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Nine: The tooth fairy comes.

Having established an official presence in the electorate, my next concern was to build a political machine which could work behind the scenes to achieve a victory at the next election. Survival can only be assured by winning votes--that is the simple maxim of elected office. Politicians are often accused of "only doing things to get votes", by people who espouse the democratic process, and who expect their elected representatives to pander to their needs. Whatever the politician's ideals and personal abilities, the retention of power involves counting votes. Getting the numbers is fundamental.

In Manly, we had learned a great deal from the 1978 election, especially about the deficiencies in the election campaigns, the State Electorate Council had proved unwieldy in the cut and thrust of battle. Composed of representatives  elected from the branches within the electorate, it reflected local territorial jealousies and tensions between the factions. Meeting infrequently, it spent most of its time in acrimonious debate.

After the SEC had endorsed  me as the ALP candidate, I had been left to run my own race except that they had saddled me with Peter Randall as manager.

Despite these structural failings, we had achieved  


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