As I've already indicated elsewhere, I'm supporting The Greens in the March 24 state election. The state of the major parties is so bad that neither the ALP nor the Libs/Nats deserve to govern. The best we can do is hope for a hung parliament, with a Iemma minority government held to accountability by third parties and quality independents. The Greens have the best third-party credentials in my opinion, and a more sound choice than the unknown (and often unskilled) quantity of independent candidates in many cases.
In an astonishing set of coincidences, political advertisements placed in three Tasmanian newspapers early in 2006 condemning the Greens on behalf of the Exclusive Brethren were recorded as being paid for out of Liberal Party electoral accounts.
Three separate and entirely unrelated "administrative bungles" at the Hobart Mercury, Launceston Advocate and Devonport Examiner caused sales records to give the totally and utterly absurd impression that the Liberal Party was colluding with the Brethren.
The Australian Electoral Commission's excellent Virtual Tally Room website has a breakdown of the voting figures for Saturday's election, not just electorate by electorate, but polling booth by polling booth. I'm not going through them all - there's several thousand across the country - but I've gone searching for some interesting demographics in my electorate of Grayndler and surrounds. A good benchmark to pursue is the level of the Greens' vote. Grayndler and Sydney, covering the suburbs to the immediate south and south-west of the inner city, have historically been two of the left-wing heartlands of Australia.
Last night I was at Petersham Town Hall for a "Meet The Candidates" forum. Organised by the Marrickville Council for the first time, the five candidates for Grayndler were invited to put their cases to the public and answer questions from the floor.
Sitting member Anthony Albanese (ALP), Philip Myers of The Greens and Sue Johnson (Socialist Alliance) were present. Jen Harrison of the Democrats and Stephanie Kokkolis of the Liberal Party didn't attend. Marrickville mayor Morris Hanna (Independent) chaired the forum. About a hundred people were present, mostly middle-aged. The non-appearance of the Liberal Party gave the forum a decidedly left-wing skew, but in this part of the world that reflects the demographics. Not being a regular at political meetings I only recognised a handful of people in the audience, the ABC's Antony Green being one of them.