FAQ in case you see my name in the press

Meet the Candidates at Glebe Town Hall (L-R: Verity Firth, Jamie Parker, Patrick Fogarty)

Meet the Candidates at Glebe Town Hall (L-R: Verity Firth, Jamie Parker, Patrick Fogarty)

Hey, there’s someone named Patrick Fogarty running in the NSW election as a candidate for the Australian Cyclists Party. Any relation?

Not quite… It’s me. 

Wait, what? If you’re going to be in parliament, then who’s going to bug me to go for a bike ride/watch French films/drink a beer?

Don’t panic. I’m not going anywhere. The chances of me being elected are practically nil. I’m running in my local seat of Balmain, which according to the electoral math will either be held by Jamie Parker (Greens) or go to Verity Firth (ALP).

Then why are you doing it?

The nature of NSW elections means we need a group ticket of 15 candidates in the upper house to have any chance of getting our lead candidate, Ken Thompson, elected. Plus some sacrificial lower-house candidates to garner coverage. I’m one of the others offering my name, spare time and nomination deposit to help out.

Wow, computing pioneer Ken Thompson is running for NSW parliament?

No, not that Ken Thompson. This Ken Thompson (update: he found his son and was named Dutch father of the year)

A cycling party huh? So you’re another single-issue minor-interest party?

Not exactly. Cycling involves Transport, Planning and Health… some of the major responsibilities of state government. On ALL issues our position is to support evidence-based policy, and to that end we have a Reference & Experts Panel we can consult for advice. So even if you don’t ride a bike, if you think policy should be determined by evidence, not ideology or which donors are owed favours, then the ACP might just be the party for you.

Why do cyclists need a party? You’ve got plenty of bike lanes now and you’re always on the road slowing me down and disturbing me with your lycra! And one time, a saw someone ride a bike through a red light so you’re all criminals! 

Whoah, calm down. Sydney recently achieved media notoriety when it was named and shamed as the worst place in the world to ride a bike, not for the quality of the roads but for the aggression on the roads and attitudes to cyclists. Any cycling-related news article online quickly attracts a flame war in the comments (from both sides), and these attitudes help no-one. Sydney’s cycleways are a great start, but are disconnected and will only provide maximum benefit when they are joined up.

The current NSW government is planning to REMOVE cycleways in the CBD, at a cost of millions, when their own department has shown that they carry more people in peak hour than the neighbouring road lane. Encouraging cycling is just one way to improve the transport system (more people on bikes=fewer people driving cars and less crowding on public transport), and as an added bonus it will ease pressure on the health system (more active people = lower incidence of ‘lifestyle diseases’ in later life). The Australian Cyclists Party aims to create a cycling-friendly Australia, whether it be through our own candidates, or by making other parties realise that there are votes in these issues.

The lycra is to preventing chafing and pressure sores on your most sensitive bits. No-one thinks it’s fashionable.

If you still think cyclists are scum and want them off the roads, then you should vote for the ACP too. We will be the strongest campaigners for separated, off-road cycle paths.

Okay, I’m intrigued. Where can I found out more? 

Check out icycleivote.com

I don’t need any more info, take my money now! 

We are volunteer run and elections are expensive, so donations are most welcome. We also need volunteers (and more candidates!) to help spread the word in the lead up to election day on March 28. You can donate and/or sign up at icycleivote.com or just buy a shirt. Or comment below to get in touch and offer your support.

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