Trust, it’s not just about ‘them’: Forde wrap by @StephanieDale22

[clear] By Stephanie Dale 5 September 2013 The other day a smart, savvy, engaged woman I know told me she plans to vote informal on September 7 – her decision has as much to do with media coverage as it does with politics. In short: ” Can’t bring myself to vote for Tony Abbott, can’t forgive Kevin Rudd his asylum seeker policy, none of the small parties have grabbed my attention, underwhelmed by reporting of the campaign.” Here in Forde, the Inane Question of the Campaign Award goes to one of the young TV reporters down from Brisbane to interview the Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek. “Kevin Rudd said he has […]

Australia’s newest political party – interview with the president: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 4 September 2013 Talking to Keith Douglas is a lot like trying to talk to a ping-pong ball in a Lotto machine – he talks fast and ranges wide. I met the Australian Voice Party candidate at what has become the No Fibs office in Forde – the nearby Zarraffa’s Coffee outlet (one of many, given the company’s Australian headquarters are up the road). Douglas is not Australian Voice’s founding member, but as president he is its driving force. In an election where new political parties have sprung up like mushrooms after rain from you know where, Australian Voice, registered on July 2, is the nation’s newest political […]

Beattie Surprise: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 3 September 2013 We are in the dying days of the 2013 election campaign, a campaign that has boasted a handful of idiot policy announcements but in five weeks just one true surprise – Peter Beattie. It was a laugh out loud moment for the nation when the former Queensland Premier (1998-2007) appeared on the Forde stage with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to proclaim his bid for a seat in the 44th Australian parliament. In the vivid landscape of my imagination, at that moment only sitting member Bert van Manen was not amused*. The election winds had shifted, the battlefield for Forde changed.  What had appeared to be […]

Bob n Beattie BBQ: @stephaniedale22 reports

[clear] By Stephanie Dale 1 September 2013 There’s been a curious absence of fight in Peter Beattie during the last couple of weeks on the 2013 campaign trail – but today that changed, with the former Queensland Premier charging out of the corner into the Forde ring, following Labor’s campaign launch in Brisbane. Fiiiiiinally, Beattie had something he could stick his teeth into – jobs’ initiatives announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd an hour earlier. And he had Australian political royalty to escort to a barbecue organised by the party faithful in Beenleigh – the nation’s most popular living former prime minister, Bob Hawke. Two hundred people in red t-shirts crushed […]

The Greens candidate in Forde, Sally Spain: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 30 August 2013 Saturday September 7 is World Endangered Species Day – beautifully timed for an election in which ‘the environment’ (euphemism for the world that is our home) has barely rated a mention. “Where,” I ask Greens candidate for the seat of Forde, Sally Spain, “is the environment in the 2013 election?” We are sitting on an aluminium school bench in a primary school playground where Spain has been teaching for the day, shaded from the afternoon Queensland sun by a mash up garden of gums and palms. Spain is a litany of statistics and understated passion, delivered in her quiet, rhythmic way. “Good point,” she answers […]

Where is the wild space in Forde and the environment in Election13, by @StephanieDale22

By Stephanie Dale 29 August 2013 Mt Warren Park reminds me of the Canberra of my youth. Wide guttered streets, brick houses, schools, laneways shortcutting suburbia, bushy hills in the distance, women in baggy t-shirts mowing lawns, cars with loud exhaust pipes parked on the lawns of mum-n-dad homes. The suburb is on the south-eastern fringe of the federal Division of Forde, and it is not especially representative of the electorate. Then again I’m not sure any particular pocket of the electorate is representative of any other – just that popular narratives about Logan and Beenleigh are stereotypically so (high unemployment, low household incomes, public housing areas, ‘cultural melting pot’, social […]

Katter’s man in Forde: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 28 August 2013 Paul Hunter is a hard political nut to crack. I put it down to the fact he’s a disciplined man, an army man, a focussed-on-the-upcoming-election man. We meet outside the pre-polling booth in Beenleigh’s George Street, where Hunter splits his time between me and the pre-pollsters wandering in to cast an early vote. I find it remarkable that not once in 40 minutes is he distracted enough by our conversation to miss an opportunity to introduce himself to a potential voter. Unlike other newbie Forde candidates, Hunter’s not chatty about his own life, not past, present or future – unless the conversation relates to jobs, […]

Family First in Forde: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 28 August 2013 Family First candidate for Forde Amanda Best has stuffed a whole lotta life into her 34 years. As a teenager she survived anorexia and was a ward of the state, in her early 20s she was a pastor in a community church, in her late 20s she survived a plane crash that killed five others, she is in the middle of her second election campaign and she recently gave birth to her daughter. We meet at the headquarters of a local business, Zarraffa’s Coffee, on Forde’s south-eastern fringe, just up the road from the office of the training business she runs with her husband. Best […]

Former MSM journo @stephaniedale22 on the barren pollie-journo election dance

By Stephanie Dale 27 August 2013 OMG it’s a media alert! Quick! Jump! A media alert from the ALP! In my inbox! Logan GP Super Clinic, now! I stare at it, wondering for the umpteenth time why the major parties give local media no more than an hour’s notice on these events – even though I know full well it’s to avoid a hijacking by local activists and/or lunatics and/or mavericks from the opposing team. And I know full well why they don’t trust the media with the information. Because sideswiping the event by alerting any or all of the above is much more entertaining for readers/viewers/listeners and than a standard […]

Election13 youngest candidate is in Forde: @stephaniedale22 interview

By Stephanie Dale 26 August 2013 It’s Saturday afternoon in Beenleigh and I’m on my way to meet Joshua Sloss, the only independent standing for the seat of Forde in the upcoming election. This past week I’ve been on a Zarraffa’s Coffee crawl – three out of four of my candidates’ interviews so far have been held in various Zarraffa’s around the region. Sloss and I have arranged to meet at Beenleigh Marketplace, the local mall. On the way I drive past the offices of the two big party candidates: sitting member Bert van Manen’s office, impossible to miss with its flags dripping from the building – the Australian flag, the […]