Francesco Timpano is running as an independent in the seat of Pascoe Vale. He is a local architect, who ran for council in the rather bizarre Moreland Council Election a couple of years back, when everyone and their dog ran for council and several candidates engaged in such dodgy and underhanded – and occasionally illegal – shenanigans that we even started getting written up in The Age for our general dubiousness. So nice when the Northern suburbs get some attention.
Mr Timpano, however, was one of the better-behaved candidates in this election, so I am disposed to view him mildly favourably. (But I did just re-scan the Lower House Ticket for Pascoe Vale, just to make sure the really shonky candidates hadn’t joined any political parties and come back to haunt us. It seems not.)
Mr Timpano has a FaceBook page for his campaign, and it is fairly shouty. He likes to tell us things IN BLOCK CAPITALS. WITH EXCLAMATION MARKS!
Here’s his manifesto:
Now running for the seat of Pascoe Vale at the upcoming state elections.
Because its the only way to get OUR FAIR SHARE & stop getting ignored and short changed by the major parties.
The MAJOR PARTIES SHOULD HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME!
AN INDEPENDENT SEAT IS THE ONLY WAY WE WILL GET BACK OUR FAIR SHARE & FIX THE DECADES OF NEGLECT OF SERVICES, INFRASTRUCTURE & EMPLOYMENT.
So there you have it.
Mr Timpano’s flyer (which is very retro, full of capital letters and yellow highlighting) goes on to elaborate a little on this, pointing out that major parties tend to put money into marginal seats. Since Pascoe Vale is un-winnable for the Liberals, and un-losable for Labor, we get nothing. I have a lot of sympathy with this view, to be honest.
Mr Timpano wants us to know that he is one of us, ‘NOT one of them’, and is a local. Which is true. Also, “FRANKY knows how to get things done.”
His five key issues are infrastructure (safer footpaths, better lighting, rail crossings, and roads), services (including childcare, senior citizens, police and a NEW HOSPITAL), more money for sports and education, a fair share of housing, given our demographics, and the environment (‘World best practices for a positive impact for all PROJECTS’, which is a little vague). With the exception of the infrastructure stuff, it’s all a little non-specific, but the ideas are generally good.
I’m a little dubious about just how much the environment is a priority for Mr Timpano, given the vagueness of his statement, and the lack of a statement about public transport, energy, bike paths, or anything like that. I suspect that policy is a little bit of an afterthought, and is probably mostly about designing energy efficient housing. According to this article, Mr Timpano does not have strong feelings about either public transport or roads. In fact, politically, he gives the impression of being middle of the road – left-wing, but in a fairly conservative, old-school way. His how to vote card preferences Labor second and Liberal third, with Family First ahead of the Greens, and those scary Socialists at the very bottom of the ticket. There’s definitely a bit of family values going on here.
Honestly, I think Mr Timpano really only has one policy, and that is getting Pascoe Vale its fair share of services. He is really pushing the “it’s not fair / we deserve better” line far more strongly than he is pushing anything else. Will this make him a good MP for Pascoe Vale? I’m honestly not sure. We do need to be better represented (and there is a fair bit of muttering about our Labor candidate, who is the God-daughter of our current incumbent), but we are also part of a greater whole, and there are, to be frank, areas that are more in need than we are.
In the end, there just isn’t enough content here for me to judge whether Mr Timpano should get my vote… which probably means he is going to wind up somewhere in the middle of the ticket, above the parties that actively annoy me, but behind the ones whose policies I actively like…