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Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith 46, Founder Tech Startup, Abbotsford

Aaron says ‘moderate’ Liberals don’t speak up for the people they claim to represent while independents have shown they reflect their communities’ priorities.    

I grew up in a family of small business owners that voted Liberal, and I was a Liberal voter when I was younger. I feel so far away from the party now because of where they are on social issues. I do not feel aligned with them in any way. 

What really bothers me is the religious infiltration of the Liberal Party by a growing cohort and what that could mean if they assume power. It bothers me that people like Moria Deeming have been preselected as a Liberal candidate. She is transphobic and was a big campaigner against same sex marriage. These candidates, if they had the opportunity, would vote against the current positions on abortion, same sex marriage and LGBTQ rights. 

That is bad, but what makes it worse is we have Liberal candidates in the same party in places like Kew who silent on that infiltration. They might personally agree with social issues, but they very rarely cross the floor and will vote with their party.

"The Liberals have stopped representing the people who voted for them and are no longer an effective opposition." 

During the last five months of federal parliament, the teals have shown themselves to be the credible opposition. They're the ones who are making legislation better, not the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party voted against the climate bill while the Teals contributed to that bill and made it better. The same thing is possible in state politics. 

Teal independents vote on conscience every time and reflect their community’s priorities. I feel convinced our democracy will be better having people who don't have party constraints hanging over them determining how they're going to respond to issues.

I think it will make a big difference if we can take the partisanship out of politics and have people like Sophie representing us in parliament for altruistic reasons. The fact that is controversial but might not be soon gives me a lot of hope.

What do you love about Kew?

Even though I live just across the river in Abbotsford, Kew is my hood. My kids went to primary school in Hawthorn, I shop at Leos, Toscanos or Woolworths and swim at the Boroondara outdoor pool in Balwyn.