Radical candidate to shake up Vic elections

November 5, 2010
Mitch Cherry, a 'shoe-in'. Photo by Ali Bakhtiavandi.

Resistance’s Ben Peterson spoke to Mitch Cherry, a member of the Geelong Resistance branch and the Socialist Alliance candidate for Bellarine in the November 27 Victorian state election.

Why are you running in the election? What does it mean to be a youth candidate?

I'm running because both major parties continue to ignore young people and the issues they face. It’s important that young people are given space to speak for themselves. As a young candidate, I can highlight the issues facing young people and provide a genuine youth voice.

What are the major issues affecting young people in Geelong?

The biggest issue facing Bellarine, and the rest of the world, is climate change. We need a plan to shift to a zero-emissions society so we can secure a safe climate.

Public transport is another big issue, right across Victoria. In Geelong, we have privately run buses — the services are horrible. By investing in a publicly-owned and expanded public transport network, we could run a more effective transport system and also cut our carbon emissions.

We desperately need to get more people out of their cars and onto public transport.

Housing is another big issue. The state Labor government is selling off public housing, but we should be investing in improving and expanding public housing so people are not left to live on the street.

What’s the state of services for young people and the community in Victoria?

The standard of services in Victoria is totally unacceptable. The former Kennett Liberal government went on a privatisation rampage, which hasn’t stopped under Labor. So-called “public services” are now all about profit margins and not about the needs of people.

The most effective way to improve services, not just for young people but for everybody, is to put the services back in public hands. When services are run to accommodate people’s needs and not to make a profit, everybody is able to benefit.

You’re in a band and recently did some open-air gigs. How do you see the relationship between music and politics?

Music and politics share a very close relationship. Music is a great way of connecting with people, and provides a real opportunity to talk about politics. Music and culture more generally can help change people’s attitudes. The lists of bands that have sung about injustice and social issues is endless.

It was actually through music that I first got interested in politics and later, at a NOFX concert, that I first joined Resistance.

What do you think of the role of the Greens in this election? What’s the possibility that the Greens would support a Liberal government?

The Greens have a very important role to play. People see the Greens as the progressive party in Australian politics, and we are seeing a swing in that direction.

I would hope the Greens don’t support a Liberal government. While the Labor Party has shown time and again it is not a party of the ordinary working people, the Liberals are even worse.

What does the Socialist Alliance and Resistance hope to get out of the election campaign?

We really want to show that there is an alternative to the business-as-usual politics of the major parties, that there are people who are willing to fight for a brighter alternative.

Through taking part in the elections, explaining our vision for that alternative and the practical, realistic policies we have to achieve it, we hope to inspire more people to get involved in the struggle for a better world.

Is it fair to say as a dreadlocked, pierced, young socialist you’re probably an underdog in the election?

Nah, I’m a shoo-in!


i read the whole ideas , come from his mind , i thing at every place young and energetic person participate in election so they contribute their own and new terminologies to hight up the country economy, now only young one can change the political environment and kick out the old and crypt politics

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.