Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Another Reason To Vote For The Sex Party
The Australian Sex Party says Family First approached it about doing a preference deal for the federal poll.

The Sex Party says an adviser to Family First Senator Steve Fielding made contact with a proposal.

Family First federal chairman Bob Day said he had spoken to the adviser, who denied any offer was made.

He said it was a campaign by the Sex Party to discredit Family First.

"One of their key aims was to stop Family First and this story's obviously part of that attempt to discredit," he said.

"But I can assure you that it is completely false. We would not, have not, and would never contemplate such an arrangement."

The Sex Party's president Fiona Patten remains adamant approaches were made.

She says they were made by telephone, email and at Melbourne Airport.

"I was kind of a bit stunned that they would be approaching us and I couldn't see that there was anything that we had in common," she said.

Ms Patten supplied the ABC with copies of emails.

She said the Australian Sex Party would be urging voters to put Family First last among their preferences.

Senator Fielding's office said meetings were routinely held with other political groups.

A spokesman confirmed an adviser had met with the Sex Party, but said there were meetings with all the other parties to discuss policy and candidates.

I'm not a big fan of how votes in the upper house work, you can either put down a 1 against a particular party or fill out a number against every individual candidate. The first way essentially puts your vote through a preference system beyond your control, the second way is time-consuming and increases the chance of casting an invalid vote purely through error. But any party that advocates putting Family First last is fine in my books.

The fact that Family First would even contemplate making a deal with their ideological opposite shows the underhanded nature of this process. It's anti-democratic, instead of relying on the will of the people it's relying on back room deals. But hey, that's what got Fiskal Fielding into parliament in the first place. 2% of Victorians voted Family First, but thanks to preference deals he is one of the balance of power in the senate.

I said "another reason" yet without providing reasons to vote Sex Party in the first place. They probably aren't going to win a seat, but that's what the preference system is for. To show demand for a civil liberties party is worth at least trying to direct preferences through them, it's to say "yes, I am in favour of protecting and furthering the rights of individuals" even if they don't have a realistic chance.

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