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Five electorates, Green pastures?

By John Hargreaves - 26 January 2015 16

election vote

The change to the ACT electoral system, now with five electorates of five members, is fertile ground for the ACT Greens.

Over the past couple of years we have seen letters from Caroline LeCouteur both in social and print media. Caroline has been true to her beliefs and constantly pushed the environmentalist line. Good on her too, I say.

I recently spotted an opinion piece from Amanda Bresnan on an issue dear to her heart. Many of you won’t know, but since losing the last election Amanda has been busy with many community spirited endeavours. Meredith Hunter too. And good on them both.

We know that Shane Rattenbury survived to be carried shoulder-height to glory.

But who remembers the time when there were four Greens in the Legislative Assembly? It was a very interesting time, indeed. Much legislation was passed and the agreement between Labor and the Greens was largely agreed and proceeded with.

But are those times going to repeat themselves? Are we going to see the Greens maintain the balance of power by taking four or five seats?

I predict that in preparation for the preselection process, the Greens’ rank and file members will soon start to show themselves at community events, community council meetings, school fetes and the opening of envelopes.

I also predict that LeCouteur and Bresnan will be starters once again.

The contest will be between Labor and the Greens to see which has the greener policies and which is most likely to be able to deliver. My bet is that Labor will come out on top.

Simon Corbell has had a ‘green agenda’ even before I first met him in 1998. He has doggedly pursued them to much success. It was Simon who wanted our busses to convert to compressed natural gas, and it was Simon who wanted to examine possibilities around wind farming both in and out of the ACT.

Simon saw the vision of a solar farm and pursued it against much opposition, supported on-road cycle paths to encourage people out of their cars and wanted to set targets for emission reduction here.

Let’s see if the five electorate system delivers for the minor parties or not. The Light Rail mob is gone. The Democrats are a distant memory, Most of the single issue parties will rename and come again, and the Community Action party (the Liberal when you are not Liberal Party) may surface again. The Sex Party will put up and be entertaining.

But I predict a three way fight between the ALP, the Liberals and the Greens with a result of 12 Labor, 10 Liberals, and 3 Greens. Government to Labor with a Green minister again.

Let the betting begin.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Five electorates, Green pastures?
watto23 12:38 pm 01 Feb 15

Garfield said :

As I see it, the changed conditions for Tuggeranong in 2016 are:
– No Lib leader
– No south Woden suburbs
– Kambah likely to be included in new Woden-Weston electorate
– Light rail
– Rates increases

The polling booth results for Kambah and south Woden were better for Labor than the total Brindabella result so their exclusion from Tuggeranong is a plus for the Liberals, probably lifting their vote by 1%.

Looking at the distribution of Zed’s surplus votes, less than 10% left the Liberals, so not having the leader there is probably -2% for them.

Tuggeranong residents having to pay for light rail and not getting any benefit from it will be a plus for the Liberals.

In 2012 Labor claimed that the Libs campaign on Rates was just a scare campaign, but 4 years of 10% p.a. compounding rates increases will make it harder to refute in 2016.

If the light rail and rates issues combined only bring an extra 1% to the Libs, then they’ll be in the same position in 2016 as they were in 2012, even without having the leader there, and so should retain 3 seats.

As a Tuggeranong resident, I can say my rates are not increasing anywhere near as much as land closer to the city. So i don’t feel rates are as big an issue down south. We do seem to have a lot more conservatives down south though and I’m not sure why. I still think without Zed the 3rd seat is not a given. Also add into the fact that Liberals are not exactly winning over the country with their policies.
I’m eagerly awaiting to see what Jeremy Hanson proposes for the capital at the next election.

Garfield 9:28 am 01 Feb 15

John Hargreaves said :

I agree with most of the postings here. But, there are a couple of issues which could be game changers. How’s this for a few (in no particular order:
.
I reckon the incumbent Chief Minister goes to an election with 1.3 ex officio quotas, to which is added a personal vote, which is why Jon and Katy got such a good vote.
.
The leader of the Opposition goes in with 0.9 of an ex officio quota, to which is added their personal vote. See Zed’s vote last time over Brendan’s the previous time.
.
Both need to bring someone in with them.
.
The Leader of the Opposition is not in Tuggeranong this time, opening up the contest again.

As I see it, the changed conditions for Tuggeranong in 2016 are:
– No Lib leader
– No south Woden suburbs
– Kambah likely to be included in new Woden-Weston electorate
– Light rail
– Rates increases

The polling booth results for Kambah and south Woden were better for Labor than the total Brindabella result so their exclusion from Tuggeranong is a plus for the Liberals, probably lifting their vote by 1%.

Looking at the distribution of Zed’s surplus votes, less than 10% left the Liberals, so not having the leader there is probably -2% for them.

Tuggeranong residents having to pay for light rail and not getting any benefit from it will be a plus for the Liberals.

In 2012 Labor claimed that the Libs campaign on Rates was just a scare campaign, but 4 years of 10% p.a. compounding rates increases will make it harder to refute in 2016.

If the light rail and rates issues combined only bring an extra 1% to the Libs, then they’ll be in the same position in 2016 as they were in 2012, even without having the leader there, and so should retain 3 seats.

watto23 10:13 am 28 Jan 15

rommeldog56 said :

If the current Labor/Greens ACT Gov’t are voted back in 2016, given their poor track record on fiscal management and priority setting, then they will probably never loose Government here. Voters have to ask themselves do we want this type of Government in the ACT potentially forever – because thats whats being asked of us – not so much what the alternatives are or what the Feds are doing (which was caused to correct the deficit left by the previous Federal Labor Gov’t).

As you say though the alternative isn’t that great either. Offering to build a pool in Lanyon valley when a 5 minute drive to Tuggeranong was possible is IMO not a great use of public funds either. Yes less than a new tram (which IMO is too slow to be useful). The only sense I’ve heard from Jeremy Hanson was his displeasure on the knighting of the Duke.

Politicians in general are failing to really strive in this modern internet connected society. They can no longer spin things the way they want them, because the “electronic graffiti” like Twitter and facebook, provide an alternative media source. Plus people can, if they want to can research the facts instead of swallowing the selected information a politician chooses to divulge. I’m certainly sick of the selected fact giving politics we still get, when its so easy to catch them out. Of course in some cases the ideology gets in the way of facts anyway so the facts are useless!

rommeldog56 6:48 am 28 Jan 15

John Hargreaves said :

I agree with most of the postings here. But, there are a couple of issues which could be game changers. How’s this for a few (in no particular order:

.

I reckon the incumbent Chief Minister goes to an election with 1.3 ex officio quotas, to which is added a personal vote, which is why Jon and Katy got such a good vote.
.

The leader of the Opposition goes in with 0.9 of an ex officio quota, to which is added their personal vote. See Zed’s vote last time over Brendan’s the previous time.
.

Both need to bring someone in with them.
.

The Leader of the Opposition is not in Tuggeranong this time, opening up the contest again.
.

The only Greens MLA has been a tram pushing minister for the whole term. This could auger badly for the Greens opening up an opportunity for a clever minor party to fill that space.
.

The Labor Party have the “It’s Time” factor to deal with but the Opposition have not been effective in helping the Government lose office. They both have less than two years to fix the problem.
.

Right now and into 2016, the focus in people’s minds will be federal politics and the pain it delivers to Canberrans. If the feds deliver more it will hurt the local Libs, if they put out sweeteners, it may help.
.

Unless the local Libs define themselves differently to the feds they are gone.
The tram issue is largely a media beat up which has been swallowed by the electorate, with not much said about the financial burden of the Mr Fluffy issue which is almost as drastic. But most punters don’t look at the budget as defining, they look at their own quality of life. And it has not changed much.
.

Some in town remember the “true” independents, Osborne and Rugendyke, and before them Michael Moore. They remember Osborne for being a lazy MLA and Rugendyke for joining Osborne in his own party, They remember Michael for is needle exchange stance and taking a ministry. Not good track record for the “true” indies.
.

For poll watchers, it is historic that the party which gets one or two seats less than 50% of the House, ie 10 or 11, they will govern.
.

But at the end of the day, unless the ALP is decimated, if two Greens get elected it is all over Red Rover. So the people to watch are the Greens and if they get it in the neck, who it is who wields the knife.

There is so much wrong in the OP – but a few issues:

1) The Tram being a media beat up : A typically dismissive comment of a significant issue. Similar to the dismissiveness of Ratepayers/voters concerns over the Tram by the ACT Gov’t. The OP can not have read or understood what laughingly passed for the Tram’s Benefits Costs Ratio (BCR)/business case nor seen the “media beat up” over the boubling of the Territory’s 2014-15 budget deficit to $712 million (that + interest has to be repaid out of increased revenues – like ACT Gov’t Rates and Charges or a GST increase).

2) Personally, I don’t see on road cycle lanes as a vote winner – for all the green/health good they no doubt do, I wonder how many cyclists have been injured/killed due to putting themselves in more danger than necessary on roads from inept car drivers ?

3) Solar Farms : The increased cost of electricity to ACT residents is a negative to me because we have given away much of the natural advantage we had of lower electricity prices. That will not encourage large employers like manufacturing companies to set up here so bring jobs and wider employment/revenue earning base. Yes its green though.

4) The Budget : I agree that there seems to be a distinct apathy by ACT Voters/Ratepayers about the Territory’s ballooning budget deficit + the ACT Gov’t fiscal priority setting.

5) Mr Fluffy. As i recall, it was the then ACT Labor Gov’t that ignored or dismissed their knowledge of Mr Fluffy 9+ years ago. They took no action by admission by the ex Chief Minister. If it had of been fixed/the buyback done then, it would have been far less expensive for ACT Ratepayers and we may have got a better hearing re funding from a Federal Labor Gov’t (Rudd/Gillard/Rudd). The fact that existing affected affected homeowners can not buy back their remediated blocks is yet to be played out but that and valuations and compo for furnishings will be more clear by the next ACT election.

6) I agree that most ACT Voters/Ratepayers probably do not see much decline in their quality of life – the average income here is too high for that to be too obvious. But with high income there is also a tendency for apathy. The cost of living/quality of life in the ACT – especially the noticable degredation in municiple services against a background of avg.10% pa increase in Annual Rates over 20+ years, will increase by the 2016 election.

If the current Labor/Greens ACT Gov’t are voted back in 2016, given their poor track record on fiscal management and priority setting, then they will probably never loose Government here. Voters have to ask themselves do we want this type of Government in the ACT potentially forever – because thats whats being asked of us – not so much what the alternatives are or what the Feds are doing (which was caused to correct the deficit left by the previous Federal Labor Gov’t).

John Hargreaves 3:15 pm 27 Jan 15

I agree with most of the postings here. But, there are a couple of issues which could be game changers. How’s this for a few (in no particular order:

. I reckon the incumbent Chief Minister goes to an election with 1.3 ex officio quotas, to which is added a personal vote, which is why Jon and Katy got such a good vote.
. The leader of the Opposition goes in with 0.9 of an ex officio quota, to which is added their personal vote. See Zed’s vote last time over Brendan’s the previous time.
. Both need to bring someone in with them.
. The Leader of the Opposition is not in Tuggeranong this time, opening up the contest again.
. The only Greens MLA has been a tram pushing minister for the whole term. This could auger badly for the Greens opening up an opportunity for a clever minor party to fill that space.
. The Labor Party have the “It’s Time” factor to deal with but the Opposition have not been effective in helping the Government lose office. They both have less than two years to fix the problem.
. Right now and into 2016, the focus in people’s minds will be federal politics and the pain it delivers to Canberrans. If the feds deliver more it will hurt the local Libs, if they put out sweeteners, it may help.
. Unless the local Libs define themselves differently to the feds they are gone.
The tram issue is largely a media beat up which has been swallowed by the electorate, with not much said about the financial burden of the Mr Fluffy issue which is almost as drastic. But most punters don’t look at the budget as defining, they look at their own quality of life. And it has not changed much.
. Some in town remember the “true” independents, Osborne and Rugendyke, and before them Michael Moore. They remember Osborne for being a lazy MLA and Rugendyke for joining Osborne in his own party, They remember Michael for is needle exchange stance and taking a ministry. Not good track record for the “true” indies.
. For poll watchers, it is historic that the party which gets one or two seats less than 50% of the House, ie 10 or 11, they will govern.
. But at the end of the day, unless the ALP is decimated, if two Greens get elected it is all over Red Rover. So the people to watch are the Greens and if they get it in the neck, who it is who wields the knife.

dungfungus 1:36 pm 27 Jan 15

El_Mariachi said :

dungfungus said :

“The Light Rail mob is gone”.
What are you talking about, John?

I think he means the bullet train mob.

Well, he was a politician and they are skilled in saying one thing and meaning another.

El_Mariachi 11:05 am 27 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

“The Light Rail mob is gone”.
What are you talking about, John?

I think he means the bullet train mob.

dungfungus 10:32 am 27 Jan 15

miz said :

The four Greens were only voted in two elections ago because people wanted a third voice. The people were sorely disappointed at the result, and they were (mostly) voted out again. The Greens did a huge disservice to minor parties in general during that period, by primarily focusing on fringe issues and not governing for all. For example, the only thing I can remember about Caroline Le Couteur is her wish for the proposed new cemetery to be able to have natural burials.
I think we can all learn from this.

Caroline Le Couteur was a tireless worker behind the scenes. If someone wrote to her about an issue she would address it, follow it up and resolve it.
Unfortunately she wasn’t recognised for this. I think she has done more for The Greens than Shane Rattenbury will ever do.

miz 10:04 am 27 Jan 15

The four Greens were only voted in two elections ago because people wanted a third voice. The people were sorely disappointed at the result, and they were (mostly) voted out again. The Greens did a huge disservice to minor parties in general during that period, by primarily focusing on fringe issues and not governing for all. For example, the only thing I can remember about Caroline Le Couteur is her wish for the proposed new cemetery to be able to have natural burials.
I think we can all learn from this.

rommeldog56 7:13 am 27 Jan 15

So, the “Light Rail mob is gone”: ? Check out letters to the Canberra Times today and in fact, almost everyday. The OP is, perhaps predictably, far too dismissive of the ACT electorates mood on the Light Rail. IMHO, I think that the electorate will deliver a significant message of “No” to that and the other poor ACT Labor/Greens decisions and fiscal decision making/priority setting.

Have u seen the revised budget 2014-15 deficit ? Its nore than doubled to $712 million – without light rail and other planned PPPs. I don’t think that the unfunded billions of $ for ACT public service superannuation is reflected in that either. The OP doesn’t mention that deficit !

Also, the up to 10% pa increase in Annual Rates should start to compound before the next ACT election and i predict that will start to get voters/ratepayers attention against a background of degredation of municiple services and priotitisation of big ticket infrastructure projects

Im not sure about the Greens ability to win those no’s of seats either. At the last ACT LA election, the Greens were deciminated by the electorate – for good reason. I’m not convinced that Rattenbury “joining” the Government will be a plus with the electortae- nor will his influence on and assocition with ACT Govt decisions on things like bike lanes on roads, parking fees, roads, municiple services, light rail, etc.

However, sadly I too think that with the new ACT electorate system, true independents will not get a seat – they will go to Labor/Greens and the Lib’s. But we are yet to see what the new electorate boundries will be and the possible effect of those.

Having said that, the ACT Liberals hardly fill me with confidence either. What is a voter to do ?

watto23 6:10 pm 26 Jan 15

Garfield said :

Assuming there are no standout independent or minor candidates, I think that Labor and Liberal will pick up a minimum of 2 seats in each electorate, meaning the only question marks will be about the remaining 5 seats.

In Belconnen I think it will be Greens or Labor
In the City I think it will be the Greens
In Gungahlin it could be anyone
In Tuggeranong I think it will stay Liberal
In Woden it could be anyone

That gives Labor 10-13 seats, Liberals 11-13 seats and the Greens 1-4 seats. My guess is 12 Liberal, 11 Labor and 2 Green, so the current government would continue.

I tend to agree, the chances of the liberals winning a third seat in three electorates is very low. Tuggeranong is likely, although Zed is not there either and he basically won the three quotas himself.

I’ve said on many occasions the liberals need a another party or moderate independant to win a seat or 2 to have any chance of governing.

For those who say the light rail is a game changer, Labor took that to the last election and they still won.
Also the ACT liberals need to realise, they can’t just copy federal liberal party. Canberrans are socially very progressive so they really need to think about that. Jeremy Hanson thinks he is able to win an election by just opposing everything anyway and being a mini-abbott with negativity.

Steven Bailey 4:12 pm 26 Jan 15

I agree that Simon has performed well, and has put in a lot of work, in pursuing an environmental agenda, and it’s clear that it is an issue close to his heart. Though I’m not totally convinced by your analysis John, but I’m convinced with most it.

With the abolition of the seven-seat electorate, I’m sure you’ll agree that the five-seat/five electorate arrangement will make it more difficult for minor parties and independents to win a seat. Had this been the arrangement in 2012, it’s conceivable that the Greens would have won no seats.

As Labor and the Greens fight to out-green one another, they run the risk of appearing superficial.
The vote for legitimate (non-one-issue) small parties is rising astronomically across Australia, and it is resulting in more seats in quota based elections. And as Gary Humphries continues to point out, the Canberra Libs couldn’t be further from true liberal values if they tried – which is quite a pity for Canberra, but a legitimate inroad for the Australian Sex Party.

There are many inroads for The Australian Sex Party in this type of environment. And as the party received the 4th highest vote in the federal senate race, and with Fiona’s successful campaign in Victoria the party is undoubtedly improving its reach, and resources are being directed towards the ACT as we speak.

The next federal election will be a good indication of what will happen in the local election – which will almost certainly happen afterwards.

Yes, we will be entertaining, but we will be far more than just that, as people are beginning to realise.

Under these circumstances and more, and combined with voter dissatisfaction with the major parties, The Australian Sex Party has a real chance of holding the balance of power in the ACT – which it will use responsibly.

Also, I’m with Dungers. What do you mean, ‘The Light Rail mob is gone’?

dungfungus 11:09 am 26 Jan 15

“The Light Rail mob is gone”.
What are you talking about, John?

Garfield 9:32 am 26 Jan 15

Assuming there are no standout independent or minor candidates, I think that Labor and Liberal will pick up a minimum of 2 seats in each electorate, meaning the only question marks will be about the remaining 5 seats.

In Belconnen I think it will be Greens or Labor
In the City I think it will be the Greens
In Gungahlin it could be anyone
In Tuggeranong I think it will stay Liberal
In Woden it could be anyone

That gives Labor 10-13 seats, Liberals 11-13 seats and the Greens 1-4 seats. My guess is 12 Liberal, 11 Labor and 2 Green, so the current government would continue.

Weatherman 8:57 am 26 Jan 15

ACT Greens Submission
ACT Legislative Assembly Electoral Boundaries
Redistribution 2015

http://elections.act.gov.au/electoral_boundaries/redistributions/2015_redistribution/suggestions/ACT_Greens_Mazengarb,_Michael.pdf

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