Shirley commented on my campaign Facebook page today, she apologised saying the people of Murray cannot vote for me "even if they wanted to" because of the results from the hung parliament after the 2010 election.
Here is my response:
Thanks for your feedback Shirley. There's no need to apologise, all viewpoints are welcome here [smile emoticon].
The hung parliament certainly looked messy from the outside. However, if we put the politics aside and focus on policy and outcomes - Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeschott and the other independents were able to deliver some great benefits to their communities and to the nation.
I also look at what happened in the seat of Indi last election - the Indi Voices group went around and spoke to the people in their electorate about their concerns and what they wanted from government. They took that information to The then-Liberal member Sophie Mirabella who - apparently - ignored them.Indi Voices then ran an independent candidate - Cathy McGowan - who won and looks set to win again this time. Local people seem happy with the job she is doing.
I don't trust a lot of politicians either. In my opinion, the Nationals talk the talk about representing country people, but in the end fall in line behind the Liberal Party. The Libs, Greens and Labor are too busy tussling over ideology and inner-city electorates to care about what happens outside Western Sydney.
Independent candidates and MPs are (generally) not traditional politicians. I am a Police 000 Calltaker with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA). I work 12hr shifts 4 days on, 4 days off. I speak to people all over Victoria each work day about anything from noise complaints and erratic drivers to the worst acts of violence and trauma.
I live in Euroa, but have to stay in Melbourne each week for work to save a 4+ hour commute. On my days off I run a small beekeeping supplies business, do seasonal work as a contractor for SIDS&Kids, help care for my disabled mother and help with the support and education of my niece who has learning disabilities.
I'm not interested in personal power, I'm not interested in climbing the party ladder and I won't owe any favors to party donors. I am only interested in representing the people of Murray. I have nothing against the major parties per se, I plan to work with many of them if elected. I simply believe that rural people are best represented by independent representatives.