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ACT Legislative Assembly – Half Time…

By John Hargreaves - 17 July 2014 26

orange-pieces

During my time in the Legislative Assembly, I came to know what it was that made a good Opposition. I knew, occasionally, what being held to account was about.

I had three years in Opposition in the colourful days 1998 to 2001. They were heady days and often heady nights. Passions ran high, tempers flared, personal insults had a certain panache about them. There was indeed colour.

When Labor came to power in 2001, the colour and headiness continued with serious debate, light-hearted banter and good natured insults. The Government was keen, and the Opposition was, although upset at losing the election, determined to get the Treasury benches back.

The 2008 election saw a downward slide in intensity from the Opposition. It was as though they were mostly resigned to Opposition for life.

I had hoped for more colour and intensity since the election in 2012. The community wanted change. They divided the Chamber rather equally, but what has been delivered?

We are now at the half way mark of the current Assembly and I have paused to look at the performance of those representatives, particularly the Opposition. I do so because, Governments are judged largely on the performance of the Ministers and Government backbenchers hardly get an opportunity to shine.

Where have the Opposition been? Where is the differentiation? Where is the substance of the claim to being an alternative Government? I dunno…maybe they’re waiting for the Government to self-destruct.

The Canberra Liberals website shows 91 media releases from the 8 members in 7 months – an average of 13 per month which is an average of 1.6 per member per month. Not good enough!

I haven’t seen anything from most of the Opposition in the media. So, if I don’t see it, what about the disaffected and disinterested ordinary member of the community.

The next election is too close to make up this gap in credibility. If they want to make a contest of it, they had better move a bit more quickly.

Sometimes I wish that I had remained in the Legislative Assembly. Then I have a cup tea and a good lie down and get over it!

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
ACT Legislative Assembly – Half Time…
1
bundah 9:31 am
17 Jul 14
#

Well apart from the period ’95-00 under Carnell it has been Labor all the way even though their performance has been mediocre which, as a socialist, I find very disappointing

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2
Mysteryman 11:43 am
17 Jul 14
#

The only thing worse than the current opposition is the government itself.

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3
Madam Cholet 1:21 pm
17 Jul 14
#

“We are now at the half way mark of the current Assembly and I have paused to look at the performance of those representatives, particularly the Opposition. I do so because, Governments are judged largely on the performance of the Ministers and Government backbenchers hardly get an opportunity to shine.”

So not willing to analyse your own side. A bit of a one-sided assessment considering the title of “ACT Legislative Assembly – Half Time’, and not “The Liberal Opposition & Greens in the ACT – Half Time”

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4
miz 2:16 pm
17 Jul 14
#

I recall you, John, as a very active local member during most of your time (though you did not support me and my street as we expected towards the end of your time), however remaining Labor MLAs appear to be getting deaf and blind, as often happens before a defeat. Given the light rail Blind Freddy can see they are making a real mess of things just to keep power. The Libs are going to stroll in at this rate, despite the apparent lack of media releases ….

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5
martin75 4:44 pm
17 Jul 14
#

How many Canberrans could correctly name the MLA’s in their electorate?

Except for maybe two or three, I have absolutely know idea what the other MLA’s stand for, believe in or even their names. What have they been doing for the past 24 months?

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6
watto23 5:00 pm
17 Jul 14
#

miz said :

I recall you, John, as a very active local member during most of your time (though you did not support me and my street as we expected towards the end of your time), however remaining Labor MLAs appear to be getting deaf and blind, as often happens before a defeat. Given the light rail Blind Freddy can see they are making a real mess of things just to keep power. The Libs are going to stroll in at this rate, despite the apparent lack of media releases ….

They should have strolled in last election but didn’t. They showed a lack of understanding about how the ACT electoral system worked. In a Labor city like Canberra even the Labor party have only got a majority government once! The Libs thought they could just stroll in, but there there is still a strong anti major party swing at the moment. When they had power in the past they had support from independents. Its the only way they’ll get power, but they need to preference the strong moderate independants/minor parties and not the extremist nutters that happen to agree with them. Maybe lean a bit more to the middle on social issues and they’d also gain a few more votes instead of reflecting the extreme anti social policies of the federal counterparts. Plus instead of saying no all the time, it would be nice to have alternatives. Federal Libs did this, thought they could con people and they are suffering in the polls. I’m never going to vote for a party that doesn’t put up alternatives! If everyone at least voted like that, we might get some true alternative plans instead of negative politics all round.

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7
John Hargreaves Ex M 5:25 pm
17 Jul 14
#

Madam Cholet said :

“We are now at the half way mark of the current Assembly and I have paused to look at the performance of those representatives, particularly the Opposition. I do so because, Governments are judged largely on the performance of the Ministers and Government backbenchers hardly get an opportunity to shine.”

So not willing to analyse your own side. A bit of a one-sided assessment considering the title of “ACT Legislative Assembly – Half Time’, and not “The Liberal Opposition & Greens in the ACT – Half Time”

The Govt is at least doing things. heaps of them. that’s why people complain. but you can’t complain about what the Opposition have been doing cos there is nothing to complain about. How about they tell the folks in punterland why they should b supported instead of just whingeing occasionally and staying on holidays.

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8
John Hargreaves Ex M 5:27 pm
17 Jul 14
#

miz said :

I recall you, John, as a very active local member during most of your time (though you did not support me and my street as we expected towards the end of your time), however remaining Labor MLAs appear to be getting deaf and blind, as often happens before a defeat. Given the light rail Blind Freddy can see they are making a real mess of things just to keep power. The Libs are going to stroll in at this rate, despite the apparent lack of media releases ….

It’s not only the lack of press releases, it is really about them saying what it is that they would do differently and let the punters choose. Andrew Wall was on the radio today complaining about the trees near the Uriarra solar farm, but he didn’t say what he’d do for renewable energy if he had the reins…

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9
John Hargreaves Ex M 5:28 pm
17 Jul 14
#

martin75 said :

How many Canberrans could correctly name the MLA’s in their electorate?

Except for maybe two or three, I have absolutely know idea what the other MLA’s stand for, believe in or even their names. What have they been doing for the past 24 months?

Spot on! couldn’t agree more! this is what I mourn!

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10
gooterz 5:35 pm
17 Jul 14
#

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

miz said :

I recall you, John, as a very active local member during most of your time (though you did not support me and my street as we expected towards the end of your time), however remaining Labor MLAs appear to be getting deaf and blind, as often happens before a defeat. Given the light rail Blind Freddy can see they are making a real mess of things just to keep power. The Libs are going to stroll in at this rate, despite the apparent lack of media releases ….

It’s not only the lack of press releases, it is really about them saying what it is that they would do differently and let the punters choose. Andrew Wall was on the radio today complaining about the trees near the Uriarra solar farm, but he didn’t say what he’d do for renewable energy if he had the reins…

When your opponent is making a mess of things do you try to distract the publics attention with likely new controversial policies or let their opponent continue to rip themselves apart.

I think most of Canberra would rather a government who was light on rather than a government who mandated every flavour cool-aid.

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11
HiddenDragon 6:39 pm
17 Jul 14
#

watto23 said :

miz said :

I recall you, John, as a very active local member during most of your time (though you did not support me and my street as we expected towards the end of your time), however remaining Labor MLAs appear to be getting deaf and blind, as often happens before a defeat. Given the light rail Blind Freddy can see they are making a real mess of things just to keep power. The Libs are going to stroll in at this rate, despite the apparent lack of media releases ….

They should have strolled in last election but didn’t. They showed a lack of understanding about how the ACT electoral system worked. In a Labor city like Canberra even the Labor party have only got a majority government once! The Libs thought they could just stroll in, but there there is still a strong anti major party swing at the moment. When they had power in the past they had support from independents. Its the only way they’ll get power, but they need to preference the strong moderate independants/minor parties and not the extremist nutters that happen to agree with them. Maybe lean a bit more to the middle on social issues and they’d also gain a few more votes instead of reflecting the extreme anti social policies of the federal counterparts. Plus instead of saying no all the time, it would be nice to have alternatives. Federal Libs did this, thought they could con people and they are suffering in the polls. I’m never going to vote for a party that doesn’t put up alternatives! If everyone at least voted like that, we might get some true alternative plans instead of negative politics all round.

Yes – the next ACT election will, in part at least, be a referendum on the Abbott Government, so a bit of thoughtful positioning (distancing) could be helpful.

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12
rommeldog56 7:57 pm
17 Jul 14
#

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

martin75 said :

How many Canberrans could correctly name the MLA’s in their electorate?

Except for maybe two or three, I have absolutely know idea what the other MLA’s stand for, believe in or even their names. What have they been doing for the past 24 months?

Spot on! couldn’t agree more! this is what I mourn!

You know what I mourn ? Good Governance and decision making by this ACT Government !

Personally, I couldn’t care less if someone can not recite the names of their ACT Legislative Assembly reps. Give me good Governance and sound decision making any day – something this current ACT minority Government seems incapable of doing.

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13
miz 9:06 pm
17 Jul 14
#

Yeah, I agree with Rommel – give me a government that is proud to do the small, everyday things well, instead of constantly trying to big note themselves (which gets truly tiresome and only makes you notice the graffiti and potholes they are NOT spending the money on, all the more).

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14
bd84 11:19 pm
17 Jul 14
#

Ah so that’s how labor evaluates itself a government? Based on the number of media releases it issues! Maybe we can implement a gold star reward system to say good job too.

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15
Bosworth 10:34 am
18 Jul 14
#

Don’t blame me. I voted for Kodos.

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