Tag: Tasmanian Greens

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.


State election 2021

So here we go again.
A spot of déjà vu after agreeing to be on the ticket supporting Tasmanian Greens lead candidate for the Bass electorate, Jack Davenport. A surprise phone call from our wonderful surfing senator Peter Whish-Wilson, when in Perth visiting friends and family recently, and the power of persuasion is the only reason I agreed – but only on the condition I was number five on the ticket. That’s a distant last for those unfamiliar with Tasmania’s Hare Clark system, with zero chance of being elected. Really, I’m just there so all those who want to vote Green all the way down the ticket can do so. In 2014 I had some small advantage of name recognition due to the pulp mill campaign. That’s not the case this time around so if I achieve a dozen votes I reckon I’ll be doing well! However, every vote counts.
I suspect this short sharp campaign will be a little different to the last time I put up my hand, back in 2014 when we still had the wonderful Kim Booth representing the Greens in Bass. Supporting a sitting MP is a vastly different prospect to getting our lead candidate over the line and into parliament so Bass has a Greens MP once again. Kim’s re-election was always a nail-biting time and this election is unlikely to be any different.
What a fantastic Greens team we have though, and really hoping Tasmanians will see through the undeniably cynical tactics of premier Peter Gutwein to go 12 months early, arguably hoping that by riding on the back of Covid, he can  replicate the recent WA result that saw a landslide Labor victory. Too much of a landslide really as there’s now a completely ineffective Opposition which isn’t healthy for democracy at all. I hope that won’t be the case here.
Despite the carefully constructed spin Mr Gutwein has done very little, really, in respect of ‘keeping us all safe through Covid’ other than follow the advice of  the state’s public health officer. Just as all the premiers have done. He and his government have done next to nothing to address the housing, homelessness, hospitals and health issues – all of which are a disgrace. The economy here, and throughout the country, is likely to tumble like a pack of cards when the loss of JobKeeper starts to kick in, bringing into question the economic credentials the Liberals like to pride themselves on, but which in fact have no basis in reality.  Meanwhile the trashing of our environment, our forests, our rivers, lakes and oceans continues.
Here’s hoping enough Tasmanians will see through the spin and the May 1st result will be a government that is made up of Liberals, Labor AND the Greens. What a turn-up that would be! A  minority or coalition government in other words, that too many sadly remain fearful about when it comes to Tasmania, yet appear to be quite comfortable about in a federal context. Odd, but shows the powers of persuasive spin.