Herein lies a list of the parties you might not have heard of running for seats in the Victorian State Election.
Content warning: drugs, abortion, homophobia and transphobia, implied threats of violence, voluntary assisted dying.
Herein lies a list of the parties you might not have heard of running for seats in the Legislative Council, in alphabetical order and omitting the big three (Labor, Liberal, Greens), because they get enough screen time. Note that this has been interpreted through the inescapable prism of my own opinion, so I do highly recommend sussing out these parties and your local candidates in your own time! If you want a very in depth-analysis of all things related to your district/region, the ABC has an excellent comprehensive summary of all the candidates, voting history, political leanings, and more. WIth that out of the way, here are our parties!
1. Angry Victorians Party
First off the bat, we have a party with a disturbing amount of redundant capitalisation in their website. The Angry Victorians Party is the Victorian offshoot of the Australian Values Party, headed by veteran and ex-police officer Chris Burson. Self-proclaimed centrists, their policies (catch-all federal ones are what is available) focus on accountability and governmental investigation, veteran affairs and defence, amongst other to-be-expected areas such as immigration, education, housing, energy, and health. To their credit, their policies and statements seem to have a lot more thought put into them than some of the others on this list. If you’ve been following election news at all, you might know that they have recently made headlines for exposing a video of preference whisperer Glenn Druery detailing how the current group voting ticket system shapes (read: rigs) Victorian politics. Icky stuff. Buuut…. current sitting MP Catherine Cumming, who is running again with Angry Victorians, also recently made news for stating at an anti-lockdown rally she wanted to turn Daniel Andrews into “red mist”. In all of the voting tickets I read for them (which was half, fyi) they did put One Nation candidates above both the Greens and Labor. So… do with that information what you will?
2. Animal Justice Party
These peeps are here for the animals in just about every way you have (and probably haven’t) imagined. Advocates for pets, wildlife and the planet, a notable young candidate of theirs is Meg Watkins, running for the Western Metro region in the upper house. They made very interesting news with the aforementioned Glenn Druery, bamboozling him into negotiating preference deals that they then completely ignored in their own preferencing entry, minutes before GVT registrations closed. What a spicy move! An interesting election promise is for “veticare”, which is exactly what it sounds like.
3. Companions and Pets Party
Never before has a party said “we’re definitely drafting those policies for the election on Saturday! Be there soon!” with such temerity. That’s suspicious. That’s weird. So weird that it was time to consult the voting tickets. Now I don’t want to draw quick conclusions, but this party seems to be a bit of a shell party with their next preferences going exclusively to the Liberals. One of their only tangible policies is their pro-racing position statement, and apparently they want to prevent pets from being considered property. But, who am I to say that people shouldn’t have a political party for their right to have pets? Although I wasn’t aware of that particular right being infringed. Don’t worry everyone: rest assured that Chairperson John Hutchinson is well-versed in the Bichon Frise.
4. Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
Conservative is putting it nicely. Interesting candidates for this party are Adem Somyurek, a former Labor MP, and Bernie Finn, A former Liberal MP. Both have been expelled from their parties at different points and have quite interesting views, Finn having expressed his belief in the criminalisation of abortion, and Somyurek being the object of numerous scandals, relating to branch stacking and offensive language, among others. A big talking point seems to be that climate change is nonsense as well.
5. Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
A party whose primary focus is on increasing criminal sanctions and reforming bail, parole and domestic violence laws to make them more stringent. They also have positions on a few other issues like voluntary assisted dying and aged care, but these are quite brief. They have two candidates for each region of Victoria, and a few districts. If he is successful in the Southern Metropolitan Region, the eponymous candidate will be the oldest ever sitting MP at 78.
6. Family First Victoria
A party which claims that “transphobic” and “homophobic” are slurs (particularly when directed at them) and that kids need protecting from programs in schools that make them question their “biological reality”. I don’t think they really need much explaining, but have a look at their policies if you want to see their rather predictable stance on other issues such as religion, abortion and education. They have candidates in just about every district.
7. Fiona Patten’s Reason Party
A left-leaning party with a fairly broad list of policies ranging from transport, religion, gambling, health, criminal justice and drug reform, among many more. Party leader Fiona Patten has been an MP since 2014 and initiated action on a number of notable issues such as voluntary assisted dying, decriminalising sex work, safe injecting rooms and safe-access points around abortion clinics.
8. Freedom Party of Victoria
You know what farmers need for pest control? Semi-automatic weapons, apparently. I would like to put this party in the “if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry” category. Like Family First above, aren’t really a fan of anything gender diverse or religiously restrictive, and are decidedly right-leaning.
9. Health Australia Party
Another self-proclaimed centrist party, their policy statement wins the award of “most thorough and organised PDF”. Their focus is predictably on health, wellbeing, and the environment, but that isn’t to say they don’t cover other areas. Something that sets them apart from a lot of parties on this list is their support for renewable energy and environmental protection. Their focus is definitely on naturopathic medicine though, which is the easy connection to their desire to repeal the “No Jab, No play” legislation, conduct a review into the response to the pandemic and reduce the state’s reliance on pharmaceuticals.
10. Legalise Cannabis Victoria
A single-issue party with exactly the same goal as their federal counterparts: legalising cannabis. While you can vote for this party in any region for the Legislative Council, only three districts have candidates for them: Bayswater, Bendigo West and Pakenham.They are advocates for reforming the current GVT system and replacing it with fairer proportional representation.
Up next, we’ll have the remaining 10 parties who may have evaded your attention thus far. Have fun watching election drama unfold!