Senate Bingo! The @sarah_capper column

A whole new class of players joined the Upper House this month, and with a record number of cross-benchers – 18, including the Greens – there will be deals-a-plenty and the “spin cycle” on overdrive. Cards will be kept close to chests; cards will be put out on the table; and, as the last week has shown, cards will just as quickly be taken away. While PUP leader Clive Palmer appeals to pensioners by saying he will block the Government’s $7 GP co-payment, so that “those ladies” can “have their chocolate and go to the cinema”, let’s crunch the critical numbers with a round of ‘Senate Bingo’. [Insert archaic rolling wheel of bingo […]

Ain’t nothing like the real thing: #GriffithVotes candidates’ forum @GriffithElects reports

[clear] Video by Mark Doyle @ffrickenstein Both Bill Glasson and Terri Butler held virtual ‘town-hall’ meetings in recent days, using new technology which enabled them to talk simultaneously with audiences of 10,000 and more. These virtual meetings gave all the control to the candidates and their teams, allowed them to target particular sections of the electorate and run polls on voter intentions and priorities. They selected the questions, determined the options offered for the polls, while the audience got to listen passively, unless of course you were one of the few selected to ask a question. Well, on Wednesday night in the Griffith inner-city suburb of West End, we got […]

The ‘climate chaos’ challenge and the courage of candidates’ convictions in #GriffithVotes: @GriffithElects reports

 [clear] According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia had its hottest year ever in 2013 and we have now experienced heatwaves and destructive fires in the first month of 2014. Twitter went viral this week with reports that Prince Charles has said of climate change sceptic that they are like “headless chickens” (of course, we would say chooks in Australia). Well I’m right with Prince Charles when he says, “It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to climate science”. All of […]

Population, family and more new faces join the #GriffithVotes party @GriffithElects reports

By Jan Bowman  @GriffithElects 1st February 2014 In something of a surprise for the upcoming Griffith by-election, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) is standing a candidate new to Griffith, but not new to the KAP. Ray Sawyer stood for the KAP in the division of Fairfax in 2013, a seat that was won by Clive Palmer, with Sawyer managing just 1.92 per cent of the vote. While he does not live in the region, Mr Sawyer described himself as someone who has “strong connections with the Griffith electorate.” His campaign literature revealed that he has operated a dance school for a number of years, which has given him “the opportunity to […]

Roo Poo and Who’s Who in the Senate Zoo

[clear] By Sarah Capper 18 October 2013 It was perhaps the moment in which I found myself googling “Ricky Muir” + “poo” that served as the final straw in realising the need for Senate reform. Not that I needed much convincing – the new Senator-elect from Victoria from the Palmer United Palmer Motoring Enthusiasts Party is just one of several fresh faces in the who’s new in the Upper House zoo. Anyone who managed to successfully complete their below-the-line Senate ticket form in last month’s federal election deserves a round of applause [pats back]. Voting below the line is always preferable (pun intended) no matter how painstaking, as even the most “ethical” (ahem, […]

Gellibrand, I’ve had a blast: @Dusty_1 wrap

[clear] By Grant Philpots 7 September, 2013 So it’s come to this. My first foray into citizen journalism done. I’m not expecting any changes here in Gellibrand.  Labor’s Tim Watts will be elected as the new member. He’ll have the job for as long as he wants it. Tim is frontbench material and has the right backing factionally to become a minister one day. The big hope is that he will actually become a good local member. This term is thrown around a bit, but it is a safe seat and could easily be taken for granted. I indicated early in my nofibs journey (to invoke MasterChef), that I thought […]

Will the discontent of 2013 give way to new hope in Dunkley?

by Angus Barnes September 6, 2013 The only candidates’ forum held in Dunkley revealed a shared sense of dismay in the community on the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay. I asked the six candidates attending the forum what would be foremost in voters’ minds on election day. The two independents said they were running because of personal disillusionment, while our sitting member Bruce Billson said he was disillusioned with the current government. Rise Up Australia Party candidate Yvonne Gentle suggested there would be more protest votes this year.  Sex Party candidate Eloise Palmi said a greater voice was needed for small parties’ views, and Family First’s Cameron Eastman said […]

Greens increasing pressure on Thomson in Wills reports @takvera

By John Englart 4 September 2013 I was recruited by Margo to cover the election in the safe Labor seat of Wills (Seat Profile) in mid July. After writing 21 articles I suspect I have put in far more time and work than some of the candidates. We are at the point in Wills where the Green vote may overtake the Liberal vote for the first time. The Greens are beginning to challenge Labor. The campaign was marked by the absence of Liberal candidate Shilpa Hegde from all public forums and interviews. Surely the Liberal Party doesn’t expect people to vote for a candidate who doesn’t even attempt to engage […]

How safe Gellibrand got its first candidates’ forum, thanks to a citizen journo

  By Grant Philpots September 3, 2013 Gellibrand being the safest ALP seat in Australia, all we voters usually get is some articles in the local paper like this. It’s standard stuff: make a phone call and knock the photos off candidates’ websites. But I had seen a report on nofibs.com.au about a forum in Wentworth, so I got to thinking, if they can have one in a safe Liberal seat, why not here? And why can’t I organise it? I’ve organised many events and know they all basically run to the same model: Get venue, Promote, Undertake. I contacted both our local councils about getting a room. One said they […]

Family First Face in Hindmarsh: @JackieDettman reports

By Jacqueline Dettman  2 September 2013 Interview with Robert Randall, Family First candidate for Hindmarsh. Would you like to introduce yourself to readers? In 1979 I was elected state MP for Henley Beach, by a margin of 110 votes in a traditional Labor area. Prior to that I had volunteered in local council as a councillor (Henley and Grange Council) and this was as a result of my philosophy of not standing outside criticizing but being inside the decision-making body and influencing outcomes. From there in 1982, because it was a marginal seat and the government changed, I lost my seat.  I continued to work in the Liberal Party in […]