I would like to thank Ms Myers’ for her letter.(August 29, 2012) Firstly I would like to make the point that Palerang’s Future is a community based ticket. All of our team are community based; otherwise we wouldn’t be able to stand for election and would have been rejected by the NSW Electoral Commission.
The thrust of my letter of August 18, 2010 was in the context of a warning that the Greens would potentially hold the balance of power in the then upcoming Federal election. It further warned that if that situation occurred they would force a useless and damaging carbon tax on all Australians. So far I’m only guilty of being right.
Fast forward to 2012 and Palerang: the Greens Party is not running a ticket. As we understand it, the members of Community First are all standing as independents, meaning they are not obliged to adopt the exclusionary and anti-progress agenda of the Greens party or obey instructions from its head office - which is a good thing for Palerang and will make any Community First councillors easier to work with. They all seem like really nice people too, so we won’t have a problem working with them.
There is an old axiom in politics which says, if you want to represent the people stand as an independent. If you want to represent the party take the party name. In this election all but Group A have heeded that call. So the issue raised by Ms Myers, we believe, is not relevant.
Ms Myers’ use of the words “extreme” and “despise” is quite inappropriate. We in Palerang’s Future believe in a pluralistic society - a broad church of ideas if you will. We agree with some Greens Party policies, such as high speed trains, to name but one (in fact if you Google ‘NSW Trains Mark Schweikert’, you’ll find my submission to a recent NSW Parliamentary inquiry concerning high speed train services for this area).
As for the views of the other five members of the Palerang’s Future ticket (Group B), we agree on all major points and might disagree on some minor ones, as people do in any healthy and open relationship. The fact is we respect each other’s opinions and our individual rights to hold and express them. With debate, we find common ground and frameworks within which to work in towards a common goal. Just as Councillors should do, but haven’t been in the Palerang Council to date.
Mark Schweikert Bungendore