Firstly, confession time. I’m a long-time Labor guy and I’m keen on seeing success for my tribe at the next election. My active campaigning focus is on the House of Reps and not so much on the Senate: I’m hoping that my friend David Smith will succeed Gai Brodtmann as the inaugural member for Bean (how I hate this name – should have been Namadgi).
The picture above is a photo of a restaurant menu wall in the town of Sapa in Northern Vietnam I visited in February 2009. Now, who could resist taking a snap of this little pearler? Nine years later, it pretty much sums up the mood I’m sensing in punter land.
The history of the Senate in the ACT is that the Liberals and Labor get one each. The Libs got a scare when Democrat Rick Farley was parachuted in. The Greens have always harboured a hope that they could get in on Labor’s second preferences.
But nah! The Greens’ homeland is only central Canberra and not Canberra-wide. When Simon Sheikh ran, he didn’t ripple the bathwater. So, I thought that history would repeat itself until just a few weeks ago.
Katy Gallagher will easily get in, with Labor’s second candidate doing very well for a first timer. But who to be elected next? For all those political insomniacs out there, have you ever been introduced to someone whom you wish you could recruit to your cause because they look the goods? Well, I did. Imagine my horror!
Genevieve Jacobs did an article in RiotACT recently on a dark horse in the race, one Anthony Pesec. I read the article and thought, oh yeah, another idealist who will give it a good shot and fade away. But then I met the guy. I’m not so sure anymore that Pesec will be just another statistic.
Pesec is an independent in the race. A small ‘l’ liberal whose politics are left leaning on social and environmental issues but a pragmatic on economic issues. We see a youngish bloke with decent environmental history, particularly in investment. In a town like ours, this is really important and a rarity.
Pesec grew up in Weston Creek and is well regarded in the community, particularly the Croatian Community. Handy that!
My spies tell me that Zed is on the nose in the Croatian community largely due to being MIA. Polling conducted for UnionsACT at the end of January shows 58 per cent of the voters in the ACT disapprove of him, but he needs 33 per cent. He’s on all sorts of thin ice.
So can Pesec take out Zed?
To be successful in politics, a connection with the voters is necessary. Tick for Pesec and ‘?’ for Zed.
Also, you’ll need something to stand for. Pesec has environmental and financial creds and a desire to defend his home town. Zed is an Assistant Minister in a Government which has taken jobs out of Canberra and led the charge in Canberra bashing, not to mention opposing the marriage equality legislation.
Pesec has no ‘baggage’ that I know of. Political naivety perhaps. No bad thing sometimes but he is no novice in dealing with hard people on hard issues. Zed is a former Liberal Leader of the Legislative Assembly Opposition who did what?
I’ve complained about the ankle-deep talent pool in both parties but here’s a bloke I would dearly love to recruit to my Party. Unfortunately, that won’t happen.
He is a breath of fresh air and if elected, will vote more times with Labor than Zed. I hope the pic is right.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not reflect the position of Region Media.
Region Media’s election coverage policy can be found here.