Meet the Small Parties: Voice for the West

Voice for the West wants you to know that “it’s time for the people in the West to create our own voice and elect our own representatives to Parliament.”

The West has been without a political voice for a long time. In the western suburbs, Labor takes the region for granted, and the Liberals are focused on the other side of town. Elections come and go, and usually nothing changes.

Enough is enough. It’s time for people in the West to create our own Voice, and elect our own representatives to parliament.

Already I like this group, because they are saying what I’ve been saying for years.  The ALP ignores us because we’re hardly going to vote Liberal, and the Liberal party also ignores us, because… we’re hardly going to vote Liberal.  And so we don’t get the infrastructure and other presents.  It’s very sad.  (Also, it makes voting completely boring, because in the Lower House we all know who will win – hence my fascination with the Upper House.)

Also, I just want to highlight the use of “It’s time” in the slogan and the preamble on this site.  This is a phrase which has quite a bit of resonance for traditional Labor voters, and I’d be curious to know whether this was a deliberate echo of Whitlam’s slogan or whether it’s just seeped so far into the collective consciousness of the Labor-voting, Western and Northern suburbs public that it just comes out whenever any of us think of politics.

(And yes, you’ll notice that they already have me on-side here with the whole Western and Northern suburbs solidarity thing.  We’ll see how long this lasts…)

(Also, I shouldn’t have linked to that song, because now it’s going to be in my head all week.)

Voice for the West is doing its best to place itself as a community movement.  There is the usual call to action, encouragement to become a member, and solicitation for donations (phrased “Donate: Support the community of Melbourne’s West”).  Their vision is “An Australia which is inclusive of all its people, in society, the economy, and politics.”

And their goals?

1. To develop a team of candidates for the Victorian state election in November 2014.
2. To develop a team of candidates for the NSW state election in March 2015.
3. To develop a team of candidates for the Victorian and NSW local government elections in 2016.
4. To develop a team of candidates for the next Federal election in 2016.

Um.  Yes, we know that you would like to survive as a party and grow.  But… as a set of political goals, this does rather lack something.

Like the Vote 1 Local Jobs candidates, the Voice for the West are not trying to get a majority.  They are just after the balance of power, and they think that with good preferences and primary vote of 10-15% in the west, they might be able to do it.

They are placing themselves very much as a grass-roots, middle ground party:

We want a team of team of outstanding community leaders from the West to put themselves forward for election to state parliamentary seats in the lower and upper house. We want a team of thousands of ordinary people to support them.

The leaders we want will be:

1. Grounded in their communities.
2. Good listeners and facilitators.
3. Independent thinkers and ethical in their behavior.
4. Committed to grassroots initiatives and local solutions.
6. Not Left or Right but positioned in the broad centre of politics.

We want ordinary citizens and community leaders from the West to come together and create a political movement capable of winning seats in state and federal parliaments.

So far, so good.  I’m a little disappointed by those goals, but maybe their policies will impress me.  Meanwhile, let’s have a look at their Group Voting Tickets.

Voice for the West is running in the Western Victoria, Western Metropolitan and Northern Metropolitan Regions, and they are preferencing differently in every seat.

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