12 September 2019

Sitting Brindabella Libs re-endorsed on 34 votes

| Ian Bushnell
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Liberal MLA Mark Parton is back on the ticket for 2020 with four preselection votes. File photo.

A preselection vote on Monday night for the Canberra Liberals in the southern seat of Brindabella attracted just 34 ballots, highlighting the declining membership of political parties and the low turnout for the party’s new two-stage voting system.

All three sitting members – Andrew Wall, Nicole Lawder and Mark Parton – were re-endorsed. Mr Parton secured his spot on the ticket for next year’s Legislative Assembly election with four first-preference votes.

Mr Wall topped the ballot with 19 votes, Ms Lawder won eight votes and three were unaccounted for, according to a source close to the party.

The three Brindabella MLAs are all on the Liberals’ front bench, with Ms Lawder the party’s deputy leader.

This is the first preselection for the Canberra Liberals using the two-stage process. Incumbent MLAs seeking re-endorsement in the five electorates compete in the first round before aspiring MLAs vie to fill the remaining spots on the Liberals’ ticket in a separate voting process in November.

Canberra Liberals president John Cziesla has said the new approach will give people outside the Assembly a better opportunity to build their profile among the party membership. He believes it’s now easier for non-incumbents to be preselected as they won’t be competing against sitting MLAs.

Mr Cziesla told Region Media the process was ongoing, but all MLAs that have stood for preselection had been endorsed by their electorate branches for the 2020 campaign.

But he did not confirm the number of votes each candidate received, or explain how the first round of preselection was not simply rubber stamping the re-endorsement of incumbents.

In response to questions about the number of votes Mr Parton won, Mr Cziesla said the preselection process was conducted using the Hare-Clarke method so first preference votes did not always fully reflect the level of support for a preselected candidate.

The successful candidates preselected for the Canberra Liberals will be announced at the conclusion of the first round of voting across all five ACT electorates.

“The second round of preselection in November will focus exclusively on new candidates who will join the team to win Government in 2020,” Mr Cziesla said.

The Labor Party is also conducting its preselection ballots this month, two months earlier than usual ahead of its bid for a sixth term.

The ACT goes to the polls on 17 October 2020.

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Canberra Liberals should change their name to Canberra Conservatives. Return the party to the true Liberals and give Canberrans a real alternative.

Come on Libs Canberrans are crying out for another viable option to the Barr government and time is running out before the next election. You need to start getting a higher profile and taking a position or you will disappear.

If Parto voted for himself does that mean he only got three votes?!?

Surely this story should tell the Liberals something.

Anyone reading this site will have noticed my growing frustration with the ACT Government over the years, it’s been one bungle after another for Tuggeranong and Woden residents.

But the disconnected from mainstream Canberra Liberal opposition, don’t offer a viable alternative government for people like me.

I wouldn’t even consider voting Liberal without some assurances that they are going to improve things but also assurances that they won’t be trying to implement right wing policy and practices.

If they can’t win over someone as dissatisfied with Mr Barr as me, how are they going to win over the majority of canberra electors?

Mike of Canberra3:54 pm 12 Sep 19

Given the comparative lack of policy announcements from the Libs, it’s hard to know what, specifically, you’re referring to in terms of policy substance. But let’s have a stab at what you may regard as “right wing policy and practices”. Do you regard bringing the level of rate increases under some sort of rational control as too right wing? Or stepping up attempts to stop forcing businesses across the border into NSW? How about dismantling some of the meaningless social engineering on which too much of our rates and other taxes are spent? Perhaps you endorse a continuation of the ACT Government turning a blind eye to the mismanagement of dysfunctional public housing tenants. And then again, putting more resources into making our footpaths safe to walk on? Positively Genghis Khan territory. If you seriously object to such approaches, which would be likely to feature in the Liberals election platform if they have any sense, perhaps your major objection to Barr & Co is that their policies are insufficiently left wing?

liberalsocialist4:57 pm 02 Jul 20

Aaaaaand that’s the passive-aggressive comment that drives people away from the Liberals.
It’s that kind of ‘you must be a fool to think anything other than the way I do’ attitude that had me, after 30 years of voting Liberal, to change to Labor recently. A little tired of it. And there’s not substance to what you say (what social engineering? Can name a few Liberal experiments that fit the bill a little better) but just rhetoric. We get enough from both sides thanks.
Bring back the Democrats.

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