James Robertson Political Editor – The NEWDAILY
After a court victory ensured supporters can proudly hoist her campaign flag, independent challenger for Goldstein, Zoe Daniel, says major parties must now stop vilifying hundreds of thousands of voters in Australia.
Bayside City Council, which regulates political advertising locally, mounted an extraordinary attempt to ban the display of Ms Daniel’s campaign material.
Her Goldstein opponent, Liberal MP Tim Wilson, used his parliamentary correspondence to argue the signs were illegal, and encouraged neighbours to dob in those guilty of violations to cop a $1000 fine.
The court’s overrule had been widely expected by experts, who had argued it had adopted a “strange” interpretation of state-based planning bylaws.
“Our supporters can now feel free: who could ever have predicted this to be an issue in our campaign for federal parliament?” Ms Daniel told The New Daily.
Mr Wilson even insinuated some of his electors were “lawbreakers”, and encouraged other residents to dob them in to him personally.
Goldstein has been in Liberal hands since its inception – despite a major swing at the last election the party sits on a two-party-preferred margin of nearly 58 per cent.
But senior Liberals are now tipping the seat to fall, not even mostly because of the sitting member’s “mystifying” support for a move to impose criminal sanctions on electors in the affluent areas but also under the strength of the campaign run by Ms Daniel, who is on the vanguard of a new electoral politics.
That Mr Wilson ever took such an unlikely yet provocative tack has become a widely used example of the depth of the party’s fears.
And he is joined around the country.
Prominent examples of seats facing independent challenge have recently focused on Bronwyn Bishop’s old seat of Mackellar in North Sydney and Josh Frydenberg’s seat of Kooyong. Colleagues say that increasing and irregular outbursts from Dave Sharma show how tenuous his hold on Wentworth is.
But the weekend’s state election in South Australia was yet another reminder, if it were needed, that the groundswell is growing nationally.
Independents had an unusually prominent role in last weekend’s election due to a number of government MPs moving to parliament’s cross-bench at the beginning of the most recent term.
But as counting continues in seats such as Finniss, where Lou Nicholson continues to hold on to a win-making swing of 17.5 per cent, experts say a greater threat to Liberals from independents is now all but assured.
That has particular implications for several seats but particularly Boothby, the federal marginal Liberal seat which will face a spirited challenge from Jo Dyer. Rebekha Sharkie, the crossbench MP currently representing the blue-blood seat of Mayo, is proof such shifts can happen and that the ingredients for their rise have long been observable.
Political scientists say the growing share of the independent vote in recent decades can be explained by a range of factors, including disengagement from political parties, a growing proportion of the electorate deciding who to vote for as they drive to the polling booth, and also the end of a compelling reformist era in national politics.
The successful showing of the independent challengers so far has inspired criticism, particularly from outlets linked to News Corporation.
Some such stories have gone close to alleging that the independents are a convenient decentralised cover for a grouping of Labor-aligned independents seeking to sneak into parliament under false pretences.
The presence of former staffers from Labor and the activist group GetUp in a company used by some for campaign services has been cited as further evidence that the independents are in fact aligned.
But University of South Australia Professor Rob Manwaring takes precisely the opposite view. He argues that fissures between moderate and right-wing factions within South Australian Liberals also present federally have weakened the party, but also created openings on policy that are especially apt to be exploited by independent moderates.
For her part, Ms Daniel, a former ABC journalist who says she voted for Liberal Malcolm Turnbull in 2016 before dropping her support for him over his failure to progress economic and environmental reform, says the movement owes nothing to any party.
“This is not about politics as we know it,” she said.
She also notes that because independents have no organisational or financial support around them, they begin at a massive electoral disadvantage.
Sharing ideas and broader fundraising structures makes sense, she said.
But she stressed that the overwhelming majority of contributions to her campaign come from local individuals, and her policy platform reflects issues that have been of pressing concern to local people.
While Ms Daniel agrees that some former Liberals are disillusioned by the failure to combat climate change and install a federal anti-corruption watchdog, she believes her platform follows no party line.
“I have absolutely no tilt toward either party whatsoever,” she said.
“People are not looking for me to be a political representative, it’s about having someone who listens and who advocates for them.”
IF truly “it’s about having someone who listens and who advocates for them”, I wish independent challenger for Goldstein, Zoe Daniel, success against Liberal MP Tim Wilson.
So far, I have not received a response to an Express Letter I sent to Minister Hunt expressing my concern and opposition to Australia’s participation in the formulation of a new WHO Treaty for future pandemics, responses and preparedness.
Here is a comment from John Pilger, written on 14 December 2020 –
“Take your pick among the legion of Russia and China bashers and promoters of fiction such as Russiagate. My personal Oscar goes to Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald, whose unrelenting rousing drivel about the “existential threat” (of China/Russia, mostly China) was illustrated by a smiling Scott Morrison, the PR man who is Australia’s prime minister, dressed like Churchill, V for Victory sign and all. “Not since the 1930s ….” the pair of them intoned. Ad nauseum.
Covid has provided cover for this pandemic of propaganda. In July, Morrison took his cue from Trump and announced that Australia, which has no enemies, would spend A$270 billion on provoking one, including missiles that could reach China.
That China’s purchase of Australia’s minerals and agriculture effectively underwrote the Australian economy was “of no interest” to the government in Canberra.
The Australian media cheered almost as one, delivering a shower of abuse at China. Thousands of Chinese students, who had guaranteed the gross salaries of Australian vice-chancellors, were advised by their government to go elsewhere. Chinese-Australians were bad-mouthed and deliverymen were assaulted. Colonial racism is never hard to revive.
Some years ago, I interviewed the former head of the CIA in Latin America, Duane Claridge. In a few refreshingly honest words, he summed up “Western” foreign policy as it is ordained and directed by Washington.
The super-power, he said, could do what it wanted where it wanted whenever its “strategic interests” dictated. His words were: “Get used to it, world.”
Clearly Trump cultivated win-win peaceful relations between China and Russia and no wars were initiated on his watch. The unseen powers behind the American, Australian, and British Governments are the world’s worst enemies.
Whatever happened to the Minsk agreement?
From WAR IN EUROPE AND THE RISE OF RAW PROPAGANDA, 17 February 2022, by John Pilger –
“In 2015, brokered by the Germans and French, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France met in Minsk and signed an interim peace deal. Ukraine agreed to offer autonomy to Donbas, now the self declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The Minsk agreement has never been given a chance. In Britain, the line, amplified by Boris Johnson, is that Ukraine is being “dictated to” by world leaders. For its part, Britain is arming Ukraine and training its army.
Since the first Cold War, NATO has effectively marched right up to Russia’s most sensitive border having demonstrated its bloody aggression in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and broken solemn promises to pull back. Having dragged European “allies” into American wars that do not concern them, the great unspoken is that NATO itself is the real threat to European security.
In Britain, a state and media xenophobia is triggered at the very mention of “Russia”. Mark the knee-jerk hostility with which the BBC reports Russia. Why?”
And, we observe, Australia is the same … fearing the overlords of empire and not relying humbly on the blessing of Almighty God as stated in the Australian Commonwealth Constitution. These are two completely different masters.
Don’t forget that this is all under The Australia Act. Remember we all voted to have it in 1986 NOT!
“she stressed that the overwhelming majority of contributions to her campaign come from local individuals, and her policy platform reflects issues that have been of pressing concern to local people”.
NOW, please explain how Australian politics can ever become a part of the conspiracy “democracy”?
Some locals putting up their cents/dollars to support an “independent (that is dependent on them financially) that cares for them while the horrible excremency Morriscum has the full support of the “Industry” that he “cares” for (for a shekel and the love of his God).
This has nothing to do with “politics” nor whatever “democracy” is translated into.
This is not even a fight “David against Goliath” as “David” will have NO CHANCE TO FIGHT whatsoever.
SA has voted Labor back into Govermint. What a great victory for Australia screams the controlled media of the international department of peace. The (not Australian) coin has won (AGAIN).
What is it that I do not get true blue Australian voters?
I say arm all Politicians, Bureaucrats, Public servants, Police, Dole bludgers and send them to the Russian front. Australia will then be the best country in the world with all the Corrupt and Virtue signalling idiots gone.
Zoe seems to be an undercover Greens Supporter!! (Net Zero CO-2 Variety) but I’m glad she won the court battle against Wilson LNP!