Yesterday I was in Perth and was waiting for my husband to pick me up after an appointment. I looked across the road from where I was waiting and realised it was the Electorate Office for Greens’ Member of Parliament, Robin Chapple. This brought back some memories for me…
We had been interstate on holidays (vacation :-)) and had a stopover in Perth before returning home to the Newman in the Pilbara. It was only a few weeks out from the State Election. I picked up a copy The West Australian newspaper. It was all doom and gloom about four seats that were at risk of being lost and, if that happened, there would be a change in Government.
When I saw that Northern Rivers Electorate, where we lived, was one that was predicted to be lost, I felt I had to do something about it. My husband at the time, and I were already very involved with the local political parties. I suggested to him that I could run for the seat to help defeat the opposition. He was supportive of the idea.
When we got home I discovered several messages on my phone (we didn’t have mobiles at the time). It was Robin Chapple, from the Greens Party. He was planning to run for the Greens for the Upper House and suggested I run for the Lower House. With our preferential voting system, if I didn’t win the seat, I could choose where to direct the votes that I received. I would be able to support the current local Member of Parliament to retain his seat against the Opposition. It was one of those times when everything seems to fall into place.
I said to Robin that I could only stand for the Greens if I was comfortable with what their policies were. He was able to give up a comprehensive run down of what they believed and hoped to do. It aligned closely with my values and ideas so I agreed to give it a go! The local paper described me as a respected Shire Councillor and community worker :-). I only had a short time to campaign for votes and had a great time of it. I even went as far as kissing babies on election day.
It was an exciting time and a lot of hard work. I don’t regret what I did, but if you asked me to do the same thing today, I would just laugh and say “No way! You must be kidding !”
And the result: our local member retained his seat in parliament but we lost government. Robin Chapple didn’t win his seat but he persevered and eventually was successful – which brings me back to the beginning of this blog!