The only surviving Democrat in South Australia’s parliament, Sandra Kanck,
has become a problem child for the struggling party and some attempt will be
made to bring her into line.

Kanck has declared she won’t go for re-election
in 2010, so raising controversial issues will not jeopardise her political
future. She’s there to stir the pot for the next four years.

But other Democrats are concerned she could sink
the party. The party’s state executive will meet this week
to discuss Kanck’s reported comments in parliament that there is no evidence
the illegal drug ecstasy is a dangerous substance (despite it being linked with
numerous deaths and overdoses over several years).

Kanck now says her comments have been taken out
of context. But Families of victims are also reading reports that Kanck
thinks the party drug should have been given to victims of last year’s Eyre
Peninsula bushfires (where nine people died) to help them cope. The Greens lost votes at the last Federal
election when unfounded media reports declared that was their party policy.

So it’s no surprise that State Party President
Richard Pascoe has told Crikey he has received a complaint from a party
and he has problems with Sandra Kanck’s comments. “It’s not party
policy and I have problems .. [her comments] are out of the due
process. She should present them (her ideas)
to the party first”

Pascoe won’t comment on what he’s said to the
Upper House member during his phone conversation and is leaving it up to the
executive to bring her to heel. But Pascoe does say the party wants policies that
put the Australian Democrats “back into the public eye”.

Is this the kind of issue he wants to exploit to get the
Democrats seen?