There is fresh evidence Australians are dividing between Labor and the Liberals and that the shift to the political poles is leaving the Greens adrift and losing much of the electoral ballast accumulated over the past five years.

Green machine in the making? Picture: The Australian

Voting last weekend in the Australian Capital Territory has followed the broad trend set in recent NSW local government elections and recorded in opinion polling.

It could be that the latest third-party bloc, balance of power heirs to the Australian Democrats, is being stranded with reduced influence. Which additionally could mean that in the history of really unfortunate political timing there might be a footnote, at least, for activist Simon Sheikh who is setting out to enter Parliament.

Mr Sheikh is known for exposing Sophie Mirabella’s lack of paramedical training when he collapsed onto the desk during an ABC TV program as the Liberal shadow minister sat next to him looking on, somewhat bemused.

He is more broadly known as one of the founders of GetUp, the guerrilla political group which has marshalled an online constituency and its money to launch raids on the major parties with such issues as gay marriage and carbon emission reductions.

Mr Sheikh wants to be an ACT senator for the Green party at the next federal election but he has picked a moment in political time when the electorate appears to be heading elsewhere.

The ACT has traditionally and neatly elected one Labor senator and one Liberal senator. It probably isn’t the time to attempt to disrupt that arrangement by knocking off the Liberal.

The Greens in the Australian Capital territory last weekend lost three quarters of their number in the local Legislative Assembly. The party had four of the 17 assembly members but now will be left with just one, latest counting shows.

The remaining party member will have to decide whether to support a Liberal Government (eight members) or retain Labor (eight members).

The ABC’s election expert Anthony Green says this is the biggest ever decline of a political party which saw a 300 per cent boost to its result in the previous election, four years ago.

That’s no doubt true but it is a bit hard to use a drop from four MLAs to one to establish a benchmark.

However, it is clear that the ACT, with some of the best educated and informed voters in the country, wanted to push the Greens to the side. Without proportional representation in multi-member electorates there might be no Green presence at all.

Quite likely there will be a Labor government supported by the solitary Green, and many ACT voters will be disappointed there was no uncluttered result.

The federal experiment with the minority Labor government of Julia Gillard and the Greens has not impressed some voters. They don’t want it’s repeat elsewhere.

Major polls show the Greens maintaining their 10 to 11 per cent of the primary vote as Labor has slowly improved its numbers while still being well behind the Coalition.

In the ACT, however, the Greens share of the vote fell from close to 11 per cent to just under five per cent. All that since 2008.

It was a similar outcome in very dissimilar ballots in the NSW local government elections in September when the Green vote shrank in areas where it had been strong in the 2007 federal elections and in the 2008 council votes.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST.

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83 comments

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    • Super D says:

      05:48am | 29/10/12

      As a GetUp! Member I am shocked to find that the former lead spokesperson is seeking preselection for the Greens. I always thought that GetUp simply campaigned on principle rather than supporting any particular party.

      Ok so I supported their anti censorship campaign several years ago so they count me as a supporter despite the fact that I have known for a long time that they are nothing more than a leftist front group and I haven’t agreed with single campaign since. Seriously how do you renounce your GetUp! Membership and why the hell does anyone in the media pay any attention to this bunch of frauds?

    • Joan says:

      06:12am | 29/10/12

      Sheik is a perfect match for Greens.  Getup! and Greens are a perfect match. And Sheik is a perfect match for ACT. Can’t get more perfect than that.

    • FlyOnTheWall says:

      06:21am | 29/10/12

      The reason the media pay attention, is because it suits their position. The majority of the media lean to the left, and so they tend to hype up astro-turf groups such as GetUp!, and spout that social media is somehow representative of the broader electorate.

      Though who could be amazed that this bloke is going for Green preselection I don’t know. I guess the wait list was too long for a Labor seat.
      You do know GetUp! was started by Labor right? Check their annual reports, their inaugural one is very interesting. See their original board, look those names up.

    • Craig says:

      06:28am | 29/10/12

      Quite true, I felt that Sheik’s announcement ‘labelled’ Get Up as well as a left-wing group and decreased their appeal and capability.

      With the Liberal Senator in the ACT struggling to make quota in the last several elections, the right Greens candidate does have a good chance to knock him off, however I doubt that Sheik is the right candidate, or that this is the right time.

      However Sheik had access to Get Up’s internal polling and may prove me wrong.

    • Robinoz says:

      06:51am | 29/10/12

      Super D ... I lasted about five weeks as a subscriber to GetUp! before I decided to give it the flick. The Greens if in power would destroy Australia, worse than the Labor Government is doing now, although the latter isn’t directly subversive. When I read the Greens policies and procedures a few months back, I realised how un-Australian they are.

    • Suzanne says:

      07:08am | 29/10/12

      Super D, surely you cannot be surprised that a Left leader says one thing and does another to suit their OWN back pocket?  look at HSU / AWU and NSW Laborites at the Corruption Commision at the moment for examples

    • Rose says:

      08:31am | 29/10/12

      Yeah Suzanne, while you’re at it, look at Joe Hockey smile

    • Zaan says:

      08:50am | 29/10/12

      Oooh Rose, come on spill the beans. Waiting with baited breath.

    • vivien says:

      09:05am | 29/10/12

      “I always thought that GetUp simply campaigned on principle rather than supporting any particular party.”
      I don’t believe you, I think you are being sarcastic! But ......... If you truly “always thought” they never supported any particular party, you are either terribly naive, incredibly stupid,  or you deceive yourself and so very easily !
      And, the question is what constitutes being a serious “Get Up Member” ? If you are a financial supporter (which I doubt), stop those payments, if you merely signed up on their website simply “unsubscribe” its as easy as that, I am surprised you felt the need to ask!

    • Rose says:

      09:15am | 29/10/12

      Quite simple, he gives a speech saying that there needs to be an end to middle class welfare and the very first opportunity to support a measure that aims to curb unnecessary middle class welfare (the reduction in the baby bonus for the second and subsequent children), he gets his knickers in a twist trying to say that reducing BB amounts is an ‘attack’ on Australian families. Sheer, bald faced hypocrisy!!!

    • Zaan says:

      09:40am | 29/10/12

      Don’t see how that compares with setting up dodgy slush funds and supporting a person who rips off union members money.
      No comparison at all.

    • PJ says:

      10:08am | 29/10/12

      Ha ha Super D a member of a Leftie Brainwash club! grin

    • JoniM says:

      11:24am | 29/10/12

      @ Super D
      “I always thought that GetUp simply campaigned on principle rather than supporting any particular party.”

      You must be kidding !
      Their major funding sources are the unions !
      Of their $2m in donations listed on their website , the CFMEU gave $1.2m, the CPSU gave $50k, ASU gave $35K , Australian Education Union gave $10k. 
      Sure ! They wouldn’t support any particular Party !
      Certainly not a Coalition Party !

    • TEZZA says:

      11:44am | 29/10/12

      @JoniM: Is there fair dinkum a union with the initials CPSU?
      A union which shares its initials with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is too hilarious for words.
      With a name like that it is certainly not a surprise to be told that this bunch is a substantial donor to left wing causes.

    • Jess says:

      01:16pm | 29/10/12

      CPSU = Community and Public Sector Union

    • JoniM says:

      01:28pm | 29/10/12

      @ Tezza

      Yep ! CPSU - The Community & Public Service Union !
      Just another of the ALP fund raising and laundering outlets.

    • Craig says:

      05:48am | 29/10/12

      Mostly fair article, however misrepresents the Greens vote share in the ACT, which was 10.7% on first preferences - the metric used for the other statistics in the article.

      This is a return to previous level and, in the ACT, is a return to trend for the Greens, rather than a catastrophic fall in votes.

      What should also be considered is that the Liberals benefits from a number of conservative independents not standing, which reduced the fragmentation of their vote an allowed them to poll better, avoiding being redistributed as happened in 2008, which significantly contributed to Green success in 2008.

      It would be useful if journalists from News commenting on elections had enough experience to consider the trends over time and the impact of different voting systems, however I gues you can’t afford experience in such a rapidly declining industry.

      Perhaps News should simply syndicate Anthony Green’s coverage - which is far more balanced, accurate and informed, rather than simply quoting him to give your junior reporters a modicum of credibility.

    • Tim says:

      07:22am | 29/10/12

      Yeah,
      What would be useful is if Greens supporters stopped trying to spin the ACT election result into something other than the Green wipeout it was.

      Under the Hare Clark voting system the Greens got the swift kick to the behind they deserved after proving to be completely useless for the last 4 years.

      They only got the high vote they did in 2008 as a protest against the majors. Those people who voted for them last time simply wised up

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      08:33am | 29/10/12

      @Craig

      First you say this:

      “Mostly fair article,”

      But you end on this:

      “Perhaps News should simply syndicate Anthony Green’s coverage - which is far more balanced, accurate and informed, rather than simply quoting him to give your junior reporters a modicum of credibility.”


      So what happened to your thinking between the first sentence and the last?

      You started by saying the article was fair, and ended up blasting the article, and its publisher.

      (I hope that’s not what you mean by “balanced”...)

    • Maus says:

      06:10am | 29/10/12

      This article is quite funny in light of the Greens excellent showing in the Vic local council elections over the weekend.

    • Chris says:

      07:04am | 29/10/12

      Such as where?

    • Maus says:

      07:42am | 29/10/12

      A second councillor in Melbourne CC. The possibility of a fourth councillor in Yarra. Two new greens councillor in Indigo and Ballarat. One and possibility two in Stonnington.

    • Zaan says:

      07:53am | 29/10/12

      Yes, never underestimate the stupidity of Victorians.

    • Markus says:

      08:07am | 29/10/12

      The Greens should target local councils more than they currently are.
      It is the perfect level of government to allow voters to get that nice feelgood factor, without the fear of giving the Greens any actual power to screw things up.

    • Fiddler says:

      09:07am | 29/10/12

      Markus, plus it will give local councils the focus to concentrate on the things that matter to local government, like criticizing Israel.

    • Borderer says:

      09:07am | 29/10/12

      Markus,
      Sorry but wrong, try doing anything commercial in a Green run council, or god forbid, cut down a tree that is unstable and in danger of falling on a house.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      01:22pm | 29/10/12

      I would have thought Green local Councillors in Victoria were DOA after the Marysville and Kinglake fires. Fires made worse with local councils not allowing fuel reduction burn offs, not maintaining fire trails and allowing them to become unusable and not allowing local residents to remove trees to reduce fire hazards.  All courtesy of the Greens.

    • Kate says:

      04:22pm | 29/10/12

      What significant political changes are the local Greens going to make? Bin collection dates?
      I don’t know about the other local councils, but in my area (Stonnington) about half of the residents didn’t even bother voting. I would have skipped it too but I can’t afford the fine.

    • Fiddler says:

      06:41am | 29/10/12

      what’s that? He isn’t really not aligned to a political party and was lying the whole time. From a leftie? Never…

    • Suzanne says:

      06:57am | 29/10/12

      Just proves that GetUp is a Green / Labor movement.  You use to see Sheikh behind Labor Minister at press conferences.

      The Green Left echo chamber called GetUp is not relevant anymore and the loony Greens are swirling around the bath drain hole, almost at the last noise before they slip down the pipe.

      Great news.  Does Bob Brown return to perform last rites?

    • Rose says:

      07:26am | 29/10/12

      Whether you like GetUp or not, they are in fact relevant. They have considerable clout with the tens of thousands of people who subscribe to their online newsletters, petitions etc.

    • michael says:

      07:11am | 29/10/12

      It must be lovely to feel part of the big three based on potential, sad reality is that the numbers realised, fall well short of the hyped, potential.

      State by state the death knell is heard, Bob Brown’s greens are no more.

    • michael says:

      07:11am | 29/10/12

      It must be lovely to feel part of the big three based on potential, sad reality is that the numbers realised, fall well short of the hyped, potential.

      State by state the death knell is heard, Bob Brown’s greens are no more.

    • michael says:

      07:11am | 29/10/12

      It must be lovely to feel part of the big three based on potential, sad reality is that the numbers realised, fall well short of the hyped, potential.

      State by state the death knell is heard, Bob Brown’s greens are no more.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      07:19am | 29/10/12

      What a shock to learn that GetUp is just a front for leftist politics.

      Shock, horror.

    • chuck says:

      07:26am | 29/10/12

      Proof positive that the Greens are now aliens in disguise!

    • Markus says:

      07:34am | 29/10/12

      His aim is to take the Liberal Senate seat in the ACT, but the last 5 years of federal and ACT elections seem to show much more fluidity between Labor and Greens votes, meaning any votes he does pick up will more likely be at the expense of the incumbent Labor Senator.

      Some people are labeling the Greens recent drops in all electorates as a disaster, when if anything it is a return to form after an unprecedented rise.
      Large numbers of voters chose Greens at all levels purely as a big middle finger to the two major parties, only to find a government with the Greens having the balance of power less desirable than they found the status quo.

    • Chris says:

      09:25am | 29/10/12

      Yep, I agree.
      I have voted greens first preference in the last few elections just to signal support for some kind of environmental awareness in general policy making plus to keep the other two mobs on their toes… my second preference has swung between Rudd (2007) and Abbott (2010)....
      I also thought Brown was moderately competent and at the end of the day judged him to be more pragmatic than anything else.
      However, Milne is a bit loopy and I think that younger one coming through (Sarah??) is bit of an ideologue and also seems ruthless enough to make Gillard look like an amateur…
      So yes, I think the days of treating the Greens as a safe way to try to ‘keep the bastards honest’ are over.
      Thinking about it… I used to vote Democrat first preference for the same reason.
      And before anyone gives me too much crap about that… I only did this in the lower house as I didn’t want to actually help someone get an actual seat.

    • John says:

      07:38am | 29/10/12

      The Libtards who comment on this site hate Simon Sheikh because of his Indian background. Their racism is disgusting, though typical.

    • Soultrader says:

      07:51am | 29/10/12

      You left loonies always throw in the racist card and sexist card when the going gets tough. Guess what? There are racists and sexists associated with all political persuasions and homophobes too!! Get over it and argue policy instead of myopic small minded crap

    • Markus says:

      07:54am | 29/10/12

      I actually don’t trust him because he is a Freemason with links to the disappearance of Holt.
      I thought you of all people would have been able to understand that.

    • Bill says:

      08:03am | 29/10/12

      Care to provide any proof John? Bet you can’t. Your comment is typical of the ignorant left who aren’t intelligent enough to debate issues on their merits but instead resort to name-calling and mud-throwing because that’s all they know.

      I never liked Simon Sheikh because of his ridiculous left wing leanings. Until you made your post, I never knew he was Indian.

    • John says:

      08:09am | 29/10/12

      @soultrader

      I see that you haven’t denied it but, typically, don’t have the integrity to admit it.

    • Angry God of Townsville says:

      08:15am | 29/10/12

      Gee, I am shocked to find out how racist I am. I assist in football teams with a very high ratio of indigenous kids, help them get to games, training etc. I have also worked in Indigenous communities helping out.

      What the FUCK have you done. You play the racist card because you do not want his use of GetUp as a leftist engine that claimed impartiality. He is a fraud, by claiming to be an impartial advocate and then exposing his true far left agenda, he is a fraud, his heritage has nothing to do with it.

    • TONY says:

      08:18am | 29/10/12

      John the typical GetUp! supporter has spoken and with totally reliability has pulled the ‘racist’ card out. Pathetic.

    • nihonin says:

      08:20am | 29/10/12

      John, very insightful of you, you are correct though, only the Leftard can truly love, love power, money and influence that is, if they aren’t in possession of them.

    • Mont says:

      08:28am | 29/10/12

      Nice troll John

    • Rose says:

      08:35am | 29/10/12

      John, that is both uncalled for and ridiculous. If you are going to accuse people of racism, you first need evidence of racist speech or acts. You devalue the argument of all those on “your side” by including baseless and ignorant accusations.

    • Fiddler says:

      08:40am | 29/10/12

      do not feed the troll

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      08:40am | 29/10/12

      @John

      You are the one bringing race in to this. And it’s a pretty transparent, obvious and odious ploy.

      I didn’t even know the guy is of Indian background, nor do I care.

      You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re playing gutter politics, mate.

    • Stormland says:

      08:57am | 29/10/12

      The number of people who fell for the bait is ridiculous

    • vivien says:

      10:20am | 29/10/12

      Must admit that thought never crossed my mind. However, I think you may be suffering from a case of “fox smelling its own scent” ! PS Seems to me, those using derogatory words, for example “Libtards” (Liberal retards - your words)  is indicative of a flawed character prone to a deep seated hatred of anything they are not partial to, including skin tones.

    • pete says:

      07:47am | 29/10/12

      Antony Green may as well change his name to Anthony, considering no one ever calls him Antony.

    • dougo says:

      08:10am | 29/10/12

      not surprising.
      seeing the way GetUp! have shifted from campaigns of the public good (big oil, pokies, environment) to highly questionable social issues (increasing access to abortion, killing off the weakest in our society and redefining marriage), mirrors the Greens similar move away from focussing on anything environmental.

    • Rose says:

      09:00am | 29/10/12

      The lobbying that they do on social issues often gets gets considerable support. While I disagree with much of what they say, and more importantly the way that they say it, they have my complete support in their fight toward redefining marriage and they have my conditional support for some of their asylum seeker action.
      The thing that is most appealing with GetUp is that you can support issues separately, unlike a political party where you sign up and you’re locked in, with GetUp you can sign petitions for some or all of their issues that they highlight.
      I must say that they would not be terribly happy with my ‘membership’, I get the info, support the occasional petition and never send a cent.

    • Sarah says:

      08:11am | 29/10/12

      Maybe Simon should go get a job and some life experience, then he’s likely to get elected regardless of who he aligns with. At the moment, with his whole short life consists of issuing demands with no responsibility to be part of implementing them, his talk is cheap.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      08:38am | 29/10/12

      @Sarah

      Good point.  Same goes for politicians and some commentators around here.

      We’ve got some writers who are still in uni, never having had any real-world experience in the workforce.

      And then we’ve got career politicians; people whose “experience” has been in law firms, if that.  People like Penny Wong and Christopher Pyne;  active in student politics on campus, who have barely worked real jobs.  Their CVs are basically just lists of union and/or political staffer jobs and then Parliament.

      No wonder these people don’t “get it”.  They don’t live in the same world us most Australians. Their employer (the government) can never go bankrupt, will never default on its Superannuation Guarantee payments, and is an endless supply of political and business opportunities.

    • Louise says:

      08:14am | 29/10/12

      There’s always the alien vote.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      08:42am | 29/10/12

      @Louise,

      But then that’d be taking votes away from Lee Rhiannon.

    • Sellout says:

      08:18am | 29/10/12

      I’ve thought he was a twat and a careerist since he handed me a business card with ‘founder and director’ on it in 2006.

      Internet politics is a joke.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      09:23am | 29/10/12

      @Sellout, so according to your comment anyone with a business card indicating high position within their organisation is a “twat” and “careerist”?

      Interesting.

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      08:29am | 29/10/12

      Hi Malcolm,

      So for that reason alone we should all vote for the Greens? Responsibility of running a successful political party may fall on many people with a combined effort and not only on a chosen few. Of course new fresh faces do get some kind of new attention from the members of the public in the beginning.  However for me personally it is more about a good track record, over all performance and being active as well as having a voice on certain issues on the Australian agenda. I am certain that the Greens do have activists but do they have any clear cut plans and original ideas that they can call their own?

      I am guessing that so far it has only been a sort of a combined effort with the Federal Government of Australia and our Prime Minister,  Ms Julia Gillard’s, plans and policies!  But as a political party they do need to have their own identity which makes them different from the rest.  I also think that right now their only job has been keeping the much needed balance in the Parliament House and conveniently so.  Does this mean that they can’t try any harder at doing things slightly better and different than the rest?

      I have never voted for a political party for one special person! I am not going to start now.  I am only guessing that Mr Simon Sheikh has been chosen for a special task of pulling much needed potential votes from a particular ethnic background only.  May be also at this stage we can call ourselves a true multi cultural society?  Only time will tell if he can live up to certain expectations of the Greens and the ALP combined together.  I believe that it is very early on in this race. Kind regards.

    • Ben C says:

      08:58am | 29/10/12

      “Mr Sheikh is known for exposing Sophie Mirabella’s lack of paramedical training when he collapsed onto the desk during an ABC TV program as the Liberal shadow minister sat next to him looking on, somewhat bemused.”

      Really, Malcolm? What in the world has this to do with anything, other than being a cheap shot at Mirabella, especially considering that a significant proportion of the population, if not the majority, have had no paramedical training?

      “The ACT has traditionally and neatly elected one Labor senator and one Liberal senator. It probably isn’t the time to attempt to disrupt that arrangement by knocking off the Liberal.”

      What about the Labor senator? Is there some sort of immunity afforded to Labor in the ACT?

    • Markus says:

      09:52am | 29/10/12

      @Ben C, it wasn’t really explained in this article, but the ‘knocking off the Liberal’ relates to Mr Sheikh’s publicly stated goal of targetting the Liberal Senate seat, which holds a lower majority at present than the one held by Labor.

      That said, to answer your question of ‘Is there some sort of immunity afforded to Labor in the ACT?’, yes.
      The ACT is now entering (I believe) year 13 of an ACT Labor government, and the two Federal House of Reps electorates that make up the ACT are among the safest Labor seats in the country.

    • Ben C says:

      11:51am | 29/10/12

      @ Markus

      Yeah, I saw references to Sheikh’s comments re the Liberals after I posted. Looking out for number 1, just like any other politician.

      I think that he should challenge the Labor seat, and see how much damage he could do there. That would be a better indication of his credentials.

    • Blind Freddy says:

      02:16pm | 29/10/12

      @Ben C

      “I think that he should challenge the Labor seat, and see how much damage he could do there.”

      The Senate is a state house - Senators do not represent electorates. Your point is meaningless. Liberal voter, by chance?

    • Ben C says:

      02:59pm | 29/10/12

      @ Blind Freddy

      Whatever my voting preferences have to do with my comment are beyond me.

      Yes, my comment was factually wrong, but by that same regard Sheikh’s would be wrong as well, if he’s targeting the Liberal specifically. Should he not be targeting a Senate position, regardless of who he knocks over? By extension, would Sheikh’s comment be meaningless as well?

      Or are you so blinded by bias that only those opinions that lie to the right of yours be meaningless?

    • James says:

      09:04am | 29/10/12

      A young, un-masculine, ethnic minority male having “progressive” views.

      What else is new.

    • Alpha says:

      01:31pm | 29/10/12

      Go easy on the nancy boys, James.

      Who else would we have to steal wives and girlfriends from?

    • dexxter says:

      09:34am | 29/10/12

      “...he has picked a moment in political time when the electorate appears to be heading elsewhere…” which is why it is a good time for him, and the country,  to be just where he deserves to be.

    • Reg Whiteman says:

      09:43am | 29/10/12

      Simon Sheikh is married to Anna Rose. Which do you think is the craziest?

      I have never seen two people with such advanced cases of “Jerusalem Syndrome” before in all my life. They really do believe that they are some new-age messiahs come to cleanse the temple and point us all down the road to a radiant future created in their images.

      Yuk, I can’t stand either of them. They are right at the top of my “Ignore this Christmas” List along with all members of the Greens.

      (Really, how did that utter moron Sarah Hanson-Young ever get elected? She’s never had a sensible or coherent thought in her life.)

    • senoircynic says:

      09:57am | 29/10/12

      Who is Anna Rose, besides being Sheikh’s wife? Come to think of it “who is Simon Sheikh?”

    • Reg Whiteman says:

      10:58am | 29/10/12

      Anna Rose is an “activist” in the global warming thing. Some months ago she was on an ABC Documentary about Climate Change - along with Nick Minchin. There was a wonderful instance in the documentary where she point-blank refused to even listen to a well-respected and scientifically trained sceptic. He disagreed with her, and could argue his case, so she put her hands over her ears and yelled, “I’m not listening!”

      Simon Sheikh is Australia’s Lenin, Trotsky and Che Guevara all rolled into one. He is an expert on all things and everyone else in the world is wrong about everything. Anna is his Krupskaya.

      They are definitely not the people you want in the next cabin on a Women’s Weekly Cruise of the Islands.

    • daniel says:

      10:09am | 29/10/12

      It was bound to happen given the constant media appearances made by Simon Sheikh. The most blatant ‘political’ media appearance was when the carbon tax was finally designed and decided to be implemented. There he was lined up to make a statement with the leaders of each major union supporting it.

    • Redmond says:

      10:14am | 29/10/12

      I think speak for nearly everyone, when I say we’ve had a gutful of politicians. Look at the present crop of arrogant idiots. Name calling, dobbing each other in, making up stories and generally insulting all and sundry, but mostly us, the public,who are forced to give them money.

      Australia Day should be an excuse to hunt down an take retribution against these scum.

    • Frank says:

      10:34am | 29/10/12

      As i have said on Facebook only to be rebuked by one of my friends.. its good old Gary will get some competition it’ll keep him keen, Simon doesnt have a chance though Canberra (the actual town not federal politics) doesnt know him well enough, hes going up against a former Chief Minister of the ACT and long standing Canberran, I voted for Gary in ‘07 even though I vote Labor, I like him (most of the time) and hes good to keep the balance in Canberra, a Greens senator in that seat will not be, they are left leaning and as such will align with the other Labor (Kate Lundy most likely) Senator to make the Senate not the house of review but the house of stamp and pass on - if another true independent will contest the seat it will be good too.

    • Mike says:

      11:23am | 29/10/12

      Some would say that after all the commentary about Sheik’s political leanings - at least he laid his cards on the table, finally.

      That is a lot more than a number of other journalists have done. - ehhh Malcolm?

    • Fed Up says:

      11:30am | 29/10/12

      I like the Sheik and some of his ideas…i also like some of Labors ideas and dare i say it..some of the Greens ideas.
      But when it comes to making the ideas work in “reality”...GUZUMB!!!....they SUCK.
      Having said that i would still like to hear him in Parliament.

    • Deb says:

      11:41am | 29/10/12

      So far as I am aware, Sheik has put his hand up but hasn’t yet been preselected as Senate candidate - this is done by ACT Greens party members. He may not be successful - and even if he is, the Greens have never yet cracked the high threshold for election in a two seat competition.

    • J.t says:

      01:25pm | 29/10/12

      left, right, greens, labor, liberal…
      The march of tyranny continues….
      I laugh at partisan people on this site who act like there is some massive difference between the two parties.
      All parties are for increases in welfare spending, increases in the size of government, increases in health and education spending…Their voting histories reveal this.
      …And Yes Liberal sheep, the Howard government did oversee the biggest increase in government spending as a % of GDP. So while Labor does engage in proliferate spending, so does the Liberal Party, they simply don’t spend more than they take in, however when organic economic growth occurs (HOWARD ERA), they spend the natural increases in tax revenue in increasing amounts. It’s a joke.
      I bet few liberals even know that the Howard Government increased Government spending in record levels.
      Don’t you see, a little more here, a little less here…it’s all the same. Both major parties are the same bar a few relatively minor policy issues.
      Government is irrelevant in most people’s lives yet you would think the way they are carrying on they are actually shaping our economy and society.
      Its rubbish, both parties are essentially the same.

      Please mainstream Australian political parties, leave your citizens alone, stop peddling the noble lie that we need you, we don’t, please stop anything you’re doing and roll back the size and scope of the Federal, State and local Governments.

      Also partisan hacks on the punch, please stop acting like there is some major difference between the major parties, there is not.

      Yours sincerely

      Concerned Citizen who isn’t buying what you’re offering.

    • Wilma J Craig says:

      01:52pm | 29/10/12

      GetUp! Was, Is & Always has been a front for the ALP. Their criticism directed towards the Conservative side has always been virulent & unrelenting whereas, solely in order to appear as if they are being fair/unfair to all their criticism of the Socialist side has been forgiving & understanding.

    • Kate says:

      04:26pm | 29/10/12

      I wouldn’t have an issue with GetUp! if they didn’t assume that agreeing with one issue or signing one petition implied lifetime support. I signed one thing about opposing internet censorship and next thing you know, my inbox is full of every ‘land rights for gay whales!’ social issue they can throw at you.

    • stephen says:

      05:44pm | 29/10/12

      The greens can dissapear.
      And Mr. Shiekh was not that impressive either on Q&A that time, and Ms. Mirabella was as shocked as I was when he slumped to the table.
      So she did not jump up and give CPR.
      So what ?
      She may not gawk at Australian Story each week, and get her dose of paramilitary empathy just in time to save a live life.
      (People react diffently. Isn’t ‘variety’ the whole point of pop culture ?)

      I think that languages should disappear at school study, or maths, or science or anything else, if only to induct the best and brightest into debating teams, then tutorials in the social sciences, then history lectures, then classes in ethics, then it’s an introduction to Politics, then the best 2 or 3 get draughted into either of the two main parties.
      Looking at the current crop of Politicians I should think that such school study, and subsequent career developments, might finally give the rest of the community, not to mention the tax payer, proper value for money.

 

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