The candidates for the July 21 by-election for the lower house seat of Melbourne (in order of ballot preference) are:
1. Berhan Ahmed (independent); 2. Ashley Fenn (Family First); 3. Gerrit Schorel-Hlavka (MAY JUSTICE ALWAYS PREVAIL); 4. David Nolte (self-described, centre-right, small ‘l’ liberal independent); 5. John Perkins (Secular Party of Australia); 6. Jennifer Kanis (Australian Labor Party); 7. David Collyer (Democrats); 8. Patrick O’Connor (Socialist Equality Party); 9. Michael Murphy (Democratic Labor Party); 10. Joseph Toscano (Anarchist Media Institute et al); 11. Stephen Mayne (independent); 12. Kate Borland (independent); 13. Adrian Whitehead (independent); 14. Fiona Patten (Sex Party); 15. Cathy Oke (Australian Greens); and 16. Maria Bengtsson (Australian Christians).
Of the independents, Ahmed is a (former) Greens member; Schorel-Hlavka is a man willing to think outside of the box; Stephen Maybe is a well-known Man About Town; Kate Borland is standing in order to draw attention to the parlous state of public housing (NB. Labor candidate and law-talking girl Jennifer Kanis sits on the Board of Housing Choices Australia); while Adrian Whitehead is a former Greens candidate (for the Federal seats of Chisholm in 1996 and Corangamite in 1998) and Maria Bengtsson is a Pastor at City West Church.
Christians and Communists, Sexyists and Secularists.
For the record, pundits agree that the winning candidate is almost certainly going to be either Green or Red.* That said… Uncle Joe and Fiona ‘Sex’ Patten last went head-to-head in the Higgins by-election in 2009. On that occasion, Fiona came out on top, with 2,144 votes (3.21%) while Joe managed 523 (0.78%). Also having a crack at the seat of Higgins in ’09 was David Collyer. He managed to squeeze in-between Joe and Fiona with 1,531 votes (1.29%). In the Victorian state election of 2010 in the Northern Metropolitan Region (Upper House), Patten also managed to come ahead of independent Stephen Mayne, snatching 14,163 votes (3.59%) ahead of Mayne’s 3,809 (0.97%), while Adrian Whitehead had to content himself with a mere 348 (0.09%).
Who’ll come first this time, I wonder?
We don’t need a landlord
For the houses are ours
We don’t need a factory owner
The factories are ours
Out of the way, capitalist
The last battle we will win
Throw away your gun police
The red front and black front are here
We do not need a strong man
For we ourselves are strong enough
We ourselves know what to do
Our head is large enough
Our fight means peace
And we are fighting your war
Each battle that we lose
Means our next victory
* NB. Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) in Egypt was a member of the Socialist (Second) International (SI) — alongside the New Zealand Labour Party, the Australian Labor Party and the British Labour Party — from 1989 until its expulsion in January 2011 [PDF], after the mass demonstrations emerged that brought down Mubarak (but not the NDP).