In this federal election, I am voting for Sam Byrne of the Greens in the House of Representatives seat of Grayndler.
In the Senate, for New South Wales, I am giving my first preference to Lee Rhiannon of the Greens in a below-the-line vote which I shall explain separately.
My preferences in both houses lean towards the Labor Party ahead of the Liberals.
It's not ready to call yet. Labor is getting closer to winning the election, but not yet. I still think John Howard is gone. Malcolm Turnbull appears safe. Peter Costello was looking shaky in Higgins for a short while. The incredibly bad Danna Vale has made it home in Hughes. I think Bob Baldwin has retained Paterson, but I know from past elections that this electorate can take days to decide.
Four videos today. Saeed Khan is the Greens candidate for my local electorate of Grayndler, he did a video in August as part of the kick-off of his election campaign. On, then, to the Leaders: Rudd switching off a video of a Liberal ad saying "oh come on Howard", followed by Howard switching off a video of Rudd switching off a video of a Liberal ad and saying "grow up" to Rudd.
JOHN HOWARD— Militarism and aggression are the foundations of his [Saddam Hussein's] regime. If you doubt this, consider his actions against Iraqi Kurds, against the Shiah majority—particularly the Marshland Arabs. Consider the estimated 400,000 combatants and civilians who lost their lives in the war that followed his invasion of Iran—
Last night I was at Petersham Town Hall for a "Meet The Candidates" forum. Organised by the Marrickville Council for the first time, the five candidates for Grayndler were invited to put their cases to the public and answer questions from the floor.
Sitting member Anthony Albanese (ALP), Philip Myers of The Greens and Sue Johnson (Socialist Alliance) were present. Jen Harrison of the Democrats and Stephanie Kokkolis of the Liberal Party didn't attend. Marrickville mayor Morris Hanna (Independent) chaired the forum. About a hundred people were present, mostly middle-aged. The non-appearance of the Liberal Party gave the forum a decidedly left-wing skew, but in this part of the world that reflects the demographics. Not being a regular at political meetings I only recognised a handful of people in the audience, the ABC's Antony Green being one of them.
Nominations closed for candidates for the federal elections on Thursday, and the Australian Electoral Commission announced them on Friday afternoon. Only five candidates in my electorate of Grayndler - that's a surprise. Not so surprising is the 78 candidates for the 12 senate vacancies in New South Wales, making up thirty different groups. That's right - the NSW senate ballot paper on October 9 will be thirty columns wide.
My local Member of the House of Representatives since I moved to Sydney is Anthony Albanese, the Federal Member for Grayndler and shadow minister for employment services and training. While support for the Greens is (quite rightly) growing in the area, I'd expect Albanese to be comfortably returned to office once the election actually takes place. I consider him one of the better ALP people in Federal Parliament.