Monday, February 13, 2012

It's The Principle Of It

It’s no secret that many Australians are disillusioned with the current mainstream political parties. The rise of the independents and the large number of undecided voters in recent polls is proof enough, but what happens when a couple of outspoken independents come together and form a new party?
Nothing yet, but the KAP – Katter’s Australian Party – about to contest its first election is about to take on Queensland. Amidst a bizarre launch function featuring conservative shock jock Alan Jones, a red double-decker bus and dancing politicians, fans of the KAP are predicting that this new political party will win “45 seats in the bush and make the chardonnay sippers in Brisbane suffer” ( - Raj Patel via Twitter). Some are even more optimistic.
This idealistic new bunch, which has adopted the slogan “It’s the Principle of it”, seem to think they can attract voters from both sides of the political divide, and fill the gap left when the LNP moved even further to the right.
Jade Connor suggested in The Drum that the left should be supporting the KAP. He’s a lefty himself, and found plenty of sane reasons why this would be a good idea.  In selected policies, the KAP does tend to land somewhere to the left of the ALP – Coal Seam Gas, economic policies and funding for health and education, just to name a few. In other areas – income tax, for example – the KAP doesn’t seem to have a policy at all.
But what about the rest? The KAP has a website with it’s Core Values listed. I had a look, and compared it with the most right-leaning party I could find: the Tea Party.
The Tea Party website has listed it’s 15 Core Values in short, sharp and sometimes ambiguous order. Bob Katter’s party have opted for a much wordier approach. Here they are, side by side. There's usually not an exact match, policy for policy, but I've tried to line them up where I can.
Note: All policies and statements attributed here to KAP are available on the Katter Australian Party website.

So there you are: a confusing mixture of Tea Party conservatism, Katteristic economics, and a few nuggets of lefty environmentalism. Still no support for gay marriage, but hey, Mr Katter has made his feelings on that perfectly clear.

Clear as mud.

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