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ACT Election ’16 – now on!

By John Hargreaves 18 April 2016 94


Racing now in the Election Cup 2016! We now have candidates in all seats from the major parties. More on this later.

It needs to be acknowledged that there are other candidates running in the ACT election this year besides the major three parties.

We’ll have some independents running and we need to be able to distinguish between the genuine independents and the bogus independent who is really a major party player in disguise, with the intention to draw votes towards a particular party by subterfuge. Last time there were bogus smaller parties, like the Motorists Party (who fielded the “unaligned” Chic Henry) and the Citizen’s Action Party (who fielded the “unaligned” Val Jeffrey, who had been a card carrying Liberal for 40 years but didn’t tell anyone until after he lost the election).

Good luck with that.

I haven’t heard of many true Independents putting their hand up this time, but maybe it’s early days. It is not early days from this old campaigner’s view. Time is a commodity in short supply for newbies in the political contest and particularly so for independents who want to have a real go at it.

But the party to look out for is the Sex Party.

This one is the surprise packet of the election. Led by Steven Bailey, the party is a serious contender in this election. To take this lot lightly is to ignore the success of Fiona Patten in Victoria. Remember that Fiona Patten won an upper house seat, in a proportional representational system, on a platform that was broad based, sensible and not at all on the subject about which we don’t talk at the dinner table in front of the kids. I predict a good showing for this latest of minor parties.

So let’s have a look at the candidates from each of the three parties and see what’s on offer.

In the sitting member stakes, Labor has eight, the Liberals have eight and the Greens one. But not all are seeking re-election. Continuing MLAs include Labor’s Barr, Burch, Gentleman, Berry, Bourke and Fitzharris. Six in all. For the Liberals, all sitting members are seeking re-election – eight in all. For the Greens, since they only have Rattenbury as an MLA, again, 100% of their sitting members seek re-election (ha, ha!)

In the gender race none of the parties have given the female candidates a majority but the Greens come first with 7 out of 15 positions (46.7%), Labor next with 11 of 25 positions (44%) and the Liberals have 10 of 25 positions (40%).

On the multicultural stage, Labor has Ceramidas, Maftoum, Fischer, Kulasingham and Gupta, against the Liberals Doszpot, Lee and Vadakkedathu. The Greens have Merezian, Vassarotti and Faerber. Pretty much even I would say.

On the indigenous front, there has been a conversation on the candidacy of Paul House, a former ALP member who has switched to the Liberals, with him saying that there was no room for indigenous candidates. He seems to forget that Fred Leftwich was an indigenous candidate in, from memory, the 2004 election and that Chris Bourke is indigenous and is a minister for the second time. So much for that theory. The Greens have no indigenous candidate.

Candidates who have stood before include; for Labor, Maftoum, Drake and Kulasingham, for the Liberals, Milligan and the Greens, Le Couteur (a former MLA), Esguerra and Davis.

The candidates, from the three major parties, who will be presenting themselves to you are: (Sitting members are asterisked.)


Labor: Burch*, Gentelman*, Maftoum, Drake, Werner-Giddings

Liberals: Smyth*, Wall*, Lawder*, Cocks, Fazey

Greens: Mazengarb, Murphy, Davis


Labor: Berry*, Bourke*, Fischer, Cheyne, Ramsay

Liberals: Dunne*, Fisher, Kikkert, Sweeney, Rozario

Greens: Esguerra, Merzian, Chappel


Labor: Kulasingham, Cody, Long, Newman, Steel

Liberals: Hanson*, Jones*, Ellingham, House, Hosking

Greens: Le Couteur, Faerber, Davidson


Labor: Barr*, Ceramidas, Dwyer, Niven, Stephen-Smith

Liberals: Doszpot*, Burch, Curtain, Lee, McKay

Greens: Rattenbury, Vassarotti, Thomsen


Labor: Fitzharris*, Hinder*, Gupta, Orr, Pettersson

Liberals: Coe*, Lynch, Milligan, States, Vadakkedathu

Greens: Wensing, Braddock, Holm

It has been said and promoted by those of short memory, that the Labor Party has been in office for too long; that it is seeking its fifth term in government. It has been in office for 15 years already and is tired and out of puff. Let’s look at the reality.

This party has been in renewal for many years now. There are no MLAs presenting themselves this election who were elected in the 2004 election. There are three MLAs who have only served two terms (Bourke, Burch and Gentleman); there are two MLAs who have only served part of one term (Fitzharris and Hinder on countbacks) and there are two MLAs who have retired at this election. The party has well and truly refreshed itself. On the negative side, there will be no sitting MLAs presenting themselves for re-election who have served in Opposition. Simon Corbell’s exit sees the last of that cohort. Finally, the Chief Minister has not been in the job for a full term.

The Opposition has done some refreshment over the years. It has one MLA who has been there since 1998 (Smyth) and you’d reckon he’d be a bit tired after all this time. Dunne was elected in 2004; Doszpot, Coe and Hanson were elected in 2008, Wall and Jones came into the Assembly in 2008 and Lawder joined them on Seselja’s move to the Senate.

I would suggest that neither party can be regarded as old and tired. Both have had renewal of members with fresh minds being brought in. Whether either have the right mix is the big question.

The work experience of the two major contenders is quite varied as well. As might be expected, the Liberals have a smattering of professional and business expertise with some defence experience. Labor has public service, academic, private sector finance and law, and community experience in addition to experience in politics itself.

The emergence of Lee for the Liberals is another to watch. She is an impressive candidate and according to the rules of Hare-Clark, thine enemy is within not without. The game of Hare-Clark is about members of a party taking out a sitting member not so much as replacing an opposing candidate. The Labor experience of 1998 is a good case in point. If I were gazing into my tea cup, I would predict Lee to take the second (perhaps first) Liberal seat in Kurrajong.

The difference this time is that there are an additional eight positions up for grabs so look out for fresh talent in addition to the odd execution.

Now that the major players have been outed, I predict that Labor will get twelve seats, the Liberals will get eleven seats and the Greens will get two seats.

In 2003 I suggested that in the normal course of events, under Hare-Clark, a party will take government with one seat less than a majority and rely on a cross bencher for government. I see no need to change that view.

What’s Your opinion?

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94 Responses to
ACT Election ’16 – now on!
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SpACEman 5:40 pm 02 May 16

If you find similarities with my views and the views of other parties that would be because, on some issues, other people have the good sense to agree with me.

Was that an attempt at humour or just arrogance?

gazket 10:05 pm 28 Apr 16

John Moulis said :

sparrowitis said :

They [The Sex Party] are actually a lot closer to the Liberals in ideology than to the Greens….

I’m not sure that’s correct. A glance at The Sex Party’s ‘policies’ page lists a wide range of social issues, most of which appear to align pretty closely with Greens.

If they are genuinely competing for seats, I think The Sex Party need to more clearly establish their points of difference with the Greens if they want to attract more than just the votes of snickering teenagers.

The Sex Party is the Greens Same label different flavour .

Like Fanta.., for so long there was just Orange Fanta but one day other flavours started appearing and wanted their own recognition with new labels and a equal share of shelf space .
Because they aren’t Orange Fanta no one really takes them serious.

gazket 9:46 pm 28 Apr 16

Simon Corbell

Hospitals – Our hospitals are the most inefficient and expensive to run in Australia because we have a small population. Our new hospital will deliver a super service .

Light Rail – We are a growing city with an expanding population. We can afford the Billion $ train on top of our $400m deficit .

wildturkeycanoe 5:57 pm 28 Apr 16

I really hope there will be an independent party with enough members across all the electorates to be able to make a difference. One seat is pointless unless they hold balance of power, but even then it will be tough to get their policies through. I am sick of having only Laboral or Greens filling the ballot paper, they simply stack the numbers so with preferences they are guaranteed to get about half the seats regardless what the actual results are.

Steven Bailey 3:39 pm 28 Apr 16

I’d contend that the Sex Party appeals to a broad cross-section of Australian political divides. Fiona Patten has fostered the respect of politicians of many stripes in the Victorian Parliament. If I was elected to the Assembly, I would wish to emulate her good judgement.

It’s no secret that I have a few friends in the Labor Party in Canberra; I care about the environment, and it wouldn’t be incorrect to call me a small ‘l’ liberal.

In regards to sympathising with the views of other political parties, I approach political life from my own perspective. If you find similarities with my views and the views of other parties that would be because, on some issues, other people have the good sense to agree with me.

I’m really looking forward to the ACT campaign, and please feel free to give me advice as you all see fit.


Steven Bailey 3:07 pm 28 Apr 16

bj_ACT said :

rubaiyat said :

The Sex Party may well gain support from people who have previously voted Labor and/or Green, but who are now disaffected, or at least disappointed, but not to the extent that they will vote Liberal. With that prospect in mind, I would still bet on a Sex Party MLA supporting the continuation of Labor/Green rule.

Have you forgotten that Steven Bailey is a former Bob Katter Party candidate?

Bob is someone for whom I have respect. I enjoyed working with him. Of course our disagreements were the subject of national media attention.

Steven Bailey 3:03 pm 28 Apr 16

gazket said :

rubaiyat said :

gooterz said :

ACT Labor may be “old and tired” but ACT Liberal does not offer that great of an alternative. It is up to the opposition to present a strong case for change of government, and so far the majority of that has been the campaign against the tram without offering many real alternative policies around the other issues.

Case in point, I live in public housing, and my block is due to be demolished in 2018 and the residents dispersed to new locations. I contacted ACT Liberals to ask if they would continue this policy if elected, and they can’t even give me a simple answer on that, telling me to wait until their policies are released in detail. When asked when that could be expected, they could not give me an answer on that either. Hardly a credible alternative there.

This mentality is why we are stuck with a lousy government. The current government has more than adequately proven that they shouldn’t be rewarded with the responsibility of governing for another term. Their track record is a case for a change of government. We all know they are going a poor job. But some people will just never vote any other way and use the “credible opposition” argument as a way to justify continuing to vote for a bunch of duds. You already know that the current government is going to push ahead with a policy you don’t like. So why keep voting for them?

It makes no sense.

Well I guess that is coming from the “born to rule” and the failure of democracy in letting the great unwashed have a say, but unfortunately that is the system we have. Why even women, migrants and people who never went to private school are allowed to vote!

Heavens sake it is almost like the Enlightenment actually happened and most of the electorate actually believes in science!!!!, when there is good old blind prejudice just waiting to have its turn again.

So I would guess the ACT Liberals may need to earn their way into government. As long as they are an unpalatable alternative they will sit in opposition. They did not have a good track record when they were in government which was why they got kicked out and have stayed out a long time.

To come back in an even more extreme right wing version threatening public servants, or the people who service the public service, who make up a large number of Canberrans, who are generally more liberal in the real meaning of the word, is an unwise move, and just how unwise do you want a government to be?

NSW was stuck with a truly dysfunctional Labor government which did an awful lot of damage before it was finally kicked out, exactly because the opposition was so woeful, people only turned to it in an act of absolute desperation. The Liberals then proved just how bad they were. Luckily the scandals and dirty laundry that came out in the first year got rid of all the rubbish at the top and they got what appears to be a younger, more tolerant, reasonable and moral leader in Mike Baird who appears to be doing a good job now.

What chance on that happening with the current collection of Liberal candidates? There is no depth or alternate views to fall back on.

My hope is that Canberrans wake up and realise they have an almost unique opportunity in Canberra of voting in a good number of independents who actually stand for something other than conduits for favours.

Is Nick Xenophon endorsing anyone?

My understanding is that Xenophon has ruled out running anyone in the ACT.

HenryBG 11:55 am 27 Apr 16

Charlotte Harper said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

You have completely overlooked the Liberal Democrats…

The Liberal Democrats stick to their ideology even though it provides no mechanism to address climate change. Diverse lines of compelling evidence show that the current instance of climate change is caused by human activity. However, the Liberal Democrats explicitly choose to disregard the expert scientific advice. If you ignore science when it doesn’t suit your preconceived position and you don’t change your opinion when the facts change, you disqualify yourself from any leadership position.
The same criticism applies to the Liberals and Nationals who show no sign of taking this seriously. At least the Liberal Democrats are explicit about their science denial.

Very good point about evidence- and reason-based governance.

The last ALP government we had did extremely well along those lines:
– NBN, fibre to the Premises. It’s the way it will eventually be, it was well-costed and sensibly funded at no cost to the taxpayer, and as other countries are finding, costs for the all-fibre approach are actually falling below the projected costs.
– carbon tax. This is economically sound and it had a significant immediate impact on Australia’s power station emissions, which is an urgent requirement given the current course of climate change – the costs of which have been analysed by the relevant experts to demonstrate that the immediate costs of decarbonisation are lower than the costs of not doing it. Those economic experts agree that ETS is rubbish and carbon tax is sound.
– GFC-related policies – all international bodies and experts agree that Australia’s policies during the GFC were the world-leading and brilliantly effective. The resulting debt is minor and remains cheap to service due to Australia’s excellent credit rating.
– pink batts – this project together with the solar panel policies resulted in a national 3% reduction in power consumption. Excellent result. The nasty exploitation of a few workplace-related deaths that occurred was pretty much the most shocking lowpoint of politics in this country. No more people died installing pink batts proportionately than die in accidents in the normal day-to-day building activities involving post-build insulation projects.

Of course where the ALP fell down was their shockingly bad border protection and illegal immigration policies and this quite rightly cost them government.

As we discovered today, off-shore processing is pretty much illegal..
What we need are TPVs and a re-write of how the 1949 Refugee Convention is interpreted under national law to categorically exclude refugee status to anybody who has breached the 2nd-country provision of the Convention.
Come here directly – no detention, automatic visa, right to work, return home when safe.
Asylum-shopping – detention, no visa, return home when safe.

HenryBG 11:38 am 27 Apr 16

mr_wowtrousers said :

neanderthalsis said :

The sad thing is that those who will be most affected by the changes to the environment the thing that concerns the Greens, .

If the environment so concerns the Greens, why does the federal Greens leader Richard di Natale never mention the environment?

They abandoned that years ago.
Prior to One Nation causing so much trouble, the Greens were committed to low immigration. As soon as they reacted to One Nation and turfed that idea out, that was the slippery slope to losing all their other core values.

Now it’s all fringe issues of no concern to the general populace.
Promoting illegal immigration, attacking police anti-drug sniffer-dog operations, and all the other nonsense that currently obsesses them.

Their share of the vote will continue to benefit from the protest factor, but the thoughtful voter will be hard-pressed to think of reasons to continue voting for them.
I am certainly going to avoid giving them a “1”, and also avoid them getting my preference, wherever possible, with the exception of the ACT Senate, where we should all vote to cause as much trouble to the Party-hack shoe-ins who currently undeservedly occupy those 2 seats.

Matt Watts 10:56 pm 26 Apr 16

rubaiyat said :

That’s a bit rough John. You of all people should know how hard it is for Independents to get any attention at all. Not through the lack of trying I assure you.

I can tell you that I am a genuine independent and there are actually a couple of us out here. I hope your next update includes a few more people than those who you believe relevant. If you would like a few links, let me know. I have a couple handy.

Hoping to read some more informed information in the future.


You’ll be waiting a long time for the original poster to offer *balanced* information. It’s clear that he’s pushing a personal view, which is fine. When I have stated in response to his previous posts that he was wrong, he’s ignored it, which is also fine because other readers will make up their own minds on his integrity.

(I’ll declare that I’m a former Liberal candidate.)

dungfungus 10:18 am 26 Apr 16

mr_wowtrousers said :

neanderthalsis said :

The sad thing is that those who will be most affected by the changes to the environment the thing that concerns the Greens, .

If the environment so concerns the Greens, why does the federal Greens leader Richard di Natale never mention the environment?

It’s hard for di Natale to be seen as a hypocrite when the other Green in Canberra is overseeing the destruction of trees in Northbourne Avenue.
That’s not half as bad as our “media” who don’t question the Greens on anything that might show them up.

HiddenDragon 5:52 pm 25 Apr 16

bj_ACT said :

rubaiyat said :

The Sex Party may well gain support from people who have previously voted Labor and/or Green, but who are now disaffected, or at least disappointed, but not to the extent that they will vote Liberal. With that prospect in mind, I would still bet on a Sex Party MLA supporting the continuation of Labor/Green rule.

Have you forgotten that Steven Bailey is a former Bob Katter Party candidate?

No, I did remember that, but as others have noted, Steven’s contributions to this site would suggest more sympathy with the Labor/Green world view.

rubaiyat 5:22 pm 25 Apr 16

Mordd said :

neanderthalsis said :

Mordd said :

JC said :

The grownups will vote Sex Party and leave the Greens vote to the undergraduates.

You may be right, a great many idealistic (but in my view) naive young people vote Green – but there is a third constituency, for whom the word ‘Green’ is a badge of moral superiority.

Such people are easy to spot, constantly online, constantly lecturing the great unwashed on human rights, tolerance, environmental awareness etc. But their true nature is obvious; their posts are almost always laughably self-serving, their ‘tolerance’ belied by the vitriol dripping from each of their long-winded rants.

Such people, and there are a growing number, support the Greens because it allows idle, ineffectual people a platform from which to lecture the world.

There are a great many narrow minded old people who vote Liberal or Labor out of nothing but habit or their parents’ habits.

If you actually knew anything on the subject, by say attending a Green’s meeting, you would discover that the Greens membership is actually older, usually professional, highly educated and choose to think for themselves on important matters and don’t think in slogans, in fact have a broad range of views on many subjects.

Having ideas and ideals deeply offends the narrow minded Right, (and also a Labor Party challenged by its lack of principles), distinguished by their general ignorance, ludicrous guesswork, and assumptions that their dated world has always been and always will be the natural order.

Conservatives always demonise and attack those who think for themselves. Obedience and dull subjugation is not an option, it is The Way Things Are, their divine right. Because attacking people “for being different” is the natural order, it is necessary to cast about for “reasons” for the instinctive dull resentment, so here you rattle out a few.

The sad thing is that those who will be most affected by the changes to the environment the thing that concerns the Greens, are rural voters who are self destructive in their voting habits, turning to the Agrarian Socialist Party to make it rain and to make water spring out of the ground on command, but which also subjects them to fracking, coal mining, foreign land acquisitions, Free Trade Agreements that aren’t, and stuffing up the NBN which would have benefitted them the most.

In truth the talk is big on “Individualism” and “Free Enterprise” and “High Sounding Words to Distract You” but conservatives in reality suck almightily from the middle class hand-out teat.

Losing that teat is what worries them more than ultimately losing their livelihood from the land, sea or whatever natural resource they take for granted with their short term thinking.

In The Last Emperor the scene of the eleven year old Pu Yi running screaming after his wet nurse as she is carted out of the Forbidden City brought to my mind conservatives generally, absolutely terrified of losing their privileges, and turning on anyone even talking about the possibility.

And right there, as if on cue, you perfectly illustrate the point Justin Heywood was making. Incredible.

And you, mine.

rubaiyat 5:17 pm 25 Apr 16

mr_wowtrousers said :

neanderthalsis said :

The sad thing is that those who will be most affected by the changes to the environment the thing that concerns the Greens, .

If the environment so concerns the Greens, why does the federal Greens leader Richard di Natale never mention the environment?

Tell a lie big enough and there’s bound to be a fool out there who’ll believe it:,42345


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