Well-known ANU School of Politics and International Relations lecturer, researcher and occasional Batman impersonator Dr Kim Huynh has announced his candidacy for the upcoming 2016 ACT election.
Dr Huynh officially launched his campaign on 23 August to secure a position as one of five representatives for the Ginninderra, an electorate that covers most of the Belconnen area.
Running on a platform of social inclusion through approaches to sport, arts and planning, Dr Huynh lays claim to the “sensible centre”, according to his website, and identifies his position as a more conservative economic approach than the ACT Labor and Greens Parties and more progressive social views than the ACT Liberal Party.
The lecturer of courses such as The Political Philosophy of Deception and Refugee Politics: Displacement and Exclusion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries has policies including focusing resources on women’s sport, more funding for festivals, events and artists, more bike paths and other public spaces, and preparing for self-driving cars.
Dr Huynh, who once delivered a lecture on how Batman is the embodiment of Plato’s Philosopher King concept while dressed as the Caped Crusader, has weighed on the ACT Labor and ACT Greens’ controversial light rail project. He opposes the current plans, citing the need for “evidence-based policy” and “prudent economic decision-making”.
When asked about his campaign’s path to victory, Dr Huynh stated that he wants 52,000 of the first preference votes from 54,746 registered voters in Ginninderra, quipping that “we need to be realistic”.
Dr Huynh’s campaign material draws attention to his independence from traditional politics. He has promised to reject any donations and states that he has no special interest group backing.
Dr Huynh also pledged to donate all the public funding received for each vote to the Hands Across Canberra foundation. This donation would be north of $400,000 if you believe Dr Huynh’s projected vote count, which may be slightly optimistic given that the three major parties received 55,305 of 68,645 votes at the 2012 ACT election.
The Ginninderra electorate is currently represented by three Labor members and two Liberal members. The electorate had the highest independent vote of the three electorates in the 2012 ACT Electorate and has had one independent member since its creation in 1995.
Dr Huynh’s campaign has strong links to the ANU community. Beyond his position as researcher and lecturer, Dr Huynh’s five-person campaign team comprises of ANU students Tom Chen, Ciara O’Brien, Duncan Stuart, Sumithri Venketasubramanian and Nicky Lovegrove.
An ANU spokesperson stated that Dr Huynh is currently on extended leave and, if elected, is expected to resign from his academic position as per ANU’s Political Elections policy.
Dr Huynh confirmed this but also told Woroni “I’ll always be ANU thru-n-thru”.
The ACT election will be held on Saturday, 15 October 2016. Changes to the electoral roll for the election will close on 16 September 2016. You can update your details with the AEC here.