Allan Takes Aim Blog

ACT Opinions

Posted on: 14 October 2012


Countdown to Saturday’s election

If you’re reading this blog in Singapore, Canada, the US, France, Greece, Germany, the UK (I’ve even had messages from the Middle East) the election for membership of the ACT Legislative Assembly is probably of little interest to you. But be not dismayed: many voters in the ACT seem to share your lack of interest because political elections have become theatrical events that, unfortunately, are less interesting than the worst TV show and feature even worse actors.

If you agree with me into what category would you put an election? Not normally stuck for words (makes me sound like a politician doesn’t it?) I confess that as I trawled the Concise Oxford Dictionary, Macquarie Dictionary, Roget’s and the Macquarie Thesaurus the only word that seemed to fit was: “Soapie” meaning it was either a Comedy of Errors, or a Drama, or a Melodrama or a combination of all three.

But Soapie or not the most complicated part of voting, according to some voters, is completing the ballot paper properly. Some describe it as a test of patience or a problem harder to solve than The Times crossword or a Sudoku puzzle. If truth be known I think that while completed ballot papers of many voters are valid they do not represent accurately their voting intentions.

That apart, when it comes to numbering the boxes opposite the names of the candidates on the ballot paper, the names that people give preference to are the fashionable candidates who have been written about in the press and seen or heard on the electronic media. The unfashionable candidates get left behind. In fact, the media and some of our so called political experts have no idea who they are or what are their policies but have determined they have nothing to offer. If a regular reader of local newspapers or consumer of local radio you’ll know that for yourself.

The fact is the media has become the stage where some major party candidates strut their stuff though what they have to strut is not worth talking about. In fact the campaign has deteriorated into a list of promises with a string of zeroes attached that even Santa Claus would find difficult to deliver apart from the fact that come polling day few people will remember any of them.

Let me test your memory and your honour. How many of the more than 100 promises each from Labor and the Greens or the fewer promises from the Liberals? In some respects I think this election campaign has become a programme of: “Never mind the quality, feel the width.”

Come Saturday, apathetically as usual, most voters will enter the polling booth and complete the ballot paper giving preference to the names they have seen or heard in the most recent media propagandaand knowing as much about the unfashionable candidates as does the media. Indeed, the political experts in the media have conflated unfashionable to mean unintelligent and thus not worth the bother of being given time or space to express their policies or opinions.

It has to be said also, that to some party candidates share the unfashionable tag. Well I don’t know about you but I will vote for candidates, fashionable or not, if I think that at all times they will show the qualities of honesty, integrity and truthfulness that not only I, but many other voters think necessary for a parliamentarian. Please note I said parliamentarian, not politician; if it happens they have political skills, that’s a bonus.

That said my only interest is in seeing seventeen candidates elected whom I think will serve Canberra best. I don’t care if they are all male or all female or party favourites, or favourites of the media or unfashionable. However, I must add that I care if they are narcissists who like themselves more than they like anyone else. And nor do I care if one party has enough elected members to form a government. Majority government is the easy answer to the problems of governing. Politicians love it, particularly the narcissists among them, because it offers them more opportunities to show off.

A few years ago in a previous incarnation as columnist with The Chronicle, Canberra, I wrote about an ACT coalition government. Well I haven’t changed my mind. I feel sure that 17 of the 74 candidates in this election would have the capacity and talent to work together for the benefit of Canberra in the near and distant future because all want their children and grandchildren to prosper.

And so I won’t pick just 17 candidates but a pool of 25 all of whom I think would meet my criteria. And if some of the unfashionable among them become MLAs I hope it sets a precedent for the future. By the way I am not advocating an Assembly of 25 Members.

The List and some comments

Katy Gallagher, Chief Minister – disappointing in some areas but strong in others; David Mathews, Labor – a thinker and successful businessman who will go far in Labor; Karl Maftoum, Labor – ambitious for the future of Canberra; Simon Corbell sitting member– teetered early in his career but has come good; Yvette Berry, Labor – part of Canberra’s future; Glen Macrae, Labor – meets my criteria; Mary Porter, sitting member. Good community candidate Zed Seselja Leader of the Opposition – Shown great capacity and has united the Liberal Party; Brendan Smyth, sitting member – pragmatic and progressive; Steve Doszpot sitting member – calm, caring, thoughtful, passionate and progressive and strong on community issues; Jeremy Hanson, sitting member – strong performer, pragmatic and progressive – a leader; Elizabeth Lee, Liberal – a lady going places; Vicki Dunne, sitting member– long – time successful community involvement; Alastair Coe, sitting member – an activist and doer on matters community; Marion Lé Social Justice Party– principled and intelligent. Strong community activist; Chic Henry Australian Motorist Party– strong on motorist issues and tourism;; David Cumber AMP – has met and overcome many challenges; Burl Doble, AMP– successful business man with a background of great community involvement; Matt Thomson , Independent Democrat – successful Vet and close to the community; Caroline Le Couteur, sitting member – has a strong ethics base who practices what she preaches; probably the best brain in the Assembly; Amanda Bresnan, sitting member – good member but facing uphill battle. Good on disability; Meredith Hunter Leader of the Greens – will she stand out in the crowded Ginninderra campaign; Shane Rattenbury, sitting member – known better for his days in Greenpeace; Darren Churchill, Democrat Independent — tireless campaigner on behalf of Canberra, who never gives up; Glenn Takkenberg, Pirate Party Independent. Could this highly intelligent Pirate get a grappling hook on the ACT’s ship of state the Legislative Assembly? A long shot but a possibility to be savoured!

NB Before voting next Saturday, think carefully about who and what you’re voting for.

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2 Responses to "ACT Opinions"

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