Friday, December 01, 2006

Results - Greens elected, but Labor may retain control of the Upper House

Election day went well. I handed out how-to-vote cards at several booths in Box Hill. Voters were mostly very polite, and other party workers were too.

The Labor party had lots of people on the booths, many from the West.

So what is the outcome at this point in time?

The Green vote on Box Hill is at 13.98%, down from 15.70% in 2002 (when there were 3 candidates). It was encouraging that the Green vote stayed strong in the face of significant attacks (and some lies) from both Labor and Liberal parties about the Greens.

I would like to thank those Box Hill constituents who supported the Greens.

Robert Clark has won the seat - for which I congratulate him. His vote improved to 49.70% so the seat is still technically marginal, but Family First preferences easily put him across the line.

For the rest of the State
  • The Greens Greg Barber looks like a certainty for the Upper House in Northern Metropolitan region
  • The Greens Sue Pennecuik looks like a certainty for the Upper House in Southern Metropolitan region
  • Bill Pemberton, Marcus Ward and Louis De Lacretaz are still in contention for Eastern Metropolitan, Western Victoria and Eastern Victoria regions.
  • Richard DiNatale lost out to Brownwen Pike in Melbourne, but is was close, and Labor threw lots of lies and misinformation into the campaign.
  • The Greens did not win any lower house seat.
  • Labor preferences nearly elected the pro nuclear power and weapons DLP to Northern Metropolitan, and they still might elect them to Western Victoria! More very dodgy Labor preference deals.
  • Labor preferences nearly elected the hunting/shooting/logging/duck shooting Country Alliance party to in Northern Victoria region.
On Greens preference, the truth is that:
  • The Greens directed preferences to Labor in 60 of the 88 lower house seats, including all Labor marginal seats.
  • In the remaining 28 seats, the Greens left the choice on preferences to voters by offering split or open tickets, as they have done in the past.
  • Labor retained many seats due to Greens preferences (such as Burwood and Ferntree Gully), and lost none due to split or open tickets. Labor did lose Morwell, where the Greens ran a split, but the National won the seat rather then the Liberals.
  • The Greens did not preference the Liberals in any seats.

Both major parties now use well orchestrated political tactics to attack the Greens rather than engaging in a fair and reasonable debate about policies. More information on these tactics is available here.

It was very dissappointing that both major parties ruled out any preference negotiations on issues. For them the political game is penultimate, not climate change, forests, water, public education or industrial relations.

Logging of our water catchments and old growth forests continues.

I don't believe that the means justifies the end, and I think that major party politics is compromising our values, our environment and our society, and is not delivering for the people of Victoria.

Why do we have to wait for an election campaign for our school buildings to be fixed, or for public tranport to be improved?

Be careful who you vote for, what you see is not always what you get.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The last day of the campaign

The last day of the campaign was eventful. I was woken up by a phone call and alerted to the Labor dirty tricks afoot in Northcote. They have circulated leaflets criticising the Greens, including one purportedly from a "Liberal businessman". Bob Brown wrote a letter rebutting Peter Garrett's attacks on the Greens in the inner city seats.

I then attended a media event at Flinders Street station, which was a good opportunity to hand out some Green Times and interact with the public.

Here is a photo of some assembled candidates with Bob Brown. I am on the right.

I then did a session at the prepolling booth in Mitcham, which was not too busy. During the afternoon I evening managed to walk and wash the dog, and spend a little time with our daughter Chloe.

The final night of news coverage was a bit boring. Just a summation of two "presidential style" campaigns based around Ted Baillieu and Steve Bracks, with the consensus being that Baillieu had won the battle (the campaign) but will lose the war (the election), and dissappointingly - absolutely no mentions of the Greens or any other minor party.

So here are my predictions.
  • The Greens will win one lower house seat - either Melbourne or Richmond
  • The Liberals will win several Labor marginals including Morwell, Monbulk, South Barwon, Kilsyth, Gembrook, Bayswater, Ferntree Gully, Hastings, Ballarat East and Mount Waverly. Mitcham and Ripon might come under pressure too.
  • The Greens will win between 2 and 5 upper house seats, most likely 3. Northern and Southern Metropolitan are almost certain. Eastern Metropolitan is the next likely, followed by Eastern Victoria and Western Victoria. Northern Victoria is also an outside chance.
  • Nobody from Family First, People Power, the Democrats or the Country Alliance will be elected. The Country Alliance is however an outside chance in Western Victoria.
  • The balance of power will be shared between the Greens and the Nationals - but if the Nationals revert to their usual coalition with the Liberals (putting aside their outbreak of hostilities prior to the election and during preference negotations) - then their Coalition may have control of the upper house.
  • The ALP dirty trick of falsely accusing the Greens of "preferencing the Liberals" - will be seen for what it is
  • The Liberal dirty trick - their "anti Green leaflet" - will indicate to many people that the the Liberals are happy to tell lies too.
Overall, the campaign at a local level has been a good one from my perspective. I have received good feedback from many members of the public, and have had good support from local Greens members. I have been impressed by the commitment and capability of all the Greens candidates and campaign team I have worked with out here in the inner east.

We have also worked closely with the country region teams and the State Preference Support Group (PSG) during preference negotiations.

I still don't know why the Liberals put us last in the upper house with the high risk of Labor retaining control of the upper house as a result.

Thank you for reading my blog. I will put a summary of the outcomes up on the day after the election.

I close with one of my favourite quotes, from Mohandas Gandhi:

First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

MEDIA RELEASE: Climate Change, Preferences and the Greens

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Peter Campbell, Greens candidate for Box Hill, attended crowded locally organised forums on climate change this week in Kew and Hawthorn.

"Labor and Liberal candidates who spoke at both forums indicated said they are committed to the long term use of Victoria's brown coal reserves and of Hazelwood, Australia's most polluting power station."

"By contrast, the Greens have set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2015 and to decommission Hazelwood." said Peter Campbell.

"It is unfortunate that both the Labor and Liberal parties are not reacting to heightened community concerns about global warming and climate change. The old parties are looking like dinosaurs taking the entire planet with them towards looming catastrophe." said Peter Campbell.

"Yesterday I was confronted by rowdy young Labor thugs in North Melbourne heckling Bob Brown and yelling the false claim that the Greens are preferencing the Liberals. This is simply not true, and shows how desperate Labor has suddenly become."

The Greens are giving voters the choice between Labor and Liberal in some seats. With Labor still committed to the ongoing destruction of water catchments and old growth forests, they simply haven't done enough to earn Greens preferences.” said Peter Campbell.

"Today I received a green pamphlet from the Liberal Party in my letterbox, which is part of their smear campaign to misrepresent the Greens by quoting dubious newspaper articles. It is a pity that the Liberals don't spend more time telling Victorians what they really stand for"

"The public is sick of the old parties playing negative politics rather than showing the leadership we require to meet the looming challenges of drought and climate change. I think they have misjudged the mood of the electorate, who are now demanding real action on climate change and
moving us towards leading more sustainable lives."

"Saturday will be an important referendum on both climate change and the failings of major party politics. Let us look forward to the future and leave the world of grubby politics behind." said Peter Campbell.

For more information, please contact: Peter Campbell 0409 417 504 or Dave Lane 0419 156 213

Authorised by Dave Lane, 377 Little Bourke St Melbourne 3000
phone: 03 9602 1141 mob: 0419 156 213 email:

This newspaper ad placed by The Greens in Western Victoria region highlights Labor's dodgy preference deals.

Labor is very worried about the Greens in Melbourne and resorts to dirty tactics

I visited North Melbourne at 2:30pm on Wednesday 22/11 to have a look at the campaign streetwalk by Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown and Richard Di Natale, Greens candidate for Melbourne.

I was greatly surprised to be confronted by an organised mixture of young Labor supporters and some older hecklers who were accusing the Greens having a preference deal with Liberals. I explained to them that the Greens are not preferencing the Liberals in any seat in Victoria, and are preferencing Labor in the majority of seats. However, they seemed to be confused about the 25 odd seats where the Greens are leaving voters to choose where their preference goes.

These same people were unwilling to acknowledge that Labor is preferencing the right wing Country Alliance and DLP parties. They were also unaware that DLP has a policy on their website supporting the "development of nuclear engineering and power generating capabilities for peaceful purposes that facilitate future options for acquiring a nuclear deterrent capacity". I also pointed out to them that Labor has refused to stop the logging of Melbourne's water catchments and old growth forests.

It seems to me that Labor is very worried about the message of optimism that the Greens are providing to the Victorian public, and are prepared to resort to dirty tactics to try and stop the Greens winning the inner city seats of Melbourne, Richmond and Northcote.

Richard DiNatale and Bob finally got to go for a walk

The Stump Truck from East Gippsland showed up, highlighting Labor's support for ongoing old growth logging

Bob had a word with the young Laborites who were falsely accusing the Greens of preferencing the Liberals

Bob tried out a sustainable form of transport

Monday, November 20, 2006

The truth about Greens preferences this Victorian election

From: The Australian Greens (Victoria) Campaign Team

Any suggestion that the Greens are preferencing the Liberals or Nationals anywhere is entirely false.

Despite anything that might be in the media, or in any garbled reports you may receive:
  • the Greens are NOT recommending preferences to the Liberals (or Nationals) in any seats
  • We ARE recommending a preference to the ALP in the vast majority of the marginals that matter, and in most other seats.
  • In some seats, we will leave it to the voters' choice, by providing a split or open ticket that allows them to Vote Green and then preference whichever major party they choose.
  • In the Upper House we have already determined to provide all preferences to like-minded parties first, then Labor, then the Conservatives, then the candidates with the most extremely opposed position to The Greens.
By contrast, the ALP has preferenced the so-called Country Alliance ahead of the Greens. This Party is essentially a Shooters-and-Loggers Party.

Anyone who expresses any doubts about Greens preferences can visit our website where the whole set of lower house tickets across Victoria is available:

You can see how preferences from above-the-line votes will flow in the upper house at

Please feel free to pass information on to others.

Best wishes,

VSECC and the Campaign Team,
Australian Greens (Victoria)
1/377 Little Bourke St, Melbourne 3001
(PO Box 4589 Melbourne 3001)
(03) 9602 1141

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Preferences, and "Who's afraid of the Greens?"

Preference deals are a byproduct of our political system, but remember that you, the voter, actually choose where your preference goes when you number your ballot papers.

It is fairly simple in the lower house, which usually has a smaller voting ticket. If you put Greens first and the candidate is not elected, then your vote flows to your second, then third and later choices until a candidate is elected. So your Green vote is never wasted! The cartoon at the top of this blog shows you how this works.

If you vote "above the line" in the upper house (on the larger voting ticket), then your preference is distributed according to the preference flow decided by the party you vote "1" for. You can ask to see what this preference flow is when you vote.

For example, you can see if Labor is sending your preference to Family First above the Greens (if they do, the Family First candidates will have a higher numbers than the Greens candidates). If you vote below the line and number every square then you control exactly where your preference goes.

In this election, for the first time you can even choose in the upper house to restrict your preference flow to a minimum of five candidates. This means if you vote below the line for Greens candidates from 1 to 5 then stop, your vote will be lodged for the Greens but will not be transferred to any other party if none of the Greens candidates are elected.

Peter Campbell
Greens Candidate for Box Hill

Here is an excellent letter from my friend and fellow Green Robert Humphries.

Who's afraid of the Greens?

Reverend Robert Humphreys, Coburg
Letter to the editor, The Age, 7 November 2006

MANY people have come to the conclusion that the Liberals and ALP — despite certain rhetoric to try and keep their "true believers" in line — in reality are little different from each other. For both these parties what really matters is holding or pursuing power no matter what that may entail. We are seeing this played out in the run-up to the Victorian state election, in the matter of preference deals to try and shore up votes and seats in the new Parliament.

First we had the news of the ALP possibly preferencing the religious conservative right Family First party over the Greens in the upper house. Now, as Paul Austin reported in The Age yesterday, we have the extraordinary possible spectre of the Liberals preferencing their supposed arch enemy, the ALP, ahead of the socially progressive Greens in certain inner Melbourne seats.

Why do the ALP and Liberal parties so dislike the Greens? My hunch is that they both feel threatened by a grassroots party that is gaining support from people across the existing political spectrum who want real action on climate change and policies that reflect commitment to social justice for all people. More and more people are realising that the principles the Greens have held aloft for over 20 years are ones our society, our world desperately need for its wellbeing and very survival.

Monday, November 06, 2006

MEDIA RELEASE: Peter Campbell challenges Robert Clark and Robert Chong to a debate on Climate Change

Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Contact: Peter Campbell on (mob) 0409 417 504

Peter Campbell, the Greens candidate for Box Hill challenges his fellow candidates, the Liberals' Shadow Treasurer, Robert Clark, and Labor's Robert Chong to a local public debate on climate change solutions and logging in water catchments.

"The links between climate change, deforestation and water have become obvious during this election campaign, with drought hitting us hard," said Peter Campbell. "Despite this, our forested water catchments, such as the slopes of Mt Baw Baw in the Thompson River catchment and Armstrong Creek catchment that feeds the Upper Yarra, are still being logged. This is seriously reducing water yields for our reservoirs."

"Both Steve Bracks and Ted Baillieu have refused so far to protect our water catchments, yet they both say we must save water," said Peter Campbell. "The people of Box Hill are doing a great job to conserve our precious water, so our politicians should support them right now and end their hypocrisy."

"We need a bipartisan commitment to immediately end logging in our water catchments," said Peter Campbell. "That' why I'm challenging the other major candidates in the Box Hill District to an open, public debate on these and other important issues about the future of Box Hill - and Victoria."

"Robert Clark and Robert Chong also need to tell Box Hill voters why their parties are dodging the hard decisions on using less brown coal and why they support extending the life of Hazelwood, the nation's dirtiest power station in the Latrobe Valley," said Peter Campbell.

"Trying to turn coal 'green' won't work and will just throw good money after bad," said Peter Campbell. "We need a 'greenprint' to shift from burning coal towards a mix of renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar energy. We also need serious efficiency targets to reduce our overall energy consumption."

"We need long term vision and strategies to develop a sustainable energy industry in Victoria," said Peter Campbell. "We need more than band-aid measures concocted for an election campaign."

"While both major parties are threatening to try and shut the Greens out of parliament with their dodgy preference deals, we Greens will look hard at their policies when we make our local preference decisions" said Mr Campbell. Greens in parliament will ensure we get real action on climate change and forest protection.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Campbell on (mob) 0409 417 504
Dave Lane on (mob) 0419 156 213

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The "walk against warming" shows people care about climate change and politicians don't deliver

I attended today's Walk against Warming rally in Melbourne along with several thousand others . The walks were held across Australia. It was great to see so many people demonstrating their concern for this issue, which politicians have largely ignored until now. John Howard is still stuck in the mindset that saving us from global warming will be bad for business - when it the other way around. Energy efficient technologies and products are growth industries and exports for the future, not burning and exporting coal.

The Bracks government say they care, but they extended the life of Hazelwood - the southern hemisphere's most polluting power station - and they have only today announced a subsidy for energy efficient appliances. Why do they have to wait for an election to do this?

Meanwhile Ted Baillieu has committed the Liberals to ongoing support of the coal industry and getting rid or the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) program which would be step backwards.

Vote Green at the upcoming state election - there really is no viable alternative.

ABC news story about the rallies

Here are some more photos I took at the rally.

A windfarm attended

The crowd on the hill

The Greens were the only political party evident.

The endangered Orange bellied parrots attended.

John Howard rated a mention - for the wrong reasons.

A Baw Baw tree frog.