Reason Party (Australia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Reason Australia)

Reason Australia
LeaderFiona Patten
Founded22 August 2017
Preceded by
IdeologyCivil libertarianism
Secular liberalism
Drug liberalisation
Political positionCentre to centre-left[1]
Colours  Teal

Reason Australia, commonly referred to as the Reason Party or as simply Reason, is an Australian political party founded in 2017. Its leader, Fiona Patten, describes the party as a "civil libertarian alternative".[2] Patten was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council as at the 2018 state election in the Northern Metropolitan Region, after formerly being elected as a Sex Party member for the same seat in the 2014 state election.

Reason is registered at the state level in Victoria, and as a federal party.


In August 2017, Fiona Patten announced the launch of a new political party called Reason Australia, in part born from a merger of the Australian Sex Party and the Australian Cyclists Party.[3][4][5][6] In January 2018, the Victorian Electoral Commission officially changed the party's name from "Australian Sex Party – Victoria" to "Reason Victoria".[7]

In May 2018, the party applied to the AEC for registration for federal elections as "Reason Australia",[8] which was approved on 30 August 2018.[9]

In December 2019, the NSW branch of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party merged with the Reason Party, and changed its name to "Reason Party NSW".[10]

In December 2020 it was announced that Patten would enter a coalition with independent Mildura MP, Ali Cupper who sits in the Legislative Assembly.[11] Cupper ended the agreement on 13 May 2021.[12]

In February 2022, Jane Caro announced that she was standing as a candidate for the party for a New South Wales Australian Senate seat in the 2022 Australian federal election.[13] She was unsuccessful.

Patten was not re-elected at the 2022 Victorian state election, leaving Reason with no elected representatives.

Parliamentary actions[edit]

The party's main goal should they be elected was to establish voluntary assisted dying laws for Victoria. After a long process and a marathon legislative session, the bill became law on a conscience vote.[14][15]

In 2017, Patten renewed calls for a pilot program of a safe injecting room in North Richmond, in response to a large increase of Victorian drug-related deaths in the last several years.[16][17] In the first session for the Legislative Council of the year, she introduced the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Pilot Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) Bill 2017.[18] At the time there were regular overdoses in the streets of Richmond, and that number has been reduced significantly since the centre was opened, with various estimates about the number of lives saved due to the opening of the centre.[19][20]


Party leader Fiona Patten in November 2018

The party's policies include:[21]

Drug law reform[edit]

  • Drug use to be treated as a health issue, not a criminal one
  • Cannabis to be legalised, regulated and taxed
  • Trial hydromorphone (analogue of heroin) on prescription
  • Increase in medically supervised injecting centres
  • Electronic vaporisers and liquid nicotine should be legalised
  • Pill testing at every music festival[22]


In regards to cannabis the party supports the following:[23]

  • The legalisation and regulation of cannabis for people over the age of 18
  • Support for the legal possession and use of cannabis for people over the age of 18
  • Amending drug driving laws to test for impairment not presence
  • The cultivation of a defined number of plants in their principal place of residence
  • Regulations that allow for the establishment of cannabis social clubs
  • Establishing a regulatory body to oversee the industry
  • Regulation on the potency of THC in legal cannabis products
  • Market controls to avoid the creation of a ‘Big Cannabis’ industry
  • Restrictions on advertising, marketing and promotion products
  • Competitive pricing to undercut the illicit market
  • An appropriate tax framework to help fund cannabis related programs
  • Expunging all historical personal-use cannabis criminal records

Tax and churches[edit]

  • Remove tax exemptions from businesses owned by religious institutions, while protecting their charitable activities
  • Prevent religious organisations from discriminating by reforming anti-discrimination laws
  • Religious oaths to be removed from parliamentary proceedings
  • Extend mandatory reporting laws to religious institutions and end exemptions for admissions disclosed in religious confessions

Social housing[edit]

  • Encourage build-to-rent and rent-to-buy schemes and remove tax barriers
  • Stamp Duty to be reduced from investments in social housing


  • Setting a maximum bet limit for poker machines and limiting the influence of the pokies industry[24]


  • Vaccination to protect public health and reduce the spread of preventable diseases[25]
  • Establishment of health hubs
  • Early intervention and evidence-based prevention are the main focus
  • Create an ombudsman for aged care and retirement housing, and establish a statewide ageing strategy

Internet and media[edit]

  • Expand free wifi in public spaces including on all public transport
  • Anti-ISP filtering[26]
  • National media classification and introduction of non-violent sexual content label

Other areas[edit]

Reason Party supporters with placards at Yes Marriage Equality rally Sydney Town Hall 10 Sept 2017
  • Focusing on community housing and ensuring that at-risk people have a place to live
  • Decriminalise sex work and remove censorship so that people can make their own choices about what they want to watch
  • Improving public transport especially for high growth outer suburban areas
  • Increasing oversight around politicians and tighten the rules to prevent unethical behaviour by the state's politicians and public figures
  • Taxing the non-charitable business arms of religious institutions. This includes the estimated $9 billion portfolio of the Catholic Church in the state[27][28]
  • Holding a referendum on whether or not Australia should become a republic
  • A nationwide trial of a four-day workweek[29]
  • Provide improved, interconnected and safer walking and cycling paths, including:[30]
    • Investment in safe, direct and continuous bike routes, separated from other forms of traffic
    • Revitalisation and expansion of existing cycling trails
    • Providing bike racks on buses, trams and trains
  • The right for terminally ill people to choose voluntary assisted dying[31]
    • Repealing laws that prevent the territories from enacting voluntary assisted dying legislation[31]
    • Promote and support legalisation of voluntary assisted dying in every state and territory of Australia[31]

Electoral history[edit]

Victorian state elections[edit]

Fiona Patten Portrait 2013

In addition to fielding candidates in a number of Victorian Legislative Assembly seats, the party stood candidates in all regions of the Victorian Legislative Council after 2017. In 2018 the party succeeded in re-electing Fiona Patten to the Northern Metropolitan Region.

Election Eastern Victoria North-Eastern Metro Northern Metro Northern Victoria South-Eastern Metro Southern Metro Western Metro Western Victoria # of seats won
2018 0.81% 1.18% 3.37% 0.70% 0.85% 2.00% 1.15% 0.92%
1 / 40
2022 0.74% 0.99% 3.61% 0.81% 0.45% 2.02% 0.81% 0.71%
0 / 40
Victorian Legislative Council
Election year No of votes % of vote Seats won +/– Notes
2010 61,542 1.91 (#6)
0 / 40
2014 89,748 2.63 (#5)
1 / 40
Increase 1 Shared balance of power
2018 49,013 1.37 (#9)
1 / 40
Increase 1 Shared balance of power
2022 46,685 1.26 (#13)
0 / 40
Decrease 1

Victorian state by-elections[edit]

Election Candidate Vote share Year
Northcote* Laura Chipp 3.20% 2017

*Chipp was endorsed by the party, but the party was not registered with the VEC at the time, as they were in the process of changing their name.


The party has had some involvement in Glenn Druery's Minor Party Alliance.[32][33] However, in the lead-up to the 2018 state election, Fiona Patten had a falling out with Glenn Druery due to his new conflict of interest as chief-of-staff to Federal Senator, Derryn Hinch, who was running candidates in the election and receiving favourable preferences due to Druery's private business dealings as the "preference whisperer". She claimed that he demanded that the Reason Party pay him money, or she would not be re-elected. Patten made an official complaint to the VEC, and Druery is now subject to an ongoing police investigation over this complaint.[34][35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martin-Guzman, David (22 August 2017). "Australian Sex Party becomes new 'Reason' party in attempt to capture centrist, disengaged voters". Bendigo Advertiser.
  2. ^ Gardiner, Ashley (15 November 2010). "Sex Party hopes to make history and win an Upper House seat in state election". Herald Sun.
  3. ^ Willingham, Richard (22 August 2017). "Sex Party to change name to Reason Party, founder Fiona Patten announces". ABC News. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  4. ^ Preiss, Benjamin (22 August 2017). "Australian Sex Party to become the Reason Party". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ Williams, Jacqueline (24 August 2017). "Founder of Australia's Sex Party Rebrands It the Reason Party". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "The Australian Cyclists Party Closes (and promotes alternative broad issue party)". Bicycles Network Australia. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  7. ^ Change of Australian Sex Party to Reason Victoria Archived 2 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Reason Australia" (PDF). Notice of Application for Registration as a Political Party. Australian Electoral Commission. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Registration of a political party: Reason Australia" (PDF). Notice under s 133(1A)(a) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. Australian Electoral Commission. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  10. ^ Fitzsimmons, Caitlin (29 December 2019). "'New voices': Reason Party comes to NSW to revive push for assisted dying laws". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  11. ^ "Victorian MPs Fiona Patten and Ali Cupper form unique coalition". 3 December 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  12. ^ Taylor, Matt (13 May 2021). "Mildura MP Ali Cupper splits with Reason Party". Sunraysia Daily. Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  13. ^ Curtis, Katina (24 February 2022). "'We're heading in precisely the wrong direction': Jane Caro chases Senate spot". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Victoria set to make history as voluntary assisted dying bill passes Upper House". ABC News. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  15. ^ "They keep going over the same ground again and again". NewsComAu. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  16. ^ Oaten, James (21 February 2017). "Heroin deaths prompt renewed calls for Victorian safe injecting rooms". ABC News. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  17. ^ Preiss, Benjamin; Lucas, Clay (7 February 2017). "No government support for Richmond drug injection room despite community backing". ABC News. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  18. ^ Fiona Patten, Member for Northern Metropolitan (7 February 2017). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). State of Victoria: Legislative Council. p. 37.
  19. ^ "140 lives 'saved' during first months of safe injecting room trial in Melbourne". ABC News. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  20. ^ Booker, Chloe (6 July 2018). "'12 lives saved' in Richmond safe drug injecting room's first week". The Age. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Policies | Reason Victoria". Reason Victoria. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Fiona Patten: Continuing to refuse to allow pill testing at festivals is "immoral"". 3AW. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  23. ^ Sinclair, Emma (29 March 2022). "Drug Reform: Legalising Cannabis". Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  24. ^ "Pokies more damaging than cannabis: Patten calls for gambling limits". 3AW. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  25. ^ Kimmorley, Sarah (16 May 2016). "The Australian Sex Party wrote this devastating response to an anti-vaccination campaigner looking for support". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  26. ^ "Professor Ross Fitzgerald » Blog Archive » Internet censorship remains part of Conroy's agenda". Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  27. ^ Vedelago, Royce Millar, Ben Schneiders and Chris. "Catholic Inc: What the Church is really worth". The Age. Retrieved 20 November 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ Preiss, Benjamin (13 March 2016). "Time to end tax exemptions for religious groups: Sex Party". The Age.
  29. ^ "Four Day Working Week". 29 March 2022. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  30. ^ "Priority Walking and Cycling". Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  31. ^ a b c "Voluntary Assisted Dying". 29 March 2022. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  32. ^ Bormann, Trevor (5 September 2013). "Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  33. ^ Wood, Alicia (5 September 2013). "Alliance of micro parties boosts odds for likes of One Nation or Shooters and Fishers gaining Senate spot through preferences". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  34. ^ "Derryn Hinch's preference whisperer faces cash-for-votes complaint". News Line Australia. Archived from the original on 16 November 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  35. ^ Preiss, Royce Millar, Ben Schneiders, Benjamin (24 October 2018). "Derryn Hinch's preference whisperer faces cash-for-votes complaint". The Age. Retrieved 15 November 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]