Greek Australians battle to get elected in NSW

Greek Australians battle to get elected in NSW

Shadow minister Sophie Cotsis is almost certain to return to the Upper House as she will be holding the number one position in Labor’s ticket.

The impending NSW elections are around the corner, with more than 10 Greek Australian candidates.

Voters in New South Wales will be heading to the polls on Saturday 28 March; however they are currently witnessing the most sluggish election the state has experienced in decades.

Political commentators have attributed this to the polls, which give the thumbs up for re-election to the Coalition under Premier Mike Baird.

On a two party preferred basis, the Liberals/Nationals are ahead with 54 per cent public support, against 46 per cent for the Labor Party. Labor leader Luke Foley took on the role just three months ago, struggling to become a recognisable face.

Mr Baird isn’t in a much better position, after he took over the role from predecessor Barry O’Farrell after he forgot to report that he received by donation a very expensive bottle of wine worth $3,000 to the public record. But, alternatively he is enjoying the larger share of the popularity – currently the highest of any other political leader in the country. But, if the polls are anything to go by, his government won’t be achieving the same majority they currently enjoy in the parliament.

The loss of seats for the government will be attributed to the corruption allegations against Liberal MPs, a topic that proved costly for the Labor Party four years ago.

It seems that the majority of voters disagree with the government’s commitment to sell off power poles and wires.

The Labor Party is hopeful it can recover a lot of lost ground after being booted out of government in 2011, which was its most severe defeat ever in the state.

The Greens expect to succeed in the Senate, with two MPs predicted to win seats. It’s a much closer battle in the Legislative Assembly, with a number of independents threatening their reach.

There are quite few parties seeking election, some of them campaigning with a hard line on specific issues. As to who will make it to the chamber, it all depends on the mathematical alchemies of the electoral system.

Commentators believe that the Upper House of NSW will mimic what’s been going in the federal Senate for the last 18 months.

The Greek Australian candidates

The Greek Australian community will lose veteran MP and former leader of the state’s National Party, George Souris, who is retiring from politics.

Shadow minister Sophie Cotsis is almost certain to return to the Upper House as she will be holding the number one position in Labor’s ticket.

Steve Kamper has high hopes to occupy the seat of Rockdale for the ALP.

He contested the seat in 2011, but was a victim of Labor’s backlash. It is expected that this time round he will cross the line.

Mr Kamper enjoys the support of federal leader Bill Shorten and if elected, is expected to have an influential role in the party.

In Wollongong, the well known unionist, Arthur Rorris, hopes to win the seat from Labor. As he recently told the Greek Program of SBS Radio, in 2011 Gordon Bradbery, who is now Wollongong’s mayor, ran as an independent and lost by approximately 600 votes.

Other candidates of Hellenic background include Eleni Petinos (Liberal for the seat of Miranda), Patrice Pandeleos (Liberal – Sydney), Nicholas Aroney (Liberal – Kogarah)John Koutsoukis (Liberal – Heffron), Nomiky Panayiotakis (Liberal – Canterbury), Georgia Constantinou (No Land Tax – Maroubra), Chris Stefandellis (No Land Tax – Campbelltown), Anna Stevis (No Land Tax – Castle Hill), George Capsis (Christian Democratic Party – Cronulla).

For the Upper House, apart from Ms Cotsis, Greek Australian candidates include Marika Kontellis (Greens), George Paxinos (Australian Cyclists Party) and Yvette Paxinos (Australian Cyclists Party).

Lastly, there are three candidates whose spouses are Greek Australians. Julie Passas is running for the seat of Summer Hill with the Liberal Party, Giovina Gouskos has put her name at Myall Lakes with the No Land Tax party, and Courtney Houssos is candidate for the Upper House with the ALP.

source: Neos Kosmos

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