AJP SPRING NEWSLETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Animal Justice Party Spring Newsletter
Election summary and thanks to our supporters
Election result in perspective
The 2013 election is over and the polls have been declared. Having been established for just three years and with a tiny budget, the Animal Justice Party obtained close to 100,000 primary votes or around 0.7 per cent of the total Senate formal vote across the jurisdictions in which we stood candidates at our first election. In other words, 100,000 Australians thought it important to give the animals of this country their first vote.
To put this election result into perspective, this result is just a little less than the primary vote obtained by both the Katter and Shooters and Fishers parties, and in the top ten overall of all parties across the six jurisdictions in which we stood candidates.
When the Dutch Party for the Animals first stood for election in the Netherlands ten years ago they achieved 0.5 per cent of the total national vote. Now they have members in all houses of parliament at national, provincial and local levels. The lesson from Marianne Thieme, leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals, is for us to stay focussed on animal issues and don’t be diverted on to myriad other matters.
Similarly, when the Australian Greens first stood for the federal senate election in 1990 they obtained 200,000 votes or 2.0 per cent of the total, and in the recent election for the senate, 23 years later, obtained 8.6 per cent of the vote. It should also be remembered that the Greens had many years as the Tasmanian Greens before becoming a national party. It took the Australian Greens a decade before they had their first member elected to federal parliament.
Election campaign successes
We could hardly imagine that animals and the AJP would receive as much attention as we have done in our first election. How interesting it was that just prior to the election the ALP announced it would establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare and the Greens announced support for wildlife carers and said that they would not continue to support the killing of kangaroos in the ACT, as they have done for the past four years. The AJP of course had announced all of these policy matters three years ago. It seems that the mere thought of the AJP taking votes away from established parties for their failure to oppose broad-scale animal brutality did actually spur them into some action. This was one of our goals for the election.
The grubby side of the election
The appalling behaviour of the Greens, their Get-Up partners and their various volunteers, towards the AJP before and on election day demonstrated the grubby side of the election.
The Greens’ well-orchestrated campaign of abuse towards the AJP , including their menacing behaviour at the polling booths, social media commentary, defacing AJP campaign signs, and handing out ‘How not to vote for the AJP’ leaflets, was a disappointment to us.
For the AJP, with so many new parties now standing for election, the result at the 2013 election was a great achievement and one we can use as a strong platform on which to build our future. From an idea just four years ago, spurred on by the daily cases of animal brutality occurring throughout this country that our politicians take virtually no interest in, we are now definitely on our way.
Thank you for all your support for this election campaign. A special thanks to the hardworking volunteers who helped with fundraising, prepared election material, assisted at polling booths, and stood as candidates. We have received messages of congratulations and good wishes from many of you.
The next phase
The AJP is here for the long term. Our long-term goals to improve the lives of animals are many. Here is a short list:
- Bring an end to the largest land-based wildlife slaughter on the planet (kangaroo killing)
- Bring an end to the live trade in animals
- Bring an end to intensive farming of animals
- Stop the aerial killing of horses
- Assess the impact of climate change, habitat loss and other human activity on wildlife loss
- Assess the positive impact of animals on human health, education, economy and environment
- Establish a think-tank to support research into animal wellbeing initiatives
- Bring to an end the number of death row companion animals
- Stop the use of animals for human entertainment and in experimentation.
The AJP intends to stand candidates at a number of state/territory elections next year and beyond; beginning with the Tasmanian election in May 2014, Victoria in October 2014, NSW in March 2015, Queensland in June 2015, ACT in October 2016, and Western Australia in March 2017.
To stand in any of these elections the AJP needs to have state/territory registration in the relevant jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission has different legislative requirements concerning party registration.
The NSW electoral commission requirements are the most onerous. In order for the AJP to stand candidates at the March 2015 NSW election we need to have 750 members on the NSW electoral roll by early November this year (i.e. less than one month from now). We are still a little shy of this number at this time, but with your help we can reach the target required.
If you are in NSW and your membership has lapsed, or you have not completed the NSW Declaration of Party Membership form, please complete and lodge this form by clicking on the icon below and downloading it as soon as possible. Then send the completed form to:
Animal Justice Party
PO Box 1010 Strawberry Hills NSW 2540
Wishing you all the very best
Professor Steve Garlick