Glenn Dunks with Fiona Patten at an Equal Rights Rally in August 2010
As I stood outside West Footscray Primary School in the Victorian western suburbs a lady, surely no younger than 70, came over to me and asked in a polite voice “What is this Sex Party all about?” Such are the anecdotes of an Election Day volunteer. As I handed out How to Vote cards for four hours in front of this school wearing a tee-shirt emblazoned with “VOTE 1 SEX” on the front I met many people of different ages, races and genders wondering just what the Australian Sex Party was all about and I was only too willing to tell them.
The Australian Sex Party is more than just an eye-catching name; as one of the newest parties on the Australian political scene, they are dedicated to representing the left of society with progressive policies and strong leadership from president Fiona Patten. Aiming to counter-balance the escalating wave of conservatism that has swept over Australia whilst providing an alternative to the Greens, who some may feel are having to turn away from their core beliefs to get a seat at the adult’s table.
The Australian Sex Party aims to represent the growing number of citizens who feel like they haven’t got a voice in the current political landscape. Overshadowed by a vocal minority that have enslaved the Labor and Liberal parties to their conservative right and have caused them to fixate on “working families” as if young, single people don’t exist. ASP have focused on issues like the legalisation of same sex marriage, censorship, reformed sex education, voluntary euthanasia and the establishment of a Royal Commission into the sexual abuse in religious institutions amongst others.
With the major parties lurching evermore to the safety of doing nothing at all the Australian Sex Party is aiming to provide a vocal voice of dissent. While they may not have won a seat at this election, their senate vote performed similarly to the Greens in their first election, so a new political party has well and truly been born. Leader Fiona Patten hopes that the more people fear their rights are being stripped away – whether it be to play an R18+ game, have an abortion or wear a burqa – they will look towards alternative parties to represent their views in the parliament.
So as I stood in the body-numbing cold of election morning telling this lovely older lady about what the Australian Sex Party stood for she politely nodded her head and then went on her way. I doubt she voted for them, but it showed a charitable spirit that is sorely lacking in modern day politics. Fiona Patten and her party are here to stay and you will be hearing a lot more about them between now and the 2013 election. If the current administration makes it that far, of course.
Look out for Trespassing With… Fiona Patten tomorrow as part of our Politics week