What obstacles do minor parties and independents face when competing with the larger, more established parties?
From the outset, minor parties can be accused of being radical extremists by the major parties and/or the media. This can encompass public vilification and attacks in the nation’s discourse when minor parties are attempting to get their policies aired and voices heard. They also have far less funding at their disposal when presenting their convictions and political ideologies in election periods and campaigns (Miragliotta, Errington & Barry 2013, pp. 251-253).
A good example of a minor party is the Australian Greens. They do not have the clout, history, or prestige that they major parties have, so it makes it more difficult to get their policies and stances on political issues heard by the public. They are at the mercy of the media and the major parties’ sloganeering, which can drown them out. They are also a party, because of its origins, that are broadly categorised as having a purely environmental agenda. While proclaiming a need to care for the environment as one of their flagship objectives, the Greens have other key principles, which cover many other ideologies leaning towards social progressivism. I suspect that as their electoral support increases, they will have more opportunities to articulate such policies on the public stage.
MIRAGLIOTTA, N., ERRINGTON, W. & BARRY, N. 2013. The Australian political system in action, South Melbourne, Vic., Oxford University Press.