An article in today’s Mercury is promising — or could that be threatening — to out any political candidates in the Shellharbour and Wollongong Council elections who do not declare their political affiliation if they have one.
They wonder what the term ‘independent’ actually means in the lead-up to the upcoming election. Given that there are only a couple of options given to candidates by the Electoral Commission — those being a registered political party, and independent or no descriptor at all — we don’t really have much of a choice.
The voting process also makes it hard for true ‘independents’ to be elected on their own. To get a box above the line requires a candidate to be part of team of four. A single ‘independent candidate will be bunched together with any other likewise independent candidates in a column on the right hand side of the ballot paper and that with no opportunity to put a 1 above the line. This almost makes it necessary to be part of team of four to be able to get the quote to gain a seat.
As I would like the opportunity to serve my community on its elected council I will be standing as part of a team. (More on the later)
Even the term independent is a bit misleading. I don’t see myself as standing alone against the rest as ‘independent’ might suggest. I will work with whomever it is that the people of Shellharbour elect for the best outcomes for our city. I am not against anyone but nor am I committed to a party, an agenda or a predetermined outcome. Each issue must be judged on its merits and nothing else.
You can read the full article here – http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/block-voting-not-wanted-on-councils/2242194.aspx