Perhaps uniquely to Australian politics, the Animal Justice Party has a tradition of openly explaining our "preferences" at an election and we challenge others to start doing the same.
As a party for animals and nature, separate to and independent from any other Australian political party, we take the role of advocating for animals seriously. We aim to use our political voice to make a better world and if our candidate(s) do not win we must line the remaining options up in an order we think will bring the best result for animals.
This year we have another election where we cannot outright ‘endorse’ another political party; no one gets top marks when it comes to animal or environmental protection and we will continue to push politicians to do better.
But while we cannot point to anyone else as having gotten it ‘right’, the Animal Justice Party most certainly points to the Morrison Government as having gotten it ‘wrong’. The Morrison Government has swept the horrors of live animal exports under the carpet, hoping you would forget. The Morrison Government has delayed and undermined global climate action. When we exposed the cruelty of kangaroo killing, the Morrison Government did nothing. When the koala was listed as endangered, the Morrison Government did nothing. While COVID-19 plagued Australia, the Morrison Government responded slowly and failed to address the real causes of dangerous zoonotic diseases: animal agriculture and the destruction of our environment.
The government’s priorities are against animal justice and environmental protection. When children sued the Morrison Government for their right to a better future, the Morrison Government and Sussan Ley beat them down in the High Court. When Aussie entrepreneurs began to succeed with plant-based foods the Morrison Government and Senator Susan McDonald launched a bizarre inquiry into what can be called a ‘sausage’. When Australia burned because of dangerous climate change, Scott Morrison went on holiday.
The government must change.
The disastrous impact of the Morrison Government is central to our rationale in suggesting your major party preferences go to Labor and The Greens, who we place ahead of the Coalition across the country on our guides.
Labor has the best chance of undoing and reversing some of the harm caused by the Morrison Government, while the Greens have the best chance of raising some of our other concerns to Parliament, but with no guarantee on results. Neither is adequate on animal issues but Labor has promised a range of reforms and funding for animal and environmental protection and other measures that are aligned with our party’s goals. Where parties make improvements on these fronts we must acknowledge and support them.
Additionally, where parties fail to change (or in one example resist change with bizarre and unhelpful claims that cows should be fed seaweed rather than reduced in number) our support should not be taken for granted - that would be a disservice to the animals for whom we advocate. As always, we will review progress and make another informed decision at the next election.
Voters understand that the how-to-vote guides given to them at polling booths are just that: guides. Gone are the days of the Group Voting Tickets and complex preference deals between parties. You as the voter decide your preferences. Simple. Our guides are designed for those who desperately want change for animals. If you disagree with our order, or you also have a niche issue or party you personally support and want to decide your own preferences - that is fine. We ask primarily for your #1 vote to go to the Animal Justice Party.
We look forward to seeing the end of the Morrison Government, and to a new Labor government meeting their significant commitments. AJP will work constructively with a new government to improve on their record for animals, especially in areas where they have previously shown a commitment to matters such as ending live export, expansion of the national parks system, addressing climate change and supporting renewable energy.