Fours years after campaigning very hard as an Independent for the Lower House seat of Kalamunda (see the story at this link: http://www.gregross.com.au/news-and-opinion/so-you-think-that-you-might-like-to-go-to-the-show-the-trials-of-a-first-time-battle-scarred-independent/ ), I unexpectedly found myself being asked by Julie Matheson if I would consider running as a candidate for her party – Julie Matheson for Western Australia Party.
It’s fair to say, I expressed an initial reluctance and declined the invitation to once again run for Kalamunda. What I had learnt during the 2013 campaign, was that the blue collar workers and ordinary people in the working class suburbs of the Kalamunda State electorate, such as Maddington, were very supportive, but the rusted on Liberal supporters of the more leafy sections of the electorate where not at all enthusiastic, burgeoning state debt and Liberal Party infighting were preferable to some roadtrain driver in a hi-vis shirt! I vowed to myself that if ever I was silly enough to put myself through the pain of a campaign again, it would be Midland – the long term Labor seat had almost gone to Liberal – Labor retained it by just 24 votes, such was the dissatisfaction of the electorate, yet I instinctively knew it had been a protest vote. I thought the sitting member would probably retire at the 2017 State election and Labor would offer a new face, but that hasn’t happened. Yes, a small redistribution has weighted the seat a little more in favour of Labor, but it’s only a small percentage, in reality Midland is now one of the most marginal seats in Australia, it’s on a knife edge politically. Yet, I am sure neither party is particularly interested in the voters and their day to day needs, other than as a means to gain power. Call me naïve, but I just don’t think it should be that way.
To add to the complexity, Pauline Hanson’s one Nation Party is now looming as the go-to party for a protest vote, but I wondered if voters would realise a vote for One Nation would always be a vote for the Liberal Party.
Having satisfied myself that Julie’s aims and aspirations were aligned with mine – I particularly liked the fact that she has a wonderful Aboriginal candidate for Fremantle, as well as people from all over the world (and Oz of course!) proudly displaying their Australian Citizenship certificates. I became even more interested when she told me that a friend, Russell Goodrick, was going to run for the East Metropolitan Upper House seat. I asked if I could offer myself as the Lower House candidate for Midland, and Julie readily agreed.
I rang my wife Ann (she’s overseas visiting her mum at the moment) and asked her what she thought. Her initial reaction was to have me certified for Graylands, but on her third glass of champagne, she became enthusiastic. I then emailed my employer (I’m a FIFO worker), he was marvellous and readily agreed to give me time off, even telling me I’ d be an excellent MP for the people. I’m still going to work some of the time, but hopefully I’ll have enough time to reach out to Midland people. We don’t have the enormous advertising budgets of the major parties and from past experience, most of the main stream media will no doubt treat us as no-hope losers who have no right offering ourselves for election, interesting, when you look back on how many journos fawned over Troy Buswell and Dean Nalder etc. I must add that in the last State election, apart from the marvellous, utterly ethical Post Newspapers under Bret Christian, I found 882 6PR Talkback Radio to be the fairest in terms of giving all candidates and parties an opportunity, no quarter was given, hard, but fair, exactly as it should be. It’s almost as if one needs permission from elite journalists to run as a candidate, but hey, that’s the game, roll with it. And so to the hard slog:
A vote for One Nation is a vote for the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party nationally is actively working against pensioners and people who through no fault of their own need welfare support, while here in WA, the Liberal / National Party coalition has proven to be financially disastrous – now they want to sell Western Power to try and claw money back, power prices will skyrocket even more. The Liberal Party is the party of big business – there’s nothing wrong with big successful business, however the ordinary worker is of no interest.
Labor will probably get in, but will unions allow the concerns and wishes of ordinary working people to take precedence over union demands and excesses? Labor has a number of candidates who’ve been in parliament for a long time and are desperate to get back into power and become Ministers once again. There’s nothing inherently wrong with ambition, however Ministers are very busy people, that’s why you usually don’t see them in their electorate until the next election. Sure, they might really like their electorate, but they don’t have time to service the people properly.
We’re all seeing the headlines with the same old promises being trotted out, only to be broken the morning after the election. We all know the money is not there to pay for the promises. If the Liberal Party gets back in, they’ll sell Western Power, then tell us things have got tighter and they can’t do the things they’ve promised – well, history tells us Barnett will continue on with a vanity project or two.
If Labor gets in, within a week, they’re going to tell us they’ve gone through the books and the situation is far worse than they were led to believe, consequently they’ll have to drop their promises. Yes, they’ll probably be telling the truth, but the reality is the promises will not eventuate.
Now I can’t make them keep their promises, as I believe we are too far in debt – we are already borrowing to pay the fortnightly public service wages bill, but I can go in to fight for you against utility price rises, aggressive public service and utility actions and Development Assessment Panels and councils selling off public land to developers and so on, as a voice not beholden to big business, unions, or a party run by the eastern states, with zero interest in Western Australia, other than as a piggy bank to be raided as necessary.
I know a lot of people wish to make a protest vote – we’ve seen how effective protest votes can be – look at Nick Xenophon in South Australia – he has no affiliation with Labor, Liberal, the Greens, or One Nation, his SOLE concerns are South Australia and the people who voted him in, I admire what he does, as a person of principle and my aim would be to look after the people of Midland and the good of WA, in the same way he does. Take a look at the candidates the Julie Matheson for Western Australia Party offers – people from all walks of life and many nationalities, we are a genuine Western Australian party, inclusive and determined to see small business boom, jobs created and reward for hard work, while at the same time looking after those who need a helping hand. I believe I am the safe, considered Lower House choice for Midland voters, whether disaffected, Labor or Liberal.
Mob: 0418 953 275