Political Shuffles

October 4th, 2008 · No Comments

Perhaps, it is only right to acknowledge the win of Jess Diaz as a councilor for Blacktown Council.  After three attempts, Diaz finally got a seat in Blacktown Council with a little push from the Liberal ticket and Congratulations are in order.  But as many as there were who were jubilant about his win, so were those who were appalled.  The loyalists chanted superlatives, the disgruntled murmured expletives and amusingly the swingers suddenly switched sides with absolutely no qualms.

The recent surge of Filipino interest in politics saw 12 Filipinos vie for Council seats in their respective areas in Sydney.  Of the 12 candidates, Ron Barcelo (Liverpool), Ariel Satorre (Fairfield) and Malyn Andres-Chun (Canterbury) were probable candidates.  Satorre and Barcelo got good results (Barcelo got 3rd and Satorre for 6th) but not enough to get them seated. 

What was obvious was that not all understood Australia’s voting system, especially the ‘preferential’ system where candidates may opt to give away their votes to some other candidate.  It makes you wonder why even bother to vote for a candidate when they’re going to give it away anyway.  It simply does not make sense. 

 I am totally apolitical, so pardon my shock and ignorance.  I used to front up at the polling booth simply because I had to.  I usually voted for the cleanest, most decent looking candidate.  The ones that looked like they just rolled out of the pub definitely did not get my vote! 

 We’ve also been inculcated with the idea that politicians are smarter and brighter than all of us.  Isn’t that why people dive for photo opportunities with them?  Well, surprise, surprise!!  It isn’t the case. 

With all the political hullabaloo, I decided to investigate, if only to satisfy my own curiosity.  I was absolute stunned to see how easy it is to enter the political arena.  Although the Councilors’ Handbook in the elections website stipulates a certain degree of requirements, it would seem that not all have the necessary experience, let alone the qualifications.  Some were simply off their rockers!

Where else would you get a job without any qualifications or experience?  Wow!  What’s that? – On the job training or work experience?  And to think, we must have all heard that painful line when we first arrived and out hunting for that first job, “Sorry, you don’t have enough experience. “ 

When Cr. George Bilic was asked during Fame’s “Meet the Candidate” forum why he chose, Venus Priest, as his number two running mate, he replied: “She approached me and said she was interested to run.”  So there you are.  For those, who have the slightest inclination or a big desire to run all you have to do is hang around and ask. 

What puzzled me most as I clicked through the candidates’ application forms on the internet is why Diaz would use an address that was not his.  Diaz resides in Toongabbie, works in Blacktown, but used a Dean Park address on his application for candidacy.  Maybe, he got too excited when he was filling in the form, he forgot his address; or maybe he’s moved to Dean Park to be able to qualify for council elections.  Oh, well, he’s in and for those who were dismayed, it’ll be a wait and see. 

Somebody said that a win for Diaz is a win for the Filipino people.  So I wonder what his win would really mean. 

If it means that Filipinos can now hold their heads high, that simply is feigning confidence.  Why weren’t they holding their heads high in the first place? If it means that they could now approach somebody, then that’s a communication problem that needs to be addressed.  If it means getting special favours, well, my question would be why would we need special favours? Besides, Filipinos have been getting that from Blacktown Council anyway.  So what’s new?

Whatever, we’ll simply have to wait to see how it all pans out.



Tags: News