The Australian Sex Party has taken a none-too-subtle swipe at the Catholic Church with a scathing campaign advert ahead of Saturday’s federal election.
Reworking the musical number The Candy Man Can from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the three-minute ad attacks the church over paedophilia and tax avoidance.
Starring a “sleazy priest” with an ironically camp persona, the song’s chorus refrains: “The Vatican can and it screws up people’s lives and makes the world less good”.
Admitting the ad might “offend some people”, the party claimed it was a wider attack on the transparency of religious institutions in Australia.
Watch the new Sex Party ad here:
Despite being veiled with humour, the Sex Party’s ad does communicate one of its cornerstone policies: religious institutions being exempt from tax in Australia.
But instead of attacking religion in general, it took aim at the Catholic Church because leader Fiona Patten had a longstanding campaign against it, a party spokesperson told the Huffington Post.
The party’s campaign against the church has ramped up in recent weeks and was highlighted after women appearing to be nuns were caught defacing ‘Tax the Church’ posters in Melbourne in June.
“If the ‘nuns’ would like to visit me and confess, that will be an end to it,” Ms Patten told Fairfax.
The creators also managed to fit in multiple swipes about the church’s stance on same sex marriage – another of the Sex Party’s platforms.
“Who controls the weddings? So gays can’t say I do?” sings the lead ‘priest’.
“Blame it on the book and a 2000-year-old Jew – the Vatican can.”
But the song is ultimately calling out the church’s financial position in Australia, where it claims tax exemption under the 2006 Charities Act.
“The Vatican makes everything it bakes, secretive and pernicious, you can have your prayers and wishes, we’ll just go and count our riches.”
On its Facebook page, the Sex Party claimed issues such as same sex marriage and euthanasia were being blocked in parliament by politicians influenced by the Catholic Church.
“It is the influence of the Vatican represented by very conservative politicians, and those too afraid to stand up to the Australian Christian Lobby.”
‘It’s not just about the sex’
It’s not the first time the Australian Sex Party has pushed the boundaries with an election ad.
In 2014, it ran with the tagline “It’s not just about the sex” in an attempt to assert the party’s authority on a range of policy issues.
The year before, it was no holds barred with the “We like sex but we don’t like getting f****d” campaign.
“We’re f***ed because we still can’t get married,” said a gay couple holding a baby.
“I’m f****d because I can’t die with dignity,” gasped a deathly ill woman.
“I’m f****d because my school didn’t teach me about f***ing,” complained a student under the sign “Virgin Catholic College”.
When all is considered, this latest election ad is relatively pared back.