Another election, another defeat. And I couldn’t even beat the wife.
RACV election 2005 scrutineering took from 8am until 11.30pm on Friday
and the final results were as follows:

CandidateVotes % of vote
* Suzanna Sheed 42,592 38.55
* John Rawlins 32,098 28.99
Paula Piccinini 19,803 17.93
Stephen Mayne 15,981 14.47

Paula put in a creditable performance in her first ever contested
election, whilst I’ve arguably gone backwards since 2002 when the
following results occurred:

Candidate Votes % of vote
* Paula Dwyer 29,792 35.41
* John Rawlins 16,280 19.35
Dr Marcus Wiggan 14,844 17.65
Stephen Mayne 9,822 11.67
Bill Ellerton 9,615 11.43
Neil Stenshouse 3,771 3.17

And at least we managed to stimulate a record turnout of almost 4.25%
from the 1.3 million roadside service members, plus a much larger but
unknown percentage of the 17,000 RACV Club members who really shouldn’t
be allowed to vote in our election when us roadside service low lifes
can’t vote in the Club board elections. Here are the turnout figures
from the past few years:

2005: 55,236
2004: 48,781
2003: 41,694
2002: 42,062
2001: 25,085

Truth be known, Paula was hugely relieved not to get elected but I was
very disappointed that she missed out after getting all excited last
week.

It was interesting to see the female vote
was 56.48%, vs 43.52% for the blokes but this wasn’t good enough to get Paula up as the combined incumbent vote of 67.55%
more than doubled our 32.45%.

If we’d been up against two blokes, it might have been a different
story, but despite Rawlins behaving like he was going to lose and
another well placed insider predicting a Piccinini victory, it wasn’t
to be.

Incumbency is obviously a key asset, especially whilst they each get a
huge asterisk next to their name on the ballot paper and challengers are
not granted the luxury of a platform to explain their position.

If the playing field hadn’t been so tilted, it would have been a lot
closer, although apart from these two points, the RACV did run a good
election. They were certainly far more civilised to deal with than the
cowboys at Gunns, who still haven’t replied to my request for a copy of
their top 200 shareholders.

Peter Fray

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