This yearâ€™s one has been a peaceful affair with scarcely a patriot raising a sweat.
And yet one candidate linked with the Taliban faction, as it is called by its foes, Sebastian Zwalf, normally linked to its NUW arm, has caused eyebrows to be raised with his how-to-vote card for the partyâ€™s all-powerful Administrative Committee.
The HTV, obtained by diligent members of the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit operating in Melbourneâ€™s east, reveals that Zwalf might be batting for both sides of the fractional conflict between Labor Unity and its Taliban splinter group, sometimes called the Ambition Faction, the Feeney group or the NUW/SDA/Feeney bloc. The fact they call themselves Labor Unity too is an unending source of frivolity for all and is referred to in internal factional discussions as the â€œnaming dispute.â€ Even in that context, none can agree which side is Greece and which side is Macedonia.
Leaving that aside, Zwalfâ€™s HTV indicates that he has preferenced to Southern Metro MLC Jennifer Huppert, who is a member of Labor Unity and a supporter of Michael Danbyâ€™s righteous cause. Next on his list is Jane Shelton, a member of Admin and also a rising star in the Danby firmament. Next on the list is long-time foe of the NUW/Network cause Felicity Smith whose hatred of that group could be enough to fuel a nuclear reactor after many years of defending herself from their hostilities and shark-like behaviour. Also high up on his Sebâ€™s list is Senator Conroyâ€™s staffer Sam Rae and Bill Shortenâ€™s staffer Lance Wilson, both gents active within Labor Unity and sternly opposed to Zwalfâ€™s Taliban group, as it is described by fractional foes.
Zwalfâ€™s HTV is thought by some to indicate a change of factional change of heart or possibly an attempt to persuade voters that heâ€™d had one. Either way, itâ€™s an interesting move that will have many wondering which way heâ€™ll swing.
The ambitious chap has even previously expressed views one would have normally associated with the Socialist Left, he once told The Age:
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Indeed, at other times he has expressed reservations about factions themselves:
"From time to time the faction system does not promote the best people into parliament," he says. "You can name some MPs not there based on their ability to represent constituents, as opposed to backing a faction."
And yet through the complex HTVs, the concern about the party lurching to the right on the question of boats, the criticism of some in the faction system, others insist that he remains a firm friend of Minister Tim Holding, as reflected in recent charity athletic events where he captained â€œTeam Holdingâ€ only to be dissed in his personal profile as â€œhirsuteâ€ and pale.
Team Holding kicked on to finish the 100 km walk in astonishing 15 hours 52 minutes, beating the average of 28 hours 56 minutes and coming 21st of 729 teams and raising nearly $10,000 for charity. Other members of Team Holding included lobbyist Llewellyn Rees and Simon Tolstrup, also a lobbyist at the ailing CPR Communications.