I’m fortunate to have been preselected as the ALP candidate for the federal seat of Fraser (AAP report here). I haven’t been discussing the preselection much on this blog, but it’s been the main thing occupying my attention over the past three months, as I’ve spent my nights and weekends speaking with the 240 Labor Party members who eventually voted yesterday. Thanks to a great campaign team, I’m slowly making the evolution from the academic style of hard facts and sharp differences to the political style of storytelling and common ground, but it’s been one heck of a learning experience.
The other candidates – Christina Ryan, Jim Jones, Michael Pilbrow, Mike Hettinger, Chris Bourke, Nick Martin and George Williams – are people for whom I have great respect. I was friends with most of them before the campaign began, and my admiration for them has only grown over past months.
In the meantime, I’m about to head to the US for what might be my last academic conference – the NBER economics of education meetings in Cambridge MA. I’ll be overseas from 26 April to 5 May. I haven’t seen Gweneth and my two little boys for nearly a month, and am missing them like crazy. Skype helps, but since the boys are aged 10 months and 3 years respectively, they don’t exactly want to talk to a computer screen for long.
For my wife Gweneth, this is going to be a particularly unusual experience. She passed her citizenship test last month, and becomes a dual Australian/US citizen on 4 June. So she’ll cast her first Australian ballot for her husband (if I’m lucky, that is…).
For Core Economics, this may be my last post. Joshua has done a superb job making this into the premier economics blog in Australia. I might not be contributing to it any longer, but I’ll be a devoted reader. As to my personal blog – andrewleigh.com – I have to think about the right way to evolve it, or whether to draw a line by starting a new blog in my capacity as an ALP candidate. So please forgive me while I try to sort that out.
(a similar post was posted at andrewleigh.com)