Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sydney Council Elections - the Candidates

In the previous post I outlined why I was advocating a vote for Clover in the 2012 council elections. In this post we look at some of the other candidates for council and in particular for Lord Mayor

I'm not a big believer in the big parties taking over local councils; ultimately for them it's all about getting hold of developer donations. While the Labor candidate Linda Scott seems like a decent person with some good policies; at the end of the day she is still the Labor candidate who will ultimately end up doing what she is told - there are already signs of this. It's only 8 years ago that Labor merged South Sydney (some history here) with Sydney in the hope of creating a super council dominated by Labor; instead accidentally engineering Clover Moore's rise to power.

Hell will freeze over before a Mayor of Newtown will recommend a vote for the Liberals. They are campaigning on a Newman style slash and burn approach; and while it's possibly not fair to judge on the sins of the brother, the Liberal's are also offering us Tony Abbott's sister Christine Foster, who, sexual politics notwithstanding, is still a Liberal and related to that man ! The Liberals are also committed to increasing parking in the city; always a proven way to reduce congestion.


The Greens are the Greens - by now a known quantity. Their biggest problem here is that they are up against a popular progressive Mayor who shares many of their policies. I'm sure they'd get a lot more votes if Clover wasn't on the scene; as it is they're a good option for a second preference !

The team that are getting most of the publicity leading up to the election are Living Sydney. Although they've borrowed the name from Clover's old team, that's where the similarity ends. The team are a pro-business lobby who've aligned themselves with anti-Clover, anti-cycling and anti-progressive forces. Their policies (apart from the anti-cycling) are vague to the point of meaningless, and the Living Sydney mayoral candidate, Angela Vithoulkas has taken to making statements about all sorts of policy areas that are actually outside the scope of the Lord Mayor; demonstrating at best a naivety if not dishonesty about what is actually feasible for her to fix.

Not surprisingly, Living Sydney are the favourites of the Daily Telegraph, who have been gunning for Clover for the last 2-3 years. That on its own should be enough of a warning for prospective voters.

So there it is; as always, interested in your feedback.

Update September 3 - one candidate not mentioned here was Australia Sex Party candidate Zahra Stardust; mostly because it doesn't appear to be a serious candidature, given she has been a no-show at the candidates forum. However Zahra was the subject of a puff piece in the SMH today.

Update September 5 - I got a very polite email from Housing Action reminding me that they too are running for Sydney Council. With a ticket very much supporting the least well off in our council area theirs is a voice that should be heard on council. You can see the candidate bios here. Housing Action are preferencing the Greens.