"I pledge to never give you up, let you down, run you around or desert you"

A feature of every Aussie election is the motley array of minor parties that try to get themselves elected to the Senate. This year, among other parties, there’s the LaRouchebag clowns at the Citizens Electoral Council; the Australian Sex Party (watch them debate the ultra-conservative Family First party here, it’s a cracker); and, intriguingly, a mob calling themselves Senator On-Line, “Australia’s first and only internet-based political party”.

Here, from their website, is “how it works”:

  1. The SOL post-election website will provide you balanced, unbiased information on all the issues, bills, and policies in Parliament;

  2. You vote on the SOL website how you want our senators to vote - every bill, every important issue, every time;

  3. SOL senators in Parliament then vote exactly how the majority directs.

This sounds like a disaster in the making. Imagine what might happen if you handed over control of a Senator to the masses on the intertubes…


CANBERRA (Aug 22nd) – In a press conference held today at Parliament House, Senator-Elect Rick Astley of the Senator On-Line party unveiled his party’s radical new crowdsourced stances on issues ranging from illegal immigration to education reform.

All your base are belong to the Senator On-Line Party!” the new senator announced at the beginning of his speech, before revealing Senator On-Line’s contribution to education reform: Magnets: How Do They Work? “If our children believe that giraffes and magnets and f*cking rainbows are miracles, then the system has failed our children,” said the senator. “We will teach our children that rainbows have a scientific explanation - even double rainbows.”

Senator Astley also outlined the party’s religious freedom policies. “Scientology has let people down, run them around and deserted them; in the 2011 budget to be handed down later this year, we will budget over nine thousand dollars to support a campaign of government-sponsored Rickrolling outside Scientology centres,” the Senator said. “And religious education will not be required in schools, except to teach our children the story of Ceiling Cat and Basement Cat.”

The senator announced one unexpected new initiative - parliamentary reforms to increase public participation in the democratic process. “In keeping with the Senator On-Line Party’s ‘open government’ ethos,” Senator Astley explained, “we will be hiring the Old Spice Guy to answer questions submitted by our constituents, and broadcasts of Question Time will be made more watchable via mandatory auto-tuning of the leaders of each party.”

Senator Astley closed the press conference by inviting the assembled media to a party at Kate’s apartment.