Philip Pocock and the October 2012 ACT Election

By 7 February, 2013 16

Today as I trawled through The Riot Act to pass the time and I read about Zed’s impending coup against Gaz and a religious conservative displacing a secular moderate, I came across some posts about the October 2012 ACT Election.

Reading them, I was reminded of Philip Pocock. Remember him? The qualified and registered psychologist who had interesting views on women and rape within marriage, gays, and sexuality more generally? Do ya?!?

Well, I decided to see how good ole’ Phil, or “cock” to some who know of him, performed at those elections. Elections are the chance for the citizenry to speak directly to politicians and tell them exactly what we think, and what we want. They’re the special occasion when we all choose who will lead our society by following our wishes, and we elevate a select few to pursue the aspirations of the rest of us. To raise them above but keep them below. Not to pursue their own agendas, but to follow ours. To keep our streets safe and our electricity running. Our kids educated and our traffic flowing. Our garbage collected and our expectations met. You know, democracy in action.

And, presumably, it was in this spirit that Phil stood as an independent in the district of Molonglo, and on election day there were 651 like-minded individuals registered to vote in the ACT who thought that Phil would be a good inclusion to the ACT Legislative Assembly. Phil Pocock MLA. Now say what you like about the territory parliament, but my personal view is that the parliament isn’t THAT bad. But I digress.

Phil ranked second highest of all votes received by any of the nine independent, or ‘ungrouped’ candidates in all three districts. Phil nearly received as many votes as the bottom three independents combined. All results for the nine ungrouped candidates are available from Elections ACT here. [the webpage has a few issues, but just bear with it.]

The best-performing independent in the entire ACT for that election was Michael Lindfield, who stood as an independent in Brindabella. On election day, Lindfield received 770 votes. Again, 770 like-minded individuals though Lindfield would be a good addition to the ACT Legislative Assembly. Not an altogether bizarre sentiment since Lindfield has a long history of community involvement and has also had a minor media profile for quite some time. So for Lindfield to get 770 votes is somewhat a reflection of his reputation and activities. Yet most people in the ACT only came to know of Phil’s existence and candidacy through media coverage of him just ahead of the election. And this coverage had, how shall I put it, more of an entertainment flavour than serious political coverage. I don’t mean to sledge the Canberra Times, I’m just sayin’.

So rioters, what I’d like to know is, given their vastly different media profiles, how can a guy like Philip Pocock get nearly as many votes as Michael Lindfield and more than any of the other seven candidates? How is this possible in the jurisdiction with such high average levels of education, high average salaries and [usually, anyway] such low levels of unemployment? Previously, I had thought that all the punitive, ranting, gay-hating theocrats were in Queensland. I’m not saying that Phil is one; in my view he’s pretty much said that himself in his own words.

Don’t misunderstand me: I think it’s great that Phil answered questions truthfully and shared his opinions with us. Politics lacks such bald-faced honesty… and for good reason. Better for candidates to reflect what they think the community wants to see. Although maybe this was also what Phil was doing. Who knows?!? But either way, a further question arises: if Phil’s media coverage contributed significantly to this election result, how will that shape the campaigns of independents in future elections, hmmm? Are we going to have wacky, niche candidates who electioneer using stunts to get attention? You know, all front and no grunt? Discuss.

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16 Responses to Philip Pocock and the October 2012 ACT Election
#1
bd844:06 pm, 07 Feb 13

Sorry got bored reading your post a couple of sentences in when it was apparent your post didn’t really have a point and all started to appear as “blah blah blah I have too much time on my hands and a hidden agenda”.

#2
p14:41 pm, 07 Feb 13

It does make me wonder how many of first preference votes in any ACT election are essentially random, by people who see their civic duty to vote as being defined by turning up, not by which boxes the numbers go in.

Also, Ol’ Phil is clearly a nutsack, and I really hope the people who hand out licences to practice psychology have seen some of his crazy rants policy statements.

#3
Pork Hunt4:47 pm, 07 Feb 13

I read it. I must be like minded, like what, I don’t know….

#4
cmdwedge4:48 pm, 07 Feb 13

“Politics lacks such bald-faced honesty… and for good reason. Better for candidates to reflect what they think the community wants to see.”

And it’s a real shame. I’d much rather candidates be open and honest about their intentions, what drove them to seek public office, et al. Being a member of a party tends to blunt that – most members, Labor, Liberal or Green, are pretty inoffensive. Maybe there’s nothing that can be done about it. I don’t know.

Pocock, however, is evil. I’m glad his independent grouping allowed him free reign to go cuckoo bananas.

#5
Pork Hunt4:59 pm, 07 Feb 13

cmdwedge said :

“Politics lacks such bald-faced honesty… and for good reason. Better for candidates to reflect what they think the community wants to see.”

And it’s a real shame. I’d much rather candidates be open and honest about their intentions, what drove them to seek public office, et al. Being a member of a party tends to blunt that – most members, Labor, Liberal or Green, are pretty inoffensive. Maybe there’s nothing that can be done about it. I don’t know.

Pocock, however, is evil. I’m glad his independent grouping allowed him free reign to go cuckoo bananas.

I’m pretty sure the bald faced bit was a pun but obviously it went straight over your head…

#6
OpenYourMind5:00 pm, 07 Feb 13

I wonder if it’s simply a case that some people will pick a name that they’ve seen before. Pocock in all his nutty glory got some undeserved airtime which maybe then led to a few extra votes.

#7
Matt_Watts5:00 pm, 07 Feb 13

cmdwedge said :

“Politics lacks such bald-faced honesty… and for good reason. Better for candidates to reflect what they think the community wants to see.”

And it’s a real shame. I’d much rather candidates be open and honest about their intentions, what drove them to seek public office, et al. Being a member of a party tends to blunt that – most members, Labor, Liberal or Green, are pretty inoffensive. Maybe there’s nothing that can be done about it. I don’t know.

Pocock, however, is evil. I’m glad his independent grouping allowed him free reign to go cuckoo bananas.

Don’t forget – parties generally have a screening process to ensure their candidates are pretty inoffensive to the group of electors they are trying to target so whilst there will always be degrees of offensiveness depending on one’s own views, but no shock the major parties’ candidates are generally pretty acceptable to most of the population.

#8
arescarti425:19 pm, 07 Feb 13

tl;dr.

Anyone want to do a 1 paragraph summary?

#9
bundah5:29 pm, 07 Feb 13

How indeed did the ‘cock’ do so well? Could it be the power of Ra backfired somehow?

#10
A_Cog5:32 pm, 07 Feb 13

bd84 said :

Sorry got bored reading your post a couple of sentences in when it was apparent your post didn’t really have a point and all started to appear as “blah blah blah I have too much time on my hands and a hidden agenda”.

It is fair enough that you think that, but your half right and half wrong. Yes, I had some extra time on my hands today. No, I don’t have a “hidden agenda” in the traditional sense inasmuch as my post is not meant to instil a particular view in the reader without them noticing. It should be pretty obvious from my post that I am not conservative or religious.

What I hoped I was doing was not so much influencing your thinking but instead influencing you to think about how, in just a few pieces in the mainstream media, Phil achieved a profile which probably led to him getting nearly as many votes as Michael Lindfield who has been working for the Tuggeranong community for ages. I thought that this contrast of Pocock/Lindfield (and my express apologies to Michael Lindfield for having eternally linked his name to Philip through google) would spark interest at how much easier it is to get an instant media profile rather than carefully build one over years through genuine community involvement. I sincerely hope you took away that point at least.

My post was partly inspired by a recent piece by Bernard Keane titled “Chaos, or how to see the world like a political journalist”, which is about how political journalists revert to race-calling instead of journalism. So I made the post because against the backdrop of that idea, we’ve got Katter’s Party coming to town (in the Riot Act today) and there is a federal election in 7 months.

And apologies for commenting on my own post. I’m certainly not trying to inflate the comments count.

#11
johnboy5:40 pm, 07 Feb 13

never underestimate the number of spite filled loonies in the general population

#12
bundah5:50 pm, 07 Feb 13

johnboy said :

never underestimate the number of spite filled loonies in the general population

Indeed i’ve encountered many over the years and disturbingly they appear to be multiplying not unlike reptiles.

#13
poetix6:00 pm, 07 Feb 13

I did wonder if there was just a good feeling about the name ‘Pocock’ due to David Pocock, who is certainly opposed to the views of this Pocock.

More realistically, though, I think there are just quite a lot of gay and/or women hating people. And some of them also have a warped idea of christianity.

They may prove to be on-trend. I hope not.

#14
Thumper6:11 pm, 07 Feb 13

johnboy said :

never underestimate the number of spite filled loonies in the general population

I’ll admit that I’m at a complete and utter loss to understand how anyone could have voted for this vile excuse for a human.

#15
Pork Hunt7:28 pm, 07 Feb 13

bundah said :

How indeed did the ‘cock’ do so well? Could it be the power of Ra backfired somehow?

I hear they are trying to get an RA style site up in Sweden.
ActorsRiot.se or ar.se. I hope it doesn’t back fire…

#16
unclebill4:42 pm, 19 Feb 13

651 like minded? He probably got 200+ votes from nis Northbourne flat neighbours that don’t read or write that well but had “seen him around” and had been constantly letterboxed by him.Another couple of dozen from people from his & associated churches.50 or more from people who thought he was the “footballer”. Probably another 100 from his extended family as he boasts of many siblings.The rest who knows? Let’s see how he goes next time, perhaps he’ll join Rise Up?

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