Month: May 2021

State election 2021 – Part 3

As the count staggered to its conclusion last week I continued to be totally overwhelmed and bewildered by my personal vote (2432 in case you were wondering) but remain gutted that it wasn’t enough – along with the impressive vote numbers for the other support candidates – to get Jack over the line and elected as Greens MP for Bass. Surely next time . . . ?

A genuine surprise, as the result inched its way to the finish line, was receiving an email from a former housemate from decades ago when we were both living and working, (studying in Bob’s case) and sharing a house in Perth with two others. As one did back in the day.

While he was travelling interstate with Sue, his wife, and doing the grey nomad thing he decided to see how the Tasmanian election was going. He’s an ex-pat Tasmanian who’s lived in Canberra for ages but still keeps a weather eye on what’s happening in the state of his birth. He noticed my name on the ticket, and as one all too easily can these days, found my contact details using the Google option and sent a lengthy email to say G’day. Although never the most reliable correspondent since our Perth days, now contact has been re-established it will hopefully continue. He may even visit. After all, barring New Zealand, Tasmania is the closest anyone from the mainland can get to an overseas trip for the forseeable future!

There was also the unexpected email from a former work colleague, who retired several years before I did. David was one of the school’s outside support staff and earned my undying gratitude by going out of his way in my first year at the school to ensure I had a key to access the school pool during the summer holidays – the only time staff were allowed to use it. He sent one of the dreaded template pre-election emails from one of the many organisations who encouraged their supporters to seek the position of candidates on whichever issue was front of mind for them. Rightly or wrongly I deviated slightly from the drafted response, and personalised my reply. The reward was receiving a lovely response in return. A man who’s heart is definitely in the right place when it comes to protecting Tasmania’s natural environment.

So there were a few advantages to putting up my hand for this gig, even if it is absolutely and positively the last time I do so!


State election 2021 – Part 2

Being a support candidate for this election has been considerably more time-consuming than it was in 2014, and I will now view all those template emails various organisations encourage their members/supporters to send off to all candidates with rather more jaundiced eyes – and considerably more understanding for the recipients of these missives – as well as respect for those who actually bother to reply. Few do in my experience.

For the weeks leading up to 1st May my inbox bulged with these template missives – and they all needed a response. It’s the Greens way after all, but it’s also my natural reaction to reply to those who contact me – unless they’re obvious cranks of course, so these individuals are all receiving a reply but I’ve been advised by more than one person Liberal and Labor candidates are nowhere near as thorough . . .

In the election aftermath I freely admit to extreme disappointment the result isn’t exactly the one many of us hoped it would be, although counting continues and the final tally may not be known for another week. It may also defy the pundits’ predictions. On a personal level though I’m overwhelmed by the number of 1st preference votes I received. In truth, I’m completely gobsmacked, and totally humbled at the idea there are so many people in Bass who felt confident enough in my abilities and/or my character to give me their number one vote.

As indicated earlier, the decision to stand at all on the Greens ticket was down to having my arm twisted a little by our persuasive, surfing senator Peter Whish-Wilson. I agreed only on the condition I was number five on the ticket. This pretty much was the same deal as the last time I stood as a support candidate, back in 2014 to ensure Kim Booth was re-elected. Back then we were dubbed the ‘A’ team – as our first names coincidentally all began with an ‘A’.

In 2014 I received 334 votes, and I thought that was both spectacular and surprising. I could appreciate that a degree of name recognition came into it given the pulp mill campaign was still limping along to its unlamented conclusion. But this time?

I continue to hold on to the possibility of a win for Jack Davenport, based on the anxious days of waiting to confirm Kim had made it across the finish line. I so well remember hearing the news Kim had won by around 160 votes in the 2006 election, several days after election day and while on the way home from work, and doing a swift turn around to head back into town and the Greens then-office on Charles Street to join the ecstatic celebrations. And Kim’s laconic comment that he ‘always knew there was a quota in there somewhere!’ Such insouciance!

The peculiarities of Hare Clark means there is unlikely to be a final election result until next week, since preference votes still have to be distributed once the initial count is completed, so there’s reason to hope. My fingers are firmly crossed that Jack will receive enough preference votes from all quarters to see him also fall over the line, so Bass will once again have the Greens state MP we need and deserve.