This morning youngest came in to tell me that one of our friends had decided to run for the senate for NSW. This led us to check all the candidate lists. I then discovered that Bryan Pape was running.
No doubt I should have known this, but it had escaped my attention.
Bryan doesn't have a snow flakes chance in hell of getting up. He is running as a single person, so to vote for him you have to vote below the line. Then, clearly, he does not have a lot of organisational backing. All this said, he is worth considering for a first preference vote.
Bryan is a strong new New England new stater and lawyer who has been campaigning for constitutional reform for some time. Central to his argument is that our constitution has become distorted by the imbalance in financial powers. As Professor Geoffrey Sawer once said: “those who spend, don’t have to justify the taxation and those who tax don’t have to justify the spending”. Bryan wants this clarified.
In recent times, Bryan is best known for bringing a case to the High Court challenging the Rudd Government's stimulus payments. He was not opposed to the stimulus payments as such, rather to the way in which it was being done. He lost the case, but the High Court did put something of a warning shot across the bows of the Commonwealth on the assumption that it could spend money however it liked.
As I said, Bryan can't win. Further, voting below the line is a pain for many because it involves numbering all the squares. Still, a vote for him remains worth considering.