From the Facebook page of Rise Up Australia:
HISTORY MAKING DAY FOR AUSTRALIA !
The Aussie political landscape will never be Red nor Green again.
True blue Aussies of every skin-colour voted today for a True Blue party. -RUA!
Real Breaking News:
Often party “officials” of other parties “crossed the floor” to intimate that they had SECRETLY voted for………………….
RISE UP AUSTRALIA Party.
RISE UP AUSTRALIA
THIS IS YOUR CENTURY
According to figures from the Australian Electoral Commission, the party received 38,856 first preference votes, representing 0.37% of the electorate. Of course, the real point of such parties is to gain publicity and to nudge the mainstream parties in a particular direction rather than to win lots of votes; Nalliah is doubtless very happy with how the election went.
Rise Up Australia is the vehicle of Pastor Danny Nalliah of Catch the Fire Ministries, and the party campaigned under the tagline: “Keep Australia Australian! Multi-Ethnic, One Culture”. Nalliah is known particularly for his anti-Islam views, although he also advocates the usual suite of religious-right positions; opinions that have been widely reported include the suggestion that bushfires can be connected to a decision to de-criminalise abortion in Victoria.
There was particular controversy for Labor last week when it was reported that the party had given the party preferences on “how to vote” cards above other parties; according to the Sydney Morning Herald, under the heading “Labor Gives Preferences to Extremists”:
A Labor campaign spokesman said: ”We completely reject their politics and what they stand for. Labor advocates a vote only for Labor. In Australia, we have high rates of informal votes in elections and our how-to-vote cards are designed to ensure that every vote intended for Labor, counts for Labor.”
The 15 seats in which Labor advises voters to put Rise Up in their top four include former prime minister Julia Gillard’s seat of Lalor, being contested by Joanne Ryan, the ultra-marginal Corangamite in Victoria, and the marginal WA seat of Brand, held by Gary Gray.
…The Liberals have placed Rise Up ahead of Labor in all seven seats Rise Up Australia is contesting in NSW, and 30 of the 31 seats Rise Up is contesting in Victoria.
One Labor MP explained that the instruction was simply a formality “aimed at making it easier for Labor supporters to lodge a valid ballot paper”, since Labor and Liberal preferences in practice are not re-distributed in house election:
His instructions are to number the candidates in the order they appear on the ballot paper, beginning with a ”1” next to himself, then continuing down the page, before returning to the top of the list to number the remaining candidates.
Nalliah, however, told the press that he
had had ”unofficial talks with people in Labor and the Liberals” and felt that his party had been given favourable preferences by Labor in some seats because it was sympathetic to Rise Up policies, including concerns about Islam and multiculturalism. Asked why those sympathies had not been made public, Mr Nalliah suggested Labor’s sensitivity to political correctness.
Nalliah’s highest-profile political supporter is perhaps Lord Christopher Monckton, who was the keynote speaker at the party’s relaunch earlier this year; Graham Readfearn explored the association at DeSmogBlog at the time. Nalliah also has an honorary PhD, bestowed by a certain Dr Zamekio Jackson, president of “St. Thomas Christian College in Jacksonville, Fla”.
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