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Ari Sharp, 18, Chosen As Democrats Candidate In Kooyong

The Australian Democrats have preselected an 18-year-old commerce student as their candidate for Kooyong for the forthcoming Federal election.

SharpThe Democrats candidate, Ari Sharp from Hawthorn East, will be the youngest person ever elected to Federal Parliament if he wins the support of the electorate.

Democrats’ Senator for Victoria, Lyn Allison, said, “Ari Sharp represents a new wave of political thinking that is fresh and enthusiastic.

“He is eager to work for people in the Kooyong electorate and he proudly represents the Democrats principles of balance, accountability, human rights and social justice.

“Ari has already demonstrated leadership amongst young people and is at the forefront of the current campaign to improve public transport in Kooyong,” Senator Allison said.

If elected he will join the high profile group of young people elected to parliament, which includes Natasha Stott Despoja elected at 26, Paul Keating at 25, Andrew Peacock and Harold Holt at 27.

“In the past it seems that the Liberals have taken Kooyong for granted. I am going to make sure that is not the case this time around,” said Mr Sharp.

A federal election is due before the end of 2001.

In a circular to members and supporters, Ari Sharp said:

“Now is the time for we, the Democrats, to present ourselves as a viable political alternative and show the electorate that we are made of the right stuff that makes good political leaders. With a popular political figure as leader, good results in opinion polling, a government riddled with infighting and an opposition caught like a deer in the headlights, the Democrats must seize this opportunity to make inroads into the vote of the tired old parties. To make the most of our advantage, it is vital that we spread the Democrats message loud and clear. Through talking to friends, colleagues, strangers; through letterboxing campaign material; through writing letters to editors; through grabbing a megaphone and shouting it from the front lawn if necessary LET’S MAKE A NOISE, and make sure it’s heard.”

For the next two weeks, the Democrats are having a membership drive. Prospective members and supporters are being encouraged to take the next step and join up, which can be done via the official party website at, or by calling State Office on 9419 5808.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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