The Democrats are poling in the ACT senate 6.6% currently < ‘Greens ’50-50 chance to oust Humphries’ in Senate race’ Canberra Times 13/9/07>, as opposed to the national rate of 1%. This is an incredible achivement for the underdog ACT Democrats and their candidate Norvan Vogt who only entered the race a little over 6 weeks ago. I think that Norvan is proving to be the ‘X factor’ in this election as the Democrats Preferences, if they are forwarded to the Greens, will make or break Kerrie Tucker’s chance of ousting Garry Humphries. There is another possibility if the ALP where to preference the Democrats ahead of the Greens then it would be likely that Norvan could become an ACT Senator. I know that there are a lot of disaffected coalition voters out there that would prefer that the Democrats hold the balance of power rather than the Greens.
There is a vast difference in voting for the Greens versus the Democrats. The Greens campaign of ‘rescue the senate’ is a shame. If the Greens did hold the balance of power they would not rescue it but hold it ransom as the Greens are little more than a single issue protest party. Where as the Australia Democrats are beholden to none. The Greens very rarely compromise, unlike the Democrats who strive for outcomes.
There is a distinct difference in the candidates as well. Kerrie Tucker an old party hack of the Greens who failed to poll as well as Rick Farley did in the past, despite having just come off the back of being an ex-MLA with significant Media exposure. And in the other corner you have Norvan Vogt, a young and enthusiastic candidate with significant representative experience who is discovering a groundswell of support. It is surprising to see that the Greens do when they don’t have the monopoly on the ‘young’ or ‘socially concerned’ vote.
If I was Kate Lundy I would reconsider who was getting my Senate preferences in the ACT. It is an exciting prospect that the power in the senate could be wrestled away from the coalition by 7000 voters in the ACT <’We can heal our silent Senate’ Canberra Times 21/09/07>. The decision is the ALP’s, it will need to consider deeply that maybe being held to ransom by the Greens, is not as good as, being able to work with the Democrats who will, if Norvan is elected have a minimum of 5 Senators till mid next year.