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The Sharp End: The Party Faithful

Ari Sharp, Australian Democrats candidate for Kooyong, reports from the campaign frontline.

It’s always interesting to see the bridges that are made and the bridges that are burnt during an election. [Read more…]


The Sharp End: Nominations, Lotto And Preferences

Ari Sharp, Australian Democrats candidate for Kooyong, reports from the campaign frontline.

SharpModern democracy contains a collection of quaint, but highly important, rituals.

One of the more unusual of these took place last Friday, at the Declaration of Nominations.

At 12 noon across the country, middle aged men and women across the country had their 15 minutes of fame in the draw to determine the order of the ballot paper in each House of Reps seat, and in the Senate.

In Kooyong, the draw took place in a small suburban office in Camberwell, coincidentally in the same office block as the local member. Three of the four candidates (and a few campaign hangers-on) squeezed into the office, as the Divisional Returning Officer took over his duties as the MC. [Read more…]


The Sharp End: Targeting The Voters

Ari Sharp, Australian Democrats candidate for Kooyong, reports from the campaign frontline.

SharpPeople treat you very differently when they realise you are a political candidate.

All of a sudden, you go from being “that guy in the tute group”, or “that bloke on the train” to being someone who needs to be beyond reproach, as an oracle of knowledge on all things political.

This is what we expect of our potential representatives – the ability to clearly and articulately explain what they stand for, to live a lifestyle consistent with those ideas, and to have a good grasp of the full cacophony of issues that are relevant during an election campaign. [Read more…]


Ari Sharp – Kooyong Democrats Leaflet – 2001

This is an election distributed by Ari Sharp in the federal electorate of Kooyong during the 2001 election.

Sharp was the Australian Democrats candidate in the election. [Read more…]


The Sharp End: The Work Of The Local Candidate

Ari Sharp, Australian Democrats candidate for Kooyong, reports from the campaign frontline.

SharpIt is often difficult to work out just what the role of a local candidate is in a Federal election.

In recent times, Australian politics has become overwhelmingly presidential in the way campaigns are fought and the way that the media covers a campaign.

A presidential campaign is one in which the leaders of the major parties are the central figures, and the election is considered a battle of competing personalities rather than parties or ideologies. Parties invest large amounts in developing profile and recognition of their leaders, and this is put to the test come election time. [Read more…]


The Sharp End: Everything Has Changed Since August

Ari Sharp, Australian Democrats candidate for Kooyong, reports from the campaign frontline.

SharpFor months we all thought we knew the terms that this coming federal election would be fought on.

Following on from successive anti-conservative votes in Western Australia, Queensland, Ryan and the Northern Territory, it seemed that Howard would be fighting against a tide of change, pissing into the wind, as more poetic people might put it.

Most of us even thought we knew the election date, with the Constitution, various state elections and CHOGM commitments leaving only a few possible Saturdays. [Read more…]


The Sharp End: A Candidate’s Story

In a regular series during the election, Ari Sharp, the Australian Democrats candidate for Kooyong, provides a candidate’s perspective on the election. Ari is 18 years old and contesting one of the “jewels in the crown” of the Victorian Liberal Party.

SharpSince 1922, Kooyong has had only four members, three of whom (Latham, Menzies & Peacock) have been leaders of the conservative side of politics. The incumbent, Petro Georgiou, has held the seat since 1994. His political career has stalled since he rejected an appointment as a Parliamentary Secretary under John Howard.

The Australian Democrats polled 8.11% of the primary vote at the 1998 election. The Liberal Party garnered 54.83% of the primary vote. After the distribution of preferences, this vote increased to 61.39%. [Read more…]