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Thread: Bennelong by Election Report; I Vape I Vote campaign

  1. #1
    AVF Newbie | Be nice to me
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Bennelong by Election Report; I Vape I Vote campaign

    Wow. What a day! Sorry it's taken me a while to report on the Bennelong campaign. Other stuff gets in the way.

    I flew up the night before and rented a car.

    I started at 2 am to put our signs up. I aimed to get to every single booth. I just made it before I had to pick up Annette at 7:30. Along the way I met mostly ALP young people guarding their bunting and signs, I was always friendly, one of them was a vaper so I said "Vape On Bro!" and my line to the ALP was; "Yes, this is going to help bring down the Government, a protest vote always goes against the incumbent!" One ALP guy said our signs weren't properly authorised because we didn't have the printer on them; I pleaded with him "I'm sorry, we're just a small community group. We made a mistake. Have mercy. Don't you want to bring down the Government?" and I panicked that all our work would be for nought but in the end as I went around the booths almost all of our signs stayed up.

    Andrew already had his scorecards to hand out and was going to make his own way to West Ryde, the biggest booth. Annette stayed at the second biggest one and I went to the third; but then as I was handing out I realised with our small numbers the biggest impact we would have is talking to the other activists from all parties. So I ended up rotating around booths and supporting Annette and Andrew, because I had a car.

    I felt like I had nonstop conversations with party activists of all shades, it was a very friendly atmosphere, only one ALP guy said with squinty eyes, "So who paid you to come here, hey???" and because I did not use NNA funds for this at all I confidently looked him in the eyes and said, "I paid for this myself. Vaping saved my life. I believe so strongly in this that I'm giving my time and my money to making vaping legal. Not one e-cigarette sold in Australia comes from a tobacco company, so every vaper is a loss to the tobacco companies."

    Otherwise everyone could see what a no-brainer it was.

    Got along really well with the Science Party, and really mostly everyone. The Conservatives were pleased they had a tick, the Greens were puzzled that they didn't. John Alexander came along and looked a little upset.

    It was very powerful to have 5 of the 12 candidates in favor of legalising nicotine vaping, and from wildly different parts of the political spectrum.

    I came across Christopher Pyne and chatted with him for a bit and got a photo with him in front of one of our signs! I hooked him into the issue by telling him that 8 out of 10 Australian vape shops are in Adelaide. A rough guess, might be off a bit, but certainly many more vape shops there than anywhere else in Australia.

    Moving around the booths made us look bigger than we actually were, I hope!

    Then for the last hour I decided to go to the West Ryde booth, knowing that Andrew had left at 3 pm.

    Who should be there but Bill Shorten! I decided to play it smooth. He was with his team inside the gates, so I planted myself smack in the middle of the entrance and started handing out. Our eyes met and I smiled and nodded and went back to work. Then he came out right next to me and we were both handing out together. I waited for him to ask about me. Which he then did. I explained how for me, quitting smoking is a crime, because nicotine vaping is illegal. We had a bit of a chat about vaping, not too deep, but I clearly got my point across and he said he'd look into it.

    Over the next hour Bill came and went from the central location, we had some friendly banter, and at quiet times I would vape very obviously on a low powered low vapour device. Of course I had to get a selfie with him.

    I really felt like Bennelong was a great opportunity, where the political attention of the nation was keenly focused on this place at this time, and so we were able to put on a show and get noticed. I feel like we really did get noticed, and the politicians are starting to see that this could be an issue that could sway votes.

    Next post I'll explain my even greater excitement for the potential of a by election in Batman, if it happens.

    Next time we'll have a lot more than just a few days to prepare and hopefully we can get more of the community involved and excited.
    Last edited by Dr Attila Danko; 20-12-17 at 07:50 AM.
    Cath Mort, MrGruffy, Rose and 11 others like this.

  2. #2
    AVF Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    N/E Vic
    Nice one Attila. It's nice to see you here at AVF again!
    Imagine the turn out of assistants that could have shared the lived experience and benefits of e-cigarettes and widening the pamphlet distribution if the NNA campaign(?) was more widely publicised to people that have an interest in it & a passion for change.
    Rose and Danny76 like this.
    Awwww! Stuff it all!

    Smokeless from 10/02/15 Thanks immensely to AVFers old guard!
    Heaps of stuff in high rotation

  3. #3
    AVF Newbie | Be nice to me
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Newcastle, NSW
    Thank you Attila, Andrew and Annette for all your hard work. Great job!!

    I would've liked to have helped, however I couldn't miss my daughters' wedding.

    So glad you are pleased with the response.
    AllyP likes this.

    Vaping since 27/05/2017



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