Archive for March, 2014


March 9, 2014



The State electoral commission, lists it’s official Postal address as P O Box 666, an interesting address indeed, yet people all over the state are sending back their official “Ballot papers” to a variety of addresses, none of which include the official address.


I have made official enquiry’s as to where these reply paid address actually end up, but if I cannot find out before the election, once the results are in, there will be nothing we can do, because when I was in the court of disputed returns in 2010, the chief justice made it clear “The results of a general election cannot be disputed, regardless of the count or the conduct”


The last state election in 2010, resulted in over 16,500 official postal Ballot papers going missing, so where did they go, how were they intercepted, and who were the votes for?


On top of these missing ballot papers, more than enough on their own to have changed the entire outcome of the election, were the 6,500 or so applications for ballot papers that were deemed dodgy and invalidated by the electoral commission, why? Who were they from, and why were they excluded?


Legislation changes, were enacted because I exposed these dodgy issues to a parliamentary enquiry after the 2010 election, the full results are on my website


New legislation states that Electoral Commission SA must provide a list of people who have applied for postal votes to political parties and candidates who request it.


Political parties are permitted to distribute postal vote application forms. Postal vote application forms must be the same as Electoral Commission SA’s form. Under legislation the forms must be returned directly to Electoral Commission SA and not to political parties. Has this been upheld or is it even being monitored?


In 2010 it was also exposed the Labor held a reply paid address called “Isobel Redmond” and had indeed used this address to intercept voter information, why did they do this?


What if right now, postal Ballot papers are being intercepted, considering no one every explained where 16,000 missing ballot papers I uncovered in 2010 went, could it all be happening again?


I risked my home in 2010 to try and uncover where all the missing ballot papers went, taking action in the court of disputed returns, only to find a mired of issues.


How did 77,000 names of regular voters suddenly disappear from our electoral rolls, how many cases of multiple voting did occur, and why are we not adopting Identity checks as a result?


I should go one to ask why we still embrace a pencil and a piece of paper, or why scrutineers are allowed to carry rubbers, or why the security of the ballots is still a cardboard box, but then I could ask so many pertinent questions, of which all of them do not interest the main stream media at all.


In 2004 I was also in the courts asking how it was possible that the electoral commission was allowed to guess the intention of a voter, beyond what they marked on their ballot paper, a question that resulted in the chief justice putting the government on notice, but that too was not worthy of media exposure at the time.


Democracy is all about the election of representatives by way of the free will of an informed electorate, but just when we will enjoy this simple ideal, is the biggest question of all.


A vote for me in the upper house is all about transparency, about the empowerment of the electorate I wish to serve, and by example, I have proven that I will fight for reforms that will empower those I seek to represent.


How will you vote come march the 15, will your vote even be counted, will it end up rewarding a candidate you prefer, or will you turn up to find your name no longer on the electoral roll, therefore having your precious vote taken from you?


Vote 1 Mark Aldridge groups for the Legislative council (the upper house) on the large ballot paper in in Box U, because I indeed represent U, and your best interests.



82847482 / 0403379500



This is to be my last campaign, if I remain un-elected, I will take that as a resounding, we dont want you as a representative, I sincerely hope who ever comes next, takes a strong interest in democratic reform, because I strongly believe until we embrace honest democracy, we will continue to remain a divided nation on the wrong path.


Genuine Pokie reforms needed in South Australia

March 6, 2014

Communities Against Pokies are urging voters to think carefully about where there vote is going in the upcoming election.

Co-founder of C.A.P Sharon Hollamby said, ‘We have pleaded for years with the government to put effective gambling reforms in place but to no avail and our communities are suffering.

In 2009 four billion dollars was raised through gambling revenue but the social costs were four point seven billion which is a huge revenue loss.  With ‘donations’ from vested interests in gambling to political parties totalling over $800,000 this year we can see why the government are not prepared to protect our communities.

‘While politicians are accepting these large donations from the gambling industry it is impossible to expect that they will vote for any real gambling reforms,’ said Sharon.

Mr Weatherill stated at a recent forum that 2000 machines were going to be removed from circulation in S.A, but that is what Mr. Xenophon promised and by his own admission, ‘it hasn’t happened’ She said.

With the full support of Independent candidate Mark Aldridge C.A.P are now calling for all pokie machines to be removed from pubs and clubs and restricted to the casino.

Mark stated that, ‘businesses are closing down, charities are stretched beyond their limits, crime is up, and there has been a huge increase in the amount of people seeking help for mental health issues. Our communities are suffering, all because the money going into these machines is going out of our communities and not into the right pockets,’ he said.

I will fight for these machines to be phased out over three years with assistance offered to venues to bring live entertainment back to the suburbs. ‘Let’s put the community back into our communities,’ he said

Sharon Hollamby said, ‘We want action not promises, and we believe that Mark Aldridge is a man of action who deserves our vote.’


For further comment or photo opportunities contact: Sharon Hollamby 0416973154

Mark Aldridge    0403379500

Voting for Mr. X in S.A. elects who?

March 4, 2014



Many people hold Nick on a pedestal, I was once one of those, until he started preferencing the major parties, rather than help those that would stand beside him, so who is Nick and what does he stand for?


Nick Xenophon entered the SA Upper House in 1997 as an independent on a “No Pokies” platform, receiving only 2.9% of the vote, but after preferences achieved a “quota” of 8.3% and was elected.


In 1997, there were around 9,000 poker machines in SA, now ten years later the number of poker machines in SA had increased by over 30% to around 12,500! That figure has continued to creep up since he headed off to Canberra.


Being a senator in Canberra is presumably a full-time job, but nevertheless, Nick has given his name to a “group” running in our State election on 15 March.


Are their election posters nothing more than an elaborate trick? It doesn’t say who their candidates are, and mainly features Nick’s grinning face and the words “people power”.


We cannot actually vote for Nick himself, unless Nick can split himself in two for Nick to be in both federal and state parliaments at the same time!


Some internet research will reveal that the lead candidate in this “group” in the upper house election is sitting upper house member John Darley, who took over Nick’s seat after he went to Canberra.


Darley was third on Nick’s ticket in 2006, behind Ann Bressington. Mr Darley, who is now 76 years of age, may just be planning to leave early and pass on the seat as Nicks running mates have in the past, so who are Nicks supporters actually electing, and what is their platform, no pokies again?


Nick won’t be sitting in state parliament making decisions on legislation that affects South Australian’s, he’ll be in Canberra because the people of SA sent him back there six months ago for another six year term.


Another pertinent question is why is Nick now preferencing the major parties, I personally would have thought, he would want support in the senate and indeed the upper house here in SA?


Does Nick want to be the only voice opposing the major parties, because on his own, he can do bugger all, to actually bring change he needs the support of likeminded representatives, yet he has turned his back on them.


Latest news is that Nick is backing the liberals, even backing them on their new move to abolish penalty rates, has he forgotten how hard the working class are doing it?


The sad fact is, people who don’t read the news, or mores so avoid topics of a political nature, will vote for the posters, thinking they are voting for Nick Xenophon, who they get, and what they stand for, are not a part of the agenda, because if they were, their names and photos would be on Nicks posters.


For me, Nick is the face that pops up and tells us what we want to hear, then disappears just as quickly, the man I thought would open the door to change, and to more Independent voices in parliament, is doing the exact opposite, and as much as I love his messages, I for one expected more from him.


Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for the Upper house

Genuinely representing U not a political party.


March 1, 2014


Since Nick’s first election success, I have been a great supporter, Nick was first elected with a small primary vote, and it was the minor players, the minor parties and Independents preferences that got Nick across the line.

Nick quickly became a shining light with plenty of help from the mediocrity of his opposition in government. The people of South Australia finally had a voice in parliament, where once laid a barren, self-serving two and a half party system.

Nick knew how to play the media, and the people needed an alternate choice, so his success was guaranteed. I had so much in common with Nick, where he was criticizing the big duopoly, Woolies and Coles, I was taking the grass roots approach, holding rallies, protests and eventually setting up Farm Direct markets to offer our most affected farmers and growers an alternate place to sell their produce.

Nick had the voice and the media, I had to work with what I had, ideas and social media, and over the past 7 or 8 years, we regularly spoke at the same rallies and forums, on a variety of topics from farmers and water to investment and services.

I had hoped Nick’s success would open the door for more alternate voices, people who could back him up, heading to a time when mediocrity was wiped out and common-sense could again govern.

This is where the penny dropped, Nick then started preferencing the major parties, and he turned his back on the minor parties and the Independents that had helped him to success.

Was it because he had become a part of the system, or was it the self interest in ensuring he had no competition as an Independent, that I will leave to the reader to decide, in any case, no doors were opened, and he now stands alone.

Having a good voice and knowing what is wrong in this nation is one thing, but the power to bring change is reliant on a united approach, because it was self-interest that drove us to where we are now in the first place.

Nick would know all too well, that most if not all of the minor players and Independents are campaigning for change, like Nick we all want to restore common-sense and to ensure our nations self-reliance.  That is why we invest our time and hard earned money, and if Nick sincerely wants to see change, he needs to work with us, not against us.

When the minor players got together to see how much we could work together, to ensure the upper house had some independent checks and balances, to ensure it did not become a rubber stamp for the chosen government, Nick was nowhere to be seen.

When he finally sent in his campaign manager the arrogance shown to us all was astounding, this broke the Camel’s back from my point of view, and after they left, the consensus was that none of us wanted to prefer him, if this was his attitude.

During the federal election he had preferenced the major parties, and his brief representation at the meeting, all but confirmed he was going to do that again, begging the question; did he not want support in the upper house for the change he keeps telling us he wants to see?

Back during his first run for the senate, when he was already a sitting member in our states upper house, I was alerted to the fact that Labor had paid for his posters, when questioned on this matter, he became very angry, but it was never confirmed.

Just a couple of weeks ago, our Riverland grape growers were in desperate need of support, after all their calls going unanswered, they contacted me to see if I could help them at a grass roots level, and of course I agreed, and headed up to the Riverland to see how I could help.

I listened to their concerns, offered my advice, and when they wanted to hold a rally, I helped them set it up, driving in from the Riverland for the protest with them; it was here that Nick phoned and wanted to work with me, offering a variety of excuses why he could not get up there.

I spoke to the growers to see what they wanted to do, they wanted to back me for all my help over the years, but in their best interests, I thought it best to work with Nick, because he had the federal experience.

To keep the story short, Nick grabbed all the media, as he had in the past and several other protests I had been involved in, never mentioned me once, told the growers to try and arrange emergency one of funding, and then disappeared.

I had already told Nick they did not just want handouts, they need to see change, because next year do they tend to their vines, will they have a buyer, and how much will they be paid for their produce? Many are selling assets to survive, and need more than handouts, working together entail’s more than a media voice, it requires powerful change that only unity will bring.

In short, Nick Xenophon has a powerful voice in the media, and he knows what is wrong and understands what we the people want, but he can’t bring the change we all want on his own, he needs support, and that will not bear fruit, without a united approach.

I am sure he may fear backing others in case they make mistakes, but I for one would love to work with the man and learn how to best approach the varied problems we face as a nation, and so would many other patriotic Australians, but to shut us out of the political system, is self-serving and a very expensive decision to make for our nation.

Mark Aldridge

Independent MLC candidate