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Byron Shire
May 23, 2024

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Another Day in Hope Purgatory

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So I sit and wait for an outcome knowing that I have some of the most powerful meditators in the region manifesting the F out of this. Mandy Nolan by Tree Faerie.

It’s Tuesday.

I still don’t know the upshot of this election.

There are two outcomes I envisioned for myself.

One was triumph. Taking the Green dreams of our region to Canberra. In this dream my hair is neat, I’m composed and magnificent. I’m speaking about how I will take our voices to the table. Celebrating with this community that this is the ticket for real climate and housing action.

Stolen from Nolan

In the other I am in a tracksuit curled up in bed sulking. I’m having a tantrum on the floor, I’m a conspiratorial mess, declaring ‘This election was Stolen from Nolan!’ I’m all dressed up and got nowhere to storm. I realise it’s just a dream. I’m still in bed. In my tracksuit.

I refresh my phone. It’s become a nervous tic.

I’m literally stalking the AEC website.

I hadn’t considered this as an outcome.

Politics is a phenomenal experience. To work harder than you thought possible, to put yourself so absolutely in the public domain full of hope and belief. Then to ask for judgement. It’s high stakes. A kind of ethical and philosophical extreme sport.

Election really is a Judgement Day of sorts.

The upside is that the results of this election across the nation are brilliant.

Morrison in the sin bin

No more Scott Morrison, the Lib/Nats coalition sent to the sin bin, history being made with three Greens in the lower house, a full suite of 12 Greens senators… and so many new Independent women MP’s on the cross bench. My my, I do believe we may have broken the two party system. Or at least sent a message deep to the heart of a system where so many feel unrepresented.

So many middle aged women! I have been saying, you don’t send monsters to fight monsters. You just get more monsters. Send a menopausal woman.

So right now this menopausal woman is in hope purgatory. That’s the place you go when you don’t know if you’ve lost, or if you’ve won. I thought by today I would know either way, but the seat of Richmond according to psephologists is still very much ‘in play’.

What’s a psephologist?

Never heard of a psephologist before? Well until this election, neither had I. They aren’t the kind of dinner parties I’ve ever attended, or quite frankly been invited to. These are the statistician superheroes who lurk in the shadows. Political scientists who are expert at statistical analysis of elections and polls. How many psephologists does it take to change a light bulb? Let me see how it happened last time, we’ll use that to guide the prediction. Well, as it turns out, apparently we’ve broken the lightbulb. 

So that’s why today, three days after the election I still don’t know for sure. I was supposed to have an interview with the ABC this morning but the producer rang and said ‘lets put it off, it’s still too close’.

Back to hope purgatory. The excruciating precipice where I’ve been for days now. It’s the precipice where you can’t step back to recover in your normal life, nor can you move forward to leap into the unknown. It’s the place of lingering. My fellow candidates, Steph Hodgins-May in Macnamara and Stephen Bates in Brisbane, are in the same position.

The most powerful meditators

So I sit and wait for an outcome knowing that I have some of the most powerful meditators in the region manifesting the F out of this. Candles are burning. Witches are howling at the moon.

Regardless of what happens though, I have to say we have run a spectacular campaign. We have built a grassroots people’s movement that won’t be going away. We have taken a safe seat and at the very least made it marginal. We are still holding on. So, if not this time, it will be next.

I’ve been asked if I will run again, and the answer is simple. There are 1500 corflutes with my face on them. To not run would not be in the spirit of the Greens.

As Arnie said… I’ll be back.


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  1. If Hogan can get counted it’s high time Mandy learned of her outcome.
    Dear me! I’m showing my colours.

    • As with rigging the sails on a ship, counting votes in a key seat takes time to get right, AKA no obvious. Of course Mandy won the primary vote, the level of stupid in Richmond was catastrophically high. But I doubt the official result will reflect that.

      • From the AEC website:
        First preference count for the division of Richmond (NSW)
        66 of 66 polling places returned.

        Labor 25,917 (-2.86%)
        Greens 22,383 (+4.59%)
        Nationals 21,702 (-12.71%)

  2. Stoicism is Mandy’s middle name in any rain or shine.
    Note as well that I am not a ‘you all’ person.


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