Eighteen Greek and Cypriot Australian candidates, from all sides of politics, are amongst the record number of 1717 candidates who are contesting the September 7 federal election for the 150 House of Representatives and the 40 Senate seat vacancies across Australia.
All sitting Greek Australian members of the House of Representatives and Senate – Maria Vamvakinou, Labor MP for Calwell in Melbourne, Steve Georganas, Labor MP for Hindmarsh in Adelaide, Sophie Mirabella, Liberal MP for the regional Victorian seat of Indi, Arthur Sinodinos, Liberal Senator from NSW and Nick Xenophon, the Independent Senator in SA – are expected to be returned to office following the election.
Apart from the better recognised Greek Australian politicians, there are many more candidates of Greek origin who are contesting this election – Nickolas Varvaris, the former Mayor of Kogarah in NSW and Liberal candidate in the Labor held seat of Barton in Sydney, is attempting to enter federal parliament after this election as a human rights activist and journalist. Gerry Georgatos, a lead Senate candidate for the WikiLeaks party in Western Australia is also hoping that he might get a good result.
Young couple Melanie and Peter Vassiliou, who represent the self-declared anti-multicultural Rise Up Australia Party are candidates for the Labor held seats of Chisholm and Hotham respectively and all they can realistically achieve is to somewhat influence the outcome of the seats with the distribution of their preferences.
The Liberal candidate for the seat of Batman, inner north of Melbourne is George Souris, a business man and on the board of St Johns Orthodox College. In the regional Queensland seat of Capricornia, an electorate that covers an area of 91,000 sq km around Rockhampton, the Labor candidate is Peter Freeleagus, a local councillor and miner. Teacher Danielle Canas is the Australian Christians candidate for the Liberal held north east Perth, whereas engineer Frank Papafotiou, is running for a Senate position for the same party in Victoria. The Australian Christians stand for more freedom and less tax and oppose same sex marriage or any form of reproductive technology, but support the environment and public infrastructure.
Liah Lazarou, a tertiary student and community activist, is a candidate for the Labor held seat of Adelaide on behalf of the left wing Socialist Alliance. Costas Goumas is a candidate for the marginal Labor held seat of Eden-Monaro in regional NSW, representing the Citizens Electoral Council, an anti-establishment, right wing party which was inaugurated in Queensland in 1988 with a philosophy that blames the counter culture of the ’60s for almost every issue of the modern era.
George Melisourgos, a business analyst for the state government of South Australia, from the Palmer United Party, is a candidate for Hindmarsh, a marginal seat held by Labor MP Steve Georganas.
Bill Koutalianos, co-founder and president of the ‘No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics’ party is heading the NSW Senate ticket of his party, an organisation that does not believe that the climate change ‘debate’ has been settled yet or that global warming has indeed been rising over the last 15 years.
Manny Poularas, a retired teacher, is contesting the western Sydney seat of McMahon, now held by Federal Treasurer Chris Bowen. Mr Poularas is a candidate with the Fred Nile Christian Democratic Party.
Regardless of the chances of their electoral success, all the Greek Australian candidates who will contest the next election in a way mirror the ideological and the political orientation of most of the community.

Neos Kosmos

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