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The Case Against War: Bartlett Puts Australian Democrats View

As debate about Australia’s involvement in a war against Iraq gathers strength, the leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Andrew Bartlett, has delivered a speech setting out his party’s opposition to a war.

Bartlett spoke to a public meeting at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Text of speech by Senator Andrew Bartlett, leader of the Australian Democrats.

BartlettI acknowledge the traditional owners of the land.

Thank you Don Chipp and Senator Lyn Allison and the many other organisations and individuals who have contributed to holding this meeting.

I believe what we need to be doing tonight is not just looking at the immediate threat of the impending war with Iraq but what it will also mean for our future, as Australians and indeed the global community. [Read more…]


Democrats: You Do Not Have The Right To Remain Silent

The Australian Democrats today launched a major campaign against the Government’s anti-terrorism legislation, which is set to be debated during the budget sitting in May.

“This legislation is an attack on the basic rights and freedoms of Australian citizens,” said Australian Democrats’ Leader, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.

“The ALP must join with the Democrats in opposing these bills to ensure they are blocked in the Senate.” [Read more…]


Stott Despoja Defeats Lees To Take Democrats Leadership; Youngest Ever Party Leader In Australia

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja has been elected as the new leader of the Australian Democrats.

DemocratsThe 31-year-old Senator becomes the youngest person ever to lead a major political grouping in Australia.

Stott Despoja defeated Senator Meg Lees who has led the party since 1997, after the former leader, Cheryl Kernot, defected to the Labor Party.

Senator Aden Ridgeway has been elected as the new deputy leader.

In a ballot of Australian Democrats’ members, Stott Despoja polled a majority of the vote. The Australian Democrats is unique because it allows ordinary party members to elect the parliamentary leadership. Approximately 3000 members of the party were eligible to vote. It is believed that about 2500 members cast a vote.

Senator Stott Despoja becomes the seventh person to lead the Australian Democrats since its formation in 1977. She is the fourth leader from South Australia. [Read more…]


1998 Federal Election: Australian Democrats Advertisements

These are two advertisements broadcast by the Australian Democrats for the 1998 federal election.

The first features the party’s leader, Senator Meg Lees. The second warns against a vote for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

  • Meg Lees
  • One Nation

‘Give A Damn’ – Janine Haines Australian Democrats Advertisement

This is an Australian Democrats television advertisement from the 1990 Federal Election.

It features the Democrats leader Janine Haines. The theme of the party’s campaign in the election was “Give a Damn”.

Haines was first appointed to a casual vacancy in the Senate in 1977. She served until June 30, 1978 and was elected in her own right in 1980. In 1986, she succeeded Don Chipp as leader of the Australian Democrats.

In 1990, Haines attempted to shift to the House of Representatives via the South Australian electorate of Kingston but she was unsuccessful. She died in 2004, at age 59.



1987 Federal Election: Australian Democrats TV Advertisement

This is an Australian Democrats television advertisement for the 1987 Federal Election.

It features the party’s leader, Senator Janine Haines, contesting her first election as leader, following the retirement of the party’s founder, Senator Don Chipp, in 1986.