Participation antidote to cynicism: the #indivotes democratic revolution, by @adropex

“What do rowers and politicians have in common?” asked Dr Simon Longstaff AO, Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre. “They both look one way and go another.” This resonated with the 265 attendees at the  “Indi talks Democracy” event who came to listen to Simon Longstaff and, “the warhorse from the inside”, former Federal Independent Member for New England Tony Windsor, discuss the ethics of politics. As the two men delivered their words, listened and answered questions, it was clear that it wasn’t so much what they said as the conversations that were being had that were paramount. The attendees were reminded of what they already knew but […]

Reporting Indi: A reflection by Margo Kingston

[clear] By Margo Kingston, 1 December 2013 I take the Gold Coast train to Brisbane airport, the plane to Melbourne, the sky bus to Southern Cross Station, the train to Seymour, and the bus to Wangaratta train station. Wayne Jansson leads me to his battered old car and drives me to the hamlet of St James. A late frost has killed the canola oil crop, and the farmers who couldn’t afford to let the crop rot as fertilizer for next year have rolled it up into hay. The cherry trees look good. Wayne says his Mum Glenys and step father Mark will host my stay because he lives in a ramshackle […]

Where Sophie went wrong, by #Indivotes candidate @jenpodesta

By Jennifer Podesta, 13 September, 2013 As the dust begins to settle across the nation after the 2013 election, the significance of what has been achieved in the electorate of Indi will continue to be a talking point for some time to come. It will no doubt be analysed from multiple positions: by engaged and disgruntled voters in other electorates who may seek to use the Indi model as a playbook for their own democratic awakening; by party political campaigners keen to adopt some of the secrets to build their own flagging supporter base; and maybe, hopefully, by Members of Parliament who recognise that a sitting member holding a ‘safe’ […]

Jennifer Podesta inside the Indi contest: slurs, setbacks and why she came up smiling

By Jennifer Podesta September 5, 2013 The past few months since announcing my nomination as a candidate in the seat of Indi have been the most rewarding and challenging of my life.  I would like to share with you some of the highlights of that journey, reflect on how the campaign has evolved from my perspective, and look forward a little into the future. I made the decision to stand as an independent over a year ago – well before I had heard of “Voice for Indi” or Cathy McGowan.   I had a longstanding interest in politics and community service, and more recently my studies in sociology and social policy […]

Indi locals protest Mirabella’s claims on health centres – and her preferences stir bad bushfire memories

STOP PRESS: Katter Party candidate backs Sophie Mirabella in Indi By Wayne Jansson August 23, 2013 Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) candidate in Indi, Phil Rourke, caused a storm on Friday when The Border Mail reported he urged voters concerned with local issues to make Liberal incumbent Sophie Mirabella their first choice, even before him. I rang KAP Victorian spokesman Darren Cooper for comment. “If voters want to vote on federal issues, vote KAP. If they want to vote on state issues, vote for Mirabella,” he said. “The worst thing that can happen to Indi is to have an independent if there’s a coalition government,” he said. Robert Danieli, KAP’s Victorian senate candidate, […]

‘The night I got politically engaged’: How @TomAnderson62 found himself live tweeting #Indivotes

By Tom Anderson @TomAnderson62 I have always been fascinated with politics, especially elections. I guess that started when I worked as a ‘Polling Clerk’ at 15 at a booth at Mont Park in Macleod back in about 1977. How did a 15 year old get a job that had a prerequisite of ‘must be enrolled on electoral roll?. Back then the Deputy Returning Officer of a polling booth got to appoint his own staff. My father was that person. His assistant was my oldest sister and the other seven staff were his sister, three brothers, a brother in law, a close family friend and me. So for me an election day was just […]

Coalition big guns and generic letters leave locals cold in Mirabella’s Indi

by Wayne Jansson August 12 In more signs Indi Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella is under pressure, campaign advertisements started appearing on local TV on Sunday featuring Joe Hockey. Is Sophie’s brand so damaged in Indi she can’t front her own advertisements? One of the criticisms of Mirabella heard most often is that she’s a Melbourne blow-in who was parachuted into a safe conservative seat. I’m not convinced getting a Sydney politician to front an election advertisement in these circumstances is such a wise strategy. Rural people already feel like they get poor representation from the coalition, with their interests largely ignored in favour of marginal city seats. An interstate city […]

Candidates rush for @SMirabellaMP Indi: @jansant reports

View Larger Map Indi seat profile By Wayne Jansson 31 July 2013 The seat of Indi has long been considered a safe conservative seat – apart from four occasions it’s been held by Coalition parties and their predecessors. Located in North East Victoria, its boundary runs along the Murray River and inland to include Wodonga, Wangaratta, Towong, Mansfield, Murrindindi, Indigo, Benalla and Alpine council areas, and a part of the Moira council area. These could be interesting times for Sophie Mirabella, the current member, as there are some quality candidates lined up to run for the seat. The local Wangaratta Chronicle ran a story indicating the other candidates were working together […]