You wouldn’t have thought that merely getting registered to stand in the Victorian election would be a big process, but it’s actually harder than you think.

After many months of gathering members, we finally lodged last week and handed over a cheque for $537.50. Now we have to go through the process of the VEC writing to our 900-plus members on the electoral roll in Victoria. If 500 of them tick the box and reply to the VEC then we’re away. If not, we’re gone because you have to wait six months before having another crack.

The last few weeks has seen plenty of internal debate on policy, candidates and structure – but it’s now time to hit the accelerator in the public arena.

This Thursday we’re having our next campaign function with an alluring combination of speakers including former Carlton footballer Glenn Manton, pollster Gary Morgan, former ALP member for Benalla Denise Allen, former Indigenous Land Corporation chair Sharon Firebrace and community lawyer Marlene Ebejer.

We’d love all of them to get involved in the People Power campaign but for now we’ll just see how the function goes. I’m the MC but will be stuck up here in Cairns at the big industry funds conference until Wednesday afternoon, so it will be a race to get ready.

There’s plenty else happening. We’re having our first preferences discussion with the Liberals on Thursday and a corporate has made an approach about making a donation if we take a certain position.

I reckon we should take the moral high ground and insist that all major donations be publicly disclosed on our website before the election. This would set us apart from everyone else who will be able to keep the identity of donors secret until February 2008 under Australia’s pathetic campaign disclosure laws.

As with any other not-for-profit involving lots of people, there’s plenty of internal debate to be had on that score because we certainly need the money. Interesting times ahead.

Feedback to [email protected]

Peter Fray

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