Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party's Muir Takes his Seat in the Senate
Australians are more like Americans than any other people on the planet. They like to drink a few beers, grill meat, watch sports and drive badass, V8-powered cars. But in recent years, Australian drivers have been under attack by the government, safety groups, and every other do-gooder organization in the country. They could've just rolled over and accepted it, but instead, they formed their own political party -- the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party -- and they're succeeding at having their say in the halls of power. Americans need that kind of representation, too. According the Party's website, "with the rights and civil liberties of everyday Australians being eroded at an alarming rate, the Party aims to bring focus back to the notion that the Government is there for the people; not, as it increasingly appears, the other way around."
The Party launched in response to widespread anti-hooning (hooning is the Aussie term for anyone taking place in racing, burnouts, joyriding, etc.) legislation passed by the Australian government, as well as the closing of many areas that off-roaders used in the past. The anti-hooning regulations passed in November of 2013 were especially concerning to Australian motorheads because a first offense for "wilfully starting or driving a motor vehicle in a way that makes unnecessary noise or smoke" could lead to an immediate 90-day impound of the suspect's automobile.
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The Australian Motoring Enthusiast's Party formed and instead of just voicing its opinions in the public square, ran a candidate for Senate, and to a whole lot of peoples' surprise, won a seat in the Federal Senate. "The success of the AMEP on a Federal level will open doors to negotiation which have previously been unavailable to us as motoring enthusiasts," reads the AMEP's website. "The unity displayed by supporters of the AMEP at the election sends a clear message to those who would see our culture dismantled – we are not a minority, and we will not give-up the fight for our rights and freedom."
Senator Elect Ricky Muir takes his seat on July 1.
In the United States, we're on the brink of legislation that will greatly impact automotive enthusiasts. In the coming years, as semi-autonomous or fully autonomous cars hit the highways and the federal government puts rules in place to allow for them, how does it impact the older automobiles that many of us choose to drive? Who represents us when the government decides to shut down open land to off-roading?
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Currently, the SEMA Action Network and organizations like the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition are working for your interests. But doesn't it make sense to have an actual candidate for public office that's looking out for us as a group?