Politics: Federal Election – Meet Independents Stephen Mayne and Paula Piccinini

So, we’re down to the final stretch of this insane project of mine, with just four Independents left to look at. Two of them, Stephen Mayne and Paula Piccinini, are a husband and wife team and seem to be grouped together on their ticket; the other two, Glenn Shea and Grant Beale, are birds of two very distinct, if somewhat mysterious colours, and don’t even provide you with an above-the-line place to vote for them (which, incidentally, significantly decreases their chance of getting into the Senate, as only about 5% of people vote below the line, a number that I am personally trying to increase).

Let’s start with Stephen Mayne and Paula Piccinini. They actually have two Senate tickets, one favouring Family First, and eventually the Liberal party, and the other favouring the Greens and eventually Labor. Their policy seems to put all the small parties ahead of the large parties, with the exception of the three Radical Independents, the Climate Sceptics, the CEC and One Nation. So basically, they don’t really care who gets across, provided it isn’t one of those four.

Mayne and Piccinini don’t have a campaign website, per se, though Mayne does have a website, The Mayne Report which seems to be mostly about shareholder activism, but also has a lot of anti-pokies ads on it. Apparently he and Piccinini are runnning on an anti-pokie machines ticket; I have not been able to learn anything about any of their other policies. I’m also not sure what shareholder activism is. Wikipedia tells me that he is a journalist and the founder of the Crikey, an independent news website which he and Piccinini manageduntil a few years ago. Apparently, he was a media advisor to Jeff Kennett, but fell out with him and founded a website, jeffed.com, for people to complain about Jeff Kennett. Classy. It would appear that he then started running for politics as an independent on every possible occasion (rather incompetently – the first time he tried it, he quit his job to do so before finding out that he wasn’t actually eligible to run as a candidate in Victora, because he didn’t live here), helped found the political party ‘People Power’ (not involved in this election) and then got kicked out. Frankly, he sounds like a bit of a fruitloop, but he doesn’t want guns and nor is he trying to undermine public health, so I can smile on him benignly and move on.

Paula Piccinini is a barrister and mother, who put her career on hold to run all the admin for Crikey. All I can learn about her from google is that she was elected to the board of the RACV on her second attempt. Apparently, Mayne has made more than twenty attempts to get onto the boards of various organisations, including the RACV, and is apparently a little envious (and, by the sound of him, resentful) of his wife’s success. Also, he is a tad sexist:

“Mr Mayne said he realised his wife was a chance to get elected when she beat him by 20 per cent in the 2005 RACV board elections.

“All things being equal, women get about 20 per cent more votes than men in RACV board elections, so I knew Paula would be a good chance when she came up against five men in the 60s this year,” he said.”

Or possibly the RACV board realised that Paula was slightly less batshit crazy than her husband.

But he’s still a sexist twit, and just for that, I’m going to put Paula higher up on the ticket.

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