The Fishos Show How To Do It

The Shooters Party is a unique political party. As I have written previously, it does not believe in contesting elections in general. Rather, it only ever nominates candidates for the upper house of the NSW parliament.

The Fishing Party has quite a different outlook. It believes political parties exist to contest elections. As a consequence, although it failed to gain a seat in the Upper House, its preferences in the Lower House were crucial in determining the outcome of the seat of Port Stephens. Just 501 preferences from the Fishing Party pushed the Liberal Party ahead of Labor so that, notwithstanding Green preferences, the Liberals won by 368 votes.

The Liberal Party is now in debt to the Fishing Party. The member for Port Stephens, Craig Baumann, owes his seat to the fishing vote and is very unlikely to forget it. If he does not promote pro-fishing policies over the next four years, he may not hold the seat at the next election. If Labor hopes to win the seat back, it will have to do something to win the fishing vote.

The Shooters Party could have done that too. Its preferences could have been instrumental in helping pro-shooting candidates win marginal seats. But it didn’t. It had enough money to run in half a dozen seats, money the Fishing Party would die for, but not enough brains to figure out what needed to be done.

So now the interests of shooters are entirely reliant on how well Robert Brown and Roy Smith leverage their votes in parliament.

We will watch results with considerable interest. My guess is the fishos will do just as well as shooters in political terms. As for the Shooters Party picking up fisho votes… yeah, right.

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14 Responses to The Fishos Show How To Do It

  1. fishfinger says:

    This sounds like a variation of catch and release.
    I would have waited a little longer to blow my trumpet and see what you get from your “Liberal” candidate.
    You’ll probably find you don’t own him or at least he’ll think so.
    I only hope, for your sake, that I’m wrong.

  2. David Leyonhjelm says:

    What do you mean by “your Liberal candidate”, fishfinger?

    Do you understand the nature of analysis and commentary?

  3. fishfinger says:

    David
    It was meant as a tongue-in-cheek(y) jibe at the fact that the Fishos claim credit for the election of the Liberal candidate and that that they’ll get some “payback” for their support.
    If they do get what they want I’ll be the first to congratulate them and apologise for my disbelief.
    You ask… “Do you understand the nature of analysis and commentary?”
    Yes. I also understand satire, irony and ribaldry. 😉
    As a member of TSP, I also believe that we not only support shooters’ rights but also lobby for the environment, conservation and the rights of other outdoor-using Australians.
    If that’s not correct I’d be saddened to be told so.

  4. Sightalignment says:

    You’ll probably find you don’t own him or at least he’ll think so.

    You mean the Fishing Party I suppose.

    If they do get what they want I’ll be the first to congratulate them and apologise for my disbelief.

    Do you believe the Greens get what they want out of Labor? National Parks from one end of NSW to the other. That’s what comes from using preferences.

    When the new firearms regulations were written last year, the Shooters Party got nothing even though John Tingle or Robert Brown were there in parliament. The regulations remain appalling.

    I reckon it’s obvious. One day the Libs will win and when they do the Fishing Party will be helping them write the laws on fishing. The Shooters Party won’t get anything unless its vote holds the balance of power.

  5. fishfinger says:

    # Sightalignment Says:
    April 6th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    You’ll probably find you don’t own him or at least he’ll think so.

    You mean the Fishing Party I suppose.
    I do.

    If they do get what they want I’ll be the first to congratulate them and apologise for my disbelief.

    Do you believe the Greens get what they want out of Labor? National Parks from one end of NSW to the other. That’s what comes from using preferences.
    The Greens almost always vote with Labor. It’s only when there is a contentious law that Labor wants passed that Green muscle becomes relevant. This is where the National Parks came from.

    When the new firearms regulations were written last year, the Shooters Party got nothing even though John Tingle or Robert Brown were there in parliament. The regulations remain appalling.
    Your point is? John managed to get some laws passed because it suited Labor at the time. Instead of whinging about the current gun laws we should be using PR to change the understanding of the media. This is how the current laws came about. The anti’s stopped harassing politicians and started harassing the media to convert them. When the politicians began to believe there were more votes in anti than pro the change occurred.

    I reckon it’s obvious. One day the Libs will win and when they do the Fishing Party will be helping them write the laws on fishing. The Shooters Party won’t get anything unless its vote holds the balance of power.
    You say “One day the Libs will win”. I say (as a non-religious man) from your mouth to God’s ear.
    Perhaps what we need is to amalgamate all the outdoor type parties into one?

  6. Sightalignment says:

    The Greens almost always vote with Labor. It’s only when there is a contentious law that Labor wants passed that Green muscle becomes relevant. This is where the National Parks came from.

    That’s incorrect as a simple fact. Labor has never relied on the Greens vote in parliament. The National Parks came about from Labor needing to ensure Green preferences in lower house seats.

    Your point is? John managed to get some laws passed because it suited Labor at the time.

    The point is, the regulations affect every shooter, not just a handful. Why didn’t it suit Labor to allow the Shooters Party to fix them up? No preferences equals no leverage.

  7. Labor has never relied on the Greens vote in parliament.

    Actually it has once or twice, but the point is still valid. Labor has needed Green preferences to win lower house seats far more than it has ever needed its three Green votes in the upper house to pass legislation.

    Perhaps what we need is to amalgamate all the outdoor type parties into one?

    Fishfinger, that’s never going to happen. Almost all parties have some kind of outdoor policies. The Nationals are particularly keen on that aspect.

    Not only that, only the Shooters Party sees itself as an outdoor party. To everyone else it’s a single issue party.

  8. willy says:

    and the national parks from end to end have more to do with the rabid green lunacy of the previous premier than the rabid dangerous lunacy of rhiannon and its familiars

  9. Redneck says:

    and the national parks from end to end have more to do with the rabid green lunacy of the previous premier

    Yeah right. So Bob Carr never did it for the votes, he was just a rabid lunatic greenie.

    You should write a book called “why I am right and everyone else is wrong about Carr”.

  10. fishfinger says:

    Sorry everyone. I was a little too brief and gave the impression I didn’t know that Labor relies on Green preferences. I do. I was concerned that, if I explained in detail, you’d feel insulted that I was telling you what you already know.
    Maybe the “outdoor-type parties” won’t ever amalgamate but we could be doing more to support each other and talking to each other is a good start.
    If TSP is seen as a single issue party is says a lot about our PR…. or lack thereof.

    “Instead of whinging about the current gun laws we should be using PR to change the understanding of the media. This is how the current laws came about. The anti’s stopped harassing politicians and started harassing the media to convert them. When the politicians began to believe there were more votes in anti than pro the change occurred.”

    I stand by my statement above which no-one has yet refuted or commented on.

  11. willy says:

    of course carr scored votes from the greens by his actions, and deals were done on the formation of some of those parks.but he had visions of major park systems since before he entered politics.

  12. Bill Black says:

    Errr…maybe fishfinger doesn’t quite get it.

    The Liberals certainly do.

    Their Port Stephens candidate campaigned strongly on an abolition of the no fish zones and a researched approach rather than a grovel for Green prefs.

    The only reason that the Labor vote is competitive there is the inclusion of Mayfield, a typically poor, waste of space, depressed, part of Newcastle that votes 90% ALP.

    Fishing is becoming big time politics.

  13. Rod Burston says:

    Hello shooter-fishers,

    The Fishing Party also ran lower house candidates in Wallsend and Kiama, attracting 7% and 4% of the vote respectively. The campaign in Kiama had a “spillover” effect into neighboring electorates which showed up with increased upper house support.

    It’s only logical that running a lower house candidate will attract upper house support. The Greens do it (?), Fred Nile does it (??) and Family First obviously does it.

    There are many fringe benefits. In Kiama, the campaign galvanised the local fisho’s. We manned every booth with 60 volunteers, including 15 mums. The most common question we got was “why are you here?” “Well have we got a story for you…”

    Local politicians were ear bashed with the same message as they did the rounds. ALP’s Matt Brown ended up with cauliflower ears. TFP and SP guys ganged up on the greens and Liberal and Labor reps stood back and enjoyed the show.

    At the end of the day everybody involved felt that they had done something really worthwhile and were quite proud of themselves. Later I was inundated with requests to run a candidate in the federal elections.

    We spent peanuts, about $4,000. We raised the money in under an hour by ringing a couple of key people. With this we printed 12,000 HTV slips, 8,000 flyers, 50 booth posters and we ran a few adds next to the fishing column in local papers.

    But our main focus was at boat ramps, fishing clubs, pubs and licensed clubs. In the fishing world news travels along the rocks by drum, and the beat said “Vote 1, The Fishing Party”

    We adopted a neutral stance, leaving preferences in the hands of voters. Our campaign focused on attacking radical environmentalism and the Greens. Consequently, labor booths attracted up to 7.5% of the primary vote. The green vote in the electorate fell.

    Our slogan was “conservation through sustainable use” and the greens (who worship “preservation by lockout”) absolutely hated it. Local farmers twigged and many supported us.

    I believe that the outdoor movement needs to get together and form a credible force in politics. We should bury any differences and unite recreational and commercial sectors. Farmers, fishers, campers, horse riders, bee keepers and, yes, hunters too. (Hunting Party is much better than Shooters Party.)

    It took the greens 20 years to get more than 3% of the vote. Many believe they have reached their zenith and are in decline. It took TFP one go to reach 4-5% in the seats we targeted.

    The message is clear. Have a go. Anyone can do it. I’m not even a member of The Fishing Party.

    Rod Burston
    “Kiama Campaign Manager”

    PS: We won the comp for the best election poster and all the advertising departments said we had the best ads. Of course they would, they helped us design them on weekends when they weren’t fishing!!!

  14. Fishing Buddy says:

    What a shame the Shooters Party didn’t do the same thing. Not only that, it looks like they stopped TFP from getting elected in the upper house. With friends like that, who the hell needs enemies?

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