Saturday, March 24, 2007

Returns

Back on line, at last – sort of… I am now in Port Macquarie, New South Wales ( - Wikipedia) on a newly configured, communal computer.

So today I’ve just been off to vote in the state election. I had done a bit of campaign work for the sitting member, independent Rob Oakeshott - Independent Member for Port Macquarie.

My role was a mix of media work and policy development. The second bit might (should) sound strange for an independent, but Oakeshott wanted a more comprehensive policy document than those of the major parties.

Oakeshott is angling for more than a slot as an independent MP, he’s looking to become a minister in any new government. The current dynamic is that the governing Labor party is unlikely to hold their majority, and the opposition Liberal’s (conservative) are a country mile from a majority.

In between the major parties are around nine independents. Just one more, which looks likely, and Oakeshott is in the front row to gain a ministry in the process of creating a majority, probably for Labor.

The other side of the voting process was the NSW Upper House, a bloody table cloth sized ballot paper. The Upper House is elected under proportional representation (PR), and the whole state is one electorate.

What really annoys me is that the parties select the candidates but refuse to give any information about them. What they want is for voters to simply tick their ‘above the line’ box, ergo their choices.

I can tell you I voted for Oakeshott, but on the table cloth I wrote in that there was simply not enough information to make a reasonable choice. I love PR, but there are many different ways of setting it up, this one, like the Australian Senate, are not the right approach.

So that is that, for now. I hope to be back during the week.


1 comment:

reality-based educator said...

Good to have you back, cartledge! You were missed.