Peter Andren withdrawal from Senate contest

The announcement by Peter Andren that health reasons had led him to withdraw from the NSW Senate contest is one of those ‘what if’ situations, where the potential future of Australia may just have altered quite significantly.

Andren is fighting cancer, which is obviously a tragic situation for him, and it is understandable he has stepped back so he can focus totally on beating it. But it also means a future Senate will be different from what it may have been. I think Andren had a good chance of winning a Senate seat, as he would have been likely to receive a good flow of preferences from across the spectrum. I was actually quite looking forward to the prospect of working with him in the Senate, should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected, as he has shown himself to take a genuinely independent, thinking position on many issues, which is what is really needed in the Senate – and which unfortunately is much rarer than I would like.

Given the fact that the Senate is likely to be finely balanced after the election, a single person such as Andren could well have been in a pivotal position, as Brian Harradine had been in the past. The position he may have taken on particular legislation could well have been pivotal in determining what became law and what didn’t. One can never tell what might have been, but it is none the less worth noting that Australia’s future may well now be different in some substantial ways as result of Peter Andren’s unfortunate illness. Such can be the significance of how people vote in the Senate, and who they decide to elect.

My best wishes to Peter Andren with his current battle.

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  1. Watching him on telly he has always seemed to understand what it was he was asking in a given question.
    There seems to be a lot of deadwood in parliament. Not one Coalition or ALP person could bring themselves to seriously question the obnoxious indigenous legislation last week, for example.
    Yet, it is Andren who is “leaving”.
    Do the Gods mock humanity?

  2. Paul Walter:
    I’ll Second your motion ….

    All those in favour, say “Aye”. ….

    Peter Andren has been a shining exception to the common contemptuous view of parliamentarians as deadwood and rubber-stamps.

    Let’s hope that he is cured or at least goes into long-term comfortable remission.

    Now that he has announced that he is leaving the Parliament …. wouldn’t it be nice if Education Departments throughout Australia fitted his story into the schools curriculum to inspire young people and to give them some faith in the Parliament.

  3. i had some correspondence with mr andren, and formed the view he was probably a better person than the oz electorate deserved.

    if the great majority of parliamentarians are party hacks, that accurately reflects the education and character of the oz people. you can’t have democracy without citizens, subjects and footy fans are not good enough.

  4. He has a reputation for integrity most in his profession would envy. It’s very sad to hear of his illness … may he find peace and comfort.

  5. He would have greatly contributed to the Senate as a house of review. A real shame. He may not have been with the Democrats, but he certainly looked and sounded like one.

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