Christian Kerr writes:

The Australian Democrats’ sole
representative in the South Australian parliament since the March
election, Sandra Kanck, has announced that this will be her last term.
Kanck has already been criticised for not handing over her position to
Kate Reynolds, the infinitely more presentable lead candidate at the
last state poll.

The Democrats’ campaign has also been condemned.
Despite their desperation to hold places in the upper house, the vast
majority of their posters featured lower house candidates or party
leader Kanck – whose position was not up for contest. A gimmicky
advertising campaign did them no favours, either.

Is the party
over for the Dems in what has been their strongest state? Associate
professor of politics at Adelaide University Clem McIntyre has told the ABC the announcement could work either way for the party.

“If
Sandra Kanck feels that she’s free in what she can say then they may
attract a bit more interest and a bit more publicity”, he said. “It’s a
bit of a sort of death or glory call for the Democrats from here on in
I think and Sandra Kanck’s speech last night is not inconsistent with
that position.”

And, anyway, as he rightly points out, the future of the party will be determined at the federal election.

Peter Fray

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