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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Australian Election: It's all a party

    Posted by Reena Ganga

As I was fulfilling my civic duty at the ballot box today, I couldn't help but laugh out loud upon reading the list of parties running for election in the Senate. Some of them are a little wacky, others are downright hilarious.

For those of you non-Aussies reading this, here are a few of the notables that appeared on The Tablecloth (aka the ridiculously huge senate ballot form):

The Great Australians. This party wants to abolish Federal Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Superannuation Tax, Goods & Services Tax & Federal Payroll Tax and Fringe Benefits Tax. What a sound fiscal policy.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation. The founder of this party has spent time in jail for electoral fraud and is now a contestant on a reality television ballroom dancing show.

Help End Marijuana Prohibition
. Otherwise known as H.E.M.P.

Lower Excise Fuel and Beer Party
. Now that's what an Aussie likes to hear.

Nuclear Disarmament Party of Australia. I might point out Australia has no nuclear weapons to disarm of.

Also noteworthy are:

Ex-Service, Service & Veterans Party
Save the ADI Site Party
Non-Custodial Parents Party
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
Family First
Outdoor Recreation Party
The Fishing Party

Of course it's not just the minor parties that add a spark to the Australian political arena. Let's not forget Labor Leader, Mark Latham, who has more than his fair share of dinner party stories.

Critical of Howard's support of George Bush in the Iraq War, he called the Prime Minister an "arse licker" and Howard's colleagues a "conga line of suck-holes".

In 2001 he was involved in a drunken row with a taxi driver over a fare, and, in true diplomatic fashion, resolved it by breaking the taxi driver's arm.

And, upon being elected mayor of Liverpool back in his thirties, he removed a portrait of the Queen from his office and sent the ceremonial robes and chain to a museum, explaining that he required a more modern image of local government.

Who ever said politics isn't fun?

Update: People actually voted for many of these parties!

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