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.
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: