Federal Election 2019: Meet Ken Betts

Summary

Website: https://www.kennethbetts.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008014699300
Slogans:
Truly Independent Pensioner
Your Voice for Victoria
Themes: Representing the voices of youth and of pensioners.  Volunteers with migrant groups, good on refugees.  Very community minded!  Believes in ‘Traditional Aussie Family Values’.
Electorate:
Upper House: VIC (Ungrouped Independent)
Preferences: Not indicated.

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Federal Election 2019: Meet Karl Morris

Summary

Website: https://www.karlmorris.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karlmorriskeepingthebastardshonest
Slogans:
Keeping the bastards honest while protecting pensions and super
Themes: Being a true independent who supports the government of the day.  Protecting superannuation and pensions, clearly.  Stability in general.
Electorate:
Upper House: VIC (Ungrouped Independent)
Preferences: Mr Morris is an ungrouped independent, and as such, he relies upon people voting below the line and being able to count to twelve.  Rather than telling people which way to vote, he has created six tickets, depending on whether you prefer the ALP, the Coalition, the Greens, One Nation, Hinch’s Justice Party or United Australia, and each of the tickets starts with him, and then follows a typical ticket for the preferred party in question.  So the ticket which favours One Nation then preferences Rise Up Australia, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers, the LDP, the Christian Democrats and Sustainable Australia; whereas the ticket which favours the Greens then sends your votes to Animal Justice and Labor.

I’m kind of impressed at his even-handedness, to be honest.  He’s not trying to tell you who to vote for, and is trying to make sure that if you vote for him, the rest of your vote will reflect your core values, whatever they are.  My only quibble is that there really is no fun to be had in stopping at a mere twelve preferences on a ballot of this size, but to be fair, even I would draw the line at creating six full below the line ballots, each with a different personality…

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Federal Election 2019: Meet Max Dicks

Summary

Website: http://vote1maxdicks.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vote1maxdicks/
Slogans:
A voice for Victoria
Don’t be a Dick, elect  one.
Themes: Likes people and wants to make the world a better place.  Particularly interested in addressing climate change, improving the government, teaching emotional intelligence in schools, and more infrastructure for rural areas.
Electorate:
Upper House: VIC (Ungrouped Independent)
Preferences: Unknown

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Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Kathy Majdlik!

I don’t have time to read all of this!
The Basics

Website: https://www.melton.vic.gov.au/Council/About-Council/Councillors/Cr-Kathy-Majdlik
Themes: Serving the community, disability services.  Somewhat conservative.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

As an ungrouped independent, Majdlik does not get a group voting ticket, but it’s always interesting to see where the independents are placed by other parties.

Unfortunately, we don’t get much of use here.  Majdlik is usually grouped with her fellow Ungrouped independent somewhere toward the bottom of the ticket, though Hinch and the ALP rank both the independents fairly highly, with Hinch putting Majdlik at 13th and the ALP putting her at 14th.

Only the Greens and the Australian Liberty Alliance bother to place the two independents separately on their ticket, and in both cases, this placement does not favour Majdlik.  The Greens put her in the middle of her ticket, with Grima quite high; and the ALA put her dead last, with Grima in the lower third of the ticket.  I suspect the Greens have put her in the ‘don’t know / don’t care’ basket, while deciding that they actively do like Grima; the ALA have almost certainly done the opposite, putting Grima on the ticket wherever, and putting the woman with the foreign-sounding name at the very end of the ticket…

The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations

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Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Diana Grima

I don’t have time to read all of this!
The Basics

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/diana.hogg.79
Themes: Not taking the Western Suburbs for granted! Mental health, transport, infrastructure, petrol prices, environment.

With friends like these…
The Group Voting Ticket

As an ungrouped independent, Grima does not get a group voting ticket, but it’s always interesting to see where the independents are placed by other parties.

The Greens put Grima at 10th on their ticket, directly after the Victorian Socialists and the Animal Justice.  This is clearly not a random choice, since fellow ungrouped independent Kathy Majdlik is only at 26th.

Hinch and the ALP put Grima at 14th and 15th, respectively (directly after Majdlik in both cases).

Most other parties put them low down the ballot, but it’s worth noting that the Australian Liberty Alliance makes a point of distinguishing between the two, putting Grima at 32, well ahead of Majdlik at 48.

The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations

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Meet the Independents: Tiffany HARRISON (Ungrouped, Northern Metropolitan)

I’ve been saving ungrouped Independent Tiffany Harrison for last, because she’s in my home region of Northern Metropolitan, and also because I wanted a nice, bracing dose of left-wing goodness (or even left-wing loopiness, I’m not pre-judging here, except about the left-wing bit) before diving back into my parade of right wing political parties.

As it happens, Ms Harrison is really only technically an independent.  She is a member of Save the Planet, and is representing them as a candidate, although they are not registered as a party in this election.  If I recall correctly, this is the second election in which they have run candidates as independents – they seem to be having difficulties reaching their minimum requirement of 500 members.

Because Ms Harrison’s own FaceBook page states that she is running as a Save the Planet candidate, I think it’s appropriate to look at this party’s policies as a representation of what she believes and will stand for.

Save the Planet’s home page informs me that:

Save the Planet is a new political party and community campaign focused on reversing  global warming, creating a safe climate and providing real leadership in the climate emergency.

On their home page and FAQ page they state quite clearly that they “will not be distracted by issues unrelated to the building of a safe-climate-restoring economy, done at emergency speed”.  While they acknowledge that the Greens and Socialist Alliance have some good policies, Save the Planet views them as too distracted by social policies that ‘dilute’ their focus on the climate emergency.

The purpose of the Save the Planet Party is to campaign so effectively on our core goals that we make it a political necessity for all other major parties including the Greens to lift their environmental policies and performance to match our position. It then will be possible to build a safe-climate-restoring economy in Australia at emergency speed. We can do this through public education and using political leverage at elections.

Further down, they add:

We have deliberately restricted Save the Planet’s policies to a limited focus around key issues on climate change with the hope that we can attract wide support for emergency speed action to restore a safe climate. All candidates have agreed to our purpose and goals which include the creation of a world that is environmentally and socially sustainable and working to eliminate high levels of inequality.  Candidates also have to pass a good character test which includes not being racist or sexist. In the context of these constraints, on any other policy issue, a Save the Planet candidate is effectively an independent and you would need to ask their personal views.

So, essentially, we have a party that makes no bones about being a single issue party, because they view that issue as the paramount emergency of our time.  But… without actually having concrete policies on other issues, they do actually have some very definite ideas about how candidates should think and behave.  I am also interested to note that they are also encouraging people to work from within the major parties, and particularly the Greens, to push for a safe climate policy.  While Save the Planet’s founders feel that they, personally, have taken the ‘reform from within’ strategy as far as they can, they acknowledge that it is still a useful one.  This is far more pragmatism than I would have expected from a group that manifestly leans left.

(As a known leftie, I’m not knocking the left side of politics here.  But, as a movement, we do have a tendency to let our ideals get in the way of actually achieving something.  I’d say the right of politics has the opposite problem – pragmatism getting in the way of ideals.  But I could be wrong.)

They also have a page about preferential voting, and explain in several different places how voting for a small party does not, in fact waste your vote (including a link to this gorgeous cartoon on the subject). This is useful information – and yes, it’s also something that small parties need to make sure people understand!

Let’s have a look at how the other parties have preferenced Ms Harrison.

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Meet the Independents: Gary MANNION (Ungrouped, Western Victoria)

And here, I’m afraid, I’ve drawn a blank.  Gary Mannion, congratulations, you are officially the most elusive candidate so far in this election.  There are, as it turns out, a number of Gary Mannions on the internet.  One of them is a psychic surgeon, which sounds like far more fun than writing about politics.  Another is a politician – but in Massachusetts, not Melton.  A third Gary Mannion is a country musician in South Australia.  I was getting high hopes of another music video, but I’m pretty sure this is the wrong Gary Mannion too.

In short, I don’t know who this candidate is.  I do have one lead on a Gary Mannion who lives in the right suburb and trains greyhounds, and while my gut feeling is that this is the write chap, I can’t say for sure that it really is.  This particular Gary Mannion has a few political things on his Facebook page, including a poster saying that what Australia needs is more unemployed politicians, and also a petition to ban Halal certification fees.

And that’s it.

In terms of where he stands with the various political parties, People Power put him at 11th, which is quite a good effort, and the Liberal Democrats, who I am beginning to suspect just like ungrouped Independents generally, put him at 19th.  Nobody else is too keen.  The Greens and ALP put him at 26th, the Liberals at 29th.  The Cyclists and Palmer United both put him at the bottom of their ticket.  Given the possible association with greyhounds, I was curious to see where the Animal Justice Party put him, but they put him at 30th, which is below the major parties and the parties that they actually like, but above their least favourite groups (right wing Christian parties and parties belonging to people who like hunting).  I don’t think this counts as evidence either way.
In fact, this whole post is basically a very long way of saying “I have no idea who this guy is or who he stands for.”Sorry, folks!

Meet the Independents: Jeff BARTRAM (Ungrouped, Eastern Victoria)

And now we come to our third ungrouped independent candidate for Eastern Victoria, and what a candidate he is.  I’ve been keeping a vague eye on Jeff Bartram‘s website for a week now, and had concluded that it was just going to be that single photo, announcement of his candidature, and his slogan “Looking for Good in People and in the Region”.

But sometime in the last 24 hours, everything changed.  The website sprang to life, and what a life it is.  Because Jeff Bartram, my dear readers, is another member of that exclusive club – the club of political parties and independents who decide to sell themselves with a song.

Once again, I find myself speechless.  My husband came in to find out what on earth I was listening to, and watched the video with delight for several minutes, before opining that it would make a first-class gay nightclub anthem.  Which was at almost exactly the same moment that I, looking for the Youtube link to the video, found myself being educated by Google on just what tradesman’s entrance can be slang for.

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Meet the Independents: Jean-Michel DAVID (Ungrouped, Eastern Victoria)

Jean-Michel David, who is standing as an Ungrouped Independent in the Eastern Victorian region, does not make it easy to find his website.  I mention this only because I do feel faintly guilty stalking people via their email addresses provided on the VEC website, but I spent a very long time Googling this chap and getting nowhere, and only when I typed in his email domain into my browser was I able to find his official website and confirm that I had been looking at the correct Jean-Michel David all along.  I didn’t know it was possible to make a website so difficult to find – or not by accident, anyway.

Ah – but perhaps it was no accident, but entirely intentional?  For our friend Mr David, in addition to being a Steiner School teacher, is also a notable expert on the Tarot, who has published books on the subject.  The world ‘occult’ means hidden – perhaps Mr David’s elusive website should be taken as an invitation to a journey of self-discovery in order to find him?

OK, I’ll stop being silly now, but in all seriousness, aspiring independents of the world – please, make your website easy to find.  You’re batting on a difficult enough wicket not having a group ticket to support you without making it virtually impossible for people to find out what you stand for.

And speaking of Group Tickets, let’s see what his fellow candidates think of Mr David.

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