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More council election bits

I was going to preview the other wards in Saturday's Marrickville Council elections. West Ward is pretty boring, as is South Ward, where Maroubra resident Morris Hanna will be among those seeking re-election. It's likely that each of South, West and Central Wards will shape up as Greens 1, Labor 1, independent 1. The question will be which independent, certainly in Central Ward.

Far more interesting is North Ward, which includes parts of Petersham, Stanmore, Camperdown, Newtown and Enmore. Last time the Greens picked up 2 seats to Labor's 1, with no independent ticket running. Again, there will be no small-business indi group in North Ward, but the Liberals are on the ballot, led by Tanveer Ahmed. The Commissioner for Bingo is a versatile chap, as his website and an op-ed in Tuesday's Sydney Morning Herald. Still, in the area where one booth gave the Greens more than 50% of the primary vote at the last Federal election, Tanny is going to be lucky to make any sort of impact.

The Socialist Alliance are running their team of usual suspects in North Ward, campaigning on all those local council issues such as electricity privatisation, housing affordability, and Work Choices. One idea is interesting however: allowing for a recall vote or citizen's referendum if ten per cent of voters petition for one. If only we had recall provisions in the State Constitution...

I predict that the Socialist Alliance will get their customary three per cent of the vote, and finish behind Tanveer Ahmed, with the Greens to yet again score two seats to be the dominant party on Marrickville Council for four more years.

Just two other councils I will mention quickly: firstly, the City of Sydney, where Lord Mayor (and State member for Bligh) Clover Moore is being challenged by former State upper-house member and Labor Party legend, Meredith Burgmann. If I were a cityite this is one occasion where I would back the ALP candidate. While the Sydney Morning Herald and Time Out Sydney have items on the big battle, I leave it to two of Sydney's leading gay media outlets, the Sydney Star Observer, and SX, to give their analyses.

Finally, the good people of the City of Botany Bay won't have to visit the polling booth at all. Democracy is in such a healthy state on the bay that the Labor Mayor and all six Labor councillors are being returned unopposed. The Council website helpfully advises residents that "you will not be fined for not voting on September 13".

Laurie Brereton must be so proud.