March 11, 2017 is the Western Australian state election. This is the first state election after the Adler decision and National Firearms Agreement Review and a pivotal one for the future of WA and indeed, the country.
If you have any doubt that you cannot change the outcome of an election, then I ask you to cast your minds back to November 2016 at the Orange By-Election.
Many shooters have already made their minds up about who they are going to vote for and that’s fine. There are other more major issues at play in the WA election, #1 being the woeful state economy, high unemployment, deflating house prices and massive state debt.
If you have or haven’t decided who you will vote for, read on.
Disclaimer: Firearm Owners United do not support any one political party over the other. We support all parties that make a genuine concerted effort to support shooters. So, that obviously does not include Labor, Liberal or the Greens.
Strategically speaking, the best chance for Law Abiding Firearm Owner’s in WA is in the upper house, known as the Legislative Council. However, as always both are in play.
In the WA election, the three parties that will formally support you are the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party, the Liberal Democrats and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. In order to have the best chance at electing pro-firearm candidates, it is imperative that these three parties be in your top 3 preferences (where available), in whichever order that may be.
We have designed How To Vote Card’s for all Legislative Assembly seats and that have the best chance to elect firearm owners. Click here to download the How to Vote Cards and locate your electorate. These are also available on our Facebook page.
You can view a full list of the candidates running in the Legislative Council here.
In the Legislative Assembly, you must number all the boxes on your voting slip from first preference to last preference on your voting form. In the Legislative Council, you must vote above or below the line. If you vote above the line, you must number one box of the party of your preference and leave all other boxes blank. If you vote below the line, you must number all of the boxes from first to last preference, leaving no boxes blank.
For a full list of the rules and for any FAQ’s on the voting process in the WA state election, click here.
Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party
The SFFP are currently represented by two members in WA, Rick Mazza and Nigel Hallett, whom the latter resigned from the Liberal Party and will be contesting the election for the SFFP in the South West Region, where he is already the incumbent candidate.
The SFFP are contesting all Legislative Council regions and 19 Legislative Assembly seats.
SFFP’s great work in the recent WA Firearms Act Review achieved many things, including Airsoft and Public Land Hunting on the table for the very first time (bye-bye property letters hopefully). This needs to be rewarded. It’s often easier to re-elect an incumbent than elect a new candidate and in our view, it is important that Rick Mazza and Nigel Hallett both be returned to office.
You can find the SFFP’s policies on firearms here.
The Liberal Democrats are a relatively young party in terms of their Western Australian branch, however, that is by no means a bad thing. There’s plenty of potential for LDP to snare disenfranchised Liberal voters but will be competing with PHON for that share.
In terms of firearms, the LDP fully support self-defence application of firearms and non-lethal self-defence tools and have just released a statement pertaining to self-defence in WA. They are also pro-hunting and pro-Airsoft and have also called for the abolition of the firearms registry.
LDP are running candidates in many Legislative Assembly seats and in all regions in the Legislative Council.
You can find LDP’s firearms policy by clicking here.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
PHON have recently announced a review to their firearms policy, which previously supported the status quo. What this actually means is uncertain, but at least it means they are possibly open to change.
PHON are running 60 candidates and are expected to poll strongly with or without shooters’ votes, after electing Rod Culleton (and then un-electing him via the Supreme Court) at the Federal Election. Current polling has them at 11% of the vote.
You can find their current firearm policy by clicking here.
They are the three parties contesting the WA election that you must concern yourself with if you are voting as a firearm owner. There are several other minor parties such as Family First, Australian Christians, Flux, etc and a slew of independents (too numerous to list in this article) who do not have overt policies on firearms. If in doubt about those in your electorate, Google is your friend. In many electorates, particularly in the Legislative Assembly, there are no pro shooting candidates which is essentially a case of hold your nose and choose the least worst.
Key points to remember:
Put the Greens last.
In WA, the Nationals and Liberals are not in a formal coalition.
If you have absolutely no choice and only have the majors left to vote for in your seat, then put the Nationals first, then Liberal, Labor and the Greens dead last.
In our view, it is easier to get an incumbent re-elected than it is to get a new MP elected (if you have that luxury)
No, really. Put the Greens last.
WA – it’s in your hands now.