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MARK ALDRIDGE

Lead Senate candidate for the "GREAT AUSTRALIAN PARTY"

My Advise to the voters of South Australia


The federal election is being sold as a 2 party race, yet the electoral system is one of full preference voting, so we have to endorse every candidate like it or not.


So who are all the candidates? I can only speak for the senate as I am running as a grouped candidate, but even for me with less than 24 hours to work out where my preferences are going, it is in deed a hard task.


As spokesperson in South Australia for the Alliance, a group set up to lobby for electoral reform, I must wonder why we are forced to preference all the candidates considering there are some I do not know and those I simply oppose, a situation I am sure must be upsetting to all Australian voters.


So far there are at least 5 groups I cannot contact even with a useful knowledge of the Internet, and there are dozens of candidates I simply do not wish to support based on their history or their ideals. It is past time as a candidate I received full contact details of all the candidates, as the AEC defiantly has them and the electorate deserves nothing less if they are to cast an informed vote.


Making matters even harder for me as an Independent, being grouped I get a voting box above the line on the ballot paper, but it will be left blank, and where my name appears below the line, I can not have a description, not even the word Independent, yet the only below the line candidate (un-grouped) can have a description.


This part of the electoral act, seems to no doubt have been designed to disadvantage Independent candidates, a direct result of democracy being hijacked by the major parties, I can still remember Nick Xenophon having to paint a big S on his head to help promote his blank box, so do I have to adorn a large B on my forehead?


My message here is to promote the ideal of the electorate placing scrutiny on the candidates rather than the party leaders, but even that is a hard task when most would have no idea of what choices they have, we should all embrace the idea of those governing our future, doing so as the result of the free choice of an informed electorate, so why does it seem of the agenda?


The media in general report on Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, but they are chosen by their respective parties and can be sacked by the same, so shouldn’t we be looking a little closer to home, and scrutinizing the ideals of our local candidates whether they be Labor Liberal or even Independent?


If we look at those candidates that seem more in touch with the electorate they serve, in most cases we find minor players and Independents, yet before an election they seem to be of the agenda. We should demand either optional preferential voting, or better access to information of all the candidates if we are forced to preference them all, equity for voters and candidates should be mandatory, and an elected official should stay the course, even the concept of policing political promise would be an inviting ideal.


The apathy resulting from the electorate feeling disenfranchised by the current electoral system and the associated reporting is in desperate need of change, and such change would also go along way to restoring faith in politics in general.


As a candidate I will do my very best to initiate such change, and as the local spokesperson for the Alliance, I can continue lobbying for change between election cycles, but the true force that could initiate change is the people, stand up and speak up, because our representation determines our country and our children’s future.


Mark M Aldridge Senate Team Leader South Australian spokesperson for the Alliance. 08 82847482 / 0403379500 www.markmaldridge.com