Despite living in Yarram in the Gippsland South state electorate, Samuel Fink has been selected by the Liberal Democrat party to run in Northcote. In spite of the geographical challenges, Fink said that he is “excited to be a candidate” to represent his party and voters.
While conceding that he had hoped to run as a candidate in Gippsland South and is not fully across local issues in Northcote, Fink’s goal for the election is to widen knowledge of and promote the policies of the Liberal Democrat Party.
Asked why he was standing as a candidate, Fink said he held a long-term interest in politics and had found the Liberal Democrats to be the only political party that shared his values. Smaller government is a key issue for Fink who believes that the “less interference the government has in people’s lives, the better”.
Fink also said that he had little interest in the “status quo” of the major parties which have a large emphasis on self-interest and little interest in individuals. The current lack of political stability, especially in federal politics was highlighted as an example of this self-absorption. To Fink this is, “not a good look… and a good explanation of why politicians are not trusted”.
Fink explained the philosophy of the Liberal Democrats as the idea that individuals can be trusted to look after their own lives and that the power and reach of government can be reduced to key services such as law and order.
A number of commentators such as the ABC’s Antony Green have highlighted the possible confusion for voters between the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrat Party. However, Fink argues that unlike the Liberals, the Liberal Democrats are traditional liberals, pointing out that on the issue of taxes, “every successive government has made promises [to lower taxes]… but nothing changes”.
The Liberal Democrats have also made electricity and petrol prices key issues for their campaign. They argue that taxes and over-regulation have increased the prices on both which contribute to a higher cost of living for individuals.
Fink acknowledges that winning Northcote is not likely, however he believes the exposure for his party will be beneficial. If he were to win the seat Fink lists protecting free speech as a focus. He suggests that many people are afraid to speak their minds for fear of retribution. He also suggests this applies to his candidacy and that he is, “open to criticism… which is not something to be shied away from” and is an opportunity to learn or stand up for important beliefs.
On some of the issues raised in the Northcote electorate such as public school funding, public housing and transport Fink emphasised the importance of private investment in increasing choice for individuals. For Fink many of these issues were problems of too little supply to meet current demand. He argued that an increase in the number of private schools and dwellings would decrease costs, making them more accessible to the community.
Fink currently works full time at a supermarket, has a previous qualification in electronics which has been a hobby since high school and hopes to pursue further study in the future. He also volunteers with his local urban fire brigade.