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"economically literate environmentalism"

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Note that we are not taking 'official' memberships or fees yet, but donations would be appreciated.

Expressions of interest are sought for a new political party. For the moment it will be called the sustainability party.

The party will focus on two general areas which tend to get ignored in mainstream politics:

Long term issues tend to get ignored because politicians tend to focus on the election cycle, which doesn't hold them accountable for the long term impacts of their policies.

Targeted taxation also tends to get ignored and has unfortunately become a bit of a 'taboo' topic among larger parties. There is a tendency to focus only on what politicians promise to spend money on, not how they raise it. However, how governments collect revenue and how much they collect has more impact on society than how they spend it. The reason for the lack of political will in this area is that spending money on a group of people will tend to win their votes without costing the votes of those who pay for it via taxes. On the other hand, taxing a group of people will tend to lose their votes while not gaining the votes of those who aren't directly affected. Even an arbitrary change in the taxation pattern will only lose votes because only those who are worse off take an interest.

Obviously, deliberately pursuing 'unpopular' policies will not get us elected, even if those policies will benefit society as a whole. However, by controlling a block of votes and maintaining pressure on other parties via the media we should be able to get sensible policies enacted. It is not our goal to take power. It is our goal to achieve change, and we will encourage other parties 'poach' our policies once there is enough public support for them. Getting elected should be seen as a failure to negotiate effectively with the major parties.

We must get broad public support for our policies if they are to be enacted. Hence our strategy will focus on informing the general public of the benefits of our policies. This does not exclude direct lobbying of elected officials. It is just recognition that no politician will support our ideas while the public remains ignorant and fearful of them.

The party will have environmental policies similar to the greens, without the extreme social policies. Unless otherwise stated, our policies on how to spend money (ie, education, law enforcement, health etc) will be similar to those of the major parties. We believe that the real differences between the major parties on these issues are less significant their policy failures on issues related to sustainability.

Domestic policies include:

Foreign policies:

We call for an immediate end to:

We support the immediate ratification of the Kyoto protocol and support efforts to include developing countries and to further restrict emissions. The federal government should retain emissions rights on our behalf. It should tax emissions to keep them below our allotted targets and generate income by selling emissions rights. While developing nations should also make efforts to limit their emissions, lack of action on their behalf should not be used as an excuse for inaction on our behalf, especially while our per capita emissions are far higher. Countries should be compared on a per capita basis and Australia should not expect to be able to emit more per person because of our low population.

We support the spread of democracy and promote electoral reform in countries with clearly inferior voting methods (primarily 'first past the post' systems).

Major Party Comparison

The following table shows how the policies of the major parties compare with SPA polices. It will be used to generate a 'how to vote' guide. If you can help fill in some of the blanks, please let us know. We are also seeking independent and minor party candidates who share our views.

One Nation Family First Nationals Liberals Democrats Labor Greens
reduction in overall tax burden yes         yes  
green tax shift              
taxation instead of licensing              
carbon tax       no   yes yes
water tax              
end tank rebate           no  
end water rationing              
fewer subsidies              
end first home owners grant       no      
end baby bonus       no      
electoral reform              
reduced immigration              
food trees on public land              
marine parks              
truth in advertising (banks)              
end farming subsidies       yes      
end ban on plane fuel tax              
end ban on roo meat              
ratify kyoto       no   yes yes