, six metre flat bed truck this Sunday, 23rd November, with The Basics playing live for the crowds. It's a cheeky hat tip to AC/DC’s famous “It’s A Long Way to the Top”, 1975 ,truck gig along Swanston st.

Read more: The Sex, Votes and Rock ‘n Roll Election Campaign

The Recent Face the Music Summit

The recent Face the Music summit held an industry forum to debate the politics of music in Victoria. I was on a panel with Liberal, Labor and Greens representatives as well as Kris Schroeder from the Basics – Rock ‘n Roll Party. Kris has had a bit of negative feedback on his contribution but I think we need a bit of perspective here in the way people perform in different forums.

Read more: The Recent Face the Music Summit

Statement on the East-West Link project

The East-West Link is a project that is ironically dividing Victorians when its stated goal was to link them. Criticisms of the project and the way it has been handled by the Napthine government are many, and many of them are well founded.

The Australian Sex Party supports transparent and open government and the Napthine government has clearly failed the test when it comes to openness and transparency regarding the East-West Link project. The Australian Sex Party cannot support the project without a public release of the full business case and an independent review by Infrastructure Australia that detailed vastly improved economic benefits. 
Claims that stage one of the East-West Link project would clear congestion in the inner city are vastly overstated. The current design lacks city access and we are concerned about the loss of green space in Royal Park. It should not proceed in its current design. Under investment in major public transport infrastructure in Melbourne must be addressed.

Read more: Statement on the East-West Link project

Sex Party Announces Richmond Candidate

The Australian Sex Party has announced that its candidate for the District of Richmond in the coming State Election is Nevena Spirovska.

The Sex Party’s run for Richmond in the 2010 State Election drew a lot of attention. It campaigned strongly against the Green’s candidate, Kathleen Maltzahn, due to her support for what is coined the Nordic model which effectively outlaws sex work by making the clients criminals. This effectively makes sex work illegal as it was in the bad old days of the Bolte government. It would work against everything we know about the positive health outcomes of a legal industry. It is a patronising position that further stigmatises sex workers and of course their clients.

Read more: Sex Party Announces Richmond Candidate

Sex Party Attends 'Prevention, Treatment and Reducing the Harms: Alcohol and Other Drug Priorities up to 2018'

On Friday the 17th of October, the peak body representing Alcohol and Other Drug (AoD) services, the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) held a pre-election event. Representatives from The Sex Party, Labor Party, Liberal Party and The Greens joined ABC 774 breakfast host Jon Faine in discussing the future direction for alcohol and drug policy in Victoria.

The Alcohol Policy Coalition put forward five recommendations to improving the state of alcohol regulation and health outcomes in Victoria for candidates to consider. Only one candidate confirmed their parties support for recommendations including 10pm closing times for bottle shops, 3am close times for bars and restrictions on alcohol advertising.

Read more: Sex Party Attends 'Prevention, Treatment and Reducing the Harms: Alcohol and Other Drug...