My actual final speech

Due to the way the government wanted to order Senate business in the final week, the formal Valedictory speeches of departing Senators were not actually the last speech for many of us. Below is the text of what was my actual final speech (and the final words spoken by a Democrat in the Senate).  I…

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My final speech

I’m giving my final Valedictory speech in the Senate this coming Wednesday evening, around 6pm. News Radio should be broadcasting the Senate at that time, or you can listen in online through www.aph.gov.au.  There’s another story in today’s SMH exploring where the Democrats went wrong. I might write some stuff here on that topic later,…

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Sid Spindler dies

News has come through today that former Victorian Democrat Senator, Sid Spindler, a key figure in the founding of the Democrats back in 1977, has died after a fairly long battle with cancer. Sid was 75. He was born in Poland, experiencing the horrors of Nazi occupation and World War II. He came to Australia as…

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Acknowledgement

Election days always start early and finish late, especially if you’re a candidate. Visiting lots of booths and talking to campaign helpers throughout the day, followed by gathering together at night to watch the results come in and thanking people collectively for all their hard work. When it’s a bad result for people, it can…

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30 years of Democrats

The Democrats had a function in Melbourne on Friday night to mark the 30th anniversary of the party. Apart from the usual interest in catching up with people one hasn’t seen for a while, there was some interesting old video footage of Don Chipp and others from the 70s and early 80s. It was good…

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Victorian election

As we move towards next year’s federal election, my focus is drawing to Queensland more and more – one of a number of reasons why this weekend’s Victorian election hasn’t been impacting on my consciousness much. However, whatever the result, one thing that is absolutely certain is that it will result in a far more…

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Why won’t you whither away?

Following on from my piece on Natasha Stott Despoja’s decision not to recontest her Senate seat – I have written an article for Online Opinion with some extra thoughts on the issue and what it may mean for the Democrats. You can read it by clicking here (and you can leave comments over there too)…

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Gather the folks, break the bread, tell the stories – the Don Chipp funeral

The cavernous interior of St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of Melbourne was filled to capacity. Former Prime Ministers and Governors-General, military brass, diplomatic corps, other past and present political luminaries, past and present Democrat Senators, past and present Democrat members, including some from the old Australia Party days that preceded the Democrats, along with…

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Democrat conference finishes

Democrats conferences are for debate and planning, and do not have any formal decision making authority. There were some quite interesting sessions to our weekend conference, which should give ideas and energy for those present to campaign on these issues in the wider community. Please like & share:

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Another Democrat weekend

I’m in the nicely cool and AFL infused city of Melbourne this weekend. This is also where the Democrats’ National Conference is being held, so I won’t be free to wander around in the cool or go to the footy. Nor am I likely to have much opportunity to add new comments or posts to…

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A Democrat Weekend

The Democrats have a meeting of their National Executive in Brisbane this weekend. I’m a member of that body so I’ll be occupied in that for most of the weekend – (apart from ducking out for a protest against live exports on the Saturday morning and attending a function at a local mosque that evening)….

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Greens white-out Democrats

After weeks of farewelling departing staff and Senators, July has arrived and official Government control of the Senate has arrived along with it. The loss of balance of power responsibilities will free up a lot of my time to focus on the issues I want to, although with such a wafer-thin majority for the Coalition,…

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The saddest week

I said in my previous post that the last sitting day would probably be a long one and it was – we started at 9.30am in the morning and worked through until about 1.30am on Friday morning debating the Migration Amendment Bill, Superannuation Legislation, Tax Laws and various other pieces of legislation as well as…

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Democrats’ National Conference

I’ve just finished attending the Democrats’ National Conference in Canberra. It was a great chance to meet lots of members I haven’t seen for a while and reaffirm the key values and crucial role of the political party I am in. The theme of the conference was safeguarding democracy and human rights, which is a…

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Voting for Fun

There was a few days worth of mail in my postal box when I checked it this morning, including the latest copy of the National Journal which all members of the Australian Democrats get. It contains a ballot to elect our next National Executive, which happens annually. It gave me a strong flashback to when…

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