Sunday, September 01, 2013

Party Games 36/54 Palmer United Party

Clive Palmer is a businessman who made his fortune in the mining industry. Now he feels it is time for a new job and wants to be Prime Minister. To achieve this he's formed a new party named after himself the Palmer United Party, although on their website they claim continuity with the United Australia Party even though that party was dissolved in 1945 and it's leaders formed the current Liberal Party of Australia. There are five main policy issues they want to address.

1) abolish the carbon tax and give refunds. They say these will go to Australians, but since the tax is actually paid by business this would either be a refund to the businesses or some sort of general payment to citizens. Either way, the money will have to come from somewhere.

2) restrictions on lobbyists. Although, unless he sells off all of his business interests, having a Prime Minister who owns a lot of companies would be the mother of all conflicts of interest.

3) guaranteeing that at least 25% of tax revenues go back to the region it comes from. I'm generally wary of policies based on round numbers and they really should define what they consider a region to be.

4) get rid of the mining tax and encourage manufacturing so that we expect value added manufactured goods rather than raw materials. The latter is good if done the right way.

5) the refugee policy is to encourage asylum seekers to come to Australia by plane and set up processing centres at the major airports, putting people smugglers out of business by undercutting them. This does of course rely on asylum seekers having a passport already, and the idea of immediately sending people who get rejected back to their country of origin seems problematic.

Palmer United Party is running candidates in all states and territories and all 150 electorates for the house of representatives, although the candidate for the Victorian seat of Corangamite has been disendorsed for setting up an election night party with adult entertainment as a volunteer recruitment idea.

twitter: @PalmerUtdParty

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