Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Party Games 1/55 - #Sustainable Australia

First up, because they included a hashtag in their official party name, is #Sustainable Australia. Last election they were the Australian Sustainable Population Party. Since then they seem to have mellowed out a bit on the strictness of how little population growth they want, or at least haven't listed any specific population targets this time round, and that was the main criticism I had of them last time round.
Their current plans to restrict population growth include reducing immigration from the current rate of around 200,000 people per year to 70,000 people per year (which includes an intake of 14,000 refugees per year), and reducing family and child benefits for third and subsequent children in a family. This is a lot more reasonable than their proposed targets at the last election.

Their other policy plans are a mixed case of hits and misses for me. Hits include ideas such as 10 year sunset clauses on national security legislation, treating drug abuse primarily as a health issue, getting the ATO to help small business by bundling super contributions with employees taxes and the ATO sending it on to the relevant super fund, and including human and worker rights as a key part in trade deals with other nations. Their energy policies overall are pretty good as well.

I'm not sold however on citizen initiated plebicisites, removing the minimum vote threshold to receive electoral funding (that is a rather self-interested policy), supporting a plebiscite on marriage equality (even if they expect it to have a yes result), and their plans to get multinationals to pay more tax need more rigour.

Overall I think they're doing a better job this time around, and they've moved closer to what I'm looking for in a party and their positions, but not quite enough to get a vote close to the top, but will likely be above at least one of the majors this time round.

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