Should You Vote For A Minor Party?

By Biannca Challans. 

It’s easy to get lost in the Labor-Liberal tug-of-war – but South Australia boasts 14 different political parties, of which Labor, Liberal and Nick Xenophon’s SA-Best are only three.

With power pricing and shortages being the biggest issue Labor and Liberal are fighting over, who are the minor parties, and how do their power and energy policies stack up against the major parties?

To recap the Liberal Party’s policy, South Australian power will become more affordable from a government level; cutting 15 per cent from family power bills by increasing the existing grid, making power more reliable to South Australian homes.

Labor want to return power utility ETSA to government control and introduce more renewable energy; a cheaper alternative to fossil fuel energy, keeping the Australian nation on target in reducing our Greenhouse Gas Effect.

They also want to give homes the ability to store their own power through a partnership with Tesla, a leading international electricity, and battery brand.

Nick Xenophon and SA-Best were slow to release their party’s policy on power, for fear this would align them with a specific major party, and therefore show preference.

However, SA-Best has recently released their policy on power: to create an industry for clean energy on a government level, including support for the industry and employers and taxpayer-funded research on how to make this efficient and effective.

The Animal Justice Party said it believes in a greener future to better both our lives and the lives of animals who share our state, and their policy centres on phasing out fossil fuel and natural gas power in favour of clean, renewable energy by 2030.

The Greens think similarly, their policies planning to create a renewable South Australia by the year 2025, and highlighting funding for technological developments that will need to be made in order to promote reliability and storage of green power.

Instead of promising a 15 per cent cost reduction like the Liberals, the Australian Democrats said their policies bring a progressive and constant reduction of costs and reliance on fossil fuels, by not subsidising clean energy and discouraging a market-based power system.

Cory Bernardi’s Conservatives, who in 2017 blended with Family First, encourage all forms of energy production, including nuclear, so long as it is no longer subsidised by the taxpayer.

The Australian Conservatives’ lack of policy about renewable energy is based on their claim that South Australia’s fossil fuel use and effect on climate change is so small in comparison with other states that the efforts to negate South Australia’s use via green energy would not be noticeable on a nationwide scale.

For all the parties that have a stance on power, there are a few who do not tackle this issue head-on.

Danig Party is one of two brand-new parties in the South Australian election, and their focus is on jobs, employment, and the re-allocation of taxpayer money.

John Darley’s Advance SA, new, alongside Danig said it stands for better healthcare and healthcare services throughout the state.

Dignity’s policies echo healthcare sentiments, with a focus on accessibility and inclusion, a ‘fair go’ for all South Australians.

The Child Protection Party advocate child protection as a sole focus, rather than in a single policy.

The National Party, based in Waikerie with the goal of benefiting regional South Australia, have not stood a candidate in the election.

Fourteen electorates also feature independent candidates, such as Hartley’s former Liberal independent, Marijka Ryan.

Familiar names you won’t be seeing in the 2018 election due to de-registration by the Electoral Commissioner include Shooters, Fishers and Farmers of SA, Recreational Fishers, Australian Sex Party (who have regrouped in Victoria as Reason Party), Smokers’ Rights and Australian Cyclists Party.

Knowing the different stances and policies of all the parties across the state can change your vote, and possibly the outcome of the election, in an era where the two-party system may no longer satisfy.



Policies taken from each party’s website, where available. Comprehensive list in alphabetical order:

Advance SA
Animal Justice
Australian Democrats
Australian Greens
Child Protection Party
Liberal Democrat
NXT: SA Best
Shooters Fishers Farmers SA



Image Source: Kelly Barnes/AAP

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