Saturday, August 31, 2013

Party Games 27/54 Future Party

The Future Party was set up by a group of maths and computer science types who are for the betterment of society by greater application of technology. With a starting point like that, there's a fair bit that I agree with them on. High speed rail, greater funding for education and research, a strictly secular government, marriage equality, supporting genetically modified organisms, and supporting the carbon tax.

Some of their tax ideas raise some doubts. Replacing rates, stamp duty, and some other taxes with a single land tax charged when the property is sold may reduce some deadweight loss, but would make it a bit trickier for councils used to a regular rates charge each year to manage their cash flows. And saying that governments are addicted to the revenue from sin taxes and so these should be set independently is an argument that could be applied to any tax.

They are the only Australian group I've seen suggest electronic voting done the right way (electronic voting device produces human readable voting paper, which voter checks before submitting, randomized checks of electronic totals vs paper totals with paper totals being primary). They also want to see more proportional representation in parliament, in the lower house by combining electorates into larger areas that each elect 3 members, and by making the senate a single nationwide electorate (the senate would be the trickier one constitutionally).

Their really big idea is founding a charter city called Turing (no disrespect to Alan Turing, but surely there's a local scientist we could name it after) to be devoted to education and R&D, making it an Australian Silicon Valley. Built from the start to support a high population density the target population is around the 5 million mark in a 10kmx10km square.

The Future Party has two senate candidates in New South Wales, and a single house of representatives candidate in New South Wales and Queensland.

twitter: @FuturePartyAus (although @FuturePartyQLD is a bit more active)

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