Politics in the People’s Republic of Moreland: Council Elections 2020 – North East Ward

Is it even a valid election when there is no Democracy Sausage? Well, I guess we will be finding out with the Council Elections this year.

Like many of my fellow Melburnians, I am tired and demoralised right now. And, jokes about Democracy Sausage aside, I do feel genuinely sad that this particular election won’t be accompanied by the traditional school fêtes, with their arrays of cake stalls, hipster vegan single origin coffee stands, halal sausage sizzles, second hand book stalls, and more. I’m even a bit sad to miss out on the queuing!

(But I’m not sad to miss out on being infected by COVID-19, so there is that…)

North-East Ward has nineteen candidates for its four vacancies this year. Many of them are repeat offenders – people who have stood for election either successfully or unsuccessfully in the past (and indeed, I’m detecting a bit of generational divide between the old-school candidates and the younger candidates, both in terms of approach and of priorities) – but we have some new faces, too. I’m pleased to see that nearly half our candidates are women – a recent article mentioned that with more women now doing double duty managing home learning and work, there were few female candidates running for election. So it’s nice to see that my local area, at least, is bucking this trend.

I was hoping to fit all the candidates into a single post, as I have in the past, but it turns out that this year, there is SO MUCH information to be found on most candidates (and we do have unusually colourful candidates in Moreland, I think) that it’s difficult to do a brief rundown on each candidate without this article getting absurdly long. On the other hand, I don’t think even my fellow comrades in the People’s Republic of Moreland are ready for nineteen separate blog posts before voting. So I’m going to provide some basic info and links below, and then do my analyses in batches of four or five candidates.

As always, my commentary will be based on publicly-available information only – which is to say the Candidate Statements from the VEC website, any How To Vote cards or flyers that arrive in my letterbox, and of course, any online presence by the candidates. I am not a journalist, and given that I don’t have the capacity to interview all the candidates, I don’t interview any of them – this seems the most even-handed approach available to me. Candidates are welcome to comment below, though if they are abusive to me or to other commenters, I reserve the right to block them (see my comments policy).

Also as always, my biases are pretty clear, but just in case they are not self-evident, I’m a lefty with socialist tendencies; I’m a fairly useless Greenie, but I do think we need to take strong action on climate change, I’m generally pro-science and pro-policies that will increase opportunities for people from disadvantaged groups; I’m a feminist; I’m a Christian; I’m doing my best to be a good LGBTIQA+ ally; and, probably most relevant to Council Elections, I’m someone who doesn’t drive and travels as much as possible by bicycle, so you can bet I will be eyeing any references to cycling safety with a keen eye! (Conversely, I don’t drive, so I’m not very well-placed to comment on parking issues, which are evidently a Big Deal this election – but check out the Fair Parking Moreland page below for more information.)

Oh, and I tend to be sarcastic, even about candidates I like. But if you are here, you probably know that already.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

Sustainable Fawkner

Sustainable Fawkner is a fantastic resource, and the place I found many of the links below. They are collecting as much information as they can find about local candidates, and to my mind, their most interesting effort is their Candidate Engagement Matrix, which looks at how often the candidates have answered surveys, attended forums, and generally made themselves available to speak with or listen to the community. Highly recommended.

Links to analyses / surveys by local special interest groups (note, some of these I found too late to include in my analyses)

Other Wards and Councils

  • Notionoriety has done brief and useful roundups of candidates in Darebin, Moreland’s South Ward, and Yarra Langridge Ward, so if you live there, take a look!

CANDIDATES (Ballot paper order)