Allan Takes Aim Blog

Not an election forecast

Posted on: 18 July 2012

The Chronicle Canberra, Published every Tuesday and online on Wednesday at:

All candidates who hope to become part of the ACT Government after the election on 20 October will soon be known to voters. That said the CO2 tax that will increase prices from 1 July, was imposed by the Federal Labor Government and its Greens and Independent allies. And while the Federal Government is making payments to compensate for the increases, many ACT voters I canvassed thought the payments were being made simply to assuage their guilt because of the increased prices.

Some disadvantaged people also said the payments were a confidence trick because when the compensation was used up they would return to the same level of disadvantage. Others among them expressed their views in more forceful but unprintable language.

Of the homeless, some among them thought that, as time passed, the CO2 tax would also make their homeless situation a hopeless situation because house prices would rise, thus decreasing the availability of affordable houses for sale and rent. This would not be a happy outcome for the ACT’s Labor Minority Government and Green partners who hope to be returned to Government at the October election as they, not their federal colleagues, will get the blame.

And what else would the minority ACT Labor Government and Green Alliance find unwelcome? Unwelcome would be more homeless and lengthening queues at the emergency department of The Canberra Hospital (TCH) and the list of complaints about lack of service. These would not be welcomed because they would raise again the data manipulation issue at the TCH over a number of years and encourage more opposition attacks based on this issue.

in rebutting attacks about this and other issues, no doubt Labor and Greens will reply with excuses in which they blame everyone else hoping the excuses will not only help repair any damage but also restore voters trust in their capacity to provide good government.

But will those be the only thing ACT voters will use to judge the minority Labor Government and its Green allies? Contrary to expert opinion, I believe Federal Government policies affect State and Territory policies to such an extent that they also affect the result of State and Territory elections.

This is of particular importance in the ACT where the current Labor- Greens Alliance is almost a mirror image of what is happening federally, making it likely that, if the Federal Government’s image does not improve before 20 October, the ACT could experience a change of Government

Unlikely as it is that any of the already announced new parties will gain enough seats to form Government in the ACT they might take enough seats to make Labor, Liberal and the Greens stop taking it for granted that they have a right to govern the ACT. Perhaps, too, candidates elected as Labor, Liberal and Green will not be the candidates their respective parties expect and want to win. As for the minor parties and Independents it would be foolish of me to make assumptions about them.

Fortunately, this is not the case with sitting Labor, Liberal and Green MLAs whom I’ve observed over the past four years – and in some cases even longer – as well candidates from previous elections, my comments at this stage will be confined to three candidates in the Molonglo electorate.

First candidate: sitting Member, Caroline le Couteur – the Greens, whose common sense and business sense, two qualities not normally associated with The Greens, has impressed me. A surprise success at the last election I think she has proved to be a valuable addition to the Assembly.

Second Candidate: David Mathews – Labor. Although unsuccessful at the last election, apart from working hard in the Molonglo electorate David has that blend of common sense and business sense necessary to run a successful business – which he does – that would be of benefit to the Assembly.

Third Candidate: sitting Member, Steve Doszpot – Liberal. Steve is another candidate with common sense and business sense, qualities that he put to great use before entering the Assembly in 2008. Because he has continued to show these same qualities in his shadow portfolios of education and disability should also stand him in good stead with voters at the October election.

The Chronicle for Canberra’s best community news. Online at:


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