Leader Of The Pack

OK, let’s face it, the Labor Party is at a bit of a low point currently, whether we like it or not…

Anybody who does not agree with me on that, probably needs to invest in some Vasoline or KY so that they can lube up and pull their head out of their ass.

We need some fresh ideas, some fresh faces, and some fresh ideas. Did I say fresh ideas twice? Oops, I meant to say it 3 times…

One of the fresh ideas that came out of National Conference and is now getting a run, is the idea of a pre-selection campaigns for key seats, similar to that of the US Primaries. One of the first of these campaigns has just started for the selection of a Labor Candidate for the high profile position of Lord Mayor of Sydney.

Given the position that we are in as a party, and given that this is a high profile position, I think it is important that we get this one right….

So, with that said, we need to know what qualities are needed in a candidate to ensure we are putting our best person forward. After all, Clover Moore has been Mayor since Fred Flinstone married Wilma, well it feels like it anyway… Clover was elected Lord Mayor in 2004, and has a lot of community support, so she will be a tough cookie to crack.

Some of the qualities needed to win are integrity, honesty, openness, determination, creativity, leadership, being community minded, and the ability to bring a fresh perspective to the table. Fresh ideas and the ability to debate them publicly, whilst fighting for the Labor principles we all hold dear.

Coming into this pre-selection campaign like a breath of fresh air is Cassandra Wilkinson, and for what it’s worth, she gets the nod from Wixxy….

Cassandra in The Australian. I love the quote they use too...

Some of you may recognise Cassandra from her many appearances on The Drum on the ABC, or Agenda on Sky News. However there is much more to Cassandra than just her ability to stick it to the Tories on the tele….

What many of you probably don’t know is Cassandra is a wife and a mother of two, a former senior political advisor to various ministers including two police ministers and a Premier. Cassandra is a current opinion contributor to The Australian. She is National Business Development Manager for Social Finance, a start up company which is developing one of Australia’s first Social Impact Bonds.
She is the co-founder and president of a Sydney radio station, FBi94.5FM, a station that is proud to play at least 50% local content. She has held several high profile positions in public office, including a Director within the NSW Ministry Of Transport. She is a Director of the Human Capital Project, which is a privately funded tuition loans program for students at Cambodia’s University of Economics and Management. Cassandra has presented at the Sydney Writers Festival, and the Festival Of Dangerous Ideas. She also gave a much praised and much downloaded speech on Internet Censorship at the 2008 Battle Of Ideas, and in her spare time managed to have authored a book and have it published.

"Don't Panic - Nearly Everything is Better Than You Think" by Cassandra Wilkinson

Just for good measure, Cassandra was also named among Sydney’s 100 most influential creative catalysts by VIVID.

I think it is fair to say that Cassandra comes with a wealth of knowledge, and a breadth of experience that can quite simply described as colossal. Not only that, she has managed to keep a level head, and maintain a “down to earth” perspective.

These things are important, as it shows not only know how, but also strength of character, and this is what voters in Sydney will be looking for when it comes to electing a mayor.

Another thing that voters will be looking for is ideas, and little things called policies…. Cassandra comes out swinging in this area. Cassandra is not just asking for ideas and suggestions from the public, as the other candidates are doing, the difference with Cassandra is, she is actually talking about plans and policies as well.

In what I would call a gutsy decision, Cassandra has even offered to go to people’s homes to discuss policy with them, if they can get a group of at least ten people together. This is a bold move indeed, but shows the passion Cassandra has for actually serving the public, and hearing what they say, first hand, absorbing it, and using it to shape policy.

Cassandra on The Drum on The ABC

I’m not going to go into all of Cassandra’s ideas and policies, I think she can do a far better job of explaining them herself. I’ll just give you the links.

Unlike others in this process, Cassandra is not asking for money to help her campaign in the pre-selection, she is merely asking for feedback, ideas, and a bit of support and encouragement.

If you are interested in Cassandra’s campaign, you can follow her blog here, or you can watch her progress via her campaign Facebook page, or you can follow her on twitter here.

I for one, wish her all the best, and will be fighting the good fight for her.

I encourage anyone who wants the Labor Party to take a positive step forward to do the same.


51 comments on “Leader Of The Pack

  1. Wixxy, I would ask the question..”a low point”, but in who’s estimation? The media and Tony Abbott’s that’s whose. There have been full-on scare and hate campaigns ever since Labor assumed government, for example The Everyone Hates Julia Campaign. Yet when asked WHY do you hate Julia? Very few can answer except to repeat Liberal Party talking points such as, She lies.

    Like it or not we in Australia now have presidential style Vote for PM election campaigns and in spite of fielding by far the better candidates compared with the Liberals, the Liberals still are ahead in the polls..the reason being because everyone receives their information from “the news” rather than reading the local paper or attending political rallies.

  2. You’re right Min, but I don’t think there is any doubt we are at a low point, the polls and the election results in the state elections tell us that…. The big question is what is the cause??? I agree that a large part of it is down to the media, some is down to the Greems atteempts to undermine us… One thing for sure, we need to fix it…. like yesterday

  3. Will that be Vasoline or KY then Min?

    I understand that the way Labor got to be low in polls is a low point in our political history, but I don’t think that changes the fact. Daily wars against not only Labor, but reason as well, takes it toll. As someone recently said, even though the Salvos have come out and declared that what ltdnews had up about them and their opinion was WRONG, the perception will remain that Labor is out to destroy the Salvos. Changing that perception back will be difficult, when the media refuse to rectify their mistakes (assuming that they are ‘mistakes’, which I do not for one minute believe that they are).

    It also appears that the post was not unappreciated either Wixxy

  4. Tom..that is just so very tempting to answer. Ok here goes. Thank you Tom, I am adequately lubricated…a very early wine o’clock I mean. 😯

  5. Cheers Tom, the media actually do correct their mistakes….. The mistake is usually on the front page in big bold letters, the correction is usually about 3 days later buried in the bottom left corner of page 65 in small italic print…
    I’m actually planning on doing a blog on how to turn things around soon…
    I know Cass appreciated it, she actually proof read it for me last night so I was sure my facts were all correct 🙂 She thinks I talk her up to much I think… She is a great candidate, and I think she is what the party needs… a strong role model without all the factional pushing and pulling behind her…. Just a strong woman with solid Labor values who ain’t afraid to tell it like it is….

    Personally, I’d go with the KY, at least you can now get it in a “his” or “hers”

  6. The Lucky Country’s residents have come to regard its luck as their natural right whilst retaining their underlying terror that it will all be snatched away. This makes them easy prey for an opportunistic opposition backed up by a media keen to reinforce their perceived rights & fears. While we definitely have “presidential” style elections & focus on a few individuals it seems to be the overall vibe that counts in the electorate’s perceptions? Pretty much any ALP figure can wipe the floor with their coalition opponent in a debate & none of this makes any difference to the overall picture. How to get a feeling of confidence & assurance in Labor? Perhaps encourage more interest & participation? I don’t think many people want to, the Government exists to make things good for them & they’re continually told it’s failing.
    This depressing rant hasn’t provided any positives so I’d better shut up, but I’ve no time at all for the Greens. A niche party in the process of expanding its influence & size which means its internal problems & contradictions will come to light. Meanwhile doing great damage to Labor with their unachievable but terrific sounding demands.

  7. Just reading about Cassandra, the thing which came to mind was the positive frame of mind.

    Because of all the adverse and negative publicity dished out to Labor, it’s difficult to be anything but defensive. Labor is always having to justify and defend itself, its people and its policies.

    Julia, must do similarly..ditch the gravitas and come out smiling and positive..hell, wear a low cut gown, killer heels..whatever it takes.

  8. Wixxy and Just a strong woman with solid Labor values who ain’t afraid to tell it like it is….

    This is where Labor went strangely haywire in my opinion during the Rudd prime ministership. We had core Labor values courtesy of the unions and their anti-WorkChoices campaign, but then enter the Christian lobbyists and more recently the ultra influence of the mega wealthy delving into media interests and the gambling industry.

    Labor has to come out strongly and get back to core values, that the mega miners and the gambling industry are anti-worker. The right doubtless will throw the union boogey man their way..but either Labor stands up for working class people or they’ll be left waftling aimlessly in the middle road.

  9. Bob, you are 150% right on The Greens, their campaign to stop corporate donations to political parties whilst accepting Australia’s biggest ever corporate donation, showed that they would sell out their own priciples for a few dollars….

  10. You ae right Min, and unfortunately with all the dramas with the HSU, we are being tainted by the Union movement at the moment….
    we need to get away from the defensive position and start attacking

  11. Wixxy
    I’ll never forgive the Greens for their stance, or rather lack of it, during the great MRRT fight. Holed up securely in their bunkers deep down while day after day Labor copped it from everywhere, & then emerging to criticise Rudd et al for their cowardice & say the tax should be much greater.
    They’ll never form Government, but with the right attitude permanent & fashionable Opposition is a good gig for those in charge of it. They do all right.

  12. Bob, my attitude towards the Greens changed around the same time. They became another Fielding, demanding the impossible and for no other reason than to raise their own profile.

  13. You ain’t whistling Dixie there Bob….
    Not only that, they try and take credit for things like the Carbon Price, they criticise us for not being tough enough on everything, and try to steal credit when we are tough….

  14. el gordo, I like being a water melon, that if you mean they are people who care for the environment and other people.

    el gordo, the party is far from dead.

    It has been around since 1880’s and it;s death has been predicted on many occasions.

    It always manages to re-invent itself and continues to grow.

    The same cannot be said for the other side. They have disappeared many times, with a completely new party replacing the old.

    The last time they came to a end was during WWW2. Mr. Menzies founded the party they have today, but is bears little resemblances to Mr. Menzies dreams.

  15. what a dissapointing bunch of comments, while I support and applaud your rights to do so, the blame game may well be one of the reasons the Labor party is struggling. Neither Labor, Greens or Libs (ok they aren’t even close) are perfect, a working relationship doesn’t always mean a bend over and take our sh*t works either. Grow up… wear the mistakes and move forward,

    Getting yourselves a decent marketing team who can advertise the many successes might be a good first step.

  16. The Greens went bad when they dropped environmental issues and became embroiled in climate change.

    Labor deviated from the true path when they hooked up with the Greens and introduced a CO2 tax.

    To untangle this mess and give us a fighting chance…is a forlorn hope.

  17. Signe, whoa there girl. Have you read my comments? I said, the blame game, by whose estimation.

    You yourself have gone into self justification, on the back foot.

    The “many successes”, boring. Sadly, it does not sell. Killer heels and the low cut chemise does.

    Let me start from the beginning. One can have the highest of ideals, one can be for example the ultimate of say, sporting prowess. How do you get your name in papers? By beating the clock by .35 of a second? Nope, it doesn’t happen. A red dress and 6″ heels, the sponsors are beating a path to your door.

    Like it or not, one has to capture the pubic’s attention. It’s not the best game in town, to do the publicity shoots..however Tony Abbott does it and constantly.

    For example, A pic of Tony in lycra kissing a high school girl at the end of his bike ride – compared with – a pic of (yawn)..well, there is no pic at all, just an interview which nobody listens to.

    That’s the game..now I think that I’ll play music…

  18. Addendum, I have run 5+ political campaigns, plus numerous others for sporting sponsorship deals. Numero Uno, the photo. As per Wixxy’s topic, Cassandra has started the right way – the pic.

    It’s all about immediate impressions giving lasting impressions. My advice to every political candidate has been to get the best pic that you can afford.

    The pic = it sets the scene. Then AFTER you’ve set the scene, then start talking.

  19. @Min, agreed however it dissapoints me on so many levels we (the informed) have to bow to the lowest common denominator to get press… a job well done should be a job recognised. I know this means I live in wonderland but there is nothing wrong with ideals is there?

    In fairness not all the posts were uploaded when I wrote mine and blaming never ever fixes anything. (note to self)

    That being said it is appalling that the likes of Abbott get the press because he sucks up to those in the media. I live in fear that those gleefully uninformed may get their way and elect their leader to the highest job in the land.

  20. Signe, it’s not necessarily the lowest common denominator, it’s just the way that the human brain works. First is the visual impression. It’s just accepting this, that we humans have evolved so that our strongest sense is our eyesight.

    We all know that we can sit and “watch” a TV show for example, hear little of it but we know what the show is all about “because we saw it”.

    I shake my head in dismay at times at the Gillard advisers who tell her to concentrate on her diction..give it up.. As the saying goes, one picture is worth a thousand words. Half the time I suspect that the advisers are trying to keep themselves in jobs.

    Julia, the gown and the killer heels..then start talking. It is not sexist. Example..we think George Cluney is intelligent because……
    We think that X girl is a bimbo because…

    Etc. etc.. it’s all to do with the visual impression.

    Double dare anyone to prove me wrong.

  21. Labor values ?

    Keeping people in work used to be a priority, a core value. Fighting for better
    conditions used to be a priority. Federal Labor is however now more interested (indeed obsessed) with proving it can match it with the Liberals in the stupid department (I’m thinking economics).

    I’m over “clan loyalty”. Until Labor gets back to core values I don’t feel I owe the current mob anything.

    Cassandra seems like a nice person, but there’s not a lot that’s noticeably “Labor” about her ideas and policies as presented. They seem to be just good sense policies, the preserve of no particular political alignment. And I wish her the best.

    Until Cassandra comes out and expresses some opinions beyond “pools parks and garbage” she will be just another contender for public office. The Labor Party badge might just as well bear an image of Donald Duck.

    What I crave is for our best and brightest (which hopefully includes our Cassandra) to come out on the big issues (like economic policy) and give the leadership a serve.

  22. Mangrove Jack,

    You’re an old time blogger as I am, and that’s exactly right. Cassandra might be a very nice person, but where is the guts of it. Presenting a pretty picture, well thank you very much ladies but what I want is someone that I know will stand by me. I want universal health care, dental care. I want kids in public schools to get the equivalent of kids in private schools, give or take a tennis court or 2.

    I want for the elderly who aren’t the upper crust to receive dignity in their old age, I want equality for the less fortunate. The Labor party isn’t doing it for me, the Greens are upper class pie in the sky wafflers, and the Liberals are just going to shove more dollars into the pockets of their backers.

  23. Damn those renewables and tuff titties for NSW to be lagging so far behind. They should have maybe attended the renewables conference which I attended in the mid 80’s…

  24. Apologies, but this stuff is decades old and should have been pursued a couple of decades ago when we knew that things such as landfill was at crisis point.

  25. The ABC report was fair and balanced, gave everyone equal time, including the Greens MP.

    The ‘impression’ that the increasing power bill is the fault of the Watermelons… is hard to avoid. They of course say put up more renewables and reduce the burden, but this only makes the people angrier.

    To make matters worse, its the country people who will feel the brunt of this economic power surge.

    West of the Blueys I can safely predict Labor is doomed.

  26. el gordo, the problem with that story, it was revealed that when Labor wanted to sell, the value had dropped. This is not new information.

    As the PM said, their modelling had been found to be misleading in the past. The PM did not seem to fussed.

    One of the reasons is that these power stations have had no investment in the last few years, because of the the lack of action being taken on putting a price on carbon.

    One could have predicted today’s announcement. It is par for the course. What is surprising it has taken them so long.

    el gordo, why do you continue top give the impression that the PM bought in a price on carbon emission,

    It was clear from before the election, that the PM definitely intended to bring in a cost on carbon emission. Maybe not exactly the same scheme or as quickly, but it was an election promise.

    While 10 was running with this story, ABC24 was saying what a successful day the PM has had with bringing together business, the states and herself to deal with red tape.

  27. Oh I see. It was the State Labor party that was at fault when they were in power in NSW, and all of NSW was reminded of it by having it hammered throughout the media day and night everytime electricity went up.

    O’Farrell intimates that electricity would be cheaper under him and he wins in a landslide and it goes up despite his veiled promises. And hnow it’s green energy to blame.

    Friggin Libs. Just as Howard did nearly every waking day and was mostly allowed to get away with it, the Statre Libs are blaming everyone and everything but themselves for all their failures and broken promises, yet they have had no problems in immediatly taking the kudos and credit for previous successful State and Federal Labor programs and policies. Another trait of Howards, taking credit for things he had nothing to do with.

    Now I have just heard that not a fortnight in power and the Queensland deputy premier has told UNESCO and other agencies to bud out of State matters and he will rezone heritage areas to allow for industrial expansion, and he was talking about the barrier reef.

    So in a few years time Queenslanders will wake up to an industrial wasteland of greenhouse warming, a reef that is being destroyed and massive developements across the little remaining pristing land and of course Labor and everyone else will be blamed.

  28. ‘It was clear from before the election, that the PM definitely intended to bring in a cost on carbon emission.’

    The electorate just assumed she was paying lip service to the Greens, but after the election she had to stitch up a deal with the devil to stay in power.

    Julia should have said to Bob we can introduce a whole lot of reforms but not a carbon tax at this juncture.

    ‘One of the reasons is that these power stations have had no investment in the last few years,’….

    Yes, of course, but the people will still blame Labor, because a majority already think that increasing CO2 is unlikely to cause global warming catastrophe.

  29. Möbius, plus the tourism industry employs over 20 times the number of people as does the mining industry..but hey let’s just destroy the whole thing to put more dollars into the pockets of the mega miners.

  30. El gordo, who cares. Either we start to care for our environment or we just continue with the same old rip and burn.

  31. So who does el gordo believe, and also I note getting facts wrong again in a gross generalisation?

    70% of the skeptics have fewer than 10 published works that mentions of climate and 60% have fewer than five. At the top of the rankings, there are 25 skeptics who have more than the overall median of 56 works mentioning ‘climate’, and just 12 above the IPCC median of 93.

    In the overall list, there are 908 names with 56 or more works mentioning climate, and 593 names with at least 93 works. In this light, self-declared skeptics make up only 2.75% of the first group, or 2.03% of the second.

    Of course the less than 3% and worse still actually quotes and believes in statements made by opionators and commentators who have nothign whatsoever to do with climate science.

    So 97.25% of climate and related scientists are wrong and opionators and right wing commentators are right, and the only thing they need to be credible is to say global warming is bunkum. Facts and science be damned.

  32. el gordo, this is one Labor voter that would have switched to the Greens, if I believe that the PM was abandoning action on carbon emission.

    I did not support a carbon tax and was aware of the difference.

    How can you say:-

    “The electorate just assumed she was paying lip service to the Greens, but after the election she had to stitch up a deal with the devil to stay in power”

    .To say as you do, is pure stupid. You are seeing what you want to see,

    The PM said she did not support a carbon tax. Neither do I. She said that she would be dealing with the CC issues with a price on carbon emissions.

    The electorate did not have the right to assume anything, when the statement was clear.

  33. Wasn’t it Julia and Swanny who convinced Kevin to give up the ETS because it was political dynamite?

    If Labor had won a modest victory in their own right, Julia could have talked to the people about her plans and we would have given her a fair hearing.

    As it stands now she is on a hiding to nuthin’….

  34. G’day…. What I find interesting is that when talk here in the Cafe has a basic political slant El Gordo pops up with something on CC… but when the convo leans to CC she then says things like:-“That’s all very well Mobius, but how do we save the party from oblivion?” …..mm, interesting !!!

  35. ‘..but when the convo leans to CC …’

    No, I’m only interested in the science, Mobius is talking about political science.

  36. ‘So 97.25% of climate and related scientists are wrong’…if they believe in CAGW.

    There, fixed it.

  37. Why is it that I never trust Tony Abbott..

    IN A rare act of bipartisanship, Tony Abbott today will offer to become jointly responsible for the government’s ambitious plan for a national disability insurance scheme.

    Ok, sounds good, but then we have Hockey quibbling over where the money is going to come from…which sounds to be a potential “out” to me.


  38. And the fact that as usual, Liealot has come to the party well after the horse has bolted and taken the stable door with it.

    It’ll just be another excuse to bash the government because poor widdle Tony either couldn’t find the stable door or was flattened when the horse took off. Oh, I forgot, he wouldn’t have the nous to google the address of the stable.

  39. I can see why people would want to liven up and maybe even widen the sphere of political debate and discussion in this country, but introducing US style ANYTHING to do with politics is a bad bad bad idea, lol.

    OK, that is probably an overreaction, there are some US practices that are not too bad, but adding yet another layer to the tortured pre-selection processes probably isn’t it.

    Things already seem very political and if what I hear from people who can be bothered joining up is right, candidate selection in some places is already a bitter affair.

    The ALP probably neds to focus on getting some new members who aren’t to the right of Attila the Hun when it comes to what they want from the political process, but of course that’s the problem everywhere.

    Young people are not joining older institutions in record numbers, and as long as we bemoan that and insist on enforcing old notions and not engaging with them, that trend looks set to continue. All the deckchair adjusting in the world won’t change that.

  40. FWIW, I don’t altogether agree with the Tim Minchin quote used on the candidate’s pic, either. There are lots of reasons products are not tested and ‘scientifically’ proven as having medicinal value. One is simple costs. Big pharmaceutical companies can afford to have their products tested and small firms, or even individuals, can’t. That’s one reason some things which are effective don’t have the magical gov’t seal of approval on them and are labelled ‘alternative’ even when proprietory, branded pharmaceuticals are derived from them.

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