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Oz news: Janine Haines dies.

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2004 06:01 am
Janine Haines dies aged 59
November 21, 2004 - 9:07PM/ the AGE

http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2004/11/21/janine_haines_narrowweb__200x243.jpg


Janine Haines, the first Australian Democrats senator and first woman to lead an Australian political party, has died aged 59.

She had been suffering from a long-term neurological condition.

Ms Haines became the first Democrats senator to sit in federal parliament in December 1977 when she was chosen by the South Australian parliament to fill a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Liberal Movement Senator Steele Hall.

She beat the founder of the Democrats, Don Chipp, into the Senate by 12 months.

In 1986, Ms Haines became the first woman to lead an Australian political party when she took over the Democrats leadership from the retiring Senator Chipp.

She was a highly popular leader, whose personal ratings generally outstripped the polling for her party.

In 1990, Senator Haines sacrificed her seat and her job in an unsuccessful attempt to win the South Australian seat of Kingston in the House of Representatives.

The move was prompted by the need to run a high-profile campaign to ensure the party could retain the balance of power in the Senate.

Ms Haines believed the bid for the lower house was necessary to try to head off a collapse in the party's vote nationally.

She won a creditable 26.4 per cent of the vote but failed to win enough preferences to take the seat.

Yet the campaign helped the Democrats win record support of more than 1.25 million votes and 12.6 per cent of the vote.

The party easily held the important balance of power in the Senate by winning second seats in South Australia, NSW and Victoria.

By comparison, the Democrats managed just 144,832 first preference votes in last month's federal election, or 1.24 per cent of the vote.

After the 1990 election, Janet Powell succeeded Ms Haines as party leader while former Democrats leader and now independent senator Meg Lees filled the vacancy caused by her resignation.

It was Senator Lees who announced Ms Haines' death tonight, describing her as a truly great Australian, a friend and an inspiration.

In 2001, Ms Haines received an AM in the Queen's Birthday honours for her contribution to politics and the community.

"I'm thrilled and proud,'' she said on receiving the award.

Since leaving politics, Ms Haines has served on a range of boards and was president of the Australian Privacy Charter Council for three years.

She was also Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Adelaide University.

Ms Haines was survived by her husband of 37 years, Ian, daughters Melanie and Bronwyn and three grandchildren.

- AAP
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2004 06:02 am
This is quite shocking news & terribly sad.
A very smart & capable former leader of the Australian Democrats.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2004 06:25 am
Damn! I don't believe it!

I didn't know she had been ill.

She was, indeed, a very smart and capable leader.

And a great party animal!!! In the wild girl sense.

This is awful.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2004 06:28 am
I can't believe it, either, Deb. Terrible.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2004 05:14 am
Voter who wanted a say
D.D. McNicoll
November 23, 2004


Janine Haines
Australian Democrats leader, 1986-90. Born Tanunda, South Australia, May 8, 1945. Died November 20, Adelaide, aged 59.

JANINE Haines had spent a decade working in relative anonymity as an Adelaide schoolteacher when, at 32, she was surprisingly selected as the Australian Democrats' first senator in 1977 and catapulted into the public eye.

Her appearance -- dominated by her mop of curly hair and large framed spectacles -- made her an immediate favourite for cartoonists, who nine years later couldn't believe their luck when she became the first woman to lead an Australian political party when Democrats founder Don Chipp retired.

But any idea that she was a political lightweight was quickly abolished by her intelligence and political skills.

"She appeared a bit schoolmarmish but personally she was the opposite," Chipp recalled yesterday. "She had total integrity, she was full of compassion and tolerance. I remember just before I left politics, she came into my office once -- terribly upset over something some Liberal fella had said.

"I listened to her and all of a sudden she burst into tears and said: 'Chippy, I don't think I can handle this pressure, this dirt.' She immediately threw herself into my arms and I hugged her for about 30 seconds as she sobbed away. That was the other side of Janine. Nobody ever saw that."

The Australian Democrats had come into being earlier in 1977 when Chipp, a former Liberal member of the House of Representatives and an experienced minister who had held the navy, social services and customs and excise portfolios, fell out with his former colleagues. He was approached by concerned citizens, including members of the Australia Party and the New Liberal Movement, to hold a series of public meetings across the country with the aim of forming a new political party in which ordinary people could have a say.

Haines was just one of thousands of disillusioned voters who were looking for a greater say in the running of the country.

The meetings attracted widespread support and Chipp launched a new reformist party -- known as the Australian Democrats. The party's aim, Chipp said famously, was "to keep the bastards honest".

The Democrats got off to a storming start when Robin Millhouse was elected to the South Australian parliament -- but it was Haines who got the first runs on the board federally when she was chosen by the South Australian parliament to fill a casual vacancy in the Senate caused by the resignation of the Liberal Movement's Steele Hall. Haines took her seat in the Senate almost 12 months before Chipp made it.

At the federal election in December 1977, the Democrats polled well across the country and Chipp, in Victoria, and NSW's Colin Mason won seats in the Senate. In the 1980 election the Democrats won won three more Senate seats in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, and suddenly held the balance of power in the Senate.

When Chipp retired in 1986, Haines was elected leader and became the first woman in Australia to lead a political party.

Haines started to shift the focus of the party from the Senate to the House of Representatives and at the 1990 federal election resigned her Senate seat to stand for the seat of Kingston in SA. The move was prompted by the need to run a high-profile campaign to ensure the party could retain the balance of power in the Senate. Haines believed the bid for the lower house was necessary to try to head off a collapse in the party's vote nationally. She polled strongly, as did all the Democrats Senate candidates, winning 26.4 per cent of the vote but failing to secure enough preferences to secure the seat. In failing to win Kingston her political career was all but over.

But her high-profile campaign helped the Democrats win record support of more than 1.25 million votes and 12.6 per cent of the vote. The party easily held the important balance of power in the Senate by winning second seats in SA, NSW and Victoria.

Haines was succeeded as Democrats leader by Janet Powell -- a change that was to signal a series of female leaders for the party. Since Haines's election to the post in 1986, Cheryl Kernot, Natasha Stott Despoja and Meg Lees have also become party leaders.

Chipp says the greatest mistake Haines made in politics was to abandon the Senate and to stand for a seat in the House of Representatives.

"I told her to stay in the Senate and I said so publicly," Chipp says.

"One of the features of being a Democrat is that you can say exactly what you please about anybody without offending people -- because you don't have to get 51per cent of the vote to be re-elected in the House of Reps. If you are in the Labor or Liberal party, you can't afford to offend any bastard. Part of my fun in politics was offending any bastard."

Haines's death in Adelaide on Saturday -- from a long-term neurological condition -- was announced on Sunday by her friend and the woman who entered politics by taking her casual Senate vacancy in 1990, the now independent senator Lees. Lees says the death of a "truly great Australian" at the age of just 59 is just "so unfair".

Yesterday, politicians of every hue paid tribute to Haines as a woman of inspirational vision who combined political dynamism with humour, charm, dignity and integrity.

Lyn Allison, soon to succeed Andrew Bartlett as the Democrats' new leader, says Haines was arguably the party's most successful leader.

"She was a great role model for women and a great parliamentarian," Allison says. "Her courage in contesting and coming close to winning the lower house seat of Kingston was legendary. Janine's legacy is a Senate that functions as a true house of review. She was a brilliant and witty debater and, under her wise and intelligent leadership, the Democrats established their role as a party to be entrusted with balance of power."

Stott Despoja says Haines inspired her to join the party with a speech delivered to her Australian politics class at university.

"Janine was a trailblazer, a strong and articulate woman," Stott Despoja says. "She was a dynamic, clever and witty -- very witty -- charismatic politician. She led the way for many female politicians.

"Her views strongly influenced me -- she was a mentor in that regard, an inspiration and certainly a defining reason for me supporting, voting for the Democrats and joining them and becoming a senator. I was very proud to have her launch my campaign for the Senate in 1995."

The Democrats' SA parliamentary leader Sandra Kanck says Haines will be remembered for being "a class act".

"Janine was known for her commonsense approach to politics as well as her quick, dry wit, often turned against herself," Kanck says. "Janine made an enormous contribution to the Democrats. Put simply, she was revered because she was a class act."

John Howard says he learned Haines was very ill just before leaving Australia for the APEC meeting in Chile.

"She was a very effective leader of the Australian Democrats and a very good senator," the Prime Minister says.

"I remember her well from the time that she led the Democrats in the Senate. I do want to extend to her husband, Ian, and the other members of her family my very deepest sympathy and that of my party."

His thoughts were echoed by Opposition Leader Mark Latham, who says Haines had the political courage do what she believed in.

"She was a well-respected political leader who saw the Democrats as a mainstream party and backed her convictions by running for a lower house seat," he says. "I'm sure all Australians will share the sorrow of her passing."

Since leaving politics, Haines served on a range of boards and was president of the Australian Privacy Charter Council for three years. She was also deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Adelaide, her alma mater.

In 2001, Haines was appointed a Member (AM) in the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday honours for her contribution to politics and the community. "I'm thrilled and proud," she said at the time.

Haines is survived by her husband of 37 years, Ian; daughters Melanie and Bronwyn; and three grandchildren.


`
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2004 05:49 am
State funeral for Janine Haines
November 23, 2004 - 1:53PM

Former Australian Democrats leader Janine Haines will be honoured with a state funeral in Adelaide.

Ms Haines, the first woman to lead an Australian political party, died at the weekend from a long-standing neurological condition.

She was 59.

Premier Mike Rann said the former senator was a distinguished pioneer and a role model for women.

"Normally state funerals are provided for former premiers, governors or long-serving ministers," Mr Rann said.

"However, I believe that it would be most fitting for South Australia to honour Janine Haines in this way.

"Janine brought commitment, resilience and humour to her role as both a senator for South Australia and as leader of the Australian Democrats nationally.

"It is tragic that a person of this ability and such integrity has been taken from us at so young an age."

The funeral was expected to be held on Friday.

`
0 Replies
 
Lady J
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2004 11:02 am
My deepest condolences for the loss of one of your own very remarkable political leaders. I am certain that we, here in America, could have benefitted greatly from her service and dedication had she been an American.

I can tell by your posts, that she will be sorely missed, not just by her family and her government, but by you many individuals whose lives she has enriched.

Ny heartfelt sympathy, Australia...
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2004 02:21 pm
Thank you, Lady J!!!


Good on Mike for giving her a state funeral - she deserves it.

Actually - what is saddest, in a way, is that such a wonderfully bright woman had a neurological illness - I so hope her last illness left her dignity?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 03:55 am
Thank you, Lady J.

She was very special & amongst other things, a great inspiration for other women. It seemed strange, in retrospect, that she'd been so quiet over the past few years. As the media had not reported her illness ordinary folk had no idea how ill she was. So the news of her death, at such a young age, was a huge shock.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 06:07 am
Sure was.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 06:21 am
A letter from this morning's Age:

A colleague's tribute to Janine Haines

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the cruelly premature death of former Australian Democrats leader Janine Haines. I was privileged to serve under Janine's leadership during my three years in the Senate from 1987 to 1990. It was a wonderfully stimulating experience which will stay with me always. Janine's grasp of economics, the environment and just about every issue under the sun, in particular feminist ones, was immense. At any given opportunity, she would cite the reasons given by male members of Parliament for women not to get the vote and with great derision quote her favourite one: that it would give married men the unfair advantage of two votes - their own and their wife's! In the party room, Janine was always respectful of all views expressed by her Senate team. If anyone held a dissenting view, it was a case of how this was handled rather than trying to change a sincerely held point of view. Every senator could expect her support and this was reciprocated. It is truly sad that Janine Haines has died so young, and everyone's sympathy must go out to Ian, her husband of 37 years, and to her children and grandchildren.

Jean Jenkins, former WA Democrats senator, Safety Bay, WA
0 Replies
 
Lady J
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 03:29 am
Does anyone know what neurological illness she had?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 06:21 am
No, I don't, Lady J. But apparently others in her family had suffered from it, too. Maybe Deb could tell us?
0 Replies
 
 

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