A week on the campaign trail – thoughts and observations.

I’m still getting used to seeingmy mug on flyers and handing them out to people.  Smile nicely...hand out flyer...pause...“Hey, that’s you!”  People do seem to love meeting the candidate in the flesh (well, clothed flesh anyway!)

I didn’t really know what to expect when I held my hand up for this gig, but I have to say, whilst it’s hard yakka, it is great fun and I’ve found myself getting more and more into it as the campaign has progressed.

My first observation has to be a huge THANK YOU to all our Sex Party members and volunteers who have been out pounding the pavements (and pubs) with Huw and I.  When we get a group of the yellow-shirts together, we certainly make a vibrant splash in this city.  My two yellow t-shirts are without doubt the gaudiest items in my wardrobe, but they do their job magnificently.  It is about getting noticed and getting our issues out there after all.

And massive thanks as well to our interstate gang who have been both helping online from Canberra and Melbourne and arriving here in Sydney to help on the ground.

The last week (and a bit) has seen “flash mobs” and “flash pairs” down the streets of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Potts Point and Woolloomooloo, three pub crawls (all part of the hard yakka previously mentioned), the Equal Love rally, our great campaign launch last Thursday at the Beauchamp Hotel, and numerous media interviews and photo shoots.  And all the media coverage has been really positive.  Lots of articles on the web now, and two videos from the launch. 
• Check out the videos here: Campaign Launch and Joe Hildebrand sex tape
I see the news has even made WA, so no doubt some of my former police bosses are cussing loudly.  O well, such is life!

It has only been a couple of weeks in total, but I do love the reaction of people to an ex-Detective Sergeant running for, and being a member of, the Sex Party.  O boy, do the right wing and the establishment have a problem comprehending this one!  The simple fact is that it is precisely all my law enforcement and anti-corruption years have made me the die-hard civil libertarian that I am, but this is unfathomable to some.  All the more enjoyable, therefore, to be out there fighting for our issues.

With all the work we’ve done in the streets and pubs in the last week or so, handing out heaps of flyers and talking to a vast range of people, I have to say the reaction has been fantastic.  And I’ve had some wonderful conversations with people out there in the electorate, and learnt so much more about some of the local issues.  So many people out there really do support our civil libertarian stance, and are seriously perturbed by the right wing prospect that faces NSW after next Saturday.

I joined and started working with the Sex Party about a month before the Federal election last year, so about 9 months now.  Over that time the increased awareness of us a serious political party and the lessening of what I call the “giggle factor” is truly tangible.  Whilst I’ve still encountered the occasional snigger on our rounds, the overwhelming reaction is one of genuine interest and, importantly, a concentrated read of our policy platform on the back of the flyers.  We are absolutely getting known out there and this bodes so well for the future.  Sure, some people will always look at the Sex Party name and not want to read any further, but then they are the people who would be unlikely to ever consider our policies, no matter what we are called.  For all those Australians who are prepared to look at alternative positions, and who care about their freedoms, we are truly emerging as a viable electoral option.

So, the big day is now only 4 sleeps away.  Letterbox drops are rapidly covering the electorate and we will have some more street pounding to do.  Then, on Saturday, we need every possible yellow-shirt on the polling booths in Sydney.  We have about 20 to cover for the whole day.  Our experience has shown that our vote is dramatically improved on booths where we have a smiling yellow-shirt handing out how-to-vote cards.
Check out our video on being a polling booth volunteer

So PLEASE, PLEASE come and join us for the big final push on Saturday.  And the after party will, of course, be awesome.  I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Thank you again to everyone, and GO SEX PARTY!

War On The Salvos!

MoralCompas

The Salvation Army have quietly been chipping away at social reforms over the years and although they appear to do good charitable work in the community, today’s media release by Aletha Blayse puts another view forward on this. As John Howard’s advisor on illicit drug regulation the Salvos’ Major Brian Watters put the case for drug law reform back a hundred years. Tell the Salvos to stop interfering in Australia’s moral compass and get on with feeding the poor. Join the demonstration in Sydney.

White Shield Appeal Campaign
Protest Against Salvation Army

Sydney, 17th-31st July, 140 Elizabeth Street, Sydney (Salvation Army Headquarters)

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Sex Party calls for action not promises on HIV and the law

Justice

The Sex Party has called on the Victorian Health Minister to reconsider his announcement and repeal Section 19A of the Crimes Act that makes it an offence to intentionally cause a serious disease (with HIV exclusively defined as a serious disease).

Party president Fiona Patten said that the section of the Act in question was introduced exclusively to address a fear of HIV infection 21 years ago. “To remove the stigma of this discriminatory and ineffective regulation it must be removed in its entirety”, she said. “UN AIDS has stated that criminalisation of HIV does not lead to positive outcomes for the community and adversely affects people living with and without HIV.

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