Following in the footsteps of Brexit, the newly formed WAxit Party is hoping it can convince voters of the merits of withdrawing Western Australia (WA) from the Commonwealth in the upcoming March state election.
Talks of secession have been present throughout the last year with WA implementing strict border closures to counter the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, however the major parties have not taken the idea on board.
The WAxit party advocates for the separation of WA from the Commonwealth of Australia and independence for the largest geographic state in the country. They hope state border closures will demonstrate to West Australians the possibilities of separation.
“That has probably heightened the senses to Western Australians, that they realise there is more to Western Australia than just being the whipping boy of the east coast,” WAxit Party’s Russell Sewell said.
Other minor parties are also hoping to win seats in the upcoming state elections. Among them are two anti-vaccination parties, a pro-cannabis legalisation group, and The Great Australian party, which was formed by former One Nation Senator Rod Culleton.
Dr. Martin Drum, political analyst at the Notre Dame University in Fremantle, believes that minor parties have a good chance of winning seats in the election.
“The system there makes it reasonably easy. There’s a lot of opportunities for preference swapping amongst minor parties,” Drum said.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has warned against relying on these less-established parties especially during a pandemic.
“Don’t flirt with these other parties that are risky and inexperienced,” said the premier.
WA Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup also advised against the risks, saying they were a danger to state Parliament.
“If there are extreme or fringe groups out there, they [might] try and disrupt our democracy with their very, very unusual and in some cases deplorable ideas,” said Kirkup.
Liberal Democrat Aaron Stonehouse, who is currently a crossbencher, has a different opinion believing that more representation in Parliament increases government accountability.
“You want a diverse Parliament; you want a Parliament that represents all corners of our society,” Stonehouse said.
The March state election will also implement strict measures to prevent virus transmission with postal voting applications starting on Feb. 4.