The local franchise of the LaRouche cult — aka the Citizens’ Electoral Council — is fielding a vast number of losing candidates this Federal Election: 2 in the ACT, 27 in NSW, 3 in the NT, 16 in Queensland, 2 in SA, 7 in Tasmania, 24 in Victoria and 15 in WA; a total of 96 candidates. Outside of various independent candidates, their chief competitors for last place in a number of these electorates will be the Socialist Alliance. Thus in Corio, Ross Russell (CEC) will battle it out with Chris Johnson (SA); in Gellibrand, Rodney Doel (CEC) will fight Ben Courtice (SA); and in Wills, Craig William Isherwood (CEC) is pitted against Zane Alcorn (SA).
But who are the CEC anyway? Well, despite trying, they’re not very popular — at least not when it comes to popularity contests. In the 2004 Federal Election, for example, of 11,953,649 formal votes cast for the Senate, the CEC received just 24,663, or 0.21%. Still, this is an improvement on the SA, which received a measly 13,305 or 0.11%. (The very least popular mob was the Nuclear Disarmament Party of Australia, which received 2,163 votes, or 0.02%). The CEC also have a knack of generating both opposition and bizarre publicity, such as the following:
Painting a strange political picture
November 8, 2007
A PARTY contesting the federal election believes a painting hanging in the National Gallery is undermining our collective ability to think straight. The Citizens Electoral Council, with a 16-strong team in Queensland, endorses a pamphlet called Children of Satan III: The Sexual Congress For Cultural Fascism. The pamphlet alleges the “Congress for Cultural Freedom” was a CIA-backed group [it was] which sponsored modern art to undermine “the population’s ability to think”. “One notorious example of this cultural warfare was the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom’s support for the psychotic Blue Poles painting in the National Gallery of Australia by Jackson Pollock,” it says. The CEC is one of a host of fringe parties which has appeared in the past century. We’ve had the Communist Party, The Non-Communist Party, Christians and Confederates, Shooters and a “Deadly Serious” party. Before Family First, there was Family Action; before the Nationals there was Farmers and Settlers. The most intriguing party which emerged a few years ago was the Vote Informal … Today – Direct Democracy Tomorrow Party.
Anyway, LaRouche himself is a complete crackpot, natch, and a fairly humourless one at that. Neither of these qualities has prevented him from accruing thousands of followers however, especially in the US. In Australia, the CEC was originally established in the late 1980s by elements of the far right belonging to professional anti-Semite Eric Butler‘s Australian League of Rights (ALOR), control of which Lyndon’s followers successfully wrested from the creepy Butler’s hands in 1996. Incidentally, the League has recently been in the news courtesy of soon-to-be-ex PM John HoWARd’s mate Pastor Danny Nalliah, the Good Christian Soldier having enjoyed the company of the League at a speaking engagement a few years ago. (In a classic one-liner, HoWARd ‘condemned the League of Rights as “a bit anti-Semitic”‘ — kinda like Eric Butler is “a bit dead” I guess.)
And speaking of dead guys…
Publish and Perish : The mysterious death of Lyndon LaRouche’s printer
For forty years, the Lyndon LaRouche movement has been a ubiquitous, if diminishing, presence in the political landscape of America, and of Washington. LaRouche has made eight runs for the presidency, including one campaign from prison. At D.C. press conferences and think tank events, a reporter for a LaRouche publication called Executive Intelligence Review can often be heard asking strange questions about the grain cartel. Young, malnourished LaRouche acolytes frequently stop Hill staffers on their way home from work and hand them pamphlets with titillating titles like “Children of Satan” or “The Gore of Babylon.” A peek inside offers details on LaRouche’s many enemies, such as the “Conrad Black–backed McCain–Lieberman–Donna Brazile cabal.”