George Was Not Impressed

By this point, Ballantyne had turned his attention to the Federal Secretary, who also served as the Federal Campaign Director.

"Not after I'd told him I'd been approached to run, anyway. But never mind all that. I've been working the phones over the last week..."

"So I hear," Moran remarked.

"And I've got the basis for a pretty reasonable campaign. The Family Trust will be good for at least a hundred thousand for a start. And I reckon I've got the numbers to knock over anyone you blokes decide to put up against me. George was able to fill me in on those details, too."

He paused to let that sink in and turned his attention to Moran.

"And I might even have the numbers to knock your bloke off the Number One spot, But I won't. Doesn't fit in with what I want to do. And if you don't endorse me for Number Two, I can probably get up running as an Independent, which will make it very interesting for Old Mate, since I reckon I'd draw off more votes from him than from the Tory. So here's the deal. I'll run on these conditions."

"So let's hear 'em," the Federal Secretary growled. "And don't think you've got us over a barrel."

"They're not that unreasonable," Ballantyne countered. "I want to run my own Vote 1 Ballantyne campaign. Been done before, in other states."

"But this is a Territory," Moran pointed out. "the numbers are different."

"And you can't run against an endorsed candidate," one of the Shadow Ministers cut in.


© Ian Hughes 2017