Introducing Liberals For Climate

A starting point for The Flux Network

Author: Daithí Gleeson — Tue, 20 October 2020

Flux is registering a new political party in Western Australia called “Liberals For Climate - The Flux Network”.

# Overview

Liberals For Climate is an election experiment, and a statement on the dysfunction of the general political landscape.

Liberals For Climate does not have any policies but it does support the implementation of Issue-Based Direct Democracy and/or other forms of Digital Democracy, Semi Direct Democracy, etc, to address political issues.

The party is yet to be officially registered. This is what is involved:

  1. Advertising campaign to get 550 registered members by 31 October.
  2. Electoral Commission verification process
  3. Registered by Issue of Writs on 3 February

Liberals For Climate will then field 12 candidates on the ballot for the WA 2021 state election.

# What?

As part of a wider strategy, Flux is setting up a new party called Liberals For Climate (LFC). LFC will be registered in Western Australia and intends to operate as part of The Flux Network.

It is mostly an experiment, where we work within the limits of our political system, while also pushing right up against the edges and testing boundaries.

As an experiment it is intended to enhance probability of success in the upcoming campaign by leveraging particular nuances of Western Australian elections - including preference negotiations for Group Voting Tickets. Simply by appearing on the ballot paper, we expect that LFC will attract a small percentage of votes on the merits of its name alone. These votes contribute to making LFC a very minor player, but a player nonetheless, in the larger election game. In this game, LFC will coordinate with other minor parties as per current working expectations among the minor parties based in WA.

It is also a political statement, drawing attention to one of the most contentious issues of our time - the politics of climate issues. We shine a light on this matter as it highlights the ways in which our current political system has failed to address climate issues with any real level of sophistication or success.

At a global level, there is a general inability to effectively coordinate on matters concerning climate. In Australia, there is ample evidence which demonstrates how political parties are bound by ideology and perversely influenced by donations.

It’s not a controversial idea to suggest that there are people who vote for the Liberal Party of Australia, who do not support their positions on climate and environment. These people are often mostly motivated by their alignment to classic liberal values which the Liberal Party usually espouse e.g. free markets and individual rights.

LFC is a comment on the problems created by the dynamics of the political duopoly, and the ideological battle lines which get drawn between the major parties. One of Flux’s core objectives is to ensure that issues are examined on their merits, and not bundled as ideological colours to be flown as flags at election time.

While it may draw accusations of “taking sides”, or being a cynical act, we believe it is a defensible position to register a party “Liberals For Climate” to highlight this matter while also using it as a vehicle assisting our own electoral strategies.

# Why?

Quite simply, doing this will increase our chances of getting a candidate elected in the upcoming WA election.

It involves a combination of factors including: the number of candidates on the ballot paper, preference negotiations with other parties and general publicity we hope to generate with this strategy.

We have conducted similar experiments in the past and will always seek to avail of opportunities to leverage our influence in ways which are legal and moral.

We will be sharing more information on the details of the strategy in the coming weeks.

# Who?

If successful in registering, LFC will be administered by Flux Leadership and core volunteers until further notice.

# When?

In order to meet the WAEC timetable, the party registration list must be submitted by 2 November (latest deadline possible). That is the only deadline which currently matters.

# How?

This post is the first public announcement. It will be supplemented with a social media advertising campaign which will drive traffic to LiberalsForClimate.org for people to register.

We also expect/hope this idea to attract some attention via word-of-mouth or people tagging others in posts. We encourage all our members to support us by telling friends, family, colleagues, etc and donating to help us with all this.

This is one of those times where we simply can’t do it without your help. So please help us.

Registering as a member of LFC is free. The only requirement is that you provide valid details which match Electoral Commission records as part of the membership audit.

# Questions

Yes. The Electoral Act is explicit on what things are allowed and not allowed.

We have spoken with the WAEC of our intentions and they have informally advised us that there are no issues with our intentions or processes as described.

# Is this ethical?

We absolutely believe so.

We are conducting this experiment in the open and informing people of exactly what we are doing. There is no misrepresentation or deception.

# Is this cynical?

Perhaps, but it’s a level of cynicism we believe is justified given the challenges of contesting elections and trying to participate in Australian politics. We are trying to do something about the dysfunction of politics, and in doing so we may sometimes have to take some unconventional actions. This is one of those times.

Our core objective is to influence politics with Issue-Based Direct Democracy. To do so, we must get members of parliament to use our philosophy and systems. Winning a seat in certain Legislative Council elections has been assessed as the one of the most effective strategies for us to pursue.

Without utilising such strategies, our probability of electoral success is effectively zero. As such, we deem it pragmatic to leverage every opportunity available to us.

# What other consequences will come from this?

As a result of officially registering the party, Flux will control the rights to that registered political name for five years in Australia. It remains to be seen if LFC is utilised in another form at a later time.

# What happens if the party is not registered in time?

The contingency plan will be explained at a later date. For now the focus is on getting the required numbers of people registered to pursue the strategy.

# Can I be a member of Flux and of LFC?

Yes. We wrote about this particular nuanced matter in this article.

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