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And the ACT election winner is …

By Greg Cornwell - 11 October 2016 54

Liberals leader Jeremy Hanson (right) with Liberals' campaign director Daniel Clode.

With four days till the Assembly election it is time to declare the result as I see it of what has been a high promising financial campaign by both sides.  My political leanings are known so it is no surprise I predict a Liberal win, however the reasons call for justification.

The extent of financial commitments mentioned above are matters of concern.  Like most people I have lost track of the total amounts promised by each Party and worry it may not be possible to meet the target in government.  However the Liberals’ shopping list appears more directed at basic community needs: health, education, roads for example.

Labor’s two millstones are the tram and rising rates, closely followed by unpopular planning proposals.  The Liberals have the edge on the tram and the reasonable fear it will cost us much more money than budgeted in the future.  Savings from canning the tram also will fund other initiatives as well as saving money.  Curbing rate rises is another matter and there is no proposal for how it will be done.

Planning proposals look set for reconsideration, however the Opposition has not spelled out its policy and, because the issue is not widespread, the voting effect is localised.

Both parties wish to check the financial clout of developers, however neither has committed to curbing their overall influence on Canberra’s development which, under various guises, could be seen as pernicious.

There are many other smaller important issues being addressed however one factor, again about even, is the participants announcing the new policies.  These are largely restricted to the leaders and deputies as if nobody else can be relied upon.  Perhaps this reflects a clear party choice between an experienced but tired government and an inexperienced but keen opposition. One other unfortunate factor is that Labor does not have a sitting MLA in the seat of Murrumbidgee (Jeremy Hanson’s bailiwick).

No doubt the Greens will retain their core vote but it won’t improve.  Their campaign has been lacklustre, policies announced hardly of importance to mainstream voters, the Party is closely identified with the unpopular tram and their sitting MLA has had bad personal publicity.

It is difficult to see other candidates doing more than adding to major parties’ quotas as they are eliminated.  Most are single issue – or give that impression – and with the exception of the anti-casino poker machine group Canberra Community Voters with club membership support, struggle to be seen or heard.

Home experience has seen one ALP doorknock and two brochures, two Green, one independent and several Liberal brochures, which even allowing for targeting specific suburbs indicates most independents and smaller groups lack volunteer workers.

Finally there is a mood for change across the territory.  The government has been in too long and its projects: the tram, new developments and rates inspire cost concerns.  The Liberals are untried and not entirely trusted to look after the average Canberran, however they deserve a go, there isn’t anyone else.

Pictured above are Liberals leader Jeremy Hanson (right) with Liberals’ campaign director Daniel Clode at the party’s campaign launch. Photo: Charlotte Harper

What’s Your opinion?


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54 Responses to
And the ACT election winner is …
1
rommeldog56 9:39 am
11 Oct 16
#

Personally, I’m not so confident about a Liberal win, but would be pleasantly surprised. Maybe with an assist from one or more independents ? But who ? Still, after 15 years or so of hard Labor, if the Libs do get in and don’t do what they say, then I wouldn’t be concerned about voting them out at the next election in 2020. There is no doubt that an alternative incoming ACT Gov’t will find many skeletons in the closet, so a change of Govt may be worthwhile if for no other reason than that.

However, I wouldn’t under estimate the rusted on Labor views of so many Canberrians and/or their general apathy to change those historical voting habits – no matter what. That’s in large part why we have had 15 years of hard Labor – and getting worse.

Personally, I can not see how either party can afford their election promises – I think Labor/Greens will just slug Ratepayers even more and the Lib’s will find a “Barr Budget Black Hole” (and there will be a pretty big one I would think !) in order to reassess their election promises.

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2
devils_advocate 10:46 am
11 Oct 16
#

This is a pretty high-level piece about feelings with little analysis to back it up. Which electorates are going to by won by which parties, and why?

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3
pink little birdie 1:59 pm
11 Oct 16
#

I don’t think it will be anywhere near as clear cut as that. Liberal’s don’t actually have a lot of policies that support/help young people/families.

Federal Liberals being in might also have a smaller impact on the election than elsewhere. Most of the arguments on the tram are beginning to sound like the NBN arguments ‘Capital is expensive so we will do this cheap method that is slightly less expensive but we acknowledge that the eventual end product will be the original plan’

I suspect Like Canberra, Greens and Labor will get the younger peoples vote.

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4
Mordd / Chris Richar 2:06 pm
11 Oct 16
#

What a load of trollop. Lacking in substance, repeating the same old tired arguments. The only thing I am sure of at this point is not how many seats will go to who, but that no matter what, the Liberals will NOT be forming government, not a hope in hell.

They offer little positive vision for Canberra, a long list of stuff they oppose, and want to waste over $300m by scrapping a construction project already committed to, which will make it a lot more difficult next time they need a private partner for a project of their own as no-one will want to sign with a Government that ripped up a perfectly legal and binding contract when they got into power just because they could.

Maybe if the Liberals ceased the scare campaign of lies, stopped censoring voters discussion online and other candidates messages on the road side and ran a fair campaign of their own the Libs might stand a chance. However that is not the case, and the Libs are going to find themselves in opposition still for many years to come.

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5
JC 3:02 pm
11 Oct 16
#

rommeldog56 said :

However, I wouldn’t under estimate the rusted on Labor views of so many Canberrians and/or their general apathy to change those historical voting habits – no matter what. That’s in large part why we have had 15 years of hard Labor – and getting worse.

I may well be one of those rusted on, but for a few reasons. Firstly I don’t see the Liberals as being any different, and secondly based on overall party direction and beliefs I believe that Labor better represents my views.

And I take offence at being blamed for what you call 15 years of hard Labor as if I have made a mistake. Everyone is entitled to their view, I might call into question that view, but I don’t attack people for having that view.

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6
dungfungus 3:08 pm
11 Oct 16
#

Labor have just launched “Mediscare 2.0” with replicas of Medicare cards being dropped in mailboxes.
The card has the medicare logo with “To access local health services under ACT Labor, you need this”.

On the reverse side it has a generic CREDIT CARD” with “To access local health services under The Canberra Liberals you’ll need this”….. and more nonsense about Liberals building privately run emergemcey departments (that is a huge lie)….etc. etc.

Apparently, the Election Commission says if the small print says “Authorised by Mathew Byrne for ACT Labor” anything is permissible.

Looks like Labor have won the election and no one can lay a finger on them.

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7
Robz 3:52 pm
11 Oct 16
#

So Greg I gather your understanding is that the reason rates are rising is due to ‘the trams’ aka significant investment in the future of Csnberra’s mass public transport needs.
If my assumption is correct and you believe that Stage 1 of LR is costing each household approx $500 in our rates (as stated by the LP) how much of our rates are therefore attributable to other government expenditure such as health, education, roads, etc
I ask you that question as it is a well known fact that the construction of light rail Stage 1 is costing less than 1% of total gov expenditure, ie $65m for each of the next four years compared to 3 times that much spent on roads and 55 times that much spent on health and education.
Simple maths tells me that health, education and roads should be reflected in our rates some 58 times that of LR, 58 x $500 = $29,000 per household. Add other services the gov provides and our rates should be approx $35,000 per household !! Do you pay that much rates Greg ??
Do you see where I’m heading Greg. Light rail is actually costing the ACT very little and in fact when you factor the income received due to the LR development is actually costing us pretty well donut.
So this mud slinging lie perpetuated by your Libs may get them into power at the expense of the reputation of this fine city.
Try discussing this issue with a Liberal candidate at a shopping centre and you will be ignored. Try getting some answers on their FB page and your comments will. E deleted and you will be banned from making any further comments on their page.
How does this sit with you Greg ?

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8
dungfungus 9:09 pm
11 Oct 16
#

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

What a load of trollop. Lacking in substance, repeating the same old tired arguments. The only thing I am sure of at this point is not how many seats will go to who, but that no matter what, the Liberals will NOT be forming government, not a hope in hell.

They offer little positive vision for Canberra, a long list of stuff they oppose, and want to waste over $300m by scrapping a construction project already committed to, which will make it a lot more difficult next time they need a private partner for a project of their own as no-one will want to sign with a Government that ripped up a perfectly legal and binding contract when they got into power just because they could.

Maybe if the Liberals ceased the scare campaign of lies, stopped censoring voters discussion online and other candidates messages on the road side and ran a fair campaign of their own the Libs might stand a chance. However that is not the case, and the Libs are going to find themselves in opposition still for many years to come.

The Libs are experts in staying in opposition. I think they would be happy to stay that way for another term to see Labor implode.

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9
JC 9:28 pm
11 Oct 16
#

dungfungus said :

Labor have just launched “Mediscare 2.0” with replicas of Medicare cards being dropped in mailboxes.
The card has the medicare logo with “To access local health services under ACT Labor, you need this”.

On the reverse side it has a generic CREDIT CARD” with “To access local health services under The Canberra Liberals you’ll need this”….. and more nonsense about Liberals building privately run emergemcey departments (that is a huge lie)….etc. etc.

Apparently, the Election Commission says if the small print says “Authorised by Mathew Byrne for ACT Labor” anything is permissible.

Looks like Labor have won the election and no one can lay a finger on them.

And that is different to the Liberal Tram or Hospital scare, when the ‘hospitals’ they are ‘building’ are not hospitals, nor emergency departments but glorified walk in centres. Or that the light rail is unaffordable but are spending money on cancelling contracts then the same if not more on other things.

Or how about your rates will tripple. Not a lie of course, but the context it was used it made it seem like over the next term of government.

Shall I go on?

Though will admit, don’t support the campaign you have raised above as it is dishonest.

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10
JC 9:31 pm
11 Oct 16
#

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

They offer little positive vision for Canberra, a long list of stuff they oppose,

Indeed. One could be mistaken for thinking Dr No (Abbott) himself was driving the campaign and their direction. And lost a lot more respect for Hanson today when I found out in the Canberra times local politics quiz that he has a picture of Maggie Thatcher on his wall. That and over blowing his military career Kind of says it all really…

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11
Robert of Braddon 10:58 pm
11 Oct 16
#

This tired and arrogant government needs to go. This tram will put us in debt for years to come and for what — something that could be accomplished by a dozen buses at a fraction of the cost. It’s the dumbest idea.

I didn’t like Zed but Jeremy Hanson seems sensible, moderate and stable. He’ll have my vote on Saturday.

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12
rommeldog56 11:14 pm
11 Oct 16
#

JC said :

I may well be one of those rusted on, but for a few reasons. Firstly I don’t see the Liberals as being any different, and secondly based on overall party direction and beliefs I believe that Labor better represents my views.

And I take offence at being blamed for what you call 15 years of hard Labor as if I have made a mistake. Everyone is entitled to their view, I might call into question that view, but I don’t attack people for having that view.

It actually is the rusted on Labor/Greens voters in this place that are part of the problem. No. They ARE the problem.

I wish RiotAct had a blocking function (like Facebook) so readers had the option not to see pro Labor/Greens comments from their rusted on apologists who have clearly lost all objectivity.

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13
irritable 12:57 am
12 Oct 16
#

Greg,

The lack of authenticity in your article is not becoming of an individual who once held the position of Speaker in the Assembly.

The repeated references to ‘tram’ instead of the correct terminology ‘Light Rail’ indicate that this article is nothing more than an attempt to promulgate the Liberal agenda. There is no depth in your article, no attempt to predict the outcome of the election electorate by electorate, seat by seat – instead you simply provide pro-liberal platitudes.

I am normally what one could call a ‘rusted on’ Liberal voter and for the most part Labor and Green policies do not even remotely resonate with me. However the obvious lack of talent in the current Liberal team, lack of detail in their policies and the scare tactics of the Liberal campaign have put me far offside. Furthermore on reflection, for the last 15 years the Labor government hasn’t done a bad job (though I would not rate it stunning either), they perform the task of managing the basics: Rates, Rubbish and Roads of a city/state reasonably well and there has been no significant scandals of note (At least one of their Chief Ministers didn’t blow up a hospital, through Stanhope did fiddle over dinner whilst Canberra burned). Perhaps you ought to factor in that I am one of those ‘1 in 5’ Liberal voters who will be preferencing Labor and Greens ahead of Liberal and I can assure you that I will be ensuring that no Liberal candidate gets a preference from me at this election.

On Saturday night I’m sure you will be sitting eagerly by your ‘crystal set’ waiting for the news to break on who has won government for the next four years. I do not think the outcome will be as clear cut as you attempt to lead us to believe.

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14
rommeldog56 8:31 am
12 Oct 16
#

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

The only thing I am sure of at this point is not how many seats will go to who, but that no matter what, the Liberals will NOT be forming government, not a hope in hell.

They offer little positive vision for Canberra, a long list of stuff they oppose, and want to waste over $300m by scrapping a construction project already committed to, which will make it a lot more difficult next time they need a private partner for a project of their own as no-one will want to sign with a Government that ripped up a perfectly legal and binding contract when they got into power just because they could.

Only a rusted on Green would say that the ACT Libs dont have a hope in hell of taking Government. It will be close. Very close.

So, Barr said that if the tram contract is cancelled, it will cost m$200. No evidence to support that. Sounds like a gross over estimate to me.

Then Fitzharris said that it will be m$250

Barr said on the radio the other day that it will cost m$300.

Now you say that it will be m$300+.

Must be election induced inflation – or most likely wild, hysterical exaggerations !!

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15
John Moulis 8:50 am
12 Oct 16
#

JC said :

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

They offer little positive vision for Canberra, a long list of stuff they oppose,

Indeed. One could be mistaken for thinking Dr No (Abbott) himself was driving the campaign and their direction. And lost a lot more respect for Hanson today when I found out in the Canberra times local politics quiz that he has a picture of Maggie Thatcher on his wall. That and over blowing his military career Kind of says it all really…

You’re not going to vote for someone because they have a pic of Maggie Thatcher on the wall? I was thinking of running and I have a picture of Kali Muscle on my wall. Would you have voted for me? 😉

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