Making responsible voting decisions for the ACT Assembly on October 15 has been made quite complex by the proliferation of independent candidates and those representing newly formed parties. Add to that the operation of the Hare Clarke system and the Robson rotation as well as the plethora of signs, pamphlets and doorknockers with which we are being inundated and we could all be forgiven for simply taking the how to vote card from one of the well established parties and doing as we are told.
That of course is how it usually works and that is probably what the established parties would prefer.
For those who really want to know more about the emerging candidates, the Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy has a website arranged by electorate listing all the candidates and their websites. It has invited all candidates to complete a pro forma statement that includes their qualification to be a representative, their key policy interests, the way they plan to manage their representative role and whether or not they support six statements that the Alliance has developed as a “Charter of Democratic commitment”
The website already has 42 candidate statements on file. They are arranged by electorate and party. At this stage, the files contain statements by each of the party leaders and 12 of the 25 liberal candidates, 11 of the 25 ALP candidates, 10 of the 15 Greens candidates and 6 of the 16 Independent candidates.
11 of the 25 known Ginninderra candidates; 9/16 Brindabella candidates; 7/17 Yerrabi candidates; 7/15 Murrumbidgee candidates and 9/18 Kurrajong candidates have submitted statements.
All of the candidates on file have endorsed the charter with a few adding minor amendments to it. Nearly all of the statements are a refreshing departure from the often trivial restatement of party policy that is part of the material that arrives in our letterboxes.
The website is at www.canberra-alliance.org.au and is being updated every few days .