Posts Tagged ‘voting for Nick Xenophon’

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.



February 16, 2014


Having been in the political arena now for well over a decade, it is very disheartening that so many voters have very little knowledge of how elections work.

There are 2 houses of parliament, in the state we have the lower and upper houses, or the House of Assembly and the legislative council (in the federal parliament the upper house is called the senate.

The lower house is the one that forms government the upper house is known as the checks and balances, the lower house propose new laws and changes to law, then the upper house scrutinise these proposals before they are passed and become law.

It is here that many voters do not use their votes wisely at times, because if the upper house in controlled by the government of the day, there will be no scrutiny, the legislative council then becomes a rubber stamp to any government proposals.

I am a candidate for the upper house, voting for me will not affect who forms government, my job will be to scrutinise what the government does, and propose changes.

As an upper house candidate, anyone in South Australia can vote for me, where as in the lower house, each electorate will have different candidates.

So voters can vote differently in both houses, for instance sake one can vote say Labor in the house of assembly, then vote for me in the legislative council, they then may get the government they want, and have me there to ensure legislation is in line with community expectations.

Having read and studied legislation for many years, it is not always the title of the legislation that is a problem, more so there are at times sections that I feel undermine our implied rights, I will provide an example.

Electoral law is written to protect your franchise, your right to vote, yet the government can make amendment’s and do so every few years, the trouble here is that the government have the most to gain from structural biases.

Over the past 20 years, changes to electoral law, I believe have been all about empowering the 2 party political systems, where as any changes made, should be about empowering you the voter.

Just recently changes were made to make it harder and more expensive for the minor players to nominate, changes just before the 2010 state election were passed to make it hard to comment on line about politics in general, i.e.; all posts were to include your home address and real names

This is where I believe Independent and minor party voices are needed to scrutinise any proposed changes, to ensure legislative change is in line with community expectations.

Metering of farmers dams, entry to our homes without warrants, guessing your voting intention beyond what you mark on the ballot paper are also examples of sections of written Acts that deserve both scrutiny and public debate.

So before you vote, it is best you realise the power your vote has, it is the only input you have regarding the direction of your country, and who represents your best interests in parliament.

I say wield that power wisely, take the time to become informed both on how to cast your vote and who the candidates are and what they stand for.

Go online and check you are enrolled today, even if you believe your still are, as our electoral rolls in 2010 were missing over 77,000 names, and while you are there, invest the time that is needed to ensure your vote is the most educated one possible.

Mark Aldridge
Independent candidate for the Legislative Council
08 82847482 / 0403379500