A non-serious guide to the 2022 Australian Senate ballot paper

Confused by the array of minor parties on the Senate Ballot Paper for the Australian Federal Election? You're in the right place.

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An unofficial, offbeat, and irreverent guide to Australian politics
Figuring out how to vote in the Senate is a daunting task. There's all these strange parties you've never heard of, with odd names and no information about what they represent or what they stand for. To help you out, we've created a handy guide to all the strange parties on the ballot.
Disclaimer: This list makes no claim to be unbiased, even-handed, or even accurate. It is not associated with any party or political group (though the author does lean leftwards). It is definitely not endorsed by the Electoral Commission.

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Animal Justice Party

Representing people is hard, so they represent animals instead. Despite representing a non-voting, non-human constituency, they have actually managed to get elected to two state parliaments. They want to make it illegal to sell processed meats to people under the age of 18 (good thing bacon-loving teens can't vote). If you're a cottagecore cat lover, your vote doesn't get any more on-brand than this.
Political leaning: Animal left
Likes: Filming farms
Dislikes: Live export, climate change, kangaroo farming
"Great news! Wombats living with sarcoptic mange living in Kangaroo Valley responding well to treatment!"
- AJP Twitter, on the big issues.
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TNL (Formerly the New Liberals)

Thought it would be a fun idea to start a new party named effectively 'the Liberals but better', then were shocked when the actual Liberals got shirty about it and complained to the AEC about their name. Has a specific 'Koala Connectivity Strategy', and wants the government to create a new nationalised bank, which will confuse the hell out of anyone who knows which party Ben Chifley was in. Very proud of the fact that none of them have ever been politicians, which explains some things.
Political leaning: Centre-left
Likes: Action on climate change, federal ICAC, changing the date of Australia Day to Jan 1
Dislikes: The Liberals suing them
"Most members of TNL would never have entered politics, unless they were driven to do so, by the yawning nothingness offered by the other parties."
- TNL Website
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Citizens Party

Anti-semitic hardcore conspiracy theorists - the renamed (and infamous) "Citizens Electoral Council". Amongst other things they believe that the Queen controls the drug trade, love nuclear power, and think Peter Dutton wants to reinstate the national draft. Oddly, they support Australia signing up for China's Belt and Road scheme. They also want to change classical music tuning to 432HZ instead of 440Hz for conspiracy reasons.
Political leaning: LaRouchist conspiracy theories
Likes: Unusually specific bank regulation policies
Dislikes: Being called conspiracy theorists
"Jazz is a musical form invented by whites to enslave blacks"
- Lyndon LaRouche, who died in 2019.
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Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption

They want to cap Australia's population at about 30 million, and significantly reduce Australia's immigration intake to achieve that. But they're not an anti-immigration party! Their policies in general are vaguely left wing, but the kind of left wing that your nimby aunt and uncle would get behind (as long as it didn't affect their real estate value).
Political leaning: Nimby Left
Likes: Contraception, Medium Density Housing, Women's Education
Dislikes: High Density Housing, Foreign Ownership, Property Developers, Being compared to eco-fascists.
"Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet."
- Agent Smith would probably be a member.
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The Greens

The third largest party in Australia, after Labor and the Liberals. (Yes they get twice as many votes as the Nats, yes they want you to know that.) Their policies include dealing with climate change, expanding medicare, and solving the housing crisis. But they don't take donations from big corporations, so you can guess how well *that's* going.
Political leaning: Left, but not as far left as Sky News wants you to think
Likes: Having the Balance of Power, Renewable Energy, Climate Action
Dislikes: Coal, People thinking they're all hippies, Dams (long story)
"Balance of Power"
- If you took a shot every time Adam Bandt said this at their National Campaign Launch, you would be dead.
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Group F - NSW

The socialist equality party. Hard left, big fans of Trotsky. They're also anti "identity politics" so they're all for equality except for women and people who aren't white, apparently. Running the excellently named MAX BODDY who is sadly just a white guy in a suit rather than a luchador, though he's competing with MAX DICKS (running in the senate for Victoria) for 'most ludicrous political name'.
Political leaning: Far Left
Likes: Applying Class to everything
Dislikes: Capitalism
"At the risk of attracting the wrong kind of internet audience: In fairness, Karl Marx wasn't 100% right about everything."
- Abigail Thorn
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The current government. You should already know about them. If you don't, well, they're a fairly boring set of white conservatives that have presided over corruption, incompetence, economic damage and natural disasters of biblical proportions yet are not doing (and will never do) anything useful about it.
Political leaning: Centre-right
Likes: Tax cuts for the wealthy, racking up debt, pushing up the cost of living, starting culture wars, winning elections.
Dislikes: Governing competently, being held accountable for corruption
"That's not my job."
- Scott Morrison
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The Nationals

You can tell there's an election coming up when the Nationals start referring to the Liberal party as "the government". A bunch of right wing mostly male trolls who nevertheless are a source of infidelity...er inspiration. Whenever you worry about how little one person can make a difference, just remember that a mere twenty National Party politicians managed to derail the whole world taking action on Climate Change at Glasgow.
Political leaning: Crony Right
Likes: Being in Government, Complaining about the Government (it's a kind of Zen)
Dislikes: Inner City Hippies
"The net zero thing is all sort of dead anyway"
- Cosplay Coal Miner Matt Canavan, saying the quiet part out loud.
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Reason Australia

Formed by the merger of the Sex Party and the Cyclists Party (presumably over a shared love of skin-tight clothing), they describe themselves as "civil libertarian alternative". Their platform is about "evidence and compassion". In NSW they have managed to convince prominent feminist Jane Caro to run as their lead candidate.
Political leaning: Centre - Centre Left
Likes: Making Australia a republic, legalising cannabis, sexy cyclists
Dislikes: Religion, especially when it meddles in politics but doesn't pay tax
"There is a loneliness epidemic - and it existed before COVID"
- Fiona Patten
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Socialist Alliance

Democratic socialist party that strongly opposes capitalism, with its origins in the old Communist Party. They stand for increasing taxes, nationalising big businesses (e.g. banks/mining companies), withdrawing from trade agreements, taking action on climate change, and re-writing the constitution. Since the invasion of Ukraine their brains have been scrambled by Vladimir Putin making himself an even bigger evil imperialist than the United States, which has sent their campus poster-makers into confusion.
Political leaning: Far Left
Likes: Workers rights, public ownership, free government services like housing, education, and health
Dislikes: Capitalism, colonialism, and oppression of the Global South
"Capitalism has proven manifestly incapable of resolving the impending climate catastrophe...[nor] to the rampant inequality crisis that gets worse every year."
- Party policy platform website
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Federal ICAC Now

Unsurprisingly want a Federal ICAC, now. That's pretty much all they want, in fact - they have policies on almost nothing else. Their party acronym is "FIN", and they have a shark fin on their logo, which is one of the more outstanding visual puns seen recently in Australian politics (not a crowded field).
Political leaning: Single Issue
Likes: Federal ICAC, real time donations disclosures, donations caps, shark logo puns
Dislikes: Corrupt Politicians
"This Coalition Government is nearing the end of its third term and it is well past being on the nose. Its smell seeps through the whole of Australia."
- Ross Jones, NSW FIN Candidate and journalist with Independent Australia.
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Australian Democrats

The Democrats used to be a significant force in Australian politics. Now they aren't. They got deregistered, but have risen from the dead to ineffectually nibble at the heels of politics like a very tiny zombie. They're 'Centrists' with a strong position on building more social housing, increasing social support and more funding for aged care. Are apparently very worried about a hypothetical terrorist plot to blow up the new hypothetical nuclear subs once they're built but before they're launched, leading to nuclear fallout, which certainly isn't in my top ten concerns right now but sure.
Political leaning: Centrist
Likes: Vaccines, the environment, science
Dislikes: NAPLAN, big supermarkets, rorts
"I can guarantee none [of our candidates] believe that covid was caused by Bill Gates 5G mind control towers"
- Look it's a low bar but I'll take it, Senate Candidate Roger Yazbek.
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Indigenous - Aboriginal Party of Australia

Founded by Uncle Owen Whyman, a Paakindji man from Wilcannia, the Indigenous - Aboriginal Party of Australia describes itself as "the first political party in Australia that really cares about Aboriginal people." Their platform contains support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, support for land rights, the protection of sacred sites and waterways, and ending the removal of Aboriginal Children from communities under child protection.
Political leaning: Left
Likes: Respect, reconciliation, represention, the Uluru Statement from the heart
Dislikes: The removal of Children from communities, deaths in custody, the fact that this crap is still happening in 2022 (sigh)
"While other political parties appear to be sympathetic to Indigenous concerns, not much ever changes. Indigenous incarceration rates are still through the roof, the highest in the world for a colonised peoples, children are still being taken from their families at an alarming rate, creating a second wave of the stolen generation and we want to see Indigenous control of Indigenous school education, particularly for school refusers. The Baaka and other rivers are a complete mess as nature has been pushed out of the picture and culture is ignored and sacred sites are desecrated. All these issues and more, which concern Indigenous people, are what we wish to focus upon."
- Uncle Owen Whyman
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Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party

Fans of Shooting, Fishing, and Farming, as the name implies. Have somehow come to the conclusion that Libertarianism will deal with all rural issues. They dislike mining on environmental grounds, but wouldn't phrase it that way because they also hate the Greens. During lockdowns they were vigorously campaigning that Firearms Dealers were essential services, because of course they were.
Political leaning: Right
Likes: Shooting, Fishing, and... you get the idea.
Dislikes: Vaccine Mandates, Greens, the Nationals
"... the green dominated NSW Liberal-National Government..."
- I've never seen anyone accuse the Coalition of being too environmentally friendly before.
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Seniors United Party of Australia

They want those damn kids, Albo and Scomo, to get off their lawns. And what kinds of names are they, anyway! Scomo? Sounds like a laundry detergent. They have decent policies on aged care (unsurprisingly), but for some reason they decided to keep going. Their policy positions sounds like a group of 80 year old white men riffing on the phrase "Back in my day..." Seem to want to reinstate the Draft for all school leavers. For some reason they think they'll have the Balance of Power by 2030.
Political leaning: Old School Right
Likes: The good old days, Grumbling about the Present
Dislikes: Seniors not being given the dignity and respect they deserve, Rap Music
"I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was."
- This Simpsons quote is too recent for the Seniors Party.
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Informed Medical Options Party

Originally a single issue party on vaccinations, they've now spread out to be anti fluoride, 5G, abortion, GMO, and the UN. They should probably have checked what 'imo' is short for before picking a name with that acronym, but honestly, the "in my opinion" Party is surprisingly apt.
Political leaning: Chaotic Right
Likes: Home Schooling, Organic Food, Dying of Preventable Diseases
Dislikes: Fluoride, Vaccinations, 5G
"The QLD Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018 allows for full term abortion."
- No, it doesn't.
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The Great Australian Party

Fully subscribed to the conspiracy lifestyle. Think that taxation is optional according to the constitution, the UN stole our sovereignty in the 70's, and the covid vaccine is a conspiracy. Want to remove the word 'government' from 'local government' for some reason. Their website features a very detailed set of instructions for an oven cleaner which they do not sell. Their only senator (a defector from One Nation) was charged with assault, kicked out of parliament, and currently lists his profession as 'senator in exile'.
Political leaning: Far-right
Likes: Being completely unhinged, Joe Rogan
Dislikes: Fluoride, local government, paying taxes, the family court, sheeple
"Rod Culleton has been charged with assault for defending the farmers property from the corrupt bankers, the bailiff and their accomplices, the WA Kojonup Police."
- GAP website
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Legalise Cannabis Australia

Formerly known as the HEMP party, Legalise Cannabis Australia are seeking to tap into a mood amongst the Australian people that after the last 3 years, we badly need to get high without getting arrested. Let's face it, after our respiratory systems have already been destroyed by bushfire smoke and a pandemic, what further harm could a little marijuana smoke do?
Political leaning: Left
Likes: Legalised weed. Getting high. Mullumbimby. Splendour in the grass.
Dislikes: The NSW police force
"Hemp can be used in so many things, it's so underutilised."
- That annoying guy you met at Bluesfest who wouldn't shut up.
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FUSION: Science, Pirate, Secular, Climate Emergency

FUSION is an amalgamation of five former micro-parties, running on an evidence and science-based platform of climate action, social justice, privacy and digital rights. We tried to imagine what a secular, scientifically trained climate pirate would look like, but all we can picture is Megamind with an eyepatch.
Political leaning: Centre-left
Likes: Climate action, digital privacy, secular humanism, amalgamating to stay relevant
Dislikes: The Party Registration Integrity Act 2021
"For the individuals stealing my election posters: I hope it looks nice up in your bedroom. Otherwise, please recycle"
- Sahar Khalili, whose posters are apparently very popular.
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Pauline Hanson's One Nation

The original right wing racist party, in recent years Pauline Hanson has branched out into other forms of far-right populism. Her most recent efforts include complaining about vaccinations, lockdowns, and spreading misinformation about voter fraud. Attempted to run candidates in all 150 lower house seats only to be called out by the AEC for several of these candidates living in other states.
Political leaning: Far-right
Likes: Misleading cartoons, misleading the AEC, racism
Dislikes: I don't like it.
"I haven't flip-flopped. I said no originally, then I said yes. Then I have said no, and I've stuck to it."
- Pauline Hanson
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Liberal Democrats

Picture small government. Smaller. Smaller. Even smaller than that. That's what the Liberal Democrats are trying to achieve. They want to sell everything - education, health, the post office, ABC, SBS, our National Parks... all in the name of personal freedom and lower taxes. Well known for running candidates who used to be part of one of the two main parties, this year it's QLD's former Premier Campbell Newman. Amusingly their website features the Eureka flag, which will almost certainly result in them being shortly "paid a visit" by the Victorian CFMEU.
Political leaning: Libertarian Right
Likes: Selling government assets
Dislikes: Taxes, Big Government
"A free man is, clearly, free - free to sleep in the rain, free to starve, free to suffer whatever vicissitudes the world might drop upon his manumitted head. No one is there to care for a free man. A free man is free to drop dead."
- Terry Pratchett, explaining Libertarianism.
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Australian Values Party

Founded in 2021 by a former soldier, so you can take a stab (literally) at the 'values' they're talking about. 'Centrist', but don't really like abortion much (they claim to be both pro-life and pro-choice, which isn't really how that works), pro guns, don't like asylum seekers, etc. Their website is 90% photos of their founder's face, quotes from him, videos of him, and his signature.
Political leaning: Centrist (but actually right)
Likes: The founder promoting himself
Dislikes: Quite a lot of things that are "anti-Australian values"
"We need more good people in politics."
- Heston Russell, party founder, on himself.
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Australian Labor Party

Australia's main centre left party and current opposition. Focused on higher wages, cheaper child care and... oh look, you know who these guys are. It's a bunch of mostly inoffensive politicians, a tad left of centre. Will they win and do something useful this time? Who knows.
Political leaning: Centre-leftish
Likes: Cheaper child care, cheaper electricity, cheaper medicine, cheaper lettuce, cheaper political strategies, cheaper attack ads, cheap shots
Dislikes: Being labelled "small target", remembering essential policy detail
"The national unemployment rate is... I think it's 5 point... 4, bleh. Sorry I don't know what it is."
- Anthony Albanese
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United Australia Party

Populist bastards who will say and do anything to get elected. Clive Palmer and Craig Kelly's right wing libertarian United Australia Party is promising to give you back your freedom. They are vehemently opposed to lockdowns that already ended, to vaccinations which 97% of people already got, to border closures that Mark McGowan already lifted, and to debt that both parties racked up. Proposing a mining tax on iron ore, which won't hurt Clive's coal mining businesses, but will probably hurt them in Western Australia.
Political leaning: Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!
Likes: Filling every electronic device you own with $80m worth of ads & unsolicited text messages, pretending they hate both parties then preferencing the liberal party at the last minute
Dislikes: Liberal and Labor debt, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, Mark McGowan, telling the truth
"[Clive Palmer] is the worst Australian who's not in jail."
- WA Premier Mark McGowan in a leaked text message.
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Miscellaneous independent candidates. Only really relevant if you're voting below the line and if you are then I salute you.
Political leaning: Mixed
Likes: NA
Dislikes: NA
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