As you may have heard the party has now been officially de-registered by the VEC which means we are no longer a registered Party in any State, or Federally.

Although we didn’t get anyone elected, we got very close on more than one occasion, and more importantly our policies have had an impact upon bigger parties. Our goal was never political power for its own sake – it was always to create a more balanced public debate on medical and health options and extend the concept of health to the five pillars of our policy – healthy people; economy; environment; democracy and society.

At our first Federal election we gained an amazing 140,000 primary votes. Greens leader Richard DiNatale described us as ‘dangerous’ apparently due to the fact we supported a very simple idea that had been commonplace prior to ‘No Jab/No P(l)ay’ in 2016 – namely that people should be able to make the choice of medical and health approaches that best suits their individual needs and physiology. It is after all a cornerstone of medical ethics that treatment should be individualised because everyone’s physiology is different and some people have adverse reactions that can be life changing, or even ending. The ‘greater good’ arguments that were used to coerce people were meant to have gone out with Nuremburg.

The reality is that the Greens saw us as a threat and used their media allies to mercilessly attack us despite the fact that one of our founders had met with them and been assured that they respected our policies. We soon learned that this kind of hypocrisy is entirely routine in politics.

Post Covid many more people are questioning authoritarian and coercive approaches applied in the name of public health and the ‘greater good’ but we were doing it when it still created a media firestorm. The constant barrage of absurd media took its toll – there was a high burnout rate with our volunteers.

We also had a policy of trying to avoid public comment when people made unpleasant, unfair or absurd allegations about the party. We felt it inappropriate to get into public slanging matches, but with hindsight there are some things that we perhaps should have addressed.

We had lots of people join the party for the right reasons and for the most part we functioned respectfully and smoothly. Everyone was a volunteer which is always hard to balance with the pragmatic aspects of life. Sadly, right at the end, an individual who gained a position of trust attempted to appropriate the party name, brand and membership. As always, we did our best to keep it out of the public domain, but it did get messy and had a terrible impact upon long term members who not only realised the party no longer had the support needed to be viable, but that the disharmony created was totally out of character with how HAP had always functioned, and that HAP should be allowed to finish on a dignified and respected note.

Preferencing is another area that is never easy. You have to allocate preferences and as a minor party you need a decent preference flow to have any chance. So, it involves complex negotiations with people who you may have varying levels of sympathy for. And lots of deals get done on policy – parties will negotiate policy issues in return for preferences. We never did that. We tried to align with parties that had some degree of similarity on key policies, but we never agreed to modify our own for any preference deal.

We understand that in trying to retain a somewhat dignified public position when the mud was slinging there were many questions left unanswered and supporters may have been confused at times.

So where do you place your votes moving forward? It was always our view that where possible it made sense for smaller parties to merge if their policies aligned, as the minor party portion of the vote was being divided into such small pieces it was proving almost impossible to get anyone elected. We had hoped we would be able to announce that we had a deal in place with an established minor party but there have been some issues with how that has progressed to date.

Let’s just say it seems that The Libertarians (LDP); HEART Party (previously IMOP) and One Nation all seem to support the core idea of medical freedom. We suggest you research them thoroughly before making any decisions. There is also a new party seeking to get established: https://democracyfirst.org.au/

We have decided to keep our website open for now so that people can still access the policies.

We hope to organise a final farewell event in Victoria in which you will be able to question two of the party founders and mingle with other people who contributed their energy to the party. If you are potentially interested in attending, probably in September when the weather is better, please email Members@healthaustraliaparty.com.au to be placed on a notification list (numbers may be limited at venue). If a member from outside of Victoria would like to organise a gathering in their State please email executive@healthaustraliaparty.com.au to discuss options.

Finally, we wish to thank you for your support – it has meant the world to us, but it is time to move on.

With best wishes

HAP Executive Team.

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