There is a growing tide running against the major parties in this federal election, helped by five Labor and Liberal candidates who have resigned or been forced out, including now former Labor Senator Nova Peris in the Northern Territory.
In the seat of Whitlam (formerly Throsby) in the Illawarra, this tide has become painfully clear. Carolyn Currie, the Liberal candidate for the safe Labor seat, quit during an interview on ABC Local Radio Illawarra.
Currie admitted she was not up to the demands of the campaign trail. “It is an area that needs a remarkable person who can drive vast distances up a number of inclines,” she said.
But she also said she felt the party had let her down, and that she received little, if any, support.
She said resources promised by the Liberal Party to help her contest the seat were never delivered. She made the extraordinary claim that local party branches had even threatened to campaign against her.
In a scathing parting shot at her own party, she said: “It needs a very, very strong person who can unite a number of people to preserve it, possibly an independent, possibly a Green, but somebody with enough leverage in what looks like being a very divided government on a knife edge to be able to instrumentalise the best outcome for this area.”
People are clearly turning away from major establishment parties and the key message, beyond the hilariously tragic comments of Currie's comments, is unity. A united front against injustice is needed and the people of Australia are waking up to this at last.
The youth support for socialist candidates Bernie Sanders in the US and Jeremy Corbyn in Britain are signs of resistance — resistance to division created by governments and attacks from the right.
The left must run with this and make the most of it if we are to have any kind of sustainable future. Campaigns, such as the one the Socialist Alliance is running with Ken Canning, sends a message that gets louder with every rally and demonstration. We need a people's movement. Currie's comments just reflect how much we need one.