Wow, this election business is one hell of a rollercoaster. People Power lodged 43 nominations for candidates at a cost of $15,050 by the deadline of midday yesterday, but we didn’t get out of the VEC until 1pm with all the paperwork.

The last minute shuffling was quite remarkable. One candidate withdrew 30 minutes before the deadline, another wasn’t on the roll and a third wanted to withdraw but didn’t get the form signed in time so his campaign must proceed.

We ended up scaling back the project from a run everywhere exercise to an upper house campaign that also takes in 27 of the 88 lower house seats, focusing on the marginals.

The winnable action is all in the eight new upper house regions but you need at least two on the ticket to get above the line. We were a couple of number twos short yesterday morning so even our nanny, Maria Pazaitis, stepped up to the plate in South Eastern Metropolitan. What a trooper!

Overall, our eight lead upper house candidates are excellent, so now we just need to really start the hard sell.

Preference negotiations are shaping up well and our position in the middle of the political spectrum has proved helpful. No-one will put us last and we might even get more than one first. All will be revealed on Sunday once the group voting tickets are lodged at midday.

The original desire to split preferences 50-50 between the Greens and Family First hasn’t lasted and we’re now going to the Greens first in six of the eight regions courtesy of the desires of individual candidates.

We’ve had some issues with our website over the past week but everything has now gone over to the people who used to look after Crikey. The new site went live with a new look at 8.30am this morning after many hours of frenetic work.

Adding to the dramas was a 6pm hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last night in which an expelled member, Bill Hackett, attempted to strike down our registration.

Thankfully, Justice Stuart Morris hastily adjourned the matter until mid-February 2007 on the grounds that the Electoral Act specifies that such actions cannot be launched between the period when the electoral writs are issued and December 16.

Adding to all this was last night’s kinder committee meeting at which I resigned as President for reasons that are not quite as lively as the internal workings of a political party, but quite colourful all the same.

Oh for a peaceful life!

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW