Allan Takes Aim Blog

ACT Opinions

Posted on: 2 September 2012


Time for an ACT election tsunami

It seems to me that one should think of ACT Assembly elections much as you would a tsunami that washes away some existing infrastructure and allows people to replace it with something better. In the case of the ACT Legislative Assembly this means voters replacing MLAs.

The big difference between the two Tsunamis is that nature sends no warnings about the former while ACT voters are given early warning of when the election Tsunami will come so giving them time to decide what MLA infrastructure they should replace.

But even if voters didn’t know four years ahead when the election would be held they would know an election was imminent when Members of the Assembly do their four year imitation of Rip Van Winkle and wake up. After waking up in time for the election they then deliver a spate of promises. That said had I any advice for voters about election promises, it would be to follow the advice of food nutritionists and examine their content.

As they examine them they should be aware that while the packaging of the promises might make the promises look good enough to eat, they need to be sure they will improve the cultural, employment, social, educational, educational, environmental and all other programs essential to the good health of the community. But if they take a second look they might even come to the conclusion that the promise will endanger the community.

Too often in the past, voters having taken politicians at their word that if they elect them they will make everything in the garden look lovely only to find out after the election that weeds are the only things in the garden. Worse, they have no chance of doing anything about it for another four years.

If only voters were as active in pursuing their goals as wannabe politicians. Unfortunately, however, like politicians, voters too, tend to imitate Rip Van Winkle. Indeed at times they also sleep for longer than four years and wake up only if their long sleep is interrupted inconveniently by a failed promise. When that happens and depending on temperament, some enter the wailing and gnashing of teeth phase and some the “If only” phase.

The group that wails and gnashes their teeth in disappointment are those who believed implicitly in the honesty and integrity of the politicians and party they voted for. The reality however, is that they are credulous people who invested politicians with their own values. And that they are credulous becomes even more apparent because, when next they have the opportunity to do something about it, more often than not they make the same investment.

As for the “If only” group, these are people who make decisions on others’ advice even if contrary to their own thoughts and when things don’t go the way of the advice they received, say “If only.” Unfortunately, they are ditherers, a nature that never changes.

During the days in the run up to the election on Saturday October 20th many people after hearing the promises of the politicians will have to decide if they want to remain a wailer and teeth gnasher or an “if Only” or will they cause an election tsunami.

As with any tsunami not everything gets washed away and so I hope some current MLAs would survive one. But I hope also that some new MLAs with the right qualities will replace them. Up until the day of the election I’ll be evaluating all candidates and giving my opinion about which MLAs I think should survive and which new candidates might join them. I only hope we all make the right choice
dca@netspeed.com.au.

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