I went and saw Mark Latham speak and field questions at Leichardt tonight with some friends. The Town Hall was packed – standing room only and people sitting on the stage behind the podium to fit everyone in. It was good to see such a good turnout, particularly given this was for the party that lost the election! Mind you, this is in the “safest Labor seat” in the country, so it was a bit of preaching to the converted (although there were still a few sceptics in the audience).
I have to say I was pretty impressed overall. I was saying to my friends that it would be interesting to see him do the same thing in a Labor-right seat (Grayndler, our electorate, is pretty left-leaning). Just to see how the emphasis and talking points shift. What was interesting was that Latham was talking about Labor as center-left – pointedly. I think this is interesting and a good step – making this very clear.
A little while ago I ranted about how I wanted to become more actively engaged politically before the next election. I think I have a clearer picture of what I can do. I found out tonight that Anthony Albanese, our member, is the Shadow Minister for the Environment. I have just started with WWF which means I’m going to be learning a lot about environmental issues. So, I plan to begin a simple personal campaign to contact Anthony about these issues. First by letter, then in person.
My strongest feelings are about climate change and Australia’s energy policy, but there will be lots of things that I hope to be able to raise. It is a small step that I can take to help get my voice heard. And I’m glad that I have something a little more concrete to focus on. I’ll keep you posted if/when things progress.