Continuing in the spirit of Cate Speaks

The Reason Party

Summary

Website: reason.org.au
Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Previous Names: Australian Sex Party & Fiona Patten’s Reason Party
Slogans: Vote for the voice of Reason
Themes:
Electorates: Upper House: New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria
Lower House: Higgins
Preferences: It’s a semi-random run through the left wing parties: Animal Justice at 2, Fusion at 3, followed by Labor, the Greens and Legalise Cannabis. It’s a weird mix, really.
Previous Reviews: 20192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010 (VIC)

Policies & Commentary

We’re here! The last party to be reviewed! At last, we shall see Reason!

So, starting with the reforms to our democracy: Reason wants to lower the voting age to 16, although for anyone 18 wouldn’t be required to vote. For them and them only it would be optional. They also want to Hold a referendum to decide if Australia wants to become a Republic, reforms to donation laws and, like basically everyone left of Scott Morrison, they want a federal ICAC. In addition to that, they intend to fund the Audit Office and other such bodies, a ministerial code of conduct that has actual penalties for misconduct, protections for whistle-blowers, public availability of ministerial diaries and a compulsory 3 year period in which retired ministers would not be allowed to take jobs in the industries their ministries covered.

Look, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about some of this stuff – you can safely assume that Reason supports all the traditional lefty causes: there’s support for the arts, for homeless people, for the QUILTBAG community, for First Nations people, for women (especially as regards pay equality), for both the aged and the young, for public transport, for renewable energy and other environmental measures, for age appropriate sex, gender and relationship education in schools, increases to Centrelink payments, more support for universities, legalisation of Voluntary Assisted Dying, better treatment for asylum seekers, and so on. What I am going to do is look closely at a few areas where Reason breaks from the pack.

Reason believes that Religious privilege in Australia has a damaging effect on democracy and human rights, a position which I am quite sympathetic to. They want to see an end to tax exemptions for religious owned institutes that run purely on a commercial basis, for the religious prayer in parliament to be replaced with a moment of silent reflection, for school chaplains to be replaced by qualified mental health professionals and the removal of ‘Advancing religion’ as a charitable purpose from the Charities Act (2013). They also think that religious education, health, and welfare organisations should only receive public funding if they demonstrate non-discriminatory principles. They stop short of demanding an end to all government funding for private education, but it’s clear that they want to tighten the criteria under which it is awarded.

They also wish to overhaul the justice system somewhat, with special attention to the intersections between trauma and poverty, racism, exclusion, disability, and criminal behaviours, calling for the cost of incarceration and crime to be reinvested into community-controlled programs aimed at addressing the risk factors and increasing protective factors associated with criminal behaviours. This policy is particularly aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and is clearly in the harm reduction school of justice, something I have a lot of time for.

Reason also wants to trial a four day working week, on the basis that Workers are exhausted from a mixture of the pandemic, long hours and not enough leisure time. Unfortunately, not much detail is provided about this, but it’s certainly an interesting idea and I’d like to hear more about it.

Finally, Reason wants to see the establishment of a Royal Commission to investigate threats to media diversity, which, gosh, I wonder which media companies they have particular concerns about? Here’s a clue: they also support the funding of strong and independent public broadcasters – the ABC and SBS, including restoration of historical funding levels.

So there you have it. Reason are going to rank pretty highly in my Senate preferences, possibly even at the very top. I do recommend looking at their policy offerings for yourself – there’s a lot there and I’ve really only summarised most of it.


Just a reminder that Maz and I lack the necessary Eurovision knowledge to choose the songs that Catherine liked to include, but we’d love to see what you suggest in the comments below 🙂

8 Comments

  1. Benjamin Cronshaw

    Good on the team at Something for Cate for covering all the parties and candidates for the 2022 Federal election! It has been an interesting and enlightening experience to read along (especially helpful for the random independents).

  2. Benjamin Cronshaw

    Looking at Reason, they took Column A in Victoria, so that could give them a front-row seat for collecting the random/ progressive vote. Jane Caro has a more prominent campaign in NSW, but is starting in Column H (behind the Greens they are likely competing with). Could also keep an eye on their vote in Higgins, and whether that helps flips the seat.

    Personally, I am supportive for any ideas to lower the voting age. Could be accompanied by much more civics education (which I believe someone mentioned the government just reduced).

  3. Kerrie Cresswell

    Thank you for doing all the hard work for me. Appreciate your summaries.

  4. Ella W

    Thank you for your work!

  5. Zed Blake

    Your site is so helpful, Thankyou! Having attempted many times to look into all the parties, I can appreciate just how much work has gone into your research and summaries. Totally agree with your summary on the Reason Party. Fiona Patten is fantastic.

    • Loki

      Thank you Zed. Keep watching, we’ll be doing Reason again any day now 😉

  6. Ann Maree Billings

    Thanks Loki, I appreciate the work that you and Maz do. I agree with Zed and others – this site is so helpful. I really like Reason’s policies focused on evidence and compassion. I do wonder though how they will fund all their various policies, perhaps via taxes on non-charitable religious organisations?

    • Loki

      Thank you Ann Maree. This is our look at Reason for the recent Federal election, our look at them for Victoria will be coming soon.

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