By Ingrid Jacobson
HE is a fan of Pauline Hanson, predicts Donald Trump will be the next US president, and cites Brexit as a barometer that the global revolution has begun.
As for Australia, Stuart Donald believes he and the fledgling Mature Age Party that he and fellow director, Terry Snell head, will make this country part of it.
With the party’s policies aimed at upping the quality of life of “middle-of-the-road” people, particularly pensioners, who he says have been “ripped off” by the major parties, WA senate candidate, Mr Donald and his party will make a daring debut at this Federal Election.
Fielding candidates from each state in the Senate including WA’s Patti Bradshaw, and Fremantle’s Michael Connolly and another four in the House of Representatives, he says the “grey army” behind the party means to make a dent in Australia’s democratic process.
In doing so, it intends to cement the party’s place in the future political landscape.
“I see MAP surviving, whereas I think the system of two major parties will eventually be phased out,” he said.
“So many people are so disgusted with the main parties and I predict a backlash of voting against them.
“Our website and Facebook have been inundated with people who see MAP as an alternative.
“The numbers of people coming onside are incredible – over the last six days my Senate page alone has had more than 60,000 hits.
”We have no illusions about the enormity of the task and won’t take the place by storm but will ensure the voices of these people are heard.”
They’re fighting words from the 50-year-old national trucking company owner from Stratton, who grew up in rural NSW, spent 12 years in the navy, carved a career in international shipping, invested in real estate, and is now heading up Mature Age Party’s senate ticket in WA alongside running mate, Patti Bradshaw.
However, Mr Stuart, who names his wife, Michelle as his ‘rock’ and obviously enjoys steering MAP’s wheel, is ready to drive the distance
“I’m heading for Canberra – there is no doubt in my mind.
“And so are some of the other candidates that MAP has fielded because unlike the major parties, we ask the people what changes they want.”
Powered by the positive, the party has already formulated policies to reflect its core politics, including a revamp of Australia’s tax system with the introduction of a two cent tax, where everyone pays two per cent of good and services, and other taxes are abolished.
Mr Stuart said the tax would free up money for society’s seniors and the disabled, including many pensioners who are “freezing in their homes because they don’t have the money to pay their power bills”.
That also includes self-funded retirees, a group pertaining to those such as his much-loved, 88-year-old grandfather, who despite being financially fine himself has friends like him who have run out of money.
“It would treble the tax we are now getting in and make the system far simpler and more transparent,” he said.
Also central to party’s core is an intention to concentrate on making immigration “responsible and sustainable”.
Having the bulk of Australia’s land ownership in the country’s hands is another policy objective, although party members, of whom there are presently more than 3000 in six states and both territories, are open to some foreign investment, especially when it comes to technology and ideas.
“We’re not saying no to foreign investment.
“We believe in compromise and want our children and grandchildren to have the same or better opportunities than we had ourselves.
“We just don’t want the majority of our land including farms, ports, utilities and other essential holdings in the hands of foreign nationals and we don’t want migrants taking the jobs they could have.”
Mr Stuart believes that allowing too much foreign ownership poses a threat to Australia’s economy which is perfectly-placed to become the food bowl to the world.
“We need to increase the export of Australian-made and grown products, which would create jobs and shoot the populations of cities out to rural Australia.
“Then there’s national security - we need to own our assets as the world is an unpredictable place.”
Another of the party’s controversial policies is its call to “drought-proof” Australia, with the party promising to introduce legislation to re-spark the proposed Kimberley pipeline to bring water from the country’s North West to its drought-ravaged south.
“Patti and I will move to “let the water flow” as we want to see Australia prosper and Australia can once again ride on the back of agriculture.
The party would also call for a Royal Commission into the country’s banking system, and immediately revise legislation covering preferential voting at Federal elections.
“So many people don’t realise that recent changes have made it harder for small parties such as our own and independents to run.
“The game-playing and subterfuge about preferences to gain or regain power at the expense of electors’ rights and wishes must stop.”
On the subject of preferences, the man who once worked on the campaign of Pauline Hanson says the Mature Age Party has deliberately looked at all parties and who they are preferencing before making a final call on its own.
“We’re giving them a rating out of 100 and we’ve found some odd preferences,” he said.
“For example, One Nation is directing 86.33 per cent to the Liberals and the ALA.
“I don’t know what’s happened with Pauline but I still admire her politics.”
As for his prediction that the US will see Trump in the Whitehouse, he admits it would be a “scary result” but believes, like the Mature Age Party, Trump is appealing to what the people of his country really want, and that Brexit was also a reflection of this philosophy.
The Mature Age Party honcho, who in days gone by would have been called a revolutionary himself, said they were the silent majority but they were not being so silent now.