Members ponder election results, brutal campaign
Annerley Branch members have both celebrated and commiserated on local election results which saw strong support for sitting MP, Mark Bailey and the sad loss of Jackie Trad, a progressive giant in the Queensland Parliament.
With election results now finalised, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has been returned to government with an increased majority – now 52 seats. The number of LNP seats in the new Parliament have been reduced, with One Nation the biggest losers, witnessing the loss of almost half their state-wide vote. Despite boasting massive gains, the Greens also failed to win their 7 seat haul and also saw a decline in their overall vote.
Locally, Mark Bailey held off a dishonest campaign from the Greens Party and a lacklustre fight from the LNP to record an impressive 5.6% swing. Interestingly, the local Greens Party vote in Miller went backwards, despite their claim of running their ‘biggest field campaign ever’ in the seat. Mark Bailey ensured that the government’s progressive record was communicated to the electors of Miller, who overwhelmingly expressed their support in return.
In the seat of South Brisbane, Jackie Trad fell to a combined campaign from the Greens Party and the LNP to unseat her. However, a disturbing trend out of that election campaign are the growing number of reports from people who witnessed intimidation, bullying and harassment from various Greens Party volunteers. Added to this outright display of ‘bovver boots’ activity, militants from the widely discredited ‘Extinction Rebellion’ cult also participated in what has been described as ‘outrageous and threatening’ behaviour ‘more suited to 1930s Germany’.
Branch members are currently compiling a list of instances of bad behaviour initiated by Greens Party volunteers to help document the alarming issue. It is also understood that a former Greens Party federal candidate has been recorded on video participating in the disgraceful polling day spectacle. As a result of this worrying behaviour, the Branch will be pushing for a code of conduct for campaign volunteers to be implemented and enforced by the Electoral Commission to ensure that bullying and intimidating actions are addressed more effectively.
Support for Kevin’s media diversity petition
The November general meeting of the Annerley Branch has recorded its clear support for former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s push for a Royal Commission into media diversity. Viewing the increasing negative impact on Australian democracy from foreign owned Newscorp, Branch members expressed concern that the political landscape had become ‘poisoned’ from the biased dominance of Murdoch-owned media outlets.
Mr Rudd’s e-petition received a record number of signatories and continues to gain traction in the community since being tabled in Parliament. On 11 November, the Senate referred an inquiry into the state of media diversity, independence and reliability in Australia to the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee for report by 31 March 2021.
As a side issue to Mr Rudd’s petition, Branch members also supported an idea to ensure that petitions with more than 50,000 signatures and e-petitions with more than 100,000 signatures are debated in the federal Parliament. The suggestion is part of the Branch’s push for a more responsive democratic system to improve connections between elected representatives and their constituents.
National Platform under microscope
The Annerley Branch will be providing a written submission to the current review of the Party’s national platform, in lead up the ALP National Conference which is expected to be held during 2021. An extensive consultation process ends on 30 November, with members requested to raise suggested items and amendments for the new platform.
Many branch members have sought to ensure that policies for a more progressive tax system, better health and education services, a review of HECS, expanded Medicare, climate change action, social housing, better working conditions, timely processing of refugee requests and establishing a National Integrity Commission are firmly included in the revised platform.
Once submitted, the Annerley Branch will continue to lobby national conference delegates to support suggested changes to the platform.