Election time

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It is election time in Australia. Thank goodness our campaigns aren't anywhere near as long as the American ones. I'm already sick of seeing glamed up photos of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott's grin.

The Greens recently nominated their candidates for the electorate that I'm in, Lingiari. For the House of Representatives they've nominated Barbara Shaw and for the Senate, Warren H Williams. Both are Aboriginal. Both will be campaigning against the Federal Intervention (and suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act)and the Uranium mine.

Country Liberals are also running an Aboriginal candidate for the House of Representatives, Leo Abbott. Labor have held this seat since it was created in 2001, with Warren Snowdon in the Senate. Lingiari was named after Vincent Lingiari, a Gurindji man, who lead the Wave Hill walk off in 1966 after the station owner refused to pay Lingiari and his co workers wages. The strike started over wages but quickly lead to the Gurindji demanding their land back. The start of the Land Rights Movement. The strike lasted seven years, but ended with the return of Wave Hill Station to the Gurindji.

You may not know that Australia has only ever had two indigenous people elected to Federal Parliament in over 100 years.

In Tuesday's Centralian Advocate there was a letter to the editor complaining about the nominations and decrying that Aboriginal candidates will only be interested in Aboriginal issues and won't be truly representative of the rest of the people. Um, what about all the white parliamentarians? Do they truly represent Aboriginal people? If you think that a white candidate can represent Aboriginal people, then an Aboriginal candidate can represent white people as well. It's about time Aboriginal people held seats in Federal Parliament.

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