13 September 2007

ACT has a marginal seat after all

| GnT
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I always thought the federal election results for the ACT were pretty much set in stone: 2 Labor MPs, one of each in the Senate. But the Canberra Times is reporting that the Greens (in the form of ex-MLA Kerrie Tucker) could take Senator Gaz’s seat in a nationwide swing against the coalition.

This election is shaping up to be very interesting.

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More power to Barnaby, but any thoughts that members of the Senate should vote in the interests of their State/Territory, as envisaged by the constitution, rather than the party politics we are bedevilled with, will be constantly thwarted under the current system.

Beyondthought- Natalie Colbert and Troy Williams are liberal party hacks, not independent thinkers, you are deluded if you believe they will act with anything other than the contempt for the electorate that humphries has shown

BT – I frankly do not care who gets up. It seems impossible that Kate Lundy should lose, and the only vulnerable spot is held by Gary Humphries.

Personally, so long as he is put last so that he loses, I would be untroubled by backing pretty much anyone, including the no 2 Lib, below the line. This should teach all local pollies to have some respect for the electorate.

If, incidentally, it delivers a balanced Senate (including one in which a frightened Sen Humphries thinks before he votes so that his vote cannot be relied on by his party when his electorate’s interests are at stake), that is also a good thing.

BeyondThought1:40 pm 16 Sep 07

VicePope, is it a case of “a pox on all your houses” or would you be willing to at least entertain supporting Natalie Colbert or Troy Williams or who seem to have that dangerous asset in politics, independence of thought.

Back to the Senate though, let’s be honest. Novan (Democrat) is clueless and the Greens won’t do anything to help the ACT. It’s all about them grabing the balance of power rather than doing anything for us poo old locals.

Humphries is a complete waste of space. I remember when he was a young lib at ANU, overshadowed by the evil Michael Yabsley. A complete joke. Now he’s got the easiest job in the country, just has to mince around and make the odd vacuous remark. If he did the right thing and just went off to die somewhere, who among us would notice his absence?

You can’t be noncomformist (can’t you just call yourself coffee person or something)?

Looking at the other Lib talent that has been through the Assembly, I’d agree that Humphries is twords the top of a small and unattractive heap. Imagine Big Bill? Or Hyacinth Dunne? Or Little Brendan? Or Prattles the Art Critic? (That said, I would cringe as loudly at thought of Senator Simian Berry or Senator Anything but a Gentleman or Senator DUI Hargreaves.

Fact remains Humphries has supported moves that have diminished the ACT and led to the destruction of the institution of public service. I don’t live in Bennelong, so I can’t vote against the PM – and I can’t vote against Ruddock or anyone who else who has been an egregious disgrace. I live here, and I can vote against a supine dilettante who simply makes up the numbers.

Knocking him off, or giving him a really big fright, should encourage all ACT senators to remember that they are elected to represent the ACT.

You cant be nonconformist if you dont drink coffee9:12 am 14 Sep 07

Don’t worry Thumper, its pretty much guaranteed that we wont – the way the Libs seem to be going elsewhere in Oz they’re guaranteed to lose some seats… and Labor will have a big enough job on their hands getting enough to take the lower house, let alone take control of the senate too… I just think its a shame that a seemingly decent bloke like Gaz (please don’t accuse me of being a Liberal stooge, I just happen to think he’s a pretty reasonable guy) would lose his seat because of its strategic value, rather than because his opponent is actually any good! (Yes, I’ll admit it, I can’t stand stupid Tucker woman and her whole ‘more idealistic than thou’ student politician approach)

What’s Kerry Tucker’s position on Security of Tenure in Public Housing ?

It would be highly improbable that Kerrie Tucker could get a place in the Senate given that because of the way voting works in the ACT she’d have to 33 percent of the vote. At least that’s something to be relieved about. While the sorts of motherhood statements they espouse sound good, they’re far too extreme, and their policies too touchy-feely.

This of course leaves me wondering who to vote for at all given I don’t like the other choices either. Lesser of two evils I suppose.

It’s a shame we can’t have both of them representing us. tucker and Humph. are good, effective politicians.

It is a rare thing for coa;ition MPs to cross the floor. Gary H has as has Barnaby Joyce. If they are merely pulling stunts that’s fine and not out of character for a politician.

Can anyone recall the last time a Labor politician crossed the floor? I think it might have been Mal Colston. The ALP looked on that kindly didn’t they? I think the First Lord’s song can be applied to both sides of the fence.

Vote Green. send a message.

Ralph you are such a liberal party sycophant, I’ve never heard an objective word come out of your mouth.

He didn’t cross the floor to take a stand on same sex marriages, he did it to protect the territory’s independence. And as if the numbers weren’t all stitched up beforehand.

I reckon Gary’s a nice enough bloke, but he’s on Howard’s team – that’s enough for me not to vote for him.

As for putting him last, there’s probably some wacko parties I’ll put further down.

You can’t be noncomformist etc (you’ve got to get a more manageable name).

He got elected last time on first preferences, which is a third of the votes plus one. It hasn’t always been the case, and Rick Farley nearly took the seat from Sen Reid at one point – not sure if she was reduced to preferences on other occasions. So it can happen.

Now, as to how he’s acting in the Senate. Either he’s a boring clone who “always voted at [his] party’s call / and never thought of thinking for [himself] at all” or he really believes in stuff like WorkChoices, discriminatory compensation and superannuation treatment for a substantial part of his voters, the use of the public service as a kind of test tube for weird management ideas and the politicisation of a public service. If the former, he does not deserve to be re-elected and pretty well anyone prepared to direct a brain cell at the task would be better. If the latter, I suggest that a substantial part of his constituency would run a mile rather than support him as his party runs down the institutions for which they work and in which they believe.

I emphasise that I am no fan of the ALP or anyone else. I believe simply that it is time this timeserver was told his time is up.

You cant be nonconformist if you dont drink coffee5:56 pm 13 Sep 07

But didn’t Gaz romp it in at the last election, getting more than a quota on first preferences? So surely he is representing his constituents by voting with the other Libs, after all, more than 33% of Canberrans voted for him/them…

Personally, while I don’t agree with some of that stuff you’ve mentioned either, isn’t that why we have two Senators from different parties? So that the people who want Liberal-type stuff can have a member who does that stuff, and the people who want Labor get Labor?

I see your argument, but I think you’re confusing not doing what you would have liked him to do with not representing his constituents – I’m pretty sure there are lots of people who would agree with what he’s done/voted for (my partner, for example, god bless her conservative heart!)

You can’t be noncomformist etc – when I consider a pollie, I look at his record. Humphries has with one exception fallen into line with his party on matters that affect his electorate (he differed on same sex marriages) and that affect the significant part of his electorate that is employed in the public sector. This is why Comcare provides no protection in some areas, why the APS is structured for subservience rather than apolitical service, why public sector superannuation is almost uniquely not going to be made tax free. There’s more – I cannot vote against Howard personally, but I can Put Humphries Last and try to get rid of him. I would do the same to Lundy if the positions were reversed. I frankly do not care if he is a nice man, goes to lots of community events and smiles a lot. When the pedal hits the metal, it’s where he lines up in the Senate that counts.

(BTW – I voted against the ALP candidate at the 1995 by-election and have not subsequently voted Labor).

Norvan – I suggested on a different thread that a lot of people would probably not object to paying a minimal amount for a minimal involvement membership of the Democrats. I would – I don’t want to go to boring meetings, meet boring hopeful candidates or anything else, but I think we should have an AD presence in the ACT.

Folks, remember to vote below the line to decide your own preferences.

Cheers Jonnb, Yes I know we are the underdogs, we only have $5k for the whole campaign (I don’t think that the CFMEU will be giving us any cash soon 🙂 ) the party got deregistered (bummer but it doesn’t matter till next year) but hey the ACT Democrats membership is growing fast. I think that Kerrie has a chance of getting in as do I. We still have time to turn this around, I think that the majority of people in the ACT are too busy to spend too much time looking at politics and will make up their mind on the Day. Anyway Campaigning is a lot of fun, ‘Watch this spot’ :-), our preferences are still being decided.

You cant be nonconformist if you dont drink coffee5:07 pm 13 Sep 07

VicePope: what do you mean about ‘encouraging him to remember his electorate sometimes’? I’ve seen Senator Gaz at so many community ‘dos, meetings and events that I think he’s got the opposite problem – we can’t get away from him!

And its a genuine question btw – this may be unusual for RiotACT (I’m new here, but I notice youse all seem to do a lot of mouthing off and not much talking) but I’d be interested to hear why you say that.

Ralph – I don’t disagree with you on the merits of the ALP. They too are politicians first and any merit in their policies or administration is secondary. Sen Humphries seat is, however, the only vulnerable one there is – a loss for him would teach Sen Lundy something as well.


If Canberrans are genuinely disastisfied about being taken for granted, the best strategy that voters can employ, collectively, is to always vote against the incumbent government.

Things will be worse with Labor. They will screw the town over knowing that whatever they do people here will keep voting for them.

I am all in favour of shaking politicians up. If enough people remember to Put Humphries Last, it will finish his time in the Senate. I am pretty well indifferent about who replaces him, including the no 2 Lib. Nothing wrong with Kerry Tucker, and I’m sure worse candidates have been elected before now. Even if Humphries squeezes through (which he almost certainly will), giving him a fright might encourage him to remember his electorate sometimes.

I would agree that Greens are sometimes a bit too backwards/left for me, but we aren’t going to see a greens majority. So I’m going to vote greens to swing the govt (be it Labor or Liberal) back to the left a little.

The ACT CFMEU Greens – a flower in one hand and a chainsaw in the other?

The really interesting angle is that it is what happens to the Democrats being in the race? It is likely that the majority of votes that the Democrats get will come from small ‘l’ liberal voters. With the liberals moving to the extreme right there seems to be a chance that the democrats could poll better than last time. With the Democrats’ preferences still undecided here in the ACT it could be interesting. This is probably why Norvan is copping so much interest from the Liberals, they can see what a threat he could be to Garry’s spot. When Ric Farley had a go he came just short of toppling Margret Reid, the Libs only had one advisory. With the Greens and the Democrats in the running it looks like a two pronged attack, depending on the Democrats’ preferences that is.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt2:35 pm 13 Sep 07

What the hell is wrong with you mlm? It’s Turd.

I have not yet decided whether I shall vote for the Terd Sandwich or the Giant Douche.

Kerry Tucker. The Greens. Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I agree with some of what they stand for, but they lack practicality and are too extreme. They’re tree hugers, not progressive politicians.

No vote is a wasted vote. if it doesn’t get your first preference elected it flows on, at full value, to your next choice.

Secondly, as experience in the ACT Legislative Assembly shows, the crossbench doesn’t have so much power given the two big parties can always, and quite often do, vote together.

As Kerrie’s campaign coordinator of course I’m pleased with the polling as it shows we have a chance.

Finaally, on the isssue of marghinal seats. surely the less any seat is a lay down misere, the more mrginal it is.

Here here!!

barking toad12:44 pm 13 Sep 07

A vote for a green is a vote wasted

You cant be nonconformist if you dont drink coffee12:30 pm 13 Sep 07

“The Greens could take Senator Gaz’s seat…” Well of course they bloody could when you’ve got those Getup creeps running around basically telling every single person in town to vote for them! One of my mates went to their meeting last night which was supposed to be about ‘bringing back balance’ in the senate and all they talked about apparently was “how do we tell people to vote for the greens without telling them to vote for the greens, because if we did that we would totally lose all credibility as a non-partisan organisation.” My friend was mighty displeased as he has never voted green in his life, and was under the foolish impression Getup was actually as unbiased as they claim to be – fool!

That’s not an ‘idependent sentate’, that’s a senate with the balance of power tilted towards a fringe group.

That’s not healthy. Look at how the Democrats fcuked up the GST, and held the Government at ransom for monies for environment feel goodies. Most of that has just been pissed up the wall paying local public servants to do not much at all.

The Lib/Nats are still likely to hold the Senate whoever wins.

I hope she does, I quite like her and whatever party wins in the House I would like to see an independent Senate

They said that last time as well.

Didn’t happen.

Won’t happen this time either.

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