In a post published a few days ago regarding the Republican Party’s influence on political parties in other countries, I made a comparison between some newer Australian political parties, and the American Republican Party:

In fact, Australia is actually seeing a rise in fringe, “tea-party-esque” political parties this election cycle. Unlike the Republican Party, which is belatedly and spectacularly responding to the rising economic importance, social importance, and political clout of immigrant populations, Australia has seen the formation of anti-multicultural and anti-immigrant* parties like the Stable Population Party and Rise Up. If anything, rather than learn from the mistakes of the Republicans, their followers in Australia are set to repeat them.

In response to my post, William Bourke, President of the Stable Population Party, contacted me:

It has come to our attention that you are misrepresenting the Stable Population Party is “anti-multicultural and anti-immigrant”. Neither of these assertions are accurate.

You have described yourself as “a reporter” on The Wire in your website. Reporters generally research their issues before reporting.

Please start by reviewing our website, including or philosophy, core values and policies, so that you may then have a reasonable understanding of our sustainability-focused community party.

I have since taken Mr Bourke’s advice, visited the Stable Population Party’s website, and would like to take this opportunity to correct myself. Reading the Stable Population Party’s “About Us” page, “Myths & Facts” page, “Philosophy, Objectives & Core Values” page, and the “Policies” page, it is clear to me that the Stable Population Party and it’s goals are much more nuanced than I let on, and that Mr Bourke is correct.

When writing my post I was under the (false) impression that the policies and objectives of Stable Population Party were to restrict immigration wholesale. However, a closer reading of their website reveals that the Stable Population Party has grown out of opposition to proposals for a rapidly rising Australian population. Rather than a wholesale suspension of immigration, the Stable Population Party advocates on their website for “zero net migration” (the number of permanent immigrants balancing the number of permanent emmigrants), and propose a population of around 26 million by 2050:

73% of Australians support our stable population target of around 26m by 2050, not the Coalition / Labor / Greens / Katter policy outcome of around 36-40m and rising. Powerful business lobby groups are pushing for this rapid population (customer) growth. But our grassroots community party echoes the voice of the people. Why? We won’t resolve any of Australia’s (or the world’s) major problems until we first resolve ‘the everything issue’.

Population Policies

In order to achieve our objectives, we advocate the following two-point plan:

1. Limit the baby bonus and paid parental leave to each woman’s first two children

  • This law would apply only to births occurring more than nine months after it was passed.

2. Adopt a ‘balanced migration’ program

  • Permanent immigration would be equivalent to permanent emigration – the world average (also known as ‘zero net migration)
  • This would reduce annual permanent immigration from around 250,000 (including NZ) to around 80,000, and include skilled, family reunion and humanitarian (refugee) components.

Whether I agree or disagree with the policies and proposals of the Stable Population Party is an issue for another time (I do disagree with some, while I agree with others), and I hope to raise these issues as this year’s election heats up and draws closer. What is important right now is that I admit I was wrong. As Mr Bourke says, the stated policies and the objectives of Stable Population party are neither anti-immigrant nor anti-multicultural.

 

  • *’anti-immigrant’ was a typo, I meant to write ‘anti-immigration’