Probing the polls: the bell tolled for Coe and how do you feel about Halloween?

Genevieve Jacobs 28 October 2020 13
Trunk or treat

Trunk or treat at Evans Park Kalaru. Photos: Carmen Risby.

The aftermath of the election has been a bruising one for the Canberra Liberals. Riding high beforehand on a campaign that many in the party believed would turn the political tide in their favour, they instead experienced a significant defeat.

Members James Milligan, Andrew Wall and Candice Burch are all leaving the Assembly, although members Peter Cain and Leanne Castley will join the team.

Leadership issues have now come to a head, and not before time according to most of you. There’s been a long-running perception that Alistair Coe was too conservative for the Canberra electorate and that the party was overly focused on internal conflict rather than winning votes.


READ MORE: Elizabeth Lee elected new Canberra Liberals leader


Peter Bee wrote: “Zed and friends have put his party into a position of not being electable. A move to the centre needed.”

Henry Kivimaki countered: “No. Canberra has an ideological noose around her neck. I’ll stick with truth and principles than pander to the rabid zeitgeist.”

We asked: Is it time for Coe to go? and your answers were clear from 1179 votes.

Your options were to vote: No, that would be the easy answer. Canberra is a tough demographic to crack. This received 15 per cent of the total, or 176 votes.

Alternatively, you could vote Yes, something’s got to give and the Liberals are way out of step with the community. This was overwhelmingly the winning option, with 85 per cent of the total, or 1,003 votes.

This week with the election finally out of our way, we’re turning our attention to something that might well be much more up your street. Literally.

It’s Halloween this weekend and, already, fliers are going into letterboxes asking householders to nominate whether they are happy to participate in trick or treating.

This is arguably much more divisive than the Liberal Party leadership could ever be as Canberrans argue their firmly entrenched opinions about whether Halloween is a harmless bit of fun that brings the community together or a commercialised American holiday that has nothing to do with our culture.

Deakin University academic Dr Paul Harrison is a frequent Canberra visitor and thinks you can be “irritated by the marketing juggernaut, but that’s not really more prevalent than it is at any other time of the year”.

“One mother actually said to me, ‘Can’t people just let it go and allow the kids to enjoy themselves?’, and I think that’s fair,” he says.

“I think the concern people have is that we’ve adopted this cultural tradition that has no roots here. But we can take it and make it our own, and that’s what I’ve seen my nephews and nieces doing with their neighbours and friends.

“It’s not All Hallow’s Eve when the line between the real world and the ghosts dissolves. It’s more about little kids wandering up and down the street and having fun. There’s a real age divide at work though. The older you are, the more likely you are to be irritated by Halloween.”

Our poll question this week is:

Should we celebrate Halloween in Canberra?

View Results

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What's Your Opinion?


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13 Responses to Probing the polls: the bell tolled for Coe and how do you feel about Halloween?
Helen Prior Helen Prior 4:39 pm 03 Nov 20

So long as in years to come no looting and no carrying a gun.

Toni Isaacson Toni Isaacson 1:04 am 30 Oct 20

Nothing harmless about Hallowe'en

Jennifer Buerckner Jennifer Buerckner 11:48 pm 29 Oct 20

the kid's in my suburb don't even try to dress up. they just won't fee stuff and knock on your door 4 or 5 times

Tina Shooks Tina Shooks 9:29 pm 29 Oct 20

Bunch of Scrooges, voting against it, 69% - 31%. Where's the harm. Let the kids have fun!!

ssek ssek 1:26 pm 29 Oct 20

Give it time and the greens will have all kinds of legislation around halloween to prevent children having fun.

    Maya123 Maya123 3:51 pm 29 Oct 20

    It’s simplistic thinking like this why the Liberals lost.

    ssek ssek 4:14 pm 29 Oct 20

    No, the liberals lost because Canberra is full of rusted on Labor voters in the form of union member public servants. The constant workplace propaganda campaigns run by the CPSU and their ilk, and easily lead fools who believe it, are why Labor were re-elected.

    Maya123 Maya123 4:29 pm 29 Oct 20

    As I said, simplistic thinking on the part of the liberals…and their followers. They don’t believe people are capable of thinking and their ad program and bribes ($25,000 for each first home buyer) reflected this. As you are reflecting this in your thinking.

    dolphin dolphin 9:32 pm 29 Oct 20

    great way to reconnect with the voters….. insulting the electorate because they don’t agree with you is not going to turn the liberals fortunes around.

    chewy14 chewy14 8:47 am 30 Oct 20

    Ssek,
    Yes I’m sure their woeful leader and a completely non-sensical policy platform had nothing to do with it.

    “Grow the pie” LOL.

    Hopefully Elizabeth Lee realigns the local party policy platform, she’s clearly far more sensible than Coe.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:47 am 04 Nov 20

    That’s totally correct. Every public servant I know votes Labor/Green because at the workplace, they are constantly reminded which side their bread is buttered on.

    dolphin dolphin 9:30 pm 29 Oct 20

    any evidence for this – perhaps some statements from Green candidates or policies from their platform? or did you just make it up?

    Spiral Spiral 11:02 am 30 Oct 20

    Halloween is based on ancient pagan ceremonies (Celtic and others) modified by Christianity.

    Opposing it would be akin to opposing other cultural/religious ceremonies such as Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid etc.

    I’m sure the Greens are very happy to allow people to honour/appease whatever imaginary entities their culture believes in (that are not harmful) and would encourage people from other cultures/beliefs to participate.

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