The Nimbin based HELP END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION party is in limbo, undead, neither registered nor de-registered.
We did not contest the 2007 Federal elections because we had not been re-registered in time. The Howard government had arbitrarily de-registered all political parties, without a current representative in Parliament in December 2006. Our application for re-registration, complying with all the requirements of the Electoral Act, was submitted early in April 2007.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) took until August, three weeks before the election was called, to advise us that we had failed their membership test. We replied asking that our application be accepted as is, or be reviewed by the commissioners. We intended to appeal any negative review. The calling of the election froze this process and nothing has happened since.
Last month the AEC informed us that they would be reviewing their own test. Apparently they have taken our objections on board. So we wait for their new test before deciding whether to resubmit or continue with an appeal. If we do resubmit we will probably still need a membership whose addresses and phone numbers are current and contactable and who will not ignore an enquiry from the AEC. This has been the crux of the test.
A random sample of members contacted by the AEC must all say – YES, I am a HEMP party member. (And try not to feel afraid of Big Brother!)
To achieve this a membership drive will be conducted at MardiGrass. We want brave new members with established addresses. We want old members to update their contact details.
Anyone who supports our campaign for cannabis law reform can join, or re-join, at the Information booth outside the Town Hall, or Dutchies Café in Peace Park during MardiGrass, or the HEMP Embassy anytime. Membership is free.
With little chance of getting anyone elected why do we want a registered political party at all? Because the $1500 it costs to put our name on the Senate Ballot paper buys us more access to the corridors of power than any number of $10,000 a plate political fund raising dinners.
See you at MardiGrass.