Feeds

Aussie Sex Party bursts upon political stage

Stand up for your rights

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

It's official: the Australian Sex Party (ASP) is now a bona fide political party, entitled to appear on the ballot paper, raise funds and even - if they gain more than four percent of the primary vote - eligible for public funding.

This follows a long drawn-out tussle with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), after several members of the public claimed that the Party’s name was obscene. In a five-page minute (pdf) that carefully explored the precise meaning of the concept of obscenity and how it related to the electoral process, the AEC decided that the various objections received to the registration of the ASP were outside the grounds on which a refusal might be made.

They did, however, consider objections that the ASP name invoked "orgiastic notions", with a full analysis of the case and statute law surrounding the subject.

The AEC found that the name itself was unlikely to "deprave or corrupt" voters – the touchstone test for obscenity in both the UK and Australia. They were also swayed by the fact that the party membership forms state that "Sex is deeply rooted in the lives of all Australians. It is relevant to hundreds of pieces of legislation made around the country", as well as a message instructing members to "Vote 1 for personal freedom and sexual rights".

In an outbreak of establishment common sense, the AEC therefore ruled: "The name was most likely selected because of the substance and subject matter of many of the party’s key policies, such as the legalisation of marriage for same sex couples, the introduction of sex education into schools, and the listing of drugs used to treat sexual dysfunction on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme."

Responding to this decision, the ASP urged party supporters to take pride in this historic event.

They had no criticism for the AEC, which also had to investigate accusations that party convenor Fiona Patten and its public officer are involved in abusing Asian sex workers, running illegal brothels, destroying the innocence of minors and generally corrupting public morality. According to the ASP: "It's not easy getting a political party registered. Neither should it be. You don't want every ideologue or collective in the country appearing on the ballot paper at election time."

Now that the registration process is done, and the ASP has joined the ranks of the other 27 political parties registered in Australia, the serious work will begin: policy development, candidate selection and fund-raising.

As the Reg has previously observed, this phenomenon is one to watch. The ASP was born out of substantial exasperation that when it came to legislation on public morality, the Australian establishment appeared to be living on a different planet from the rest of Australia. In this sense, they mirror recent developments in Europe, where Pirate Parties have been established out of a sense that government is only listening to one voice when it comes to internet issues.

Given the electoral arithmetic in Australia, whereby the balance of power in Federal and State Senates has often been held by one or two independents (in turn tending to represent fairly reactionary moral positions), the specific limited electoral aims of the ASP - to supplant these senators, and themselves to hold the balance of power - is by no means unrealistic. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.