With the Australian Federal Election possibly over for another three years, it is now time for those who were not successful in having candidates elected to lick their wounds, and after a period of self reflection and improvement, start planning for 2016.
One party that needs to do this the most is the Animal Justice Party.
The finger pointing has already begun with people and groups blaming everyone they can think of for the party not getting a candidate elected into the Senate. That is, everyone apart from themselves.
IF the party is to ressurect itself from this election, and become a ‘voice for the animals’, there are a few things that the party needs to do.
On of the concerns that I had which prevented me voting for the Animal Justice Party was the fact that there was a huge amount of confusion over which parts of their policy platform they would be able to actually implement.
As I have mentioned previoulsy, a majority of their policy platform couldn’t be implimented by the Commonwealth. For a fledgling federal party, it is a little insulting for them to believe that potential voters will blindly vote for them just because they have the word animal in their name.
With that in mind, it would be a good thing when relaunching the party’s policy platforms, to make it clear to any potential voter, which part of their policies will be the platform of the federal branch, and which ones will be the platform for the state branch.
Single Scope Policies
For the party to say that their sole policy platform will be related to other animals, indicates to those who have more than a rudimentary inderstanding of politics that this party lacks both the maturity and the actual ability to be able to hold a seat in any house of parliament.
There is little point in saying ‘we are going to ban live export’ with little thought of the impact that such a decision will have. By the same token, also saying that we can solve the live export ‘problem’ by simply builidng more slaughterhouses doesn’t take into consideration that the market doesn’t actually want chilled me, because if it did, it would buy it.
As we saw in the lead up to the election, there were a number of human related matters that repeatedly made the headlines, so they are not just passing issues. The failure of ANY party to have policies relating to these other areas is the easy way for the parties to be relegated to the scrap heap of political history.
If this party is promoting itself as the party that should be the first choice for those who are vegan or those who want a ‘voice for the animals’, then the first thing that the party MUST do is field candidates that are indeed vegan and willing to be a ‘voice for the animals’. As opposed to what we saw with the lead candidate for a NSW Senate seat actually advocating for more slaughterhouses to be built.
With the political process in Australia being as much about popularity, and how the candidate comes across in the media as it is about actualy policies, the candidates need to have a certain presence about them and actually be approachable.
Part of this would be to have regular and open meetings where people who are interested in the party are able to ask questions of those who are in leadership positions, and quickly allay any concerns before they erupt into public and potentially embarassing questions on social media.
Whilst this piece isn’t meant to be an all encompassing list of ways to improve the standing of the Animal Justice Party, it will could go some way towards more people understanding what the party is trying to achieve.
The only challenge now, is to see if those who have influence in the party, and the party supporters educate themselves on what the term ‘justice’ means, and to take it seriously.
Otherwise, they risk becoming yet another organisation that claims to be protecting other animals, yet does very little to do so, and will result in letting down those who need legitimate representation the most.