As Labor prepares to finalise its candidates for the 2016 ACT election later today, Canberra Liberals leader Jeremy Hanson has defended the fact that his party’s contenders won’t be known until next year.
The Greens announced their candidates for the October 15, 2016 poll last month, and Labor will confirm its list of potential MLAs later today after completing the pre-selection process over the weekend. We’ve got the full list for you at the end of this article.
Mr Hanson said that while his party’s pre-selection process wouldn’t take place till the first half of next year, it would be finalised to allow sufficient time for candidates to campaign ahead of the election.
“In many cases, it’s not feasible for candidates to have their intentions revealed the year before an election,” Mr Hanson said.
“Unlike Labor and Greens candidates, who are often union members or political advisors, our candidates come from a diverse range of backgrounds and professions. It would be problematic for many candidates to announce intentions this far out.
“As an example, in 2007, the year before I was elected to the ACT Assembly in 2008, I was serving in Iraq until mid-December. A pre-selection in the year before an election would have prevented me from being preselected.”
Mr Hanson said the Liberals wanted to keep the door open for as long as possible, “to give talented but busy prospective candidates every opportunity, unlike Labor’s factions which actively seek to exclude real people”.
He said the process would be outlined later this year or early next year, but would be similar to that of previous elections. He also said all eight current Canberra Liberals MLAs planned to run in 2016.
“Prospective candidates must meet eligibility criteria outlined in the constitution and would need to be a member of the Liberal Party for three months prior to pre-selection,” he said.
This may mean potential candidates could join the party today and run in 2015.
As for Labor’s line-up, Mr Hanson said they were “mostly factional players who in many cases will have trouble connecting to the broader community”.
There were some surprises in Labor’s list. High profile Mr Fluffy activist Brianna Heseltine was unsuccessful in her bid for pre-selection. Joy Burch, a Minister in the current government, was successful but with fewer first preference votes than Karl Maftoum in Tuggeranong.
On the Ginninderra ticket is regular RiotACT contributor Kim Fischer. She is a former adviser to another of our contributors, ex-Labor MLA John Hargreaves.
We will profile every candidate for the ACT election on the site in coming months, starting with the Greens, moving through the Labor candidates then independents and minor parties before adding the Liberal players in once we know who they are.
We’ll ask them some questions about themselves, their connection to Canberra and their electorate, their goals if elected and their take on key issues for the capital.
We’d love to hear from you on this. Is there a question you’d like to ask every candidate? Let us know in the comments below.
There were ten unsuccessful candidates at Labor’s pre-selection stage, with others, including sitting MLA and longstanding Labor minister Simon Corbell, exiting the process during or after factional jostling for the opportunity to move to the next stage took place earlier in the year.
Those who were unsuccessful in the pre-selection process after Saturday’s count were: Vanessa Attridge in Kurrajong; Tracey Pulli in Brindabella, Sue Ducker in Ginninderra; Bernard Philbrick, John Serborne, Jo Chivers and Brianna Heseltine in Murrumbidgee; and Richard Fox, Thomas McMahon and David Wedgwood in Yerrabi.
Here’s the list of successful contenders for Labor candidacy for each seat:
Karl Maftoum, Mick Gentleman, Joy Burch, Angie Drake and Taimus Werner-Gibbings.
Yvette Berry, Kim Fischer, Tara Cheyne, Gordon Ramsay and Chris Bourke.
KURRAJONG (Inner North/Inner South)
Andrew Barr, Joshua Ceramidas, Rachel Stephen-Smith, Leah Dwyer and Richard Niven.
MURRUMBIDGEE (Weston Creek/Woden)
Chris Steel, Mark Kulasingham, Rebecca Cody, Jennifer Newman and Brendan Long.
Jayson Hinder, Michael Pettersson, Deepak Raj Gupta, Meegan Fitzharris and Suzanne Orr.