By Peter Boyle
MELBOURNE — One hundred and eighty-two independents had nominated for the October 3 Victorian elections when nominations closed on September 4. This is not surprising: the last Saulwick Age Poll (September 1 and 2) showed that 25% of the voting public would not vote for the major parties.
A number of smaller parties have also entered the fray. These include the Geelong Community Alliance (five candidates), Australian Democrats (four candidates), Democratic Socialists (two candidates registered as independents) and Green Alliance (one candidate).
On the right, Call To Australia is fielding three candidates, Citizen Initiated Referenda (a League of Rights front) four and the Democratic Labor Party a dramatic 22 candidates, all in the upper house.
Then there is a strange new formation called the Natural Law Party fielding an unknown number of candidates registered as independents. The group, which appeared only two weeks ago with a well-equipped office in the eastern suburb of Hawthorn, is fielding candidates who are mostly professionals or company executives.
They claim to be inspired by Transcendental Meditation and have placed half-page advertisements promising jobs and law and order, with little indication of how they plan to achieve this. All they will say is that they will seek to implement "natural law" because everyone knows that what is natural is best!
The progressive Independent Action group will campaign for a wide range of candidates who support its five principles: defend and extend the public sector, defend union rights, job creation, a safe and clean environment and a guaranteed minimum income for farmers, workers and welfare recipients. It has organised a public meeting on September 16 to discuss these issues and the importance of voting for left independents in the election.