Sunday, August 25, 2013

Party Games 4/54 Australia’s First Nations Political Party

The Australia’s First Nations Political Party is a Northern Territory based party advocating for Aboriginal issues. Their focus is pretty strong on this area. Major policy objectives they have include a roll back of the Northern Territory intervention, recognition of First Nations peoples leading to a treaty with the government, respect for the environment, and statehood for the Northern Territory.

I'm pretty positive on most of these matters. I think the intervention was horribly conceived and executed, so agree with rolling it back. A treaty similar to the one New Zealand has with the Maori people is something I support in principle, but would want to see specifics before committing myself. Respect for the environment is a given.

Statehood for the Northern Territory is an interesting one. The constitution doesn't require a new state to get the same level of representation in the house and senate as original states (Tasmania has more representatives than its population would otherwise entitle it too because as an original state it gets a minimum of 5 members in the house of Representatives) so the issue of such a sparsely populated area getting a significantly beefed up presence in government isn't a necessary outcome, but I think those pushing for statehood would want to see a greater presence than there currently is. This would be a delicate negotiation. In becoming a state NT would get greater independence from the federal government (I don't think something like the intervention would be possible). I'm sure there would also be some transfer of powers from the federal government to the new state, but I don't know enough about how the NT is currently set up to say with any certainty what powers would specifically be involved. I won't say I support NT statehood, but I don't oppose the idea, with caveats that I'd need to see a specific proposal before making a decision on the matter.

The Australia’s First Nations Political Party is only running candidates in the Northern Territory. They have two senate candidates and two candidates for the house of representatives (which is every available seat in the NT). Preferences are to all the other small parties first, then the Greens, the Country Liberal Party, and in last Labor. Given that NT's two senate seats usually get split 1 each Labor and Country Liberals, the preferences probably won't come into play.

website: Australia’s First Nations Political Party

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