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Like Canberra candidates mingle with their family and friends at the official campaign launch 9/10/16 at Weston Park. Photo taken by Kristina Shaw.

 

The Like Canberra party has been involved in Canberra politics since 2012, with the inception of the Bullet Train for Canberra Party. Over the years, the party evolved with the realisation of needing a wider platform to answer community needs.

Policy focus has always been on Canberra community needs, with the party seeking always to initiate conversation and have accurate canberran population representation in order to best represent the requirements of the wider community.

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Facebook Live policy announcement by Like Canberra candidates. Photo by Kristina Shaw.

The launch party was a casual and intimate affair, with friends and family gathering in Weston Park to discuss the last week of campaigning, with strong focus on a Facebook live policy message to all 8,000 plus followers of the party.

The importance of a social network is vital to Like Canberra, which should be obvious given the party name. It’s also a tongue-in-cheek commentary of a previous Canberra ad campaign.

Maryann Mussared, Like Canberra candidate for Kurrajong, describes the parties’ policies as “common sense”. A long-time activist, Maryanne supported Bullet Train for Canberra, and decided to run as a candidate for the newly formed Like Canberra party in the upcoming election.

Maryanne wants to have “conversations with people and get them interested”. This conviction is clear with how Like Canberra conducted themselves during their launch. The event has been geared around the wish to create conversation. Cupcakes and chips are offered, blankets have been spread out and people are introduced to one another to simply have a chat.

 

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Candidate Casey Heffernan’s rabbit, Monty. Photo by Kristina Shaw.

Casey Heffernan, candidate for Yerrabi, brought along her pet rabbit, Monty. The kids, and adults, are enchanted.

Speaking to Casey on what took her interest about running for a political party, she spoke of the importance of “bringing it away from career politicians who have 6-digit salaries and are disengaged from the average person they represent”.

There is a clear message of Like Canberra wishing to be candidates for the people, and one which has been appreciated by local voters.

Canilo Giraldo, Richardson resident, says that “traditional way to do politics is not good” and likes the emphasis of Like Canberra’s to speak the “same language as the people they represent”.

Like Canberra’s casual approach to the campaign trail, as well as their attention to the communities they wish to represent was easily observable during the course of campaign launch morning, and an attitude they hope will carry them to victory on October 15th.

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