Next Fed Election > Aug  2018?
Unlikely SENATOR for Aust.Cap.Terr.

Why ??
I was a self-represented 
PARTY in litigation against ANDREW BOLT which ran for 4 long years.



DAVID BARROW, INDEPENDENT Candidate, Federal Election, Senate Candidate, Australian Capital Territory

Satire in VIC Division of La Trobe
Filed Under:

A Satirist's Dilemma

When to break character after you've made your point?

Sacha Baron Cohen still hasn't broken character with his Borat creation he used to tackle intolerance and racism.

Joaquiem Phoenix spent over a year pretending to drastically change careers from actor into a hip hop artist.  The performance was captured in the I'm Still Here (2010) mockumentary.  It was all a strange satire as it turns out, where he appeared to be having a mental breakdown.

People were worried for him but he stayed in character until the film premiere.


Charlie Chaplan broke character to add a speech about humanity in an epilogue to his The Great Dictator satire.

Me, I don't think it works:

So what about Jeffrey Bartram and Me?

Both Family First Party candidates for the federal election in the La Trobe Division.

Bartram right now in 2016 – and Me in 2010 until I was disendorsed (not unexpectedly) on my first day of campaigning for publicly stating that families must include gays and lesbians for equality.

Well, I'm not sure that Bartram is actually putting on a satirical performance.

As for me, I don't believe most people were aware that I was using satire in 2010 to make my points on inclusiveness and the importance of context when value judgements such as abortion and other social issues are concerned.

I know Jeffrey Bartram to be a musician and satirist.  His work as Lil' Aussie Battler is breathtakingly-unsettlingly in parts.

The Goin' to Uni music video is part of this work.

Bartram ran as an Upper House Independent candidate in the 2014 Victorian Election.

The quota to be elected to the Upper House is 16.67%.  Bartram got a bit over 16... votes out of 436,788 in the EASTERN VIC REGION.

Bartram's platform was "a strong advocate for the residents of the Eastern Vic region and an independent voice free from the factional deals and machine politics of the major parties" and "to see the upper house used as a house of review not a house of obstruction".

He had some conventional policies on industry assistance to the Latrobe Valley to generate employment; easing regulatory burden for small business; TAFE support; improving ambulance response times and the V-Line train service.

And then later in the 2014 Vic Election campaign, Bartram achieved a cut through by whacking an "Authorised by Jeffrey Bartram" to the end of his Goin' to Uni music video.

It was featured in the Guardian story VICTORIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN VIDEOS:

At first, it’s hard to see what Jeff Bartram, independent candidate for the upper house, is trying to get at in this epic four-minute music video.

We see Bartram emerge, in his underwear, from a box, leading a continuous chant of “goin’ to uni” as shorts and high-vis vests fly onto the bodies of the tradies who are seemingly being deified over slovenly, befuddled university graduates.

One useless uni grad is shown wallowing in a paddling pool gorging on watermelon fed to him by a woman but things take a darker turn when – rather controversially – he attempts suicide in the bath. A completely mind-boggling ad that will have the words “tradesman’s entrance” whirring around your election-hating mind.

Blogger Cate Speaks ALSO COVERED Bartram's curious electoral ad:

And now we come to our third ungrouped independent candidate for Eastern Victoria, and what a candidate he is.  I’ve been keeping a vague eye on Jeff Bartram‘s website for a week now, and had concluded that it was just going to be that single photo, announcement of his candidature, and his slogan “Looking for Good in People and in the Region”.

But sometime in the last 24 hours, everything changed.  The website sprang to life, and what a life it is.  Because Jeff Bartram, my dear readers, is another member of that exclusive club – the club of political parties and independents who decide to sell themselves with a song.

Once again, I find myself speechless.  My husband came in to find out what on earth I was listening to, and watched the video with delight for several minutes, before opining that it would make a first-class gay nightclub anthem.  Which was at almost exactly the same moment that I, looking for the Youtube link to the video, found myself being educated by Google on just what tradesman’s entrance can be slang for.

So.  If this song is anything to go by, one can probably surmise that Mr Bartram is not a big fan of tertiary education being brandished as the one true solution to everyone’s problems.  And one might also conclude that Mr Bartram is a tradie.  And one would be right.

I share Cate's surmise on Bartram's Goin' to Uni; although with a work of art the audience ultimately makes up their own mind as to meaning – and the artist may not intend any fixed meaning at all.

I don't see Bartram advocating misogyny and trivialising self-harm in Goin' to Uni – albeit that offense can be taken from some of the purposely ridiculous scenes.

I'm a fly-in-fly-out Independent Candidate from Victoria in the NSW Division of Warringah for the 2016 federal election.

I'm also registered to vote in the VIC Division of La Trobe for this election.

On Thursday 16 June, I was looking up the 2016 candidates to square away my own voting early since I will be in NSW on the 2 July election day – when I was very surprised to see that the Family First Party candidate in my LA TROBE ELECTORATE was Jeffrey Bartram.



Still a bit in shock, I have questions for Candidate Jeffrey Bartram:

When did you join the Family First Party?

When were you chosen as the candidate for La Trobe?

Is this a satire?  (And if it is, when will you say so?)

What is your understanding and commitment to Family First policies and principles?

For the 2013 Federal Election, the Rationalists Society of Australia SCORED FAMILY FIRST poorly on secular policies although this should be done in the context of the circumstances for particular cases.

Candidate Bartram – how you do you respond to that detailed critique?

Apparently candidate profiles for the Family First house of representatives are COMING SOON.

I'm not sure that Bartram will still be there if he moves through the questions I pose – or the Family First Party executive makes any further investigations of him.

On Friday night (17 June), I was harangued a bit by a person on Twitter who objected to the content of Bartram's music video and queried why I would be associating myself with it.

I responded with a series of tweets (since deleted after the person deleted their own tweets); but you can only get so far with the limitations of 140 characters per tweet.

So I said that I would write up a clearer response in what is now this blog post.

Well, I have my own videos to roll out via YouTube between now and the 2 July election day.

Public ones are here (which include an "Authorised by" end card):

I had a copy of Bartram's Goin' to Uni music video. Without his knowledge or consent I posted this on my YouTube channel under the title "Tradesman's Entrance".

As this was done in the context of a political situation, I thought I better bung my "Authorised by" end card on it – which also has (somewhat confusingly) "Marriage Equality" and "worth fighting for" on it.

The "Authorised by" is an Australian Electoral Commission REQUIREMENT FOR PUBLICATION, including even for attack ads.  I do not endorse the content of Bartram music video – although I do find it a catchy tune.

By including my name in the end card, I also thought this might deal me in to any controversy that may arise from a Family First reaction to Bartram talents as a satirical-musician – especially since I was dramatically disendorsed as the Family First candidate in the same La Trobe Division in the 2010 federal election.

Bartram seems to be using "tradesman's entrance" in the music video as a class division where tradesmen were once conventionally required to enter a building by a separate door so as not to trouble the upper classes.

It sets up a criticism of perhaps a modern form of class distinction in Australia between those with tertiary degrees and those with trade degrees.

From the context of the video, notwithstanding there is a Village People aesthetic to the whole thing, I don't believe Bartram is intending to make any point about sexual identity politics – but nevertheless "tradesman's entrance" is also a gay sex reference.  It just is.

As far as I understand, Family First is opposed to same sex relationships.

Stirring the possum, I thought it would be an interesting confrontation for me to post the "Tradesman's Entrance" video on my YouTube channel, then tweet about it and see how the Family First candidate runners respond.

As for revealing more about my satirical run as the Family First candidate in the seat of La Trobe for the 2010 federal election, I've already written something about this in my book "BOLT: WORTH FIGHTING" (not for)

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



Some people have also been curious about my brief 2010 Family First Party candidacy.   Well, here's MY INTERVIEW from 11 August 2010 with Jade Lawton of the Pakenham Gazette which gives a flavour of my satirical run:

LA TROBE Family First candidate David Barrow has been sensationally dumped by his party, and has entered talks with the Australian Sex Party.

In a dramatic leap from one end of the political spectrum to the other, Mr Barrow was disendorsed by Family First after posting extraordinary comments on Mia Freedman’s internet blog “Mama Mia”. The certified practising accountant from Boronia wrote on the blog that a family was “a committed relationship between a man and a woman: Adam and Eve.”

He then added: “And it is also Adam and Steve – gay and lesbian couples – and Eve with Eve (even Eve with Eve if you will). So when it comes to families, Family First is a ‘broad church’ (in the modern secular sense of that term): heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples, as well as bi, trans and intersex.”

Family First booted Mr Barrow out of the party on Monday night.

He was due to launch his campaign outside Berwick’s Commonwealth Bank yesterday (Tuesday).

In a defiant show against the conservative Family First party, Mr Barrow announced he was meeting with Fiona Patten, leader of the Australian Sex Party, at Melbourne Airport yesterday.

The Australian Sex Party already has a candidate in La Trobe.

Family First Chairman Peter Lake said Mr Barrow had deliberately misled the party.

“Clearly the views expressed by Mr Barrow are not in accordance with the views of Family First and as a result, the party has disendorsed his candidacy, effective immediately,” he said.

The party informed Mr Barrow of the dumping via email after he failed to respond to phone calls.

“This is a regrettable incident; however, Family First is committed to moving ahead with a strong campaign and standing up for ordinary Australians on issues that are important to them,” Mr Lake said.

Mr Barrow said he would now run as an Independent, although his name was already printed on ballot papers with the Family First tag.

“It’s an egg that can’t be unscrambled,” Mr Barrow said.

“It’s a bit hard to know what they were on about. I was presented with a questionnaire and I had to put a tick, yes or no. Things like do you support abortion and I ticked the no box but it is contextually based. It’s (permissible) when there is severe harm to the woman.”

“As for gay marriage – I’m in support of equality of committed, loving relationships of co-dependant adults. One aspect of that are homosexual relationships. I would not say I am an advocate for gay marriage; I’m an advocate for equality.”

But Mr Barrow says his core policy is not about gay marriage or equal rights – his core promise is an ambitious pledge to redistribute 85 per cent of his parliamentary entitlements to the La Trobe electorate.“

This is fully costed, funded and guaranteed. I’m happy to work for minimum wage,” he said.

He said he signed up with Family First because he admired Senator Steven Fielding’s battle against the big banks.

Mr Barrow is currently fighting the Commonwealth Bank in the Federal Court for what he describes as ‘bank fee justice.’

“I’m really standing for mainstream values,” Mr Barrow said.

“The gay movement took the word gay, which had negative connotations, and they turned it around and appropriated it, so I guess I’m appropriating the term Family First. I’m the real family first.”

An AEC spokesman said there were no powers to change a nomination after it had been received.

Others (perhaps not many) say that I have a federal government forming past.

Out of 150 seats in the 2010 Fed Election, La Trobe (where I ended up campaigning as an Independent) was 1 of only 2 that changed from Liberals to Labor.... which enabled Labor to form a minority government.

So in April 2011, I posted a question on Antony Green’s election blog:

Antony, as you know – and sort of akin to Pauline Hanson's situation in the 1996 federal election – I was an endorsed candidate of a registered political party (Family First Party) in the marginal Victorian seat of La Trobe in the 2010 federal election, but after publicly stating that families must include gays and lesbians for equality I was disendorsed by Family First after the close of nominations.  Similar to Pauline Hanson, I then remained on the printed ballot paper as the candidate for my former political party (Family First) even though I was campaigning as an Independent after being disendorsed.

La Trobe was 1 of only 2 electorates across all of Australia gained by Labor from the Coalition in the 2010 federal election.  And the margin required to win the seat (held since 1990) was only 0.5%, with ALP Laura Smyth upsetting the Liberal incumbent Jason Wood to take the seat with a 1.4% swing to Labor.

It seems to me it is possible that my unusual situation may have had an effect on the change of seat, and if so the dynamics of Labor forming a Minority Government needing only 2 of the 3 Independents of Oakeshott, Windsor and Katter (whereas the Coalition would only have required support of, say, Katter and one of the others if not for the La Trobe seat loss to Labor).

Family First Party (FFP) and the Liberals had swapped No.1 and No.2 preferences in the La Trobe electorate, but after my disendorsement the FFP abandoned the Liberals to their fate.  I had no-one at any of the polling stations handing out How-to-vote cards on the 21 August 2010 election day, and in fact had left Victoria the night before to spend the weekend in Brisbane.

Labor won the seat with 0.9% margin (810 pref votes in their favour)

Antony responded:

59.94% of your preferences flowed to the Liberal candidate, as oposed (sic) to the national Family First figure of 59.82. There was essentially no difference in the Family First preference flow in La Trobe compared to the nation as a whole.

Anyway, I replied:

Thanks Antony, yes that does look to be consistent with the national Family First Party (FFP) trend, but in my situation I was not running as a FFP candidate.  FFP just happened to be printed against my name on the ballot paper.

So I can see that those who mistakenly thought they were voting for FFP may have followed the national FFP voting pref trends (even though they had no how-to-vote card in my electorate) – however in the 2007 federal election I note 68.43% of the votes for the FFP candidate in La Trobe flowed to Liberals:  So that was down.

And the whole primary vote for my Independent candidacy (labelled FFP on the ballot) was 2.2% as compared to 2.9% for the 2007 FFP candidate.  A difference of 0.7% is a significant margin in a 0.5% marginal seat.

Just laying out some of the possible mini-demographics (and some questions):

(1) Those who thought they were voting FFP without knowing there was no longer a FFP candidate. (With no FFP how-to-vote card directives did more skew towards Labor prefs than would otherwise be the case?)

(2) Those who did not vote FFP only because of my disendorsement; but otherwise would have voted for a FFP candidate if there was one. (This could be up to say 3% of all voters; unshackled from the FFP how-to-vote directions where did their ultimate prefs end up?)

(3) Those who voted for me because I was truly an Independent.  (If there was a Labor-pref-bias in this group, does this explain the 68.43% flows to Libs in 2007 going down to 59.95% to Libs in 2010?)

Seems to me there could be a Disendorsement Effect [just made that term up]: what would have happened if there had been no public, media-interested disendorsement of a candidate for a registered political party after nominations closed?

e.g. what would have happened in Oxley electorate in QLD in 1996 if any other low-profile Liberal candidate had run instead of Pauline Hanson being disendorsed?  Expect Labor would have retained Oxley as a safe seat.  If you consider Hanson Disendorsement Effect through the same sort of mini-demographics of (1), (2) and (3) above then there could be some ranging answers for the 19% swing away from Labor to the Pauline Hanson candidate who happened to be listed as a Liberal on the ballot paper. Of those Demos: (1) some thought wrongly they were voting Liberal; (2) does not seem relevant; (3) there was a surge of primary votes to Hanson to 48.61% – a good chunk of which would be a conscious vote for Hanson running as a true Independent.

Antony responded further:

          The Hanson comment I agree with. The preferences in La Trobe were exactly what I would have expected, and the result was exactly as I would have expected for the electorate given other Victorian results.

I chipped in:

          A fair professional assessment.

IMAGINE though: 501 informals come of the bench for a more Joan-of-Arc type Family First Candidate; leakage of 1600 Labor, 400 Libs and 600 Greens votes return to the FFP; prefs from FFP run 70% to Libs

==>> that's 50.01% to Liberals after FFP prefs, and the seat is held; Libs join with support of Independents Katter and Windsor to form Minority Govt and the world spins different! (but mostly the same)

IMPOSSIBLE?  Stranger things have happened at sea... albeit La Trobe electorate is fairly land-locked in Dandenong Mountain Ranges... yet there is the large Cardinia Reservoir within its bounds and one of the suburbs in the neighbouring Aston electorate is called "Bayswater".  And where there is water to walk on... or just talk about walking on... there is hope.

I don’t know if Antony Green was professionally embarrassed – or embarrassed by my overuse of metaphors – or what was going on really, but he then deleted my questions and his replies from his ABC election blog.  And that was that.  Until now.

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