Sunday, August 8, 2010

Politics: Voting in Denison, House of Representatives

Now that I'm working in the city, we've moved to Battery Point deep inside the Federal seat of Denison. It's been a safe Labour seat for over a decade, held by Duncan Kerr, who is retiring at this election.
  • Labour is running Jonathan Jackson, who is the son of the former Labor Attorney General, Judy Jackson.  It'll be surprising if he doesn't win the seat, trading on the family name and building on the safe margin built up by Kerr.  I think the casualness of the Labour campaign is illustrated by Jonathan's lightweight page on the ALP website, it doesn't even have his contact details! 
  • Liberal's Cameron Simpkins, who responded to my email about abortion with a phone call, doesn't have a massive chance. Although he seems to be attempting to steal some of Labour's thunder by recently announcing his support for gay marriage.  Simpkins said he'd support making Medicare statistics about abortion available and would "probably" vote in support of reducing Medicare funding for abortion. (Cameron's page while at least having contact details isn't very substantial.)
  • Andrew Wilkie, who ran in Denison for the state election and has an admirable stance against problem-gambling, might have a chance given his profile and a slight groundswell of resentment by the electors of Denison at being treated like a seat where even the "drover's dog" has a chance at winnin for Labour.  I'd like to vote for Andrew but I didn't get the response I was hoping for in an email exchange about abortion.  His website is the best of the bunch. 
  • The Greens are running Geoff Couser, a "Sandy Bay doctor," which is a very cunning way of saying hey, we're mainstream now, no more dreadlocked protestors. Frustratingly his page was also policy and contact-details light, I had to SMS him my question about abortion. Geoff like Andrew wants to make Medicare abortion statistics available but wouldn't vote against medicare funded abortions. 
There are many issues in this campaign and I feel pulled in multiple directions.  For example I think the mining tax is a great idea, minerals are non-renewable resource and the profit the miners are making is above and beyond normal profit margins, so a larger tax that will go towards superannuation seems sensible.  However I feel strongly about the abortion issue and know that generally it'll be the more conservative parties that will take a line I support.

Simpkins wasn't very precise on the phone and furthermore the Liberal party allows for conscience votes on these things so his verbal stance on abortion can't be guaranteed.  Peter Tucker over at the Tasmanian Times says Jonathan Jackson wining Denison is a done deal, with the slimmest of vaguest possibilities Wilkie might win.  The following order therefore seems to make the most sense.

  1. Andrew Wilkie
  2. Cameron Simpkins
  3. Jonathan Jackson
  4. Geoff Couser
  5. Mel Barns (Socialist Alliance)