A serial candidate for election to state and federal parliaments for nearly 50 years, Peter Breen looks back on a political career which was sometimes controversial but never dull. He was a member of both major parties and numerous minor parties representing most points of the political compass.
Between bouts of his political illness, Peter wrote a few books, practised law (‘writing that pays the bills’) and worked as an adviser to crossbench senators in the Australian Parliament. His memoir is a rare insight into what happens behind the scenes in a representative democracy where the gene pool for the major parties is shrinking while minor parties receive more votes, more influence and more than their fair share of chaos and discombobulation.
Candidates Disease argues that the increased share of the primary vote for minor parties in Australia is not reflected in additional seats in parliament, particularly since changes to the voting system in 2016 which effectively introduced a hybrid form of optional preferential voting in the Senate.