News has come through that Jack Evans, a pivotal person in the founding and development of the Australian Democrats, has died at the age of 80.
I’ve previously written about other former Democrats when they have passed away, namely Sid Spindler, and Don Chipp. Whilst its dangerous to single people out, Sid, Don and Jack were amongst the most crucial people in getting the Democrats established and functional. Certainly when it comes to Western Australia, there is no other person who played a more fundamental role during the life of the Democrats in that state, from the frantic early days, slowly building the party to a significant political force, in some very difficult days rebuilding the party in the west after some major infighting in the early 1990s – with the party ultimately reaching its strongest ever point in 1998 – and again in the even harder and ultimately unsuccessful period where the party was struggling for parliamentary and political survival.
I’ve written a detailed piece about Jack Evans’ contribution to the Democrats, spanning virtually the entire life of the party, at my blog at Crikey. This of course was only one part of his long and varied life, but it’s the only part I feel qualified to write about.