Last year the RSA did a “Secular Scorecard” in the lead-up to the Federal election – see here. Unsurprisingly the Secular Party of Australia came out scoring very well, but the Sex Party also got an “A”. Sex Party convenor Fiona Patten explains why rationalists should vote for Sex!
Is it Rational to Vote ‘Sex’?
In asking this question I am prompted to ask a supplementary question – is it rational to call a civil libertarian political party, the Sex Party?
Many rational people will probably say ‘no’ and consider the word ‘sex’ to be confronting by nature. It could put off some voters, otherwise basically supportive of the Party’s platform. However a rational person should also realise that more people know about the Party and its platform simply because of its name and have subsequently voted for it amidst the clamour of smaller parties contesting elections.
The Sex Party lost the last Tasmanian Senate seat to Jaqui Lambi (PUP) by only 245 votes and would have won the last Victorian Senate seat that the Motorists won, except for a broken preference agreement at the hands of the now Senator David Leyonhjelm (LDP).
The Sex Party was initially created to stop John Howard’s internet filter and to stem the influence religion has on government policy. We’re not trying to form government or anything grandiose. In fact that sort of success would sadly but inevitably stymie rational decisions. One voice in parliament can make differences to policies that on the face of it may seem small, but the Sex Party doesn’t believe these small differences are insignificant.
A rational discussion on drug law reform will enable sick people to access medicinal marijuana along the lines of a successful model that has been operating in Canada for some time now. Making this medicine available in a regulated way will positively affect a wide range of illness, much of which has been researched and much that has not. The problem will be getting all the notional support from within the major parties to actually getting this reform over the line. Both major parties have a deeply held fear and mistrust of anything to do with cannabis and there are many wreckers in both parties who will be out to sabotage change. They can agree to introduce medical marijuana but they could also subject it to an eternal round of Committees, enquiries and eventual legalisation that will see only a very few people provided with access.
The right to voluntary assisted dying is only held back by religious belief. There is no rational reason not to allow a process where a terminally ill person is given the choice as to when they end their life. People should be able to decide when their pain and suffering is great enough to be able to say goodbye to family rather than drip away on the end of a morphine drip (to paraphrase euthanasia campaigner, Peter Short).
It is an entirely rational and well researched approach to legislate for proper sex and relationship education that can reduce not only unwanted pregnancies and sexual disease but family and sexual violence. Sex education can also reduce sexual discrimination and homophobia. A proper sex and relationship curriculum can include information on technology, privacy and many other tools that young people need now.
Allowing people the freedom to believe in what they want, which means not having religious education and school chaplains forced on them, is core Sex Party policy. As is saying ‘no’ to the tax breaks still being given to religious businesses. The Sex Party will introduce rational parliamentary debate on all these issues if it gains a seat in the coming Victorian election. It is unlikely that any other party will see these as priority issues.
|Fiona Patten is leader of the Australian Sex Party and a member of the Rationalist Society of Australia.
The Sex Party supports the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia, marriage equality, no data retention, legal abortion, decriminalisation and regulation of marijuana, national anti-discrimination laws, uniform censorship and a secular education system - see here for a full list of policies.