Shifting alliances and bitter distrust?

Dan Moss interviewed ACP candidate Richard Bowen for his 14 Nov Crikey article “Shifting alliances and bitter distrust as Vic preference deals go down to the wire”.

Another variable is the Australian Cyclists Party. “We are preferencing to win and doing our best to use the system to get a voice for cyclists in Parliament,” said party strategist Richard Bowen. He says it’s “no use to us” to be another cycling advocacy group.

We thought it is worth expanding on these two points.

Preferencing to win

There are many reasons that the 21 political parties are standing candidates in the 2014 Victorian election – and surprisingly it’s not all about winning. From what we have observed some parties are standing with the sole purpose of raising the profile of their issue or influencing other parties to support their issue. Many parties have asked us to provide pledges on their particular issue before they’d talk to us!

This is not the case with the Australian Cyclists Party.

We exist to win representation for cyclists in parliament. Everything we do is aimed at achieving that goal.

So, as a new party, we have had to make some decisions about how pragmatic we will be in order to win. It hasn’t always been easy – ideally we would just preference the parties with the best cycling policies. Unfortunately that would not be enough to see us elected. In fact, that would mean we would almost certainly fail to achieve our goal in the Victorian election.

So we are preferencing to win. We have been open and transparent about our approach. We will publish our preferences on this website when they are lodged with the VEC on Sunday 16 November. And we invite voters to consider those preferences when deciding for whom they will vote. If you don’t like the preference flow then please still vote for the Australian Cyclists Party, but do it “below the line” – a valid vote only needs to be numbered 1-5 below the line in the Victorian State election.

It’s “no use to us” to be another cycling advocacy group.

There are many good cycling advocacy groups. For example:

These groups do a great job. Often with limited resources and generally with no government support.

We want to help those groups. And our way of doing that is to win representation in parliament. Cycling doesn’t need another advocacy group. Cycling needs representation in parliament. Vote 1 Australian Cyclists Party!

Richard Bowen

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