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Australian Sex Party registration cancelled in the ACT

Ian Bushnell 1 June 2018 6
Australian Sex Party candidates Venus de Siren, Steven Bailey and Andrew Dewson.

Australian Sex Party candidates Venus de Siren, Steven Bailey and Andrew Dewson in 2016. File photo.  

The sex has been taken out of ACT politics, at least on the ballot sheet, with the Australian Sex Party ACT removed from the ACT’s register of political parties today (1 June).

ACT Electoral Commissioner Damian Cantwell said the registration was cancelled on the grounds that the party did not have at least 100 members who were electors.

The Australian Sex Party was founded by Canberra woman Fiona Patten and her partner Robbie Swan in 2009, focusing on civil libertarian issues and personal freedoms, and with links to the sex industry lobby group the Eros Association, of which Ms Patten was CEO.

It fielded candidates at the state, federal and ACT level, with Ms Patten being elected to the Victorian Legislative Council in 2014.

In August 2017, Ms Patten dissolved the Australian Sex Party, to continue her political career under the banner of the Australian Reason Party.

She told the ABC that the new party would have a broader set of policies to appeal to “reasonable” voters at a time when politics is lurching to the far right and left.

“The extremists are really taking the lead in Australian politics at the moment and unless we fill that vacuum with something else they will continue to take over politics,” Ms Patten said. “So I’m hoping for a voice that is reasonable that represents the community.”

Ms Patten is considered to be an effective member of the Victorian Upper House.

Issues such as voluntary euthanasia and drug reform would remain central to the party’s platform, and she said at the time the Reason hoped to win more seats in the Upper House and contest the Senate at the next federal election.

The Sex Party fielded five candidates at the last ACT election in 2016.

Nine parties remain registered in the ACT. They are:

  • Animal Justice Party
  • Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch)
  • Canberra Community Voters
  • Liberal Democratic Party
  • Liberal Party of Australia (A. C. T. Division)
  • Sustainable Australia (ACT)
  • The ACT Greens
  • The Community Alliance Party (ACT)
  • The Flux Party – ACT

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6 Responses to
Australian Sex Party registration cancelled in the ACT
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Steven Bailey 7:30 am 14 Mar 19

I travelled to Melbourne in 2014 to campaign for it in Victoria. Besides Fiona, Robbie, and Jorian, who bothered to come to Canberra to campaign for us? Having received a vote of 8%, and receiving public funding of over 30K, why was I not fully reimbursed for the campaign? Where did the 20K go that was promised to the ACT? As the Acting Agent for the party, why was the money earned in the ACT directed to Melbourne? I think it is time that the truth of the most successful minor party in the ACT was told properly, and that the spurious allegations made against me, particularly by the then President of the party – a complete skid mark, were corrected. Some of my dearest volunteers moved and went along with the name change to Reason. Two-years later, the party is still not registered. What assistance is HQ giving to those members who worked so hard for the Sex Party ACT in 2016? Why did the federal candidate Meredith Doig leave? Is Reason actually a party, or is it a political collective designed to promote one Independent? It’s time that the truth was told.

Steven Bailey – ACT candidate in this year’s federal election.

Steven Bailey 7:29 am 14 Mar 19

I think it might be time to tell the truth about this story. I just happened to come across it. This article is totally inaccurate, not due to a lack of journalistic prowess, but due to the truth not being told. As the party’s Secretary, Leader in the ACT, and Lead Candidate, I can tell you that the Sex Party ACT was not deregistered due to a lack of members; I held the details of at least 250 members. Doesn’t anyone find it coincidental that we ran out of members just as the National Executive undemocratically, and selfishly destroyed the brand that I had worked three-years to build, and then put us in a winning position in the 2016 ACT elections?

Steven Bailey 8:08 pm 16 Aug 18

As the person who registered the party in the ACT in 2015, and then lead the party into winning territory during the 2016 election, I can say with confidence that the party was not deregistered due to bureaucracy. The Sex Party was deregistered due to political pressure. Does anyone honestly think that other ACT minor parties currently have in excess of 100 members?

    Matt Donnelly 11:20 am 17 Aug 18

    Struth! Bit condescending there, Steven (welcome back, BTW).

    I honestly believe because I honestly know that the ACT Liberal Democrats have over 100 members in the Territory.

    Grimm 6:32 pm 17 Aug 18

    Which party are you with these days? It’s a bit hard to keep up with your ship jumping.

John Moulis 3:24 am 04 Jun 18

What? No Sun-Ripened Warm Tomato Party? 🙂 A lot of people might not be aware that in that first ACT self-government election in 1989 the National Party also stood, the only time they have ever contested an election in the ACT state or federal. When Liberal leader Trevor Kaine was asked about it he replied “What National Party?”

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