AS momentum for the May 21 federal election mounts, Echo News talks to Australian Federation Party candidate Marijanna Smith.
The 43-year-old Mundaring mother-of-two is ramping up her campaign and wants the people of Hasluck to know she has something quite unique to offer.
Unlike other political parties, the Australian Federation Party allows its members to vote against party policies if it does not align with what people within their electorate want.
“I get to say, these bills are being presented to me right now – how will that affect Hasluck?” she said.
“You get to look at it, talk about it, and I will take that back.
“If I go back and, actually, the party is following a different line but it doesn’t suit Hasluck, I’m allowed to stand up and say I disagree and I have a contract that says there are no repercussions at all.”
This, says Ms Smith, is the way politics should be and it is this drive to fully represent the people she has been elected by, that inspired her to run for the seat.
“This is a party that I really believe would do what they’re saying and I’ve never really felt that before,” she said.
“I started following them and I got excited for them and then eventually I said, I hope you have someone for Hasluck because I want to have that option for my people on the ballot paper.”
The Australian Federation Party calls itself a “new kind of political party” designed to represent the people.
“We are the only political party, in the history of Australia, to define a six-step pact where our candidates commit to serve the people, not the party,” its website states.
That pact also includes having a monthly town hall meeting with an open agenda to hear directly from the people within the electorate, to run democracy training sessions and never to participate in rushed legislation.
Their policies were also attractive to Marijanna who had been employed for over a decade at Silvertree Steiner School when she was forced to leave the job she loved because of her anti-vaccination choices.
“I didn’t think it was fair and I’m all for fairness in choice,” she said of the government-imposed mandates.
Other policies include those looking at the environment, international corporations, family law and education.
“The policy formation has been fantastic to watch,” Ms Smith said.
“I don’t know any other party where, as a little old candidate for Hasluck, that would all happen – I would just get told, but we were all included.
“They want our opinions and our views and what is particular to this area that we can include in the policy.”
Convinced it will be a hung parliament, Ms Smith said ideally the electorate would vote her in as a cross-bencher so she can passionately question the decisions that are being made.
Her message to the people of Hasluck is clear.
“I would say to the people, how are the others doing so far? How is it looking? How are you feeling about that?” she said.
“We’ve tried and we keep doing the same thing decade after decade but we have got a trillion dollars of debt.
“Can we do any worse?”
By Rebecca Peppiatt