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Aug 26, 2013

Minor party alliance in meltdown

Don Chipp once said the Senate was there to ''keep the bastards honest''. I think it is a little simpler this time; we just need to know which bastard their bastard is passing your vote to." – Dale Stiller
One of the forces in the 2013 is the Minor Party Alliance, a significant grouping of small and micro-parties doing preference deals with the aim of getting a candidate from one of them across the line in the senate.  Unfortunately, its effectiveness has been reduced by the hubris and possibly vindictiveness of its organizer, Glen Druery who would otherwise have done a great job.
Now there appears to be major cracks appearing in the organization owing to the contention of the leader of the Australian Independents Party that they were screwed over and that others received the same treatment.  Police have been called in after alleged threats from Druery: 
INFIGHTING among minor parties has come to a head with election consultant Glenn Druery accused of a double-cross over preference deals intended to deny the Greens the balance of power in the Senate. 
Queensland candidate and leader of the Australian Independents Party Patricia Petersen said she had called police alleging Mr Druery had threatened her over the phone. Mr Druery is the brains behind a "minor party alliance" involving up to 35 groups on Senate tickets. 
He is alleged to have helped the Senate aspirations of the Shooters and Fishers Party, Fishing and Lifestyle Party and Family First. All are expected to fall well short of 14.3 per cent vote quotas needed for Senate spots. 
Mr Druery confirmed to The Weekend Australian that he was acting as a paid consultant but declined to name clients among the minor party alliance. "I don't think it's fair to identify clients," he said. … 
… Asked about Ms Petersen's allegation he had threatened her, Mr Druery said: "I don't do that.” 
Ms Petersen said she went to police this week after receiving a "threatening message" from Mr Druery when a preferences deal they had fell through. She said she had struck deals with the Fishers and Shooters, Fishing and Lifestyle and Family First parties, all of whom she claimed had paid Mr Druery to organise their preferences. 
When Ms Petersen found out about the botched deal, she sent a scathing email to minor party alliance members, alleging three parties, including hers, had been "completely screwed over" by Mr Druery. The election consultant is then alleged to have fought back, leaving a voicemail on Ms Petersen's mobile phone telling her to "cease (allegations) immediately" or "you won't see the f..king sunshine". … 
… Family First's Mr Fenn said he had not paid Mr Druery for preference negotiations but "perhaps for other things -- I don't want to go into it"
Yep, Mr Fenn, you probably wouldn’t want that in the public domain.
Druery is a disgruntled former Liberal Democrats candidate who just missed out on a senate spot in New South Wales during the 2010 election.  Subsequent to that he attempted to do a deal with the Shooters who demanded the right to veto members of our Federal Executive, something no party would stand for.  He resigned from the party when this was rejected.
As result of his animosity the Liberal Democrats were not allowed to participate in the minor parties alliance despite a healthy 2.25% vote in Queensland and NSW in 2010, thus denying the other parties in it a chance to throw their weight behind us with the potential to harness a solid preference deal if they came out ahead of us. 
We were invited in on the last day of dealing but by that time had our deals in place.
We look on with interest and no small amount of amusement.

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