Reason Party (Australia)

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Reason Party
LeaderFiona Patten
Founded2017; 3 years ago (2017)
Headquarters8 Shaftsbury St
Coburg Vic 3058
IdeologyCivil libertarianism
Progressivism
Secular liberalism
Drug liberalisation
Social liberalism
Political positionCentre[1] to centre-left
Colours     Teal
Victorian Legislative
Council
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Website
reason.org.au

The Reason Party 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, where it has parliamentary representation, and as a Federal party.

History[edit]

In August 2017, Fiona Patten announced the launch of a new Federal party called Reason Australia that in part was borne 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 Voluntary Euthanasia Party (NSW) merged with the Reason Party, and has applied to the NSWEC to change its name to "Reason Party NSW .[12] [10]

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.[11][12]

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.[13][14] 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.[15] 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.[16][17]

Policies[edit]

Party leader Fiona Patten

The party's policies include:[18]

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
  • Electronic vaporisers and liquid nicotine should be legalised
  • Pill testing at every music festival[19]

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
  • Amend negative gearing rules to facilitate greater investment in new affordable housing stock

Gambling[edit]

  • Setting a maximum bet limit for poker machines and limiting the influence of the pokies industry[20]

Health[edit]

  • Vaccination to protect public health and reduce the spread of preventable diseases[21]
  • Early intervention for mental health especially for young at-risk people
  • 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[22]
  • National media classification and introduction of non-violent sexual content label

Other areas[edit]

  • 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[23][24]
Reason Party (Australia) supporters with placards at Yes Marriage Equality rally Sydney Town Hall 10 Sept 2017
Fiona Patten Portrait 2013

Electoral history[edit]

Victorian state elections[edit]

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 Metro Eastern Victoria Northern Metro Northern Victoria Southern Metro South Eastern Metro Western Metro Western Victoria Number of seats won
2018 1.18% 0.81% 3.37% 0.70% 2.00% 0.85% 1.15% 0.92%
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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.

Links[edit]

The party has had some involvement in Glenn Druery's Minor Party Alliance.[25][26] 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.[27][28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/4871164/sex-party-transforms-into-new-reason-party/
  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". 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, 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. Archived from the original on 31 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Victoria set to make history as voluntary assisted dying bill passes Upper House". ABC News. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  12. ^ "'They keep going over the same ground again and again'". NewsComAu. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  13. ^ Oaten, James (21 February 2017). "Heroin deaths prompt renewed calls for Victorian safe injecting rooms". ABC News. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  14. ^ Preiss, Benjamin; Lucas, Clay (7 February 2017). "No government support for Richmond drug injection room despite community backing". ABC News. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  15. ^ Fiona Patten, Member for Northern Metropolitan (7 February 2017). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). State of Victoria: Legislative Council. p. 37.
  16. ^ "140 lives 'saved' during first months of safe injecting room trial in Melbourne". ABC News. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  17. ^ Booker, Chloe (6 July 2018). "'12 lives saved' in Richmond safe drug injecting room's first week". The Age. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Policies | Reason Victoria". Reason Victoria. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Fiona Patten: Continuing to refuse to allow pill testing at festivals is "immoral"". 3AW. 1546212752. Retrieved 2019-01-03. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  20. ^ "Pokies more damaging than cannabis: Patten calls for gambling limits". 3AW. 1511828397. Retrieved 2019-01-04. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  21. ^ Kimmorley, Sarah (16 May 2016). "The Australian Sex Party wrote this devastating response to an anti-vaccination campaigner looking for support". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Professor Ross Fitzgerald » Blog Archive » Internet censorship remains part of Conroy's agenda". Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  23. ^ Vedelago, Royce Millar, Ben Schneiders and Chris. "Catholic Inc: What the Church is really worth". The Age. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  24. ^ Preiss, Benjamin (13 March 2016). "Time to end tax exemptions for religious groups: Sex Party". The Age.
  25. ^ Bormann, Trevor (5 September 2013). "Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "Derryn Hinch's preference whisperer faces cash-for-votes complaint". News Line Australia. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  28. ^ 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.

External links[edit]