So what do the Liberals need to do to win?

By 3 November, 2012 78

Now that the result is known in the ACT election we must either consign ourselves to one party rule for all time, or think about what the Liberals have to do to win.

Running quiet for another four years might replicate the same result (don’t expect to see Labor caught out in Tuggeranong two elections running though) but to go one better is going to take some changes.

So this is for you Liberals:

    1. Stop bagging out the electorate. If your policies are not popular with voters that is your problem not the voters’ problem.

    2. Step away from the crucifix. Pandering to the religious devout might work in some voluntary voting situations but it’s not going to work here and even less so with compulsory voting nullifying “get out the vote” campaigning. This is not to ridicule the religious faith of any MLA, it’s to say the party ticket needs to be more closely aligned with the community.

    3. Give us something to believe in. Sure if you do propose something good the Government will nick it. But you still get many good media cycles before your policy gets sheepishly co-opted. Back yourselves to keep coming up with good ideas.

    4. Go after the patronage machine. I realise the party and its backers are hoping to capture the machine intact and turn it to their ends. But would you prefer to be in government with less grace and favour to pass around? Or out of Government trying to win friends with an Assembly staffer’s salary?

There you go. You won’t like doing it. But I don’t think you’ll like another election loss any more.

You’ve taken the protest vote as far as it will go. You’ll need to give us something to vote for to get any further.

Congratulations on a well executed campaign though.

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78 Responses to So what do the Liberals need to do to win?
#1
JC8:03 am, 03 Nov 12

I’ve got one. How about rather than being an opposition party for 4 years you show us how you could be an alternative government for 4 years. This means that you don’t whinge and whine about all and sundry and if you feel the need to please tell us how you will do any different.

Also if one someone contacts one of your party to ask a sensible question at least have the courtosey to answer. And yes Mr Coe I am talking to you.

I see that Zed is off to a bad start with the Greens announcement, somehow claiming the right to govern because the party got 41 more votes than Labor. Never mind the majority in the ACT didn’t vote for the Liberals and of course we all know that having the larger number of primary votes does not actually equate to seats in the assembly/parliament. If I recall one of Howards election victories was won with less votes than Labor, but clearly more seats/support in the parliament.

#2
housebound11:16 am, 03 Nov 12

Three suggestions:
1. Start working now – bypass the Canberra Times (who, like the Greens, will never support them) and get out there amongst voters. (This would include returning phone calls and letters). Who knows, maybe develop some policies and, dare I say it, some so-called policy papers
2. Sack some highly useless staff
3. Try campaigning in Ginninderra next time as well as Molonglo and Brindabella.

#3
HenryBG11:36 am, 03 Nov 12

1. You must be talking about the Greens here…even their whining about nobody voting for them referred to the electorate’s “ignorance” more than once.

2. Over 60% of Canberrans are Christians of one sort or another. Another 6% are religious in some other way.

Contrast this with those potentially interested in some of the Greens/ALP fringe “Human Rights” issues and then explain to us how “pandering” to 60% of the electorate is a bad thing.

And what is this “pandering”? Are you talking about Zed gong to church every now and then? Will you be equally disrespectful if you catch Simon Sheikh visiting a mosque next year?

#4
bundah12:01 pm, 03 Nov 12

Become pagans and frolic naked through the brindies chanting Barr the Abbott and you’ll get my vote!

#5
dpm12:12 pm, 03 Nov 12

Perhaps the question should be what do Labor have to do to *lose*?!
Apparently hospital data tempering scandals, vast dam cost underestimates, and other earlier issues like the GDE and public school closure debacles, etc etc weren’t enough!
The libs may never get in! Hahahaha! :-)

#6
schmeah12:23 pm, 03 Nov 12

Stop running scare campaigns and start developing policy .. and pre-select intelligent, articulate candidates .. *I’m looking at you Giulia* – can’t wait to see an early presso from her ..

#7
chewy1412:53 pm, 03 Nov 12

There’s no way that the Libs can win unless a high profile independent or two that will support them win seats.

The Labor party simply have too many rusted on supporters for the Libs to ever win a majority.

Either that or completly change their ideology to fit the left leaning nature of the electorate but that would sort of defeat the purpose.

#8
PantsMan3:13 pm, 03 Nov 12

I think this term will be a bit like NSW Labor’s last. Does anyone really think that ACT Labor and the ACT Government can hurriedly design and commence building a light rail system in the ACT without massive cost blowouts? Or with Shane running the show?

• They need to be forensic with the destruction of the Government and bureaucracy. I’ve given them tips for estimates questions on statutory non-compliance, dodgy things in in annual reports etc., and while they’ve taken a swing, there was just no follow-up. Sort of: “We asked the question, they gave no answer, so it probably doesn’t matter.”

• A bit of a social media presence would not go astray. They should establish an anonymous email portal so that people can report things to them online, without having to send a (evidentiary) email.

• And I think that Zed should probably fall on his sword at some point. Nice guy, but a bit lazy and no mongrel in him. Would be interesting to see who would be backfilled if Zed and Brendan decided ‘their work here was done’ two years out from the next election.

Really, Team Katy should really have fallen at this election. I mean, strangely the only thing that has kept these dudes in power is the fact that the most educated and politically engaged city in the country just plainly does not know or care about how badly their city is run. The health stats scandal would have rolled the Minister in almost any other jurisdiction in Australia, and that’s just the one we know about!

#9
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd3:40 pm, 03 Nov 12

Great points John.

Also stop whining and muck raking. Make good policies and tell us. No more scare campaigns.

#10
Valleyboy3:57 pm, 03 Nov 12

HenryBG said :

1. You must be talking about the Greens here…even their whining about nobody voting for them referred to the electorate’s “ignorance” more than once.

2. Over 60% of Canberrans are Christians of one sort or another. Another 6% are religious in some other way.

Contrast this with those potentially interested in some of the Greens/ALP fringe “Human Rights” issues and then explain to us how “pandering” to 60% of the electorate is a bad thing.

And what is this “pandering”? Are you talking about Zed gong to church every now and then? Will you be equally disrespectful if you catch Simon Sheikh visiting a mosque next year?

How many of that 60-odd percent of Canberrans are committed practising Christians who attend church regularly, as opposed to those who merely identify themselves as nominal Christians for the purpose of completing their census form? Last I looked, Canberra wasn’t brimming with the number of churches that would be required to service more than half of the population.

How many of that 60-odd percent of claimed Christians like to partake of strong drink from time to time; would consider procuring an abortion if the situation arose; like to view (legal) pornography from time to time; are happy to work for penalty rates on the sabbath instead of resting and keeping it holy; or would sooner go shopping on the sabbath than go to church?

The problem with religion is not belief privately held by legislators. The problem is that some such legislators assume a right to impose religiously-motivated limitations on the rest of the community whose values are secular in origin.

In the federal sphere, we have seen Catholic Senator Steve Conroy, acting also to appease former Family First Senator Steve Fielding, seek to censor the Internet not just of illegal child pornography, but also of other unspecified Christian-disapproved material that is legal to view and possess, with no option for adults to opt-out of the latter limitation.

In Victoria, after shop trading hours had been almost completely deregulated, Christian former Premier Steve Bracks reimposed a ban on shops opening for trading on Easter Sunday. Operators of shops in tourist areas weren’t thrilled that they could no longer open for business on what had been one of their best trading days of the year.

This is why parties and candidates that make a point of airing their religious credentials repel my vote big time.

#11
Masquara4:41 pm, 03 Nov 12

This post reads as though the Liberals had been outvoted by another party. This hasn’t been so much an “election loss” as a “tied election and the Greens favoured Labor”. Let’s not lose sight of that fact. If Shane Rattenbury insists on operating as though his ousted colleagues should still have a seat at the government table regarding decisionmaking, it may be that he falls next time and the Greens could be out of the equation altogether. History would surely indicate that the Liberals will be in next time – mind you, by then Rattenbury’s superannuation will be a very feathery nest indeed, so he may be happy to go without even a contest.

#12
bd844:41 pm, 03 Nov 12

Gee I really hope they don’t take heed of this.. Most of it doesn’t make sense or appear to relate to anything in ACT politics. It’s just as bad as the airy fairy policies lots of words and lack of saying what the hell you actually mean.

I think the root cause of their loss was the change in campaign half way through and went from the focus on Labors 10 years of fuck ups to a overstatement of the rates campaign. Add in Canberrans are just too stupid and set in their ways to realise they just elected the same clowns who will dish up the same rubbish for the next four years.

They’re probably the same idiots who are complaining about the opposition opposing everything the government does. THEY’RE THE OPPOSITION! THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE THERE FOR! No matter who the opposition is, they will say the government policy is crap. While they can put up alternative policy, it’s never going to be at the same level as government policy because they do not have the full reasources and knowledge of all the dodgy going ons of the government.. Maybe after 15 years we might get to see what has been hidden from us..

#13
Madam Cholet4:44 pm, 03 Nov 12

schmeah said :

Stop running scare campaigns and start developing policy .. and pre-select intelligent, articulate candidates .. *I’m looking at you Giulia* – can’t wait to see an early presso from her ..

I agree with this comment and was just remarking to Mr Cholet this morning the exact same thing. Zed’s a nice guy, but no fight in him, and Guilia….well saw her on the tv last night. Compared to Yvette Berry, she sounded inarticulate and only concerned with maintaining her current level of lifestyle.

The key to their success lies in connecting with an intelligent electorate. Jeremy Hanson has what it takes. He prosecuted a good case against the CM over the health stat, but Zed was lacking. Just need some renewal with regards to the others.

#14
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd5:43 pm, 03 Nov 12

bd84 said :

Gee I really hope they don’t take heed of this.. Most of it doesn’t make sense or appear to relate to anything in ACT politics. It’s just as bad as the airy fairy policies lots of words and lack of saying what the hell you actually mean.

I think the root cause of their loss was the change in campaign half way through and went from the focus on Labors 10 years of fuck ups to a overstatement of the rates campaign. Add in Canberrans are just too stupid and set in their ways to realise they just elected the same clowns who will dish up the same rubbish for the next four years.

They’re probably the same idiots who are complaining about the opposition opposing everything the government does. THEY’RE THE OPPOSITION! THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE THERE FOR! No matter who the opposition is, they will say the government policy is crap. While they can put up alternative policy, it’s never going to be at the same level as government policy because they do not have the full reasources and knowledge of all the dodgy going ons of the government.. Maybe after 15 years we might get to see what has been hidden from us..

That’s the problem, the opposition oppose everything, even if its good policy.

#15
LegalNut6:17 pm, 03 Nov 12

The Libs need to understand that Canberra is a generally left-leaning electorate and that they need to run to the centre to win here. We have compulsory voting so running to the right is not going to do anything for them as the socially conservative, hyper-religious types will still vote for them.

Earlier comments about the quality of candidates are also true. Get some seriously high quality candidates doing the heavy lifting. Elizabeth Lee was a perfect example of someone who would have been a fantastic member and a phenomenal Attorney-General if the Libs were to take government. Instead, they keep pre-selecting the likes of Giulia Jones and Steve Doszpot.

If the Libs can work towards taking some of the centre ground back and present policies that focus of delivering superior health, education and transport policies, they may do enough to pick up hinge seats from Labour. The rusted-on Labor voters who are attached to the labour movement are dying off. If the Libs thought about it, they would realise the path to victory is to appeal to Labout voters even if a few on the radical Right need to hold their noses.

#16
JC7:19 pm, 03 Nov 12

bd84 said :

Add in Canberrans are just too stupid and set in their ways to realise they just elected the same clowns who will dish up the same rubbish for the next four years.

Maybe some of have been quite happy with what others consider to be rubbish. I personally reckon Labor have done a good job overall and until such time as I see a Liberal party worth voting for I won’t be voting for a change.

bd84 said :

They’re probably the same idiots who are complaining about the opposition opposing everything the government does. THEY’RE THE OPPOSITION! THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE THERE FOR! No matter who the opposition is, they will say the government policy is crap.

What a load of bullshit. They are called the opposition because they are the opposing party in the assembly. That doesn’t mean they have to oppose, whinge and whine all day every day, which is exactly what Zed and co have done the past 4, 8+ years.

And even if you ludicrous proposition were true opposing can be done in a constructive manner that may well give hope that said opposition could one day be trusted with power. Again Liberals are a big failure on this front.

#17
Kim F8:11 pm, 03 Nov 12

I think they need a really catchy slogan…….hmmmmm…..something like “jeremy instead” !

#18
Deckard9:03 pm, 03 Nov 12

bd84 said :

Gee I really hope they don’t take heed of this.. Most of it doesn’t make sense or appear to relate to anything in ACT politics. It’s just as bad as the airy fairy policies lots of words and lack of saying what the hell you actually mean.

I think the root cause of their loss was the change in campaign half way through and went from the focus on Labors 10 years of fuck ups to a overstatement of the rates campaign. Add in Canberrans are just too stupid and set in their ways to realise they just elected the same clowns who will dish up the same rubbish for the next four years.

They’re probably the same idiots who are complaining about the opposition opposing everything the government does. THEY’RE THE OPPOSITION! THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE THERE FOR! No matter who the opposition is, they will say the government policy is crap. While they can put up alternative policy, it’s never going to be at the same level as government policy because they do not have the full reasources and knowledge of all the dodgy going ons of the government.. Maybe after 15 years we might get to see what has been hidden from us..

After you took a cheap shot at Gungahlin Al in another thread, all I can say is suck it up bitch… 4 more fantastic years of a Labor government.

#19
kakosi9:34 pm, 03 Nov 12

Pretty hard to win in a town where a large chunk of the population will suffer from employment cutbacks the Liberal Party always deals to the public service.

#20
Primal9:47 pm, 03 Nov 12

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

That’s the problem, the opposition oppose everything, even if its good policy.

I think this is an almost universal problem with oppositions these days – they oppose for its own sake, rather than picking their battles in a way that accurately reflects community sentiment. They struggle with the concept that attacking the government on really pissweak grounds can actually make them look bad rather than simply being ineffective.

I could start a class at CIT! “Strategic Shutting The Hell Up Every Once In A While”.

#21
260411:23 pm, 03 Nov 12

What the Libs really need is for people in the ACT to think critically about the Labor Party, for once. It isn’t the party of social justice, or a fair go for all, or any of that touchy-feely stuff. It’s the party of sucking up to unions and political expedience.

#22
DrKoresh1:02 am, 04 Nov 12

Masquara said :

History would surely indicate that the Liberals will be in next time

This is quite possibly the stupidest political insight I’ve ever seen on the RiotACT, and that’s saying something.

#23
Holditz1:45 am, 04 Nov 12

I’m actually wondering if this *is* the best that the Canberra Liberals can do. They will never earn a majority of the seats because of the nature of Canberra voters. They won government through Kate Carnell only because of the perfect Keating storm. Given the stuff ups the Stanhope/Gallagher administrations have done, in any other state this would have been enough to put them out of power.

I think the key is as chewie says is for other independent parties to start organising now for the next election. Start building up a profile among the community. I’m thinking of Chic Young and the Motorists. That’s a platform that most people in Canberra (excepting myself, as I catch ACTION) identify with. They need to grab those one or two seats away from the Greens, not from Labor.

Another thing is the lack of diversity in the Canberra media. We have the Canberra Times and the ABC- and neither has been incisive enough to dig into those stuff ups I mentioned earlier. Compared to other states, our politicins have it too easy. They haven’t been under the blowtorch.

#24
JC8:49 am, 04 Nov 12

Primal said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

That’s the problem, the opposition oppose everything, even if its good policy.

I think this is an almost universal problem with oppositions these days – they oppose for its own sake, rather than picking their battles in a way that accurately reflects community sentiment. They struggle with the concept that attacking the government on really pissweak grounds can actually make them look bad rather than simply being ineffective.

I could start a class at CIT! “Strategic Shutting The Hell Up Every Once In A While”.

Very well said.

#25
Masquara9:07 am, 04 Nov 12

DrKoresh said :

Masquara said :

History would surely indicate that the Liberals will be in next time

This is quite possibly the stupidest political insight I’ve ever seen on the RiotACT, and that’s saying something.

Well, how about rather than moronic flaming (sorry you’re in such a bad mood of a weekend; I hope it picks up for you) looking back through any jurisdiction’s history, and the ACT’s history, and at how many years the Liberals were in power here in the ACT. Then look at the inevitabitility of government change for this government eventually.

#26
Woody Mann-Caruso10:15 am, 04 Nov 12

History would surely indicate that the Liberals will be in next time

You might like to buy my roulette system. And this bridge.

#27
gibbering11:23 am, 04 Nov 12

A couple of months ago I was thinking about voting for the Libs on the basis that the current gov was okay but a bit tired. You do actually need a fresh set of eyes every so often.

So why didnt I?

First pause was the suprise of the gay marriage rejection. While I dont feel strongly one way or the other, I dont think its the role gov to impose religious views on the electorate. This probably wouldnt have been enough to swing me away in the end tho.

The deal breaker for me and a few random people I spoke to was the tax reform. I like to think of Canberra as a reasonably well educated place, and relying on stamp duty as a good revenue stream is just plain dumb. So while I liked other council like things around green bins and parking, they seemed insistant on screwing up by finding an issue I did care about deeply enough to vote against.

So my gut feel is, yes, head to the middle. People in canberra dont care too much about the local politics, so if you dont piss them off they’ll eventually vote for a change – its human nature.

#28
bikhet11:56 am, 04 Nov 12

JC said :

Primal said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

That’s the problem, the opposition oppose everything, even if its good policy.

I think this is an almost universal problem with oppositions these days – they oppose for its own sake, rather than picking their battles in a way that accurately reflects community sentiment. They struggle with the concept that attacking the government on really pissweak grounds can actually make them look bad rather than simply being ineffective.

I could start a class at CIT! “Strategic Shutting The Hell Up Every Once In A While”.

Very well said.

Agreed. To slip into management speak, don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions. Tell us what you’d do differently rather than just throwing a wobbly.

#29
maxblues12:19 pm, 04 Nov 12

Buy a ticket in a chook raffle.

#30
Tetranitrate12:51 pm, 04 Nov 12

This result is the Libs best even result – just much higher a primary vote can they really get?
I wasn’t impressed with the position they took on rates (as I’ve said elsewhere on riotact), but how much better can they really do? 40% primary? 45% primary? 50%?
Without independents or a centrist or right of center party willing to side with the liberals it’s close to impossible for them to form government. This might be more likely if we see a switch to three 7 member electorates, but even then it’s still very difficult in this town because there are tons of people who simply won’t vote for them whatever they do – witness the people here moaning about ‘negativity’ and ‘opposition-ism’. I don’t remember Stanhope having a particularly positive campaign when he was opposition leader, of course that’s DIFFERENT isn’t it? When you have so many people with that sort of party loyalty it simply doesn’t matter what the government does, they’re still going to vote the way they always have.

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