Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay, I have reached the last person on the senate ballot paper! After this, of course, I will then need to go back and actually read what I have written in order to figure out who I’m voting for. It’s all been a bit of a blur recently.
Darrell Scott Morrison is another un-grouped independent, originally from Portland. He gives us his mobile phone number *and* his date and time of birth, which is perhaps a bit more sharing than is necessary, but I do appreciate his enthusiasm. Something about his website feels very enthusiastic indeed…
As an un-grouped independent, Mr Morrison has no Group Voting Ticket, and he isn’t getting much love from the other parties, large or small. Bob Nicholls puts him at 22, the Drug Reform Party put him at 31, and WikiLeaks and the Sex Party put him at 33.
I don’t think he’s going to get very far in this election.
The front page of his website tells me that he is INDEPENDENT and Representing Victorians and Australian Senate Candidate. OK. He also has an awful lot of links. And my, he is even wordier than me. My long-lost internet sibling!
He has written his own apology to Indigenous Australians, which is rather lovely. And long. Here’s the end of it:
“In the form of an ongoing forward-looking plan, any compensation to bring the current generation of indigenous Australians up to standards – already enjoyed by the wider community will include – equal health, educational, employment, and economic opportunities. This is our reconciliation offering, and we hope that it will be received in the spirit with which it is sincerely, and most respectfully offered. Our future is not black or white – it is every colour of the rainbow; like the promise of growth after rain; the prism of colours equally diverse and unified by nature.”
And I like that he signs it as “A descendant of Kenneth and Mary Morrison (Scotland) – settled Branxholme and Mannalagenna (Tas. Plangermaireener Nation.) Tanleboneyer (Loontiternairerlehoiner Nation) Van Dieman’s Land.”
He’s put a lot of thought and goodwill into that, and only my extremely petty nature leads me to comment that he should probably leave the eels out of it (cultural mores, not morays).
Of course, I’ve now invoked the wrath of the typo Gods, and will no doubt start developing an extreme case of flamingos or unintentional double entendre, which I will have brought entirely on myself.
Let’s see what Mr Morrison has to say about himself…
He has a lot of policies. Yes indeed he does. But they all stem from ‘jobs, education and health’. He particularly highlights affordable housing, transport infrastructure, road safety, technology (‘some say I am a geek and that’s fine with me’, human rights and equal opportunity, tax reform, renewable energies, innovation, science and medicine.
Okay, it is a long list, but when you wish to see Australia become a compassionate and successful nation; you tend to look broadly at people, what affects them and how we all live.
Mr Morrison then tells us of his impeccable working-class background – his father was a wharfie and meat worker, and his mother’s family was involved in timber milling. He was on the City of Portland Council in 1992, and was a freelance advertising copywriter and more recently was a group marketing manager of a newspaper group in south-west Victoria. And he’s a potter. Not Harry, though.
I do not claim to be knowledgeable in all areas, or an expert, but I am interested in these things and more. Of course, we are an incredibly lucky country, and we have much to offer the world. Our responsibility is to ensure that we do not waste our resources, or let people remain unfulfilled. Nor should we squander resources of any kind. My message in this campaign is ‘Respect for All ™’ and this ethos [feeling] underpins everything I try to achieve. We can be competitive, and we can be robust, but we can have standards, class and allow others their dignity in the process.
He also loves his “My red Honda CB400 with ABS, my black SSV Holden Ute”.
I’m rather enjoying this website. It has a lot of personality and a nice, self-deprecating sense of humour.
Mr Morrison has an entire page about his position on asylum seekers. Oh Darrell, I hope you aren’t going to disappoint me now…
“The unmitigated humanitarian disgrace that is Australia’s mishandling of the disaster, through the continuing deaths of innocents on the high-seas can be averted.
“The strategies tried in the past decade, to curb boat traffic, have not worked sufficiently. In a world of 7 billion people and rising, the problem of refugees who are displaced by war, terrorism, over-crowding and poverty is never going to abate. I repeat – it is never going to abate.
“Australians cannot agree on the flimsy and often cruel strategies, which are not a deterrent, and are not humane. They are entirely ineffective in preventing the risk-taking behaviour and the many thousands of subsequent deaths.
… ah, no, I see you are not. Excellent.
Mr Morrison wants Australia and transit countries like Indonesia so that asylum seekers “can have their cases heard, and paperwork assessed in safety and comfort of their host countries.”
I will not support continued offshore assessment (I abhor the term processing as it is used in short-hand). These people are victims and they are not animals.
If the government has nothing to hide, let Australian and international journalists have unfettered access to the camps, and be able to assess the reality, and tell the stories of the very real people who have names, hopes and aspirations like the rest of us. When a family who has lost a child is ‘given permission’ to view the body of their dead child in a morgue – that is the last straw. Who do we think we are! Taking people prisoner, delaying justice and then further insulting their basic human rights. Staging-posts not jails.
Oh, I am enjoying this!
Mr Morrison suggests a graded journey from temporary to full citizenship, involving regional residence, training and employment, including English language skills. Like several other policies, his policy would involve encouraging accepted refugees to settle and work in areas of need. This seems fair enough.
I can understand Australians being confused by asylum seekers who have lost or destroyed their identity papers, or arrived looking anything other than stereotypical battlers.
“Just because people retain some modicum of dignity, does not mean they are wealthy people seeking to migrate or cheat the system. Every refugee has a story, and they would not risk life and limb if they felt they had viable options at home.
I love this. Do I have to look at his other policies? Really? Oh, alright then. Maybe they will have eels.
Mr Morrison’s policy page is a series of bullet points, making it difficult to summarise, because this has already been done. I shall therefore cherry-pick my favourites, and direct you to his policy page for the rest (really, it won’t take you long to read it).
It’s a nice collection of lefty-social-justicey policies. I especially like his policy of more funding for science (yes please!), and jobs for everyone who wants one, including training for those who aren’t in school or employment, and more job opportunities for people with disabilities who want to work. He supports the NDIS. He wants to support rural and city mental health services and make sure life-saving medications are prioritised on the PBS. He wants to de-criminalise marijuana. He also wants to legalise same-sex unions, and promote respect for minority groups and equality of opportunity. He would legalise euthanasia (this is a very popular policy this election – everyone has an opinion about it), with some restrictions. And he wants to get police away from paperwork and into the community.
Mr Morrison has a good collection of environmental policies – he wants more environmental programs and renewable energies, and is against CSG extraction: ” I support climate change initiatives, simply because often they are cleaner and promote a better environmental outcome. It’s a safe bet.” He is also into animal welfare, and is against whaling and live animal exports. He wants uniform national laws, and he wants more farming, as well as fast rail to rural areas. And he wants to improve bulk billing, including dental insurance, and raise the youth allowance and job search benefits.
Oh, and he “would also like to see a diesel-powered Commodore and Falcon.”
And on these words of wisdom, I bring to a close my series of Victorian Senate Political Party posts for 2013. I’ll probably write a few more posts in the next few days of more general interest, but for now, I’m signing off.
Vote early, but not too often (they do ask you about that, you know), and please, vote with thought.
(and if you want to create your very own How To Vote Card to print out and take into the booth, I recommend Below The Line. It’s so much easier than trying to remember exactly what you thought of all those 97 candidates when you get into the ballot box…)