I am reading Lindsay Tanner’s new book called ‘Politics with Purpose’. If only we had a national government with former Labor Finance Minister Tanner as Prime Minister and Malcolm Turnbull as Treasurer (or the other way around)!
Tanner asks ‘what has happened to the Labor party I knew and loved’? He says that ‘Labor has become an electoral machine largely devoid of wider purpose’ and that it has been ‘swamped by careerism’. I am sure similar criticisms could be made by small ‘l’ Liberals of their party.
This problem can be seen at the local level in Port Phillip. Party members seem to think that anything goes in political contests. So they campaign for Council elections as ‘Independents’ and disguise their allegiance to their political party.
For example Dick Gross is a long-standing member of the Labor party and has previously offered himself for Labor pre-selection for Parliament. He has recently distributed a very nice election postcard in Junction ward that completely fails to mention his membership of the Labor party.
Similarly in Albert Park ward, Amanda Stevens has distributed a flyer in which she proclaims in large print that she is an Independent and admits in small print that she is a member of the Labor party.
I think that this sort of conduct is misleading and could be a breach of the Australian Consumer Law if done by a corporation in advertising its goods and services. Unfortunately our politicians long ago decided that there should be no similar prohibitions on misleading advertising in politics.
I believe that candidates in local Council elections should follow the ethical position of the Greens. Green candidates are proud to acknowledge their party membership. Members of the Labor and Liberal parties should do the same.
It is important that none of the unChain candidates in the October Council elections is a member of a political party. All are truly independent.
I think that the best Council in Port Phillip will be one with a significant number of excellent Independent councillors who work together with a shared vision and can work with either the current Liberal or a future Labor state government.
We should be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing – we need genuine Independents on the Port Phillip Council.
~ Peter Holland
President, unChain Inc