You might recall that I sent a communiqué off to some of the candidates who will be standing for election for the seat of Jagajaga.
I have in my hot little hands responses from candidates Kearney and Harris. Chris Kearney, as you may recall, is the Greens candidate for Jagajaga and Peter Harris is the Secular Party's candidate.
So what did they have to offer? Let's look at them one by one.
Chris Kearney responded first. This what Kearney had to say:
Thanks for your interest at the local level. Over the years I have lived and raised with my wife our two children I have been on their local State School Council, Macleod Tennis Club Management Committee and President of the Banyule Hawks Basketball Club. Restricted my answer to just the last three years well over that time I have played a non-executive role at the Tennis Club on maintenance and upgrading of the tennis courts surface to ones requiring no watering in response to the changing climate. As an active member of the Eltham & District Amateur Winemakers Guild I have taken on the role managing the Logistics sub-committee for its upcoming Annual Amateur Wineshow being held on 28th November 2010 at the Eltham Community Centre from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00p.m.. You can read more detail of the Guild's activities on their website at www.amateurwine.org.au. If you or any of your friends are interested in wine and the making of it I would encourage you all to get in contact with the Guild and join to learn from the wealth of experience in its members.
Kearney is clearly a local and cares about local issues so I sent a standard response thanking him for his time and effort in responding. I resisted berating him for addressing me in the opening without a salutation.
Peter Harris was next:
Hi Dikkii, thanks for the email. Answer: "Not too much, and I don't
care for token voluntary roles that are nice on the eye and satisfy
somebody's 'feel-good' faculty". I believe in the bigger picture.
If you want a more meaningful summary of myself, in recent times I
have been managing an engineering company and undertaking project
managing roles that benefit my electorate, as well as many others,
and, raising a bubbly 16-month-old, and setting a great example to
friends and family about how to live a healthy life through eating
well and exercising plenty. I have a degree in civil engineering and
business administration. In the past, I have worked in voluntary roles
in India, Israel, and Vanuatu. My follow-up volunteer work in
Australia went on for about 5 years and covered several federal
electorates. I got too old for that 'youth' organisation and have more
recently got tied up in family and work and using my brain to try to
understand the world.
I hope to use what I have learnt, living, working, and travelling
Australia, the Middle-East, Asia, North Africa and the South-Pacific,
to benefit Australians, and others.
I would be happy to liaise on more specific questions/topics at a
mutual time. I'm glad that you are considering your options and hence
Australia's and the world's future.
Whilst I appreciate his direct response, I can't help shaking the notion that Peter might be being parachuted in to Jagajaga. This is a shame, because I would dearly love to put a member of the Secular Party first. I sent this in response:
Thank you for your response. I very much appreciate your honesty, although I would like to point out that as you are potentially representing the community of Jagajaga to our federal parliament, one would expect that you at least care for local issues, your project and engineering work included. Whilst I too also care for the "bigger picture", I should point out that there is not a lot of voters out there who would appreciate what could be seen as somewhat snide references to one's "feel-good faculty". It could be seen as particularly grating if what you refer to as a "bigger picture" could be seen by some as representing a single platform, i.e. secularism. Whilst I very much support secularism in this country - it is a particular passion of mine, funnily enough - the bigger picture for me at this election, at least as far as the lower house is concerned, is "which candidate will best represent the interests of the community of Jagajaga?"
As it happens, what I was after didn't need to be limited to what you might describe as "feel-good" activities, which is why I would very much like to know more about the project and engineering work that you clearly take some pride in. I merely just need to know that you're not a carpetbagger, as two of your opponents appear to be.
I like your "liaise" idea and welcome your initiative and willingness to talk to your potential constituents. I will consider some appropriate times to chat.
I wish that I hadn't used the term "carpetbagger". I'm not sure that it's widely used in Australia for parachute candidates.