Allan Takes Aim Blog

Budget and next ACT election opinions

Posted on: 6 June 2012

Published online The Chronicle Canberra, Wednesdsay June Wenesday 6, 2012

Because this column is being written a week before delivery of the ACT budget, like t and see if it matches the Federal Labor Government’s recent budget that some people have described as like a curate’s egg: good in parts. But in a sense all budgets are like a curate’s egg. And while the ACT budget no doubt will follow that pattern it will also try to prevent a winter of discontent among voters that might cause an upset at the next ACT election by electing an Assembly in which the balance of power will be a moveable feast. That said in an attempt to gauge the result of the next ACT election I sought the opinion of politically aligned and non- aligned ACT voters.

This first opinion came from a middle aged Labor voter who said the ALP’s drift to the right worried him. In some respects Labor was now indistinguishable from the Liberals but depending on the budget he was prepared to give it one more go.

The second opinion was from a Liberal voter who said she thought the view that Canberra was a Labor town was changing. She also thought planning, health, transport and housing were in disarray and that opportunity in Canberra was being stifled by the minority Labor Government and its Green associates.

In a third opinion a man said he had thought about voting Green but was now undecided because, despite allegedly different beliefs, all parties seemed to believe pragmatism was better than principle. He added also, that he had come to think of politicians as a necessary evil.

Older residents who were long- time Labor and Liberal voters said it was unlikely they would change their vote at the next election unless the issues of greatest interest to them, health, housing and municipal services did not receive fair treatment in the budget. The one thing that did give them concern was Canberra’s loss of its Bush Capital image.

Younger non- aligned voters had different views. Most said that while their elders thought -self-government an unwanted imposition they believed that all Canberra residents should be totally involved in determining how the city should work. In effect, they endorsed self-government. As for the budget, they hoped it provided more help for technology and modern arts.

Additional comments were that unless Canberra kept abreast of the technological change taking place in Australia it would become a backwater and that Parliament House would simply become an historical monument as the business of the House and Senate was carried using technology. They also thought it would be a good idea to start calling Canberra the Technology Capital.

From the multitude of issues that came up during my canvass of opinions I formed the impression that Canberra was becoming two cities, a pre self -government city and a post self- government city. While pre self- government city residents had a continuing attachment to Canberra’s political and social past most post self-government residents were futurists. And while generally the Assembly was praised there was also a thought that, too many of the MLAs elected to govern Canberra on our behalf in the past had not proved worthy of their hire.

But what also seemed abundantly clear to me was that while older pre self- government residents were happy to live without change, post self-government residents were happy to adopt new planning, education systems, architectural and perhaps more importantly, the use of the new technologies that were rapidly changing their workplaces, homes, how they played and how they lived. Some also thought too many MLAs self- important and stuck in a time warp.

For me this raises a bigger question. Come the next ACT election on October 20, will Canberra voters elect candidates who seem prepared to make changes and think it more important to develop policy that will ensure Canberra’s future or candidates who seek a sinecure and only feel safe behind their party’s political fire wall?

Fortunately you still have a few months in which to take a good look at the candidates and their approach before making up your mind as to which of them you feel you could entrust Canberra’s future.

My opinion: the choice seems clear.
The Chronicle for Canberra’s best Community News. Published every Tuesday and at every Wednesday


7 Responses to "Budget and next ACT election opinions"

I’m looking forward to your presentation of the candidates. I count on you for the necessary information to make a choice. Other sources don’t bother presenting all candidates. We only hear about the major political party candidates from them. I like to look at all possible choices.

Dear Lady Marylin,

While I know the names of the Labor, Liberal and Green candidates I am still waiting for as yet unknown parties and Independents to make themselvers known. I hope they don’t wait too long as otherwise they will miss getting their message out.

I have reactivated Smudges, Blots and Stains today after around eighteen months of silence. I’m quite indignant about what we are potentially about to do to the Great Barrier Reef. So is UNESCO. We might be going to lose our World Heritage status. I’ve only written two haiku, so it’s not very long. Here is the link:

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