Glen Falkenstein & Gareth Narunsky
There are a number of far-right parties to be wary of in the 2016 federal election – including some whose radical views are not obvious or widely recognised. Populist anti-immigration and anti-multiculturalism minor parties have long been a persistent but largely marginal feature of Australian politics – excepting the rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in 1996. In recent years, these sorts of parties have increasingly focused the majority of their distasteful hardline policy positions on the Muslim community and Islam.
Here is the AIR‘s pre-election guide to identifying the key parties of the far right, their stances and history.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
Contesting: House: 3 electorates in NSW, 12 electorates in Qld; Senate: NSW, Qld, SA, Tas, Vic, WA
Someone you might recognise from “Dancing with the Stars” and at least 8 failed runs at state and federal office, the One Nation candidate who requested the definition of “xenophobia” be explained to her on national television is again running for the Senate.
Identified as having a “realistic” chance of election in Queensland by ABC election analyst Antony Green, Hanson’s flagrant record of anti-multicultural, anti-immigration, anti-Asian and anti-Muslim policies and rhetoric, by no means an exclusive list of her egregiously contentious stances, has been well documented.
More recently, One Nation South Australian Senate candidate Steven Burgess went so far as to state that “One Nation is looking at zero Islamic immigration until Islam is reformed… that culture is not something we can afford to have in Australia.”
Hanson herself also recently called on Australia to “take a strong stance against Muslims, strong stance against Islam and its teachings and its beliefs… no more Muslims in Australia, no more Muslim refugees in Australia.”
Prevailing analysis says Hanson has a real chance to win a Senate seat in Queensland.
Australian Liberty Alliance
Contesting: House: 4 electorates in NSW, 5 electorates in Qld, 1 electorate in WA; Senate: NSW, Qld, SA, Tas, Vic, WA
That far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders flew to Australia last year to launch the ALA tells you much of what you need to know, as does the party’s links with the anti-Islamic Q Society. Inspired by Wilders’ Party for Freedom, the ALA aims to “stop the Islamisation of Australia and end divisive multiculturalism” and has proposed various policies to this end.
These include a 10-year moratorium on all resident visa categories for applicants from member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a ban on full face coverings in public, a requirement for accredited Islamic organisations in Australia to formally accept the supremacy of Australian law and mandatory labelling of products and services from companies that have taken out halal certification.
The party also rejects same-sex marriage and advocates removing Australia from the UN Convention on Refugees.
Citizens Electoral Council
Contesting: House: 3 electorates in NSW, 2 electorates in NT, 2 electorates in Vic; Senate: NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Tas, Vic, WA
Formed in 1988, the Citizens Electoral Council is part of the international movement of American “physical economist” Lyndon LaRouche. The convicted fraudster is best known for his neo-Marxist economics and his conspiracy theory that the Queen of England is the head of a clandestine “Anglo-Dutch liberal” oligarchy which secretly controls the world’s drug trade and political economy through such methods as keeping humanity occupied by “controlled wars”.
The protectionist CEC wants to wind back the banking sector to the days before deregulation and re-introduce a nationalised bank. It calls climate change a “fraud”, often promulgates bizarre conspiracy theories not just about the Royals, but Jews as well, and vehemently opposes multiculturalism.
It continues to run, albeit in fewer seats than in 2013 and 2010, despite gaining risible results across numerous elections. In 2013, it contested 24 seats and averaged 391 votes per seat.
Love Australia or Leave
Contesting: Senate: Qld
Founder and sole Senate candidate Kim Vuga is a Townsville grandmother who appeared in the SBS television show Go Back to Where You Came From. While filming in Syria, her group was shot at by ISIS. At the time she said she considered joining the Kurdish fighters but couldn’t leave her family back in Australia. Vuga was chosen for the show in her capacity as administrator of Facebook group “Stop the Boat People”.
She formed her political party in late 2015 but didn’t register it in time to run as party candidate, so is contesting the election as an independent. Four other candidates listed on the party’s website failed to register with the AEC.
Vuga’s party platform includes “stopping the Islamisation of Australia”, withdrawing Australia from the United Nations, a revision of our foreign aid and immigration policies, a national profiling scheme for “people with anti-social (Jihadist) behaviour”, the reintroduction of national service and the right to bear arms.
Rise Up Australia
Contesting: House: 1 electorate in NSW, 2 electorates in NT, 3 electorates in Qld, 18 electorates in Vic, 7 electorates in WA; Senate: ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, Vic, WA
The party was formed in 2010 by former Family First candidate and Sri Lankan-born Pastor Daniel Nalliah of the evangelical religious group Catch the Fire Ministries.
The party is against multiculturalism but advocates for a multi-ethnic society that has assimilated to Australian values. It opposes Sharia Law and claims that Islamic doctrine is incompatible with the Australian way of life, but advocates freedom of religion “provided the religion is tolerant of other religions”. This freedom doesn’t extend to wearing burqas in public, which it wants to ban. At a 2014 event, Nalliah is alleged to have said (Age, 20/9/14) “ISIS isn’t a death cult, Islam is a death cult”.
Rise Up Australia supports the repeal of all religious vilification legislation including Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The party also opposes same-sex marriage and rejects climate change.
It contested 77 seats in 2013, with little success.
Australia First Party
Contesting: House: 2 electorates in NSW, 1 electorate in NT, 1 electorate in Vic; Senate: WA
Led by the infamous far-right figure Jim Saleam – a founder in the 1980s of the neo-Nazi group National Action and ex-convict – Australia First labels multiculturalism a “genocidal white population replacement.”
The party aims to repeal multicultural legislation and the Racial Discrimination Act, withdraw from the Refugees Convention and abolish both the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council and the Australian Human Rights Commission. It calls for the immediate suspension of all immigration to Australia, the amendment of the current Migration Act to restore key elements of the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act and the reintroduction of the White Australia Policy.
Australia First also wants to “deport all illegals on Nauru and Manus Island back to their countries of origin.”
Australian Sovereignty Party
Contesting: House: 2 electorates in Vic, 1 electorate each in NSW, Qld, SA (all running ostensibly as independents)
The Australian Sovereignty Party (ASP) is running five independent candidates in lower house seats. These are: Daniel Huppert – Aston, Vic; Richard Foley – Riverina, NSW; Sandy Turner – Blair, Qld; Mark Aldridge – Makin, SA; Peter Charleton – Casey, Vic.
According to its website’s core policies, the ASP wants all adult immigrants to sign a contract affirming, amongst other things, that the immigrant will not seek to impose “cultural or religious edicts that may cause any level of contention with the wider Australian public,” adding that “taking in refugees from areas like the Middle East and Africa should not be our responsibility.”
Positing that “an applicant’s demographic background” is relevant when approving or rejecting visa applications, the ASP’s policy states that “depending on an immigrant’s demographic background” and in order to prevent “enclaves,” a condition may be imposed on new immigrants “that will require them to find accommodation for the first four years that is well outside of areas known to be segregated concentrations of their related ethnic minority.”