I write this on St Patrick’s Day and reflect upon a very intense weekend just passed. Two state elections, with such contrasting results but both where our vote increased since the September federal election.
It is looking likely that in Tasmania we have suffered the loss of at least one parliamentarian and we pay our deep respects to these ground-breaking Greens MPs who showed us it’s possible for our party politicians to become effective cabinet ministers.
In South Australia, the Green vote improved and sitting MLC Mark Parnell looks set to return to the upper house chamber. The SA election results are too close to call as I write this, but, as Adelaide candidate Robert Simms put it, “the swing to the Greens (may have) denied Tony Abbott a clean sweep.”
Meanwhile, around the nation, thousands of activists were out on the streets on the weekend marching in protest against the worst excesses of the Coalition government. Such activism gives us hope that there is still a large contingent of Australians who are seeking solutions to climate change, who want humane practices for asylum seekers, who expect marriage equality and who are impatiently waiting for real action towards the creation of a renewable energy economy.
With three weeks to go before the Western Australian senate by-election, nominations have closed and preference allocations completed. Scott Ludlam and his amazing campaign team are drawing on supporters and activists from around the country to run a truly 21st century election campaign. The WA campaign office is filled daily with volunteers phone banking, door knocking and hosting events that are drawing great crowds.
On a final note, preparations are well underway for National Council which is now scheduled for the weekend of 12-13 April in Melbourne (register here). We are looking forward to coming together to advance the business of our party and I sincerely hope we take great strides in progressing our budgetary issues and clarifying the processes going forward on our constitutional review.
Christine Cunningham & Penny Allman-Payne