Australian Progressive Alliance

From Academic Kids

The Australian Progressive Alliance (APA) is a minor liberal party in Australia. The party was formed by Senator Meg Lees, the former leader of the Australian Democrats, in April 2003. Lees is its only Parliamentary representative. She resigned from the Democrats in July 2002 after having been deposed as the party's leader in April 2001.

A number of other prominent former members of the Democrats have joined the APA, including former Queensland Senator John Woodley, who is the party's president, and Elizabeth Kirkby, a former member of the New South Wales Legislative Council.

The APA positions itself as a party of the moderate centre, arguing that the Democrats, under the leadership first of Cheryl Kernot and more recently of Natasha Stott-Despoja and Andrew Bartlett, have moved too far to the left. Lees said in a 2003 interview that the party would appeal to "voters who cannot be dragged to the extremes by the Greens in any enduring way. These are the voters who want more choice in the mainstream, who want to be able to make a positive vote rather than just choose the lesser of several evils."

The party's "guiding principles" are described as:

  • To act with integrity, tolerance and compassion.
  • To respect the freedom of the individual particularly the freedoms of association, expression and religion.
  • To uphold a system of constitutional checks and balances in Government particularly the separation of powers and the rule of law.
  • To commit to a socially just, environmentally responsible and economically sustainable Australia, working for a balance between, and the integration of, social needs, the protection and care of Australia’s unique biodiversity and the equitable collection and spending of revenue.
  • To work for positive solutions for all Australians and not be controlled by any one particular group in the community.

In practice, Lees has acted in the Senate as an independent, co-operating with two other independent Senators, Brian Harradine and Shayne Murphy. These Senators, together with the One Nation Senator Len Harris, hold the balance of power in the Senate and have been able to bargain with both the major parties on legislation before the Senate.

At the 2004 federal election Lees sought re-election to the Australian Senate. Despite her high profile in South Australia, she failed to win back her seat. Nationally, the APA did not poll well and failed to win any other seats. The party is considered likely to dissolve with the end of Lees's term in July 2005. By March 2005 the party's website had not been updated since the election and it appeared to be inactive.

See also

External links

Template:Australian political parties

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