Allan Takes Aim Blog

A makeover in the ACT Assembly

Posted on: 12 February 2013

A makeover in the ACT Assembly

And so the ACT has another leader with a Field Marsha’s baton in his kitbag. In a sense, the leader of a parliamentary political party is much like a field marshal. It is a job that requires the capacity to formulate winning strategies that can withstand everything your attackers throw at you and turn defeat into victory.

Being a leader is not an easy job with the appointee usually the subject of conflict, more often than not confected by their enemies, which is what happened today in the ACT. That said, I wonder why a government always seems to think it knows what an opposition thinks even before an opposition knows itself

Now a brief summary of events following the  election of Jeremy Hanson to Leadership of the ACT parliamentary Liberal Party as a consequence of Zed Seselja resigning to contest the pre-selection ballot for the chance to contest a Canberra  senate seat. This change brought another important change: Alastair Coe is now Deputy Liberal Leader. I can only add that as an advocate of young people becoming active in politics the changes look promising.

The changes look promising because both men are activists and so I hope also they will apply more vigour of the intellectual kind to the creation of progressive business, cultural and social policies. And if Hanson really has a field marshal’s baton in his political kitbag, when leading his troops around the streets of Canberra I hope he keeps in mind that if, after the next ACT next election he becomes Chief Minister, that to keep the Garden City flourishing in the future, innovative policies to replace current weedy policies will be needed.

But what I find it sad is Chief Minister Katy Gallagher echoing Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s calling Tony Abbot a bully by saying the same about Jeremy Hanson. The Chief Minister’s accusations about Hanson bullying members of the parliamentary Labor Party also infer that he is a misogynist.

I have known female politicians of all persuasions and am hard put to think of one who would stand for bullying; indeed I think some might be seen as misandrists. And while I’m on the subject, I’d put a few male and female politicians in the misanthrope class.

My hope on the basis of Labor and the Liberals promises that they would bring changes for the good in they won the 2012 ACT election seem to have been dashed. Although Labor didn’t win the election it formed Government with the help of the Greens Party (a misnomer for a political party that’s even more left than left wing Labor) which decided that it, too, wanted to feed at the same trough as Labor. Was this because the political dishes on Labor’s menu were better?

Of course it is early days still and hopefully my judgement of the how things seem to be shaping is wrong. But if there is change clearly there is still some way to go based on the responses elicited this morning from people on the street to questions about ACT politicians by a reporter from ABC 666. From the responses it was clear that few even knew them. In fact their answers were as flat as pancakes, an appropriate phrase today being Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day).

On the basis of these answers how can politicians say they are working on what the community tells them? Indeed, I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that although the old red telephone boxes, once the favourite meeting place from whence a government’s policies emerged, have been replaced with virtual red telephone boxes, better known as Twitter, whose messages like that from the old red telephone box cannot be relied on.

That said, perhaps the time of virtual MLAs has come also?

Blog: Don Allan Takes Aim;;


1 Response to "A makeover in the ACT Assembly"

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