We’re back for more impressions of parties you may be unfamiliar with in the upcoming state election. Irrelevant side note: many of the politicians on this list (and/or their staffers) could’ve perhaps benefitted from hiring a proofreader.
Content warning: references to queerphobia (no explicit detail), references to sexual assault.
We’re back for more impressions of parties you may be unfamiliar with in the upcoming state election. Irrelevant side note: I think many of the politicians on this list (and/or their staffers) could’ve perhaps benefitted from hiring a proofreader.
1. Liberal Democratic Party
Not to be confused with the DLP, the LDP is a party which definitely does not like the current government. They are advocates for an “accountable” state, individual autonomy, and freedom of expression, and protested against the lockdowns and other closures and restrictions that occurred during the pandemic. They also want to scrap the renewable energy target and instead de-regulate gas extraction and nuclear energy (because how could that go wrong?). They have candidates in 10 districts and made a rookie mistake in their candidate profiles that I will ferociously and pointlessly exploit: they misattributed Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s summation of Voltaire’s attitude as a quote by Voltaire. Is that important for the election though? Probably not. (Or is it…?)
2. National Party of Australia – Victoria.
Known for forming the rural-minded other half of the Coalition. One of the more prevalent minor parties, they are offering a suite of enticing election promises for rural voters such as improved childcare and rural infrastructure, reduced household bills and building costs, and of course, improved roads. Not the nicest if you care about protecting the environment and climate, though. Their most recent brush with the press was quite a dramatic one; one of their candidates recently passed away, shortly before he was due to face court for charges of sexual assault and rape.
3. New Democrats
A rather new party formed and led by former Labor MP Kaushaliya Vaghela, their purpose is primarily ensuring the accountability and transparency of government. Their policy section seems to be more aspirational than concrete, but based on that alone, the party seems fairly centre-left leaning. During her time in Labor, Vaghela was factionally allied to Adem Somyurek (remember him? Now running with DLP), and also voted against the party to further investigate the red shirts scandal, one of the reasons which led to her being dropped from the 2022 Labor voting ticket. Vaghela’s husband was involved in an IBAC investigation that heard he had engaged in factional work as an electorate officer in a taxpayer funded role, also related to Somyurek.
4. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
If you weren’t aware that this party had crossed the Victorian border into our state parliament, surprise! As conservative and “populist” as the day is long, they don’t actually have a website for their Victorian election, just a Facebook page (which I’m not even sure is genuine). I think the views of their party members tend to speak louder than their policy section, but an interesting tangent is their voting ticket preferences. One Nation faves are the Angry Victorians Party, Freedom Party of Victoria, United Australia Party, the Liberals, and of course, Family First. You can probably guess who comes last.
5. Restore Democracy Sack Dan Andrews Party
One of the parties Glenn Druery has worked with in his preferencing negotiations, apparently in order to redirect anti-Andrews voters’ preferences to his other affiliated parties. Pretty much a single-issue party, as their focus seems very exclusively on undermining and contesting numerous aspects of the current Andrews government. While they don’t appear to have an actual policy section, they do have a very interesting statement on their front page where Candidate Tosh-Jake Finnigan refers to Andrews as a “socialist-left backroom operator and factional warlord”. That’s quite a title! They want to trade Dan’s “inner-city woke agenda” for a “work agenda”, end “politically motivated lockdowns and mandates” and many other very Dan-focused things. The party URL is also “viclabor.org”—an amusing (and I’m guessing intentional) irony.
6. Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Victoria
A rural-focused party who also have a pretty self-explanatory name. Adamant dissenters against animal rights activism, which they claim is trying to “end human ownership and involvement with animals”. They have fairly conservative policies ranging from abolishing Safe Schools (“let kids be kids” everybody!) to repealing forestry restrictions and increasing the availability of public land for recreational hunting. You can find their full policy statement here.
7. Sustainable Australia Party – Stop Overdevelopment/Corruption
Presenting as a party focused on scientific and evidence-based policy decisions, Sustainable Australia has 3 main priorities: protecting the environment, stopping overdevelopment, and stopping corruption. Their policy section is quite thorough and progressive with some enticing areas for students, such as their desire to make university free and abolishing HECS/HELP debt! Woohoo! They also took the time to disavow group ticket voting while also explaining how they chose to preference with that system being in place. In saying that though, current MP and party head Clifford Hayes got in in 2018 with 1.32% of primary votes thanks to, you guessed it, preference negotiations (the then-sitting Greens candidate he defeated had 13%). It seems no-one is immune to the whispers!
8. Transport Matters Party
Yet another party which has worked with preference whisperer Glenn Druery, and working with him in 2018 their MP Rod Barton got in with just 0.6% of first preference votes. A specialist party focused on (you guessed it) transport, they aren’t against environmental action (particularly when it relates to improving transport) and most of their policies actually seem pretty centre-left. If I was feeling cynical, I might imagine that this was to exploit the more progressive voting population for the aforementioned preference deals, but that would be way too cynical, right?
9. United Australia Party
The one with the annoying ads, and the annoying billionaire. Pro-coal, pro-nuclear, pro “Aussie values” and anti-lockdown, they are pretty conservative. They made the news recently for their adoption of candidate and former Liberal-turned-independent Christian conservative MP Geoff Shaw who mocked the Acknowledgement of Country in his maiden speech. Ironically enough, they also want to abolish HECS debt.
10. Victorian Socialists
Last but certainly not least, we have the one and only Victorian Socialists. As you can probably guess from their slogan “people before profit”, they are quite left-wing. Their policies include standardising politicians' wages to $87,000 a year (Dan’s is set to reach $464,918, for context), creating a zero carbon economy by 2035 and solidifying net-negative emissions, making public transport actually publicly owned (isn’t that a wild idea?) and a whole suite of beneficial proposals for pre-tertiary students (and they have some very interesting tertiary proposals as well!). In contrast with all the minor parties that made their name protesting against the Safe Schools movement, this party has a candidate that actually co-founded it; Roz Ward.
With that, we have reached the end of our little political excursion. Despite the fact I’ve just waffled on for two articles about parties, not candidates, I would highly recommend considering voting below the line in the upper house vote and familiarising yourself with the candidates of your districts and regions – it’s by far the best (and only) way to circumvent pesky preference whisperers, since party policy isn’t always a guarantee of what’s behind the bureaucratic mask. Regardless of what you choose, may your preferences be informed and your ballots formal!