Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Party Games 1/38 Animal Justice Party

Thanks to the hegemonic impartiality of the alphabet, my survey of Australian political parties commences with the Animal Justice Party (they've moved from third last time I did this to first). As their name suggests, they are primarily focussed on protecting animals. 

Mostly this comes through things I can generally agree upon, things like banning greyhound racing, protecting habitats for native wildlife, taking action on climate change, and so on, there are areas where I feel that when balancing out the interests of humans and animals, they've come down to strong on the side of animals. An example of this is their domestic violence policy. In this area they want to make sure that animals can be recognised as victims of domestic violence, give greater protection for animals' interests during divorce, and create a national register of domestic violence perpetrators and animal abusers. There's also more funding for domestic violence shelters, but that's focussed on making sure animals can be taken to shelters. There's nothing on preventing violence before it happens (other than a general vibe of if people are nicer to animals they'll be nicer overall) or providing more tangible assistance such as making domestic violence leave paid rather than unpaid time off work.

This also comes across in some of their animal focussed policies. I think they're rather optimistic in believing that feral animals can be managed purely with non-lethal methods (I mean who hasn't whacked a cane toad with a golf club?), and I don't think we need to completely get rid of events like rodeos and circuses to prevent harm to animals, or completely eliminate meat from our diets.

Looking at my last review of the Animal Justice Party they have made progress on one area I criticised them for then. They have taken the time to develop policy positions outside of their main focus, in areas such as supporting better treatment of refugees, the formation of a federal ICAC, being proactive in dealing with climate change and more.

I also like their stance on certain technologies such as genetic modification and lab grown meat. Rather than just dismiss these out of hand as some groups with a similar focus have, the Animal Justice Party take a "we need to know more" stance without prejudging, seeing that there can be both positive and negative impacts. It's good to see pragmatism is still a thing.

Overall the Animal Justice Party has some good ideas, although sometimes they need to come back to seeing people as people rather than just another animal. Since they have a candidate for the senate in Queensland I think I'll likely vote for them ahead of either of the majors, but I don't think they'll get the first preference.

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