What a wild ride it’s been. And although this roller coaster campaign hurtles to its thrilling conclusion, the zany gaffes and nail-biting drama will be with us forever. Who could forget Malcolm’s cold? Or Tanya Plibersek’s game changing snafu in week two, when she accidentally said “good morning” at 12:17pm? Or the unforgettable moment in week four when Matthias Cormann’s leg got caught in a rotating door and was mangled from the knee down?

Verily, there can be no doubt that this is the most important election in living memory since the last one. But to make it even more special, today’s Senate vote has a crazy new twist. Even if you’re voting above the line, you have to number at least six boxes – and the more preferences you number, the more likely it is your vote will make a difference.

“Gee willikers!” I hear you cry, “but what if I can’t tell my Liberals from my Liberal Democrats from my Australian Liberty Alliance?” Well, friend, I’d say that it doesn’t matter because all three of them are hateful, inhumane institutions that no genuinely informed person who cared about others in their society would vote for.

But with a Senate ballot several furlongs long, it is important to know which minor parties are, in colloquial parlance, cooked, so you don’t accidentally vote for them. This is is especially dangerous since some parties have deceptive names that disguise their cookedness. I’m still having buyers remorse about voting for the National Socialists.

So who can you trust to tediously scour dozens of arcane policy platforms a matter of hours before he has to get up? Who can you trust to summarise them back to you with a steeply deteriorating standard of spelling, coherence and basic commitment to the task? Who can you trust to utterly fail to conceal his obvious far-left agenda?

This guy.

cooked.jpg

Note: This guide follows the order of the Victorian ballot paper, but almost all of these parties are running candidates in every state.

A – DERRYN HINCH’S JUSTICE PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Well Done
Vote for them if you are: a talkback-listening vigilante

Death penalty advocate and fifth-place Dancing with Stars contestant Derryn Hinch has plucked the plum spot at the top of the Senate Ballot. Because about one in a hundred people donkey vote, this means there’s very good chance he’ll get in. At last, the long-silenced voice of old white male shockjocks will be heard. Convicted criminal Derryn Hinch thinks we should be tougher on criminals, even though endless studies show that punishment doesn’t reduce crime and that court lenience is a media created myth.

B
Cooked-o-meter: Cookedish
Vote for them if you: nevah giv up on ur drems

How thou art fallen, Australian Democrats. Once the third force in politics and home to a million voters, the Democrats have been officially deregistered as a party because they couldn’t find five hundred people willing to admit in writing that they as supporters. The Democrats even asked for an extension. C’mon, just a few more weeks, I got some member’s coming in real soon, you know I’m good for it. Please. My kids… But nah, their policies seem fine – decent, moderate, anti negative gearing stuff. Because they’re no longer allowed to call themselves the Australian Democrats on the ballot, the two candidates, David Collyer and Wanda Mitchell-Cook, are just listed as independents under Senate Ticket B. Expect a split any day now.

C – ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked

Vote for them if you are: A bilby

Advocates for the constitutional protection of animals based on their sentience, the AJP copped some flak in 2013 for preferencing the Greens last in the ACT. Their reason was that although Greens shared more of AJP platform than any other party, they didn’t oppose roo culling. Some claimed this the was the reason Greens candidate and GetUp! hack founder Simon Sheikh lost to Liberal misogynist Zed Seseleja, but the Greens probably would have narrowly lost anyway. Some AJP members are radical vegan activists, but given how far Australia’s animal welfare laws lag behind European standards, most of their policies aren’t actually all that extreme. (The same can’t be said of this now-fired candidate, who thinks the Orlando shooting was an inside job.)

D – AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

No idea who these guys are, too obscure.

E – SCIENCE PARTY / CYCLISTS PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked

Vote for them if you are: A power couple

This unstoppable coalition looks set to be the Brangelina of the 2016 election, taking out as many as fifty seats. The Science Party and Cyclists Party both seem really reasonable, and are basically what they say on the tin. With single issue parties like this the main thing is that they’re not Australians For Asbestos or something in disguise, and these guys don’t appear to be. Put them high if you like science or cyclists.

F – PALMER UNITED PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Medium Rare

Vote for them if you are: Clive Palmer

No longer united or led by Clive Palmer. Nobody really talks about the fact it was PUP who blocked the 2014 budget, bought down Tony Abbott and stopped the worst of the Turnbull Government’s agenda. This is because it didn’t fit anybody’s narrative. It’s pretty disturbing that a right-wing mining oligarch who bought his way into power turned out to be more progressive than the Coalition. Palmer’s grab bag of randos is looking significantly depleted this year, and they’re polling under 1%. Sinking quicker than the Titanic II.

G – JACQUI LAMBIE NETWORK
Cooked-o-meter: Medium Rare
Vote for them if you are: In favour of making Australia’s Grand Mufti wear an ankle monitor

I have a secret soft spot for Jacqui Lambie. She votes against the Liberals two thirds of the time and genuinely represents a lot of Australians in a way that ruling class politicians don’t. Pity about all the Islamaphobic hate speech.

H – AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIANS
Cooked-o-meter: Well Done
Vote for them if you are: A religious fanatic

The Australian Christians are well-funded fundamentalists  stridently opposed to abortion, surrogacy, science and the basic rights of LGBTI people. Religious extremists. Sweet mother of Freud, I’ve still got thirty parties to get through. Lets cook with gas.

I – SUSTAINABLE AUSTRALIA
Cooked-o-meter: Well Done
Vote for them if you are: Against Immigration

SNEAKY RACISTS WARNING! These guys were formally known as the Sustainable Population Party but dropped the “population” to trick people into voting for them. I don’t know why they bothered, xenophobia is way more popular than the environment.

J – PIRATE PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked
Vote for them if you: Still refuse to pay for Netflix (averts eye contact)

Internet privacy, digital rights, Edward Snowden, basic income, progressive tech bros etc.

K – SOCIALIST EQUALITY PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Cookedish
Vote for them if you are: A trot

The true bastions of socialism in Australia. Not to be confused with the Socialist Alliance, who are treacherous Stalinist splitters.

L – HEALTH AUSTRALIA PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Well Done
Vote for them if you: Think vaccinations cause autism

SNEAKY ANTIVAXXERS ALERT! The trick is that they don’t actually say whether they’re for or against health. Stridently opposed to vaccinations and water fluoridation, HAP believe that unverified alternative medicines should be given the same legal status as scientifically proven healthcare. In the words of the NSW head of the Australian Medical Association, “Even if you are dissatisfied with the performance of the major parties, please don’t vote for the Health Australian Party.”

M – RENEWABLE ENERGY PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked
Vote for them if you are: I don’t know. A tree or something.

A single issue Climate Change party with decent, if scantly detailed, sustainability policies. They support a target of 100% renewable energy by 2030, in contrast to the Greens’ 90% target, Labor’s  50% target and the Liberal’s turn-Australia-into-a-smouldering-hellscape target.

N – VOTEFLUX.ORG | UPGRADE DEMOCRACY!
Cooked-o-meter: Cookedish
Vote for them if you are: A millennial

Voteflux is a direct democracy project. If the party wins a Senate spot, every decision will be decided by an app poll. It’s a pity that Voteflux is run by a private company rather than a grassroots collective, but it’s still a cool idea.

O – FAMILY FIRST PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Well Done
Vote for them if you are: A religious fanatic with a fake moustache

I keep trying to work out if there are denominational divisions between Australia’s religious parties, but these pesky Christians cover their tracks. Family First’s main point of difference is that they hide their fundamentalist agenda behind family friendly euphemisms. It’s a strategy that has won them a couple of Senators – Steve Fielding until 2013 and the incumbent Bob Day.

P – CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY (FRED NILE GROUP)
Cooked-o-meter: COOKED AS
Vote for them if you are: An especially fanatic religious fanatic.

Dear old Fred Nile describes homosexuality as “immoral, unnatural and abnormal.” He says the Christian Democrats will “do what it can to stop pagan weddings and witchcraft or Wicca activities.” Reverend Fred currently holds the balance of power in the NSW Upper House, where he has resided for the last seven hundred and fifty years.

Q – THE ARTS PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked
Vote for them if you are: A starving artist

Created in response to the Turnbull Government’s evisceration of Arts funding, the Arts Party aims to support creative industries from community theatre through to video games.

R – DLP DEMOCRATIC LABOUR
Cooked-o-meter: Medium Rare
Vote for them if you are: A good Catholic sick of Khrushchev’s infiltration of the ALP!

Once upon a time, a conservative splinter group left Labor to form their own party. Sixty years later, enough people keep confusing the Democratic Labour Party with the Australian Labor Party on their ballot paper for former the former to still exist. They’re basically another fundementalist party, but are more economically left of centre than their fellow Pharisees. After a generation of disappointment the DLP finally got a Senator across the line in 2013 – John “submarines are the spaceships of the future” Madigan. Upon being elected, he promptly left the party.

S – CITIZENS ELECTORAL COUNCIL
Cooked-o-meter: COOKED AS
Vote for them if you are: Very unwell

The.. uh.. eccentric disciples of Lyndon LaRouche crawl out of the woodworks every election. They’re dedicated to stopping “an occult freemasonic sect, known as the Martinists, (which is) based on worship of the tradition of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.” You’ll never guess who the Citizens Electoral Council think is behind this insidious global conspiracy. *Drum roll* …The Jews! Oh what, you guessed? Anyway, put them right at the bottom.

T – SECULAR PARTY OF AUSTRALIA
Cooked-o-meter: Medium Rare
Vote for them if you are: An anti-theist

These staunch, secularist Richard Dawkins types believe in a more complete separation of church and state. They’re a wee bit too anti-Musim for my liking, something they ironically share with their arch-enemies, the religious parties. On the topic of being a wee bit too anti-Muslim…

U – AUSTRALIAN LIBERTY ALLIANCE
Cooked-o-meter: COOKED AS
Vote for them if you are: A massive Trump fan

SNEAKY RACIST ALERT! Some would say that the Australian Liberty Alliance are the respectable face of the white supremacist movement in Australia. I would argue that’s the Liberal Party, but the ALA certainly have a much higher share of card-carrying fascists. Closely linked to Reclaim Australia and the anti-halal Q Society, the ALA’s prize candidate is obsolescent hate-raisin Gary Stephen “Angry” Anderson.

V – NICK XENOPHON TEAM
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked
Vote for them if you like: Cynical populism ‘The sensible centre’

According to polling, Nick Xenephon and Friends are on track to win three or four Senate seats and maybe a couple in the lower house. This would put him at the him the fulcrum of the balance of power and make him the second most powerful person in Australian politics. Xenephon is a slippery fish – he was once booked to appear at a Pro Carbon Tax rally and an Anti Carbon Tax rally on the same day. But his principled stance on corruption, pokies reform and the TPP will hopefully do something to mitigate the probably Liberal Government.

W – AUSTRALIAN MOTORING ENTHUSIAST PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Cookedish (but a top bloke)
Vote for them if you like: Ricky Muir

I’m no motoring enthusiast, but Ricky Muir has served his office with integrity, dignity and humility. I reckon people should preference him highly, I’m putting him above Xenephon and both major parties. Not even being ironic. I ranted about it here.

X – MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked
Vote for them if you like: The gays

A queer rights party established in 2014. The have a bunch of policies for gender and sexually diverse people, but are running heavy on the marriage stuff because it’s a hot button issue.

Y – PAULINE HANSON’S ONE NATION
Cooked-o-meter: COOKED AS
Vote for them if you are: A racist

Guess whose probably coming back to the Senate?

Z – SOCIALIST ALLIANCE
Cooked-o-meter: Cookedish
Vote for them if you are: A trot

The true bastions of socialism in Australia. Not to be confused with the Socialist Equality Party, who are treacherous Stalinist splitters.

AA – AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Well Done
Vote for them if you are: Rrrruuurrrral

We’ve run out of alphabet and I’m rapidly running out of steam. The ACP have close ties to Bob Katter and represent his weird, gunslinging agrarian communism at the other end of the country.

AB – MFP
Cooked-o-meter: Medium Rare
Vote for them if you like: Submarines

Like Clive, Jacquie, Pauline, Nick, John Madigan has decided to start his own party – John Madigan’s Manufacturing and Farming Party. Unlike the cool kids, John Madigan registered in his party in such a way that nobody will have any idea what it is. The Ballarat blacksmith’s days in the Senate seem numbered.

AC – DRUG LAW REFORM
Cooked-o-meter: Dank
Vote for them if you like: Legalising It

The Drug Law Reform party is led by Democrat founder Don Chipp’s son, a recovered heroin addict. Their policies focus on evidence based harm minimisation, but their logo is a hemp leaf to pick up the stoner vote.

AD – VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked
Vote for them if you like: Dying with Dignity

Supported by Dr Philip Nitchke and Exit International, these guys are support… voluntary euthanasia. Have been criticised by some disability advocates.

AE – MATURE AUSTRALIA
Cooked-o-meter:  Medium Rare
Vote for them if you are: Over 50

I was first told about this party by a fairly uncommitted Labor volunteer. Targeted at older Australians, they have seem to have a real grab bag of policies. On one hand, they’re committed to reducing homelessness, improving Aged Care and providing better treatment for PTSD. On the other hand, they have a fairly conservative immigration policy and a few weird positions on tax, somehow favouring a 2% flat rate on all transactions over the current system.

AF – LIBERAL/THE NATIONALS

No comment.

AG – SHOOTERS, FISHERS AND FARMERS
Cooked-o-meter:  Well Done
Vote for them if you are: A redneck

A typical far-right country party eager to address Australia’s tragic lack of mass shootings.

AH – LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Cooked-o-meter:  Well Done
Vote for them if you are: A callous millionaire with gold-filled bunker

The party of Senator David Leyonjhelm, a racist, gun-toting libertarian who would believes public healthcare and education should be effectively abolished.

AI – RISE UP AUSTRALIA PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: COOKED AS
Vote for them if you are: Cooked

The nationalist and fundamentalist parties both reach their nadir in Rise Up Australia, the fascistic anti-Muslim party formed Catch The Fires Minister Danny Nalliah. Nalliah has compared multiculturalism to Stalinism, exorcised a mountain and claims to have raised a man from the dead. But his most charming moment was when he announced that the Black Saturday Bushfires were God’s punishment for Victoria’s decriminalisation of abortion. He knew this because of a prophetic dream.

AJ – AUSTRALIAN PROGRESSIVES
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked
Vote for them if you like: Petty Rivalry

A fairly standard centre-left microparty with a decent range of policy issues. They had a hilariously bitter feud with the similarly named Australian Progressive Party in which each accused the other of stealing their ideas.

AK – THE GREENS

Never heard of them.

AL – AUSTRALIAN SEX PARTY
Cooked-o-meter: Uncooked
Vote for them if you like: Tedious double entendres in your political ads

A civil libertarian party funded by the adult industry, the Sex Party are one of Hinch’s biggest competitors for the final Victorian Senate spot.

UNGROUPED

There are seventeen ungrouped independent candidates each with their own individual policies, histories and eccentricities. I’ve compiled a detailed analysis of every one, and although I haven’t saved the profiles I’m about to post them now, just as along as my laptop battery doesn’t run out of p

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