The Australian political party, with the slogan we're serious about sex, launches at Melbourne Sexpo on November 20th and party convenor Fiona Patten is confident it will gain the 500 members required to register and contest state
Upper House and Senate seats.
Ms Patten, who is also the chief executive of the Eros Association - representing the adult retail and entertainment industry, said she and others were concerned about the Government's proposed internet filter, which is being tested over summer
on about 10,000 sites to block unwanted content.
This really came out of 20 years of lobbying on sex and censorship and then... the latest being the compulsory internet filter, which will ... prohibit and blacklist adult material that is currently legal in magazines, books and film, she
Ms Patten said there had already been a lot of interest from potential members: We'll probably have our 500 members by the time we launch on Thursday. But there's four million customers of adult shops in Australia."
She also hoped the 1000 or so adult shops around the country would become Sex Party branches: Hopefully we'll get their attention with the word but then we may be able to help influence some reasonably sensible policies.
An introductory statement on the Australian Sex Party reads:
We're serious about sex.
Sex is a wonderful thing. It's the reason we were born and (mostly) its NOT the reason we die. Sex, as gender, defines who we are and often what roles we undertake in society. It's responsible for a heck of a lot of pleasure
and fulfillment in life. Also, the basis of much art, fashion and music. It entertains us, enthralls us and mystifies us. Because its such a fundamental need of human beings, it conditions much of our behaviour. And then politicians go and
legislate that behaviour.
The Australian Sex Party is a political response to the sexual needs of Australia in the 21st century. It is an attempt to restore the balance between sexual privacy and sexual publicity that has been severely distorted by morals campaigners and
A political party based on sex is certainly a single-issue party but to choose a bad metaphor, its a very broad church. Economic, social welfare, environmental and even defense policies have got lots to do with sex and sexuality. All those big
guns and huge surpluses...
If you're sick of religious and anti-sex politicians like Steve Fielding, Brian Harradine and Fred Nile threatening to block legislation in the Senate and State Upper Houses unless they get their way on sex and gender issues, vote for someone who
understands this rort.
The new Australian Sex Party has had more than 1,000 membership applications since its launch this week, it says.
Convenor Fiona Patten said although she knew there would be a significant amount of interest in the political party, the numbers so far had taken her by surprise: People are sick of not being treated like adults when it comes to issues
involving censorship and personal choices, and they're certainly sick of living in a nanny state, where religious minorities are influencing the agenda .
Somebody Think of the Children blog raised concerns last week about whether the Australian Sex Party (ASP) would fight for an R18+ game classification, given that adult trade association Eros had been opposed to adult games.
Party convenor Fiona Patten promptly responded said that ASP does support the introduction of an R18+ classification for games, as well as an X18+ rating for games. It's part of their national and consistent approach to classification policy.
When it comes to the availability of BDSM material and other content that could be perceived as violent, ASP would like to see the X18+ classification replaced with a NVE (Non Violent Erotica) classification and clearly consenting role playing
and fantasies allowed. If that's the case, the NVE guidelines would need to be a lot more lenient than those proposed nearly 10 years ago.
The party is also opposed to the removal of the AMI's Want Longer Lasting Sex billboard. Patten explains that the removal was because of an organised campaign and there was even a website that Catholic Bishop Pell promoted. The word sex
in it self should not be seen as inappropriate and that is what happened.'
The Australian Sex Party will run candidates in three electorates in the upcoming Queensland state election. However, since the party does not have a sufficient membership base, the candidates will run as independents.
Queensland's censorship laws are far stricter than any other state in Australia and the same as laws on erotica in totalitarian states like China and Iran, says party convenor Fiona Patten.
The party will run of a number of platforms including same sex marriage and age of consent. In Queensland the age of consent for homosexuals is 18 while it is 16 for heterosexuals. Every other state in Australia has an age of consent of 16
regardless of sexual orientation.
The Australian Sex Party, a proposed political party which filed papers for recognition by the Australian government last month, has completed its four-week comment period with only four complaints from the Australian population.
Yesterday our office received the objections people had made to the Electoral Commission about our political party registration, Australia Sex Party organizer Fiona Patten said: There were only four, which was a little surprising. We
now must respond to them and allay fears that the democratic process as we know it will cease to exist with the birth of the Australian Sex Party, which seems to be the concern of some. So we are now in the final stretch and hopefully will be
approved as a fully fledged Australian political party this time next month.
The Australian Sex Party has obtained approval from the Australian Electoral Commission for registration as a political party.
The commission, which announced the registration on its website, said it had received several objections.
The party's convenor and likely future candidate Fiona Patten said: One of the reasons for establishing the party was to provide a positive platform for sexual issues amongst the negative notions of sex that most politicians and political
parties have, she said in a statement.
The Australian Sex Party will nominate human rights advocate Zahra Stardust, who also is a burlesque dancer, for the Bradfield By-election on 5th December.
The organization calls Stardust, aka Marianna Leishman, a strong generation Y woman who believes in changing the world from upside down and using the stage as a space to talk about social injustice.
Stardust is a feminist writer and law graduate who also works as a trapeze artist, burlesque performer, showgirl, fire twirler and pole dance instructor.
We look forward to hearing from and consulting with the youth and women of Bradfield about issues affecting their rights, priorities and desires and providing a more nuanced representation of the beautifully diverse electorate of Bradfield,
The Australian Sex Party will nominate its convenor and anti-censorship activist Fiona Patten for the Higgins by-election.
The organization said Patten will stand in contrast to the Liberal and Greens candidates to campaign for gay rights, a national sex education curriculum in primary and secondary schools. She also will tackle censorship issues, including the
increasing influence of religion in politics and Internet filtering.
Patten said that censorship of the Internet was already at critical levels even before any national filtering scheme was in place. Many sex education, health and fertility agencies were having their sites blocked by inefficient filters.
She said the Australian Sex Party's site had been censored by the government as well: This is a clear breach of the implied rights to political free speech in the Constitution and an example of how difficult it has become for anyone who deals
in sexuality to operate online, she said. If ever we get a Clive Hamilton's style national filter in place, the Internet will be off limits for many people.
Australian Sex Party has a word about the parliamentary christian fellowship
See article from sxnews.e-p.net.au
Many dismissed them as a passing fad. But thanks to a wide policy platform that includes gay rights and a charismatic leader, The Australian Sex Party has shown they are a political force to be reckoned with, writes Garrett Bithell.
When was the last time we heard a politician talk positively about sex, without giggling like a little schoolboy from the front bench? When was the last time we heard a politician talk seriously and empathetically about human rights, without that
dialogue being conflated by religious dogma?
In November of 2008, The Australian Sex Party was formed as a response to the increasing wowserism dominating our political landscape, and the unprecedented power of the religious right. Armed with pimped-up vans, a feisty and charismatic leader,
and We're Serious About Sex as their slogan, the party launched at Melbourne Sexpo.
Following an appeal over the registration of the Australian Sex Party last August, The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has issued a Statement of Reasons for dismissing the appeal.
The AEC considered two issues raised by the appellant:
That the abbreviation to be used by the party on advertising and on voting forms (Sex Party) was obscene
Proper procedure was not applied in assessing the membership of the party
The AEC found that: sex in itself is a completely inoffensive word. It does not become offensive merely because it identifies this particular party as being concerned with public and political issues of a sexual nature . It also found that
due process in ascertaining that the party had 500 legitimate members, had been accorded.
Sex Party President, Fiona Patten, said that the initial application to register the party had drawn a wave of protest and complaints which had not stopped even after the party had been registered.
Religious and morals groups are afraid of our agenda because for the first time in Australian politics, a political party has been registered which intends to expose religious hypocrisy and fraud for what it is. Religious conservatives like
Archbishop Pell, Steve Fielding, Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd are understandably nervous , she said.
Ms Patten said that she was about to lodge an application to register the party in Victoria and was hopeful of running candidates in the next state election. Although the next NSW election is still 10 months away, the onerous provisions put in
place by the two major parties and the Greens made it impossible to register the Sex Party there before that state election. It's a form of gerrymandering , she said. Instead of redrawing electorate boundaries to suit themselves they
have redrawn the conditions of entry into politics with much the same result.
The Australian Sex Party vote in the Victorian Upper House has almost doubled following the state election. From an average vote of 2.2% in the last Senate election in Victoria, the party's vote in the regions it contested, rose to nearly 4%.
The party recorded the highest vote of minor parties and independents in three out of the four upper house regions it contested.
Party President and candidate in the Upper House region of Northern Metro, Fiona Patten, said that for a party that had been registered for only one month in Victoria to double its federal vote, was a tremendous outcome. The implications for
the Sex Party's vote at the next Senate election are very encouraging , she said.
The Sex Party waged a strong campaign against Labor Minister for Gaming, Tony Robinson, over his curbs on adult entertainment and also ran a strong campaign against the Greens candidate in Richmond, Kathleen Maltzhan, who personally supported
prosecuting clients of sex workers.
Ms Patten said that the most gratifying result was outpolling all three Christian parties (Christian Party, Family First and DLP) in all Upper House seats that the Sex Party ran in. We also recorded a much better vote than the religious
parties in 15 out of 17 lower house seats that we contested , she said. The Sex Party's pledge to get religion out of politics is one small step closer to becoming a reality after this election although religious affiliations and networks
run deep in both major parties these days .
Ms Patten said that the Sex Party would look at running candidates in local government elections and that the first Victorian by election would be keenly contested with Sex Party preferences going to the party that had the best civil liberty and
personal freedom track record.
Five years after forming as a political party, the Australian Sex Party has won its first seat in parliament.
The party's national President and long time civil liberties lobbyist, Fiona Patten, has just been formally declared the winner of the fifth seat in the Northern Metropolitan region of the Victorian Legislative Council.
Ms Patten won with the fifth highest primary vote in the region and the support of seven other progressive parties who preferenced her highly. She said:
The result is a ringing endorsement of the democratic nature of the preferential voting system. We are becoming more like the many European countries who have a number of parties vying for government on their own or in combination with another
party. New Zealand also follows this trend. The introduction of minor parties into the political landscape in Australia is a sign of a healthy democracy. My vote was made up of a combination of the votes of the progressive minor parties in my
region and ended up being around about a quota in its own right".
She said she would seek to progress the key policies of many of these parties like The Voluntary Euthanasia Party, The Basics Rock 'n Roll Party, The Animal Justice Party, Independent Peter Allen and The Australian Cyclists.
Ms Patten has resigned as CEO of Australia's adult industry association, the Eros Association. She founded the association in 1992 and acknowledged the support and the depth of civil libertarian values present in the industry:
Now is the time for the hard work to begin and from today it does. I will immediately commence work on referring Voluntary Euthanasia to the Victorian Law Reform Commission and then, with the mandate I have, will begin progressing drug law
reform in Victoria, including legalising medical and recreational cannabis.
Last week during the sitting of the Victorian Parliament, Fiona Patten MLC questioned the Attorney General about legalising hardcore porn sales in the state of Victoria (currently sales are only legal in Canberra and the Northern Territories):
In relation to the Australian Law Reform Commission's 2012 Review of Australia's classification system, will the Government legalise X18+ classified films in line with public opinion and, if so, when?
The Victorian government now has 30 days to answer the question.
The Australian Sex Party is back in the federal political contest, two month's after the party's registration was cancelled.
Back in May, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) determined the party should be deregistered because it was not meeting the membership requirements of 500 members to maintain registration.
The leader of the party, and elected member of the Victorian Parliament, Fiona Patten said the AEC decision provoked an angry response.
There was outrage amongst many of our members.
But deregistration appears to have worked in the party's favour. Patten explained:
What was interesting was the number of people who joined the party during this process. Even people who weren't members, but may have been voters for our party, were outraged by this process and by the prospect that we wouldn't be allowed to
contest the next election. So they joined.
Patten says there are about 6,000 members of the party across the country, and a candidate will contest the next election in all states and territories.
Fiona Patten changed from being a boss of the Australian adult trade group Eros, to serving as an MP in Victoria representing the Australian Sex Party.
She has made a good impression with liberal measures including proposing a parliamentary inquiry into voluntary assisted dying, introducing a bill creating safe access zones around clinics that provided abortion , and introducing a bill to
legalise and regulate ride-sharing companies such as Uber.
However she now feels that the she could achieve even more without the Sex Party tag, which was proving a little offputting to some potential supporters. So the party had a bit of think and came up with the Australian Reason Party.
The renamed party is now awaiting registration with the Australian Electoral Commission. On its website, Reason announces itself as a movement for radical common sense.