On Ausgrid and industry super

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Industry super rides to the rescue on Ausgrid” (Friday). Instead of petulantly sliming NSW Labor and others over their opposition to the sale of Ausgrid  to overseas interests he should be thanking them. Why? NSW is getting more money, profits are staying in Australia and those in Industry Funds get to offset the inevitable jump in power prices with higher returns on their super.

On council elections

Colin Smith writes: Re. “Dummy spit over Greens’ bizarre council preference deals” (Friday). When is a candidate not a candidate? When they are a “support candidate” on a single team ticket in a contest for seats in a multi-member electorate. When is a candidate a “dummy?” When they seek first preferences but are really only interested in directing second preferences to another candidate with whom they are not ostensibly associated.

Parties and groups habitually run teams of ranked candidates in Senate and state upper house elections, fielding the same number of candidates as there are seats available but never expecting to win all the seats. In the Greens’ case, the realistic aspiration is to win one and campaigning is focused entirely on the ‘lead candidate’ at the top of the ticket. The practice seems quite unremarkable when ballot papers are divided above-the-line and below-the-line.

Where ballots are not thus divided, however, it may seem a bit bizarre. We Port Phillip Greens — having put up tickets of three for three-member wards — have confused not only our opponents, but also ourselves. Our support candidates have had to urge friends to vote “1” for our lead candidates rather than for them, while our preference negotiators have had trouble explaining to congenial opponents why a “4” from us deserves a reciprocal “2” from them! However, the “dummy-spitting” in Darebin is a blatant beatup.