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An Independent senator might give the ACT some sway

By Impassive - 18 July 2010 27

If the ACT wants to have any chance of having its legislation not tampered with by the Federal Government we need an Independent senator. Look at what Brian Harradine did for Tasmania – successive governments falling over backwards to get his vote.

Worst case scenario is that the numbers would mean that they would have no influence – same situation as now – a Labor senator who can’t vote to support the ACT if that goes against party lines, and a Liberal senator who wouldn’t if his vote made the difference and went against the wishes of his leader.

All we need now is a credible candidate. Any ideas?

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27 Responses to
An Independent senator might give the ACT some sway
altkey 7:24 am 19 Jul 10

+ I-filed

After being harrassed for years as a student whilst walking through Union Court, I vowed that I would never vote for the Greens. This decision has been cemented by the events of the past couple of years and the complete inability of this party to show that they are really different from the major parties.

Although I hate to say it, I too will be voting Liberal at the election. The way that KRudd was disposed of by the ALP leaves a sick taste in my mouth and shows exactly what the ALP thinks of the voting population in this country.

Maybe a marginal seat would be better – would have the effect of getting the attention of both of the major parties…does it work for Queanbeyan (and the rest of Eden Monaro)?

Mothy 12:03 am 19 Jul 10

Independent Senator for ACT = never happen.

Quota to get a Tasmanian Senator Elected vs. a Territory Senator substantially different.

You’d not need a credible candidate, you’d need a giant.

banjo271 11:04 pm 18 Jul 10

I agree with housebound. Why do we chase Gary H, we need to make Labor take notice and not ignore us. Canberra seem to be dumb when it comes to voting. Just have a look next door at Eden Monaro and look at what gets thrown at them because they are a swinging seat. Lets GET UP and marginalise our reps seats. Make the government of the day take notice.
Look get rid of our only lib rep we will get absolutely nothing and be ignored by Labor.

Holden Caulfield 9:21 pm 18 Jul 10

Impassive, sounds very much like a call to Rod Quinn;s show last night. 🙂

Fair point, too. Can’t see it happening though.

Dr Strange 9:13 pm 18 Jul 10

I-Filed – it’s probably a pity that Andrew Bartlett is running in Queensland. Agree with the general sentiment expressed here though, the ALP takes the ACT for granted, campaign time by serious party members or fat of the land handouts like Eden-Monaro. Can anyone remember when a Labour leader campaigned in the ACT during an election? Until the local gumby’s actually vote for someone else (Greens or Independent) the ACT won’t be thought of twice and kicking the Public Service and Canberra is a vote winner everywhere else in the country. When an ALP Prime Minister does that it was the final straw for me to leave the CPSU.

One thought is that maybe the ACT Labour-Green government is unpopular enough that the burghers of Canberra will transfer that to the Federal realm. In the circles I travel in I rarely hear a positive word spoken about them.

bd84 8:10 pm 18 Jul 10

To be honest, Humphreys has done a decent job in his last term compared to Lundy (is that her name?) who pops up every now and then when something sporty comes up.

An independent is typically a vote for nothing, although there is the odd rare decent one, and they’re normally the ones sitting in the rural seats who actually fight for their local interests. The Greens have very little in the way of policies and are normally ones who jump up and down yelling, but not saying much of any interest. At this point, I would say a vote for either of these options would be a waste.

Tetranitrate 6:39 pm 18 Jul 10

housebound said :

Credible candidate? Probably Democrats as any resurgence would get the incumbent parties worried.

The brand is trashed – there’s no point trying to resurrect the democrats.
A similar party could easily come up around someone like Nick Xenophon, who could pull at least another Senator up in South Australia if he tried – at least from that base it might be possible to have a party relevant and eventually competitive at a national level.

sexynotsmart 6:28 pm 18 Jul 10

bobbatty said :

Yes, I agree we are destined to be ignored. But we must take some perspective in all this. We are just a small municipality in the scheme of things. We can’t expect to be a power in politics with our piss weak population. My suggestion is just to suck it – we’ll never have any influence politically

Agreed in 2010. But in 20 years time, Canberra may have a bigger population than Tasmania.

Half a million people should result in some new seats. I understand there’s a constitutional issue around proportional Senate representation (TAS is guaranteed a number of Senators, and the rest of Australia may not support a bigger Senate).

Given the diversity of haircuts I see at popular drinking holes, I reckon there’s a fair chance a new seat could be held by a third party.

housebound 3:39 pm 18 Jul 10

You’re right OP – but if you really wanted to make them wake up to the existence of the ACT, you would need to take an ALP seat off the ALP. If Gary H lost his seat, then the Libs will probably never spend another cent here, and the ALP/Greens coalition know they won’t need to. So vote in an independent/minor party – anyone – into one of those ALP seats.

(For the politically challenged – in a safe liberal seat, the same argument would apply, just switch the party names around in the sentences.)

Credible candidate? Probably Democrats as any resurgence would get the incumbent parties worried.

sepi 2:27 pm 18 Jul 10

Brian Harradine got what he wanted for his electorate = something we have not experienced in the ACT.

bobbatty 1:57 pm 18 Jul 10

Yes, I agree we are destined to be ignored. But we must take some perspective in all this. We are just a small municipality in the scheme of things. We can’t expect to be a power in politics with our piss weak population. My suggestion is just to suck it – we’ll never have any influence politically

Antagonist 12:44 pm 18 Jul 10

Brian Harradine? The same bloke who was convinced that Bob Hawke is an incarnation of evil and was expelled from the ALP in 1975? I see the point you are making and I agree with you, but Harradine is not a good example of a ‘credible candidate’.

NickD 12:33 pm 18 Jul 10

A few months ago Gary Humphries was claiming that he’d strongly oppose any cuts to the public service. I haven’t seen anything from him on this topic since the Liberal Party made it their policy to reduce the APS by 12,000 people over two years…

I-filed 11:35 am 18 Jul 10

Bob Brown was looking like the cat that ate the cream on Insiders this morning. Watch out – the Greens will be as manipulative and dishonest as either of the major parties once they wield a bit more power.

Humphries has done a diligent job for Canberra. I’m normally a Labor voter, but I’ll be voting Liberal in the lower house because of Gillard’s dishonesty, and in the Senate because Humphries deserves to stay in.

I won’t be voting Green because so many Greens in any of the legislatures have turned out to be turkeys – abusing government housing (Deb Foskey) or entitlements (Lee Rhiannon), dishonest treatment of the children-in-the-Chamber issue (Sarah Hanson Young, whinging inarticulateness and generally being annoying (Kerry Nettle) or simply being dills (Lucy Horodny).

Add to that, failed ACT Greens candidates phoning the ABC when an adviser to the party, pretending to be “a person in the street” and commenting on issues without identifying themselves (you know who you are!)

WillowJim 11:04 am 18 Jul 10

Don’t get me wrong: you’re probably right about Gary Humphries. He crossed the floor on same-sex unions as a “matter of principle” rather than personal support, but he knew it didn’t count.

It would be interesting, though, to put him in the position of being able to actually affect a vote of significance to the ACT and see what happens. After all, the Liberals do have more of a tradition (however forgotten) of crossing the floor than Labor.

But why couldn’t a Greens senator for the ACT also have a lot of sway? Do we really know whether the Greens vote as a bloc on all issues? They haven’t really been tested.

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