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!

Senator Harradine a Worthy but Deluded Opponent: Eros

HarradinePortrait

The Eros Association today paid tribute to the man they locked horns with more times than they cared to remember. Eros CEO Fiona Patten said that he was a formidable political opponent, driven by his religious convictions and a cultural mindset stuck in the 1950s. “From the late 1980s onward, he used his balance of power in the Senate to try and roll back the supernova of eroticism that was exploding all around him”, she said. “He knew how to work a government like nobody else and was always one step ahead of them in his efforts to ban pornography. But he did not understand that the technological revolution of the 1990s was the beginning of a new way of life and that pornography was an integral part of that life. He thought if you can control the brown paper bags, you could control what was in them.”

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Corbell’s Crackdown on Drugs Misses the Mark: Sex Party

ACT banmull

ACT Attorney General, Simon Corbell has sided with the old style prohibitionists by introducing new drug laws in the ACT Parliament today. Australian Sex Party President, Fiona Patten, said the laws will continue to fail and will be rejected by Canberrans’ progressive attitudes.

She said marijuana and heroin had been banned for almost 100 years in Australia but were never more popular than now. ‘It is disappointing to see a Gen X Attorney General, supporting the same tired old prohibitionist policies that ignorant politicians used to ban alcohol as far back as the 1920s’, she said. ‘We support his moves to reduce the numbers of young people going to jail for personal possession of drugs but it is disingenuous in the extreme to try and separate out different ends of the recreational drug market and makes saints out of one end and sinners of the other. Reducing the harm done to people and society by recreational drug use requires a holistic approach based in the health portfolio - not in the criminal justice one.’

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