With the Spring Carnival Circus event coming to a close we are left to ponder why John So decided to not run for a third term? Surely if he stood he would have been elected? So why did he not stand again?
John is a likeable person, you can not help but smile and enjoy a conversation with him.
The answer to the question "Why did john not stand for a third term?" lies with Catherine Ng, John So's lead candidate in 2001 and 2004.
Take a walk down China Town and you will see just how divided they are. Peter McMullin with the support of John So and Kevin Louey have been actively campaigning within the Chinese Community. McMullin's poster's are on display, but as is often the case in the Chinese community, the real decisions are made in quite on the street and in the Chinese community newspapers where Catherine Ng has not been doing so well. Peter McMullin/Keven Louey have been doing extremely well in China Town, just how well will not be known until the weekend when the ballot is counted
Talk around Town Hall has it that John could no longer work with Catherine Ng, which explains why John had not openly supported Catherine Ng's bid to succeed him. Instead he has backed Peter McMullin and Gary Singer to be he replacement as Melbourne's next Lord Mayor.
There is no doubt that many of the negative issues surrounding John So's leadership are connected back to Catherine Ng. If this election is close as most expect it will be then it is the Chinese community that will decide which direction Melbourne will head.
The Melbourne Chinese community, which represents around 13% of the electorate, is divided.
The Chinese community is well aware of the fallout between John So and Catherine Ng. It is ear as daylight as John has not embraced Cathrine's campaign. John So is reported and having said that he and his wife can not get on with Catherine. They no longer talk to each other. It would have been wrong for John and Catherine to be publicly seen to be at odds with each other. Rather then try and force her out John decided to not contest the next election.
Catherine Ng has been the subject of a number of complaints within the town hall of harassment and abuse staff. Catherine is on the nose with many from the Chinese community she can not count on the level of support that was given to John So.
If Catherine can manage to secure more votes then Peter McMullin then yes she has a chance of becoming Melbourne's second Chinese born Lord Mayor. Catherine Ng is best placed in terms of the various preference deals that are on the table, she collects preferences from just about everyone, but I would not throw the IChing dice just yet.