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Some predictions for October 18.

By johnboy 28 July 2008 29

The last local Government elections were fought in the shadow of a federal election. The upcoming ones will be fought in the shadow of the NSW local government elections. In trying to crystal ball-gaze we need to come to grips with what a dramatic change this represents.

The 2004 election went unusually well for Labor. They seized the first ever majority government in the ACT, all the more dramatic because our un-checked uni-cameral system was designed on the assumption that majority government would be impossible.

To a large extent that vote was determined by the Federal election where John Howard thumped Mark Latham.

Local politics got only minimal play, and local Labor was boosted by Canberra’s anti-Howard backlash.

My reading of the results is that the federal election was worth a seat in each electorate for Labor.

This time around local issues will dominate the debate all the way from here to the third weekend in October.

Election08 result will be

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And over the border in NSW they’re having their own local government elections in September. The dominant theme of that election is who can most perfectly reflect the desires of the property developers which are bank-rolling the campaigns.

Developers appear to have lost faith in the political parties and are planning to run their own candidates under a variety of different slogans.

That push is going to splash over the border with our own election just a month later.

We should not, however, abandon hope. Simply splashing cash around has cost many a vanity candidate in Canberra large chunks of their personal fortunes.

But it’s a context you’re well advised to apply to any and all of the new parties vying for your attention.

Greens

In that context the only party for those concerned by the influence of developers will be the Greens. So they could do much better this time around, probably at Labor’s expense.

I’d chalk them up to pick up another two seats in each electorate, to a total of three.

This assumes they don’t have any bone-headed policy explosions. Their decision to refuse RiotACT media access to their campaign launch two weeks ago showed poor judgment remains a problem for them in our opinion.

Liberals

This also bodes ill for the Liberals. Their seven seats (at the last election, less Richard Mulcahy who stormed out of the party) would appear to represent some low-hanging fruit for the new parties.

Mulcahy

RiotACT has its differences with Richard Mulcahy but we have never questioned his hard work and smart politics. If the big dollars roll in for him don’t make the mistake of thinking he’ll be another Helen Cross. Having said that it’s hard to see him winning more than one seat.

Community Alliance and Pangallo

Big fish in their small ponds they’re going to have to campaign out of their skins to convince the wider public to vote for them.

Liberal Democratic Party

Advertisers here on RiotACT, they’re always going to struggle selling a small-government/personal-freedom message in a town like Canberra where people tend to see the merits of big government solutions, if only because those are the things they’re used to.

A commitment to Liberty and Democracy is also likely to see a party supporting unpopular causes.

One suspects if they can get their message heard they’ll mostly go home happy.

Free Range Canberra and the Motorist Party are similarly motivated. But giving them your first vote will send a powerful message if you’re so inclined.

ungrouped ex-Democrats

They might, just might, ride a wave of nostalgia and regret into something solid, but it’ll have to be one hell of a campaign.

Prediction

Without a lot of confidence, because this will be a tough campaign, I’d guess the next assembly could well look like this:

Labor: 6
Liberal: 5
Green: 3
Mulcahy: 1

That leaves two seats I’ve got no idea as to how they’ll break.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Some predictions for October 18.
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imhotep 11:09 pm 01 Aug 08

iCanberran said :

“All three people on your ACT Democrats website are not actually from Canberra, and have no major achievements to list other than a short film, a campus comp and some dancing.”

I think you’ll find a lot of Canberrans are not actually from Canberra, and I wouldn’t hold that against them.

And what of the ‘achievements’ of the current lot? Know the right people or serve enough time as a party hack, then be given a spot on the ticket regardless of talent?

I’ve never voted Democrat. They often seem to be earnest dreamers, but maybe we need a few of those.
Has to be better than cynical and incompetent.

I’d vote for the entire cast of The Hollowmen rather than Labor this time.
If you’re going to be screwed, you may as well be laughing about it.

Granny 11:08 am 01 Aug 08

How embarrassment!

*blush*

Sometimes I need to have jokes explained….

jakez 11:03 am 01 Aug 08

I’m not sure if you are responding to me but I was making a joke, implying that iCanberran would not be a credible candidate.

Granny 10:26 am 01 Aug 08

People who are willing to back their mouths with their money are far more credible to me than armchair critics slinging off at those who are having a go.

Why are they not credible?

They cared enough to join a party and pay the membership fees and go out on cold nights to sit through boring meetings. They cared enough to sacrifice copious amounts of their own time, energy and money.

They could have just stayed at home and watched telly.

No doubt they can only apologise for being too plebian to meet iCanberran’s credibility standards.

jakez 9:54 am 01 Aug 08

Granny said :

Then why don’t you stand, iCanberran?

iCanberran sad ‘credible’ alternatives…

Granny 9:44 am 01 Aug 08

Then why don’t you stand, iCanberran?

I was particularly impressed at the sixty-one year old lady for getting up and having a go. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to run a campaign, and most of them would be doing it knowing they have very little chance of success.

I don’t really see the need to kick them when they are down. The morale must already be very low, but they’re still getting up off the floor and going another round.

People willing to stand up and pay a personal cost for what they believe is what makes democracy possible at all.

iCanberran 2:10 am 01 Aug 08

Darren Churchill said :

Hi Johnboy and everyone,

Just to clarify a point. The ACT Democrats’ candidates will certainly be appearing in the Ungrouped column. But we are not ex-Democrats.
We are all members of the Australian Democrats (known locally as the ACT Democrats). Our party has been involved in ACT politics since it’s inception and has contested every election since ACT self-government. This election is no exception.

Darren Churchill
ACT Democrats President

Except your party proved so unpopular it is no longer eligible to be a party. Other than that, nothings changed. Same old same old. All three people on your ACT Democrats website are not actually from Canberra, and have no major achievements to list other than a short film, a campus comp and some dancing.
I’m sorry if I sound harsh, but I really do want to see some credible alternatives in local politics. I’m tired ot having choose between bad (Libs), worse (Labor) and far out (Greens).

Darren Churchill 12:41 am 01 Aug 08

Hi Johnboy and everyone,

Just to clarify a point. The ACT Democrats’ candidates will certainly be appearing in the Ungrouped column. But we are not ex-Democrats.
We are all members of the Australian Democrats (known locally as the ACT Democrats). Our party has been involved in ACT politics since it’s inception and has contested every election since ACT self-government. This election is no exception.

Darren Churchill
ACT Democrats President

someoneincanb 1:37 pm 30 Jul 08

For those voting in ACT for the first time, make sure you check the voting rules as they are not the same as in other states. Can someone confirm/post details?

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