Kevin Bailey has kicked off his campaign for the next federal election, living up to his own strongly held belief that the early
bird gets the worm.
Pre-selected as the Victorian Senate candidate for the Conservative Party, Mr Bailey has his sights set on a seat in the senate, a goal he said is "absolutely" achievable.
The military and special air service (SAS) veteran, financial advisor, twice-published author and ex-Herald Sun columnist told
The Guardian he believed his life experience would set him apart from the other MPs currently in the senate.
He visited Swan Hill last Friday, and said he had found plenty of support among regional voters.
A self-described "social and economic conservatist", Mr Bailey said he had seen plenty of disillusionment from the public on his
tour across regional Victoria.
"What they [voters] have seen is the politicians that are elected behaving and acting in way contrary to the way their constituents
want, and people think well, if I don't vote for them, the other side is worse," he said.
"So now we have got: 'Who do we vote for? The least worst party'," Mr Bailey said the next federal election, which is expected to be held early next year, would prove a pivotal one in Australian politics.
"In the senate things are pretty set, there are probably going to be two Coalition Senators and three Labor Senators according to
the polls, but it's that final seat, seat number six which is really critical — the Greens have held the balance of power for the last 15 or 20 years in the senate. What we think there is a real opportunity to take that final senate seat...and as a result we could actually fundamentally change the way in which politics is played in Australia," he said.
Mr Bailey said the party was looking to tackle a "whole range of issues" but a large part of his platform was "commonsense views".
"For example the Murray Darling Basin Plan is coming up for final approval in the senate some time in the next six-year term,
between 2019 and 2025," he said.
"Irrigators and a whole host of people are going to be really affected by this, and if the Greens have the balance of power, it doesn't bode well for a lot of rural and regional people. It's the sort of thing that has been in contention for decades, but fundamentally, we think it is really critical to have a conservative voice in the senate," he said.
Mr Bailey said with the Conservatives being a relatively new party, the biggest barrier to success was simply getting
the message out there of who and what they stand for.
"Overwhelmingly, people will get the sense that we are a socially conservative party, we stand for freedom, family, getting rid of political correctness and all this identity politics," he said.
Other issues in Mr Bailey's sights are the level of debt the country is in, a lack of support for small business and "having a welfare
state that constantly talk about people's entitlements" instead of how to shift that around and give them the "dignity of work".
"What we want as a community is to be grown up adults, lifting up and contributing to their society and not dependent like little
children into their 20s and 30s — you know this extended adolescence where they are replacing mum and dad with the government providing everything, and that is why the best form of welfare is a job," he said.
Mr Bailey said while global warming has been proved a scientific fact, he was concerned by the approach taken to lower emissions.
"Whether people acknowledge there is global warming or not, our contribution in Australia is 1.5 per cent," he said.
"And for us to be going it alone and virtue signalling, people are very concerned about electricity prices, people are very concerned
by the fact that seems to be the most important thing and when you double or triple electricity prices lots of small businesses
can't employ people."
Mr Bailey said a change in the senate would result in a change in the way which legislation is framed.
"I'm really energised and invigorated by it all, because I am absolutely convinced we can win this battle and turn it around," he said.
"I could have joined the Liberal Party, the Labor Party and being involved in the party of government, but rather I want to hold
them to account. You would never drive a car without third party insurance, and you should never vote in Bill Shorten or Scott Morrison without third party insurance in the Senate."
Mr Bailey has told Warrnambool radio station 3Way FM, the only way to bring common sense back to Canberra is to elect more Conservative Party Senators.
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