ACT election 2020: Minor parties, Independents left frustrated and hopeful | The Canberra Times

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The Belco party is not going away, its leader and creator Bill Stefaniak vowed. He talked of his pride at having stood and fought – but also of his frustration when he felt the party’s policies were not given much attention. “It’s very difficult to get some traction,” he said. Other independents echoes the frustration. “It’s hard for the minor parties to be heard,” James Potter who stood for the Australian Federation Party ACT said. “They should interview the smaller parties,” Mohammad Hussain who also stood for the AFP said in Gunghalin. Mr Stefaniak thinks that one helpful change would be to create a means for candidates to put out 500 word messages six months before an election and then every month until polling day. But he is proud of his team. Angela Lount, for example, was new to politics. She is not disillusioned. She’s been outside pre-polling places for the past three weeks and found that people from different parties have got on well with each other. “The cameraderie is good. There’s no bad vibe.” Initially, nobody talked – but then they did. “If a sign from one of the others blows over, I’m happy to pick it up, and the same with them,” she said. But it’s hard work. “I’m ready to go down to the coast for a couple of days and not think about anything.” The Australian Federation Party’s Jason Potter said he enjoyed electioneering. “I enjoy door-knocking, listening to people and their concerns,” he said. But he was annoyed that corflutes get destroyed. A hundred of them cost $630, he said, and it comes out of his pocket while bigger parties have bigger funds. He put 50 out and only 14 were left one morning. “There are elements of politics which are unnecessary and nasty,” he said. He thinks the ACT system discriminates against smaller parties because voters can opt for five candidates all of one party and then don’t need to make a second choice. READ MORE: Mignonne Cullen is a true independent – she has no party apart from herself as a candidate in Ginninderra. “When you’ve only yourself, you’re responsible for everything – letter boxes, the lot,” she said. And talking is tiring. “I really like people. I really like talking to them but you’ve got to do it all day.” But has it put her off elections? “I’m having a ball!”

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