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The post-election wishing well

By Greg Cornwell - 18 October 2016 15

voted

It is still too early to identify the final seat winners, however we know enough of the Assembly election result to declare another Labor government for the next four years.

While personally disappointed (and surprised), the electorate has spoken and the inevitable post-mortems: the Tram, rates, health, jobs and some questionable planning decisions, will not alter the result.  It is time to address the positive side, which includes the much needed Assembly membership increase to 25 from 17 – an increase that could strengthen the backbench against the Cabinet – and a smaller electorate to service out of the old Molonglo seat.

There is some apprehension among those who did not support Labor, however this sizeable chunk of the population can only be ignored at a government’s peril, “conservatives” or not, and even with a lengthy mandate.

Yet much can be done at little or no cost which would be welcomed by residents.  Clearing up public areas, graffiti removal, replacing footpaths, evicting troublesome housing tenants, the blight of shipping containers in front yards … And hopefully prosecutions for those engaged in shonky planning and land deals with no more anonymous “counselling” punishments.

We can expect a turnover of top staff, either retirements or resignations, normal with a new government, although one hopes departmental name changes, so often meaningless, will not occur leading to more pulped letterhead.

The opportunity to break the mould and begin again does not happen often but should be used with discretion and without impatience.   Similarly the regular mantra of “cutting red tape” should be ruthlessly implemented (for a change) and the necessary steps taken to either abolish or enforce the myriad of rules, regulations and legislation which exist only in word rather than deed in the ACT.  Could the police also be relieved of extra sometimes silly social duties?  They have enough proper law enforcement to administer.

Ministers and bureaucrats must be held accountable for the running of departments and be honest in admitting mistakes – no easy job when the opportunities for cover-ups abound, though the latter is because of fear of retribution.

Detailed consultation should be established and maintained so the “streaker’s defence”,  especially in major initiatives like planning, does not blow up and blow out in the government’s face and residents’ time and effort unnecessarily employed protecting their community and quality of life.

It would be welcome too if the rights of noisy minorities were put into perspective along with their responsibilities, together with those of the usually silent majority.

Big schemes should be approached with caution.  People, even young people, live here because they like the life-style.  If they wanted Sydney or Melbourne’s vibrancy they would live there.  Plans to create a metropolis on the Molonglo need to be tested among a population other than developers and unions.

We should hope!

 

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
The post-election wishing well
gooterz 7:40 pm 20 Oct 16

“The Liberals ran a negative campaign”
Firstly this was a captain run by Labor which was negative itself?
Labor voters also ran scare campaigns like not enough doctors for expanded hospital (labor also promosing the same).
Labor used the old medicare scare tactic of impersonating a federal agency. As well they advertised that libs would close the walk in centre with claims that they leave Tuggeranong without any other health provision. Then the tram contacts with libs claiming 10-220m and labor sticking to 400m in costs to pull out.

Secondly Labor are in government and should be campaigning about how positive things are and should stay that way. Liberals aren’t in government so have say how much better they could run things. Labor ran the election as opposition would giving details of major changes and how bad the other party was at running things. The average voter didn’t pick this up.

Overall Labor are a party of public opinion rather than fiscal management. If rates rise there will still be public service jobs they don’t have top appease the business sector. It’s clear they expect the hard workering middle class to pay for everyone no questions asked.

rommeldog56 6:48 pm 20 Oct 16

pink little birdie said :

Closing the nurse walk in centres for eventual changes to glorified GP centres. Also the lack of policy on housing affordability and accessibility. There policies had nothing for renters or people already in the market.

I forgot to mention that under ACT labor/Greens the ACT has the worst performing Hospital + has the 2nd highest rate of homeless in the country too. So, ACT Labor/Greens record in the provision of Hospital services and housing affordability & addressing homelessness is something that deserved reward by another term in Gov’t ? Funny how “progressives” seem leave so many behind in pursuit of their own vision and selfishness.

chewy14 6:42 am 20 Oct 16

pink little birdie said :

HiddenDragon said :

madelini said :

Are you really surprised at the outcome? The Liberals campaign was incredibly negative, and while many people do not support Labor or the tram, basing an entire campaign on that assumption was both naive and ill-advised. It reeked of propaganda, and as a friend of mine pointed out, felt similar to the Brexit bus in the UK. Why would voters trust anything that reminded them of that horrific campaign?

I have felt for a while that there is a sense of apathy floating around at the moment. There are some who feel passionately that either of the major parties would do a better job, but many who feel that it doesn’t matter beyond a couple of promises because the parties are basically the same. There seems to be a higher proportion of the vote than normal that has gone to the minor parties and independents – all up, those votes attracted more first preferences than the Greens.

Personally, I hope that both parties don’t discount this disengagement and apathy. If they ignore it, it’s only going to become more widespread, and it’s hard to convince people to care when there is no encouragement to differentiate between either of the major parties.

Some of that “apathy” may be the reaction of people who used to be happy to support one of the major parties, but have trouble doing that now. In the months leading up to the election I heard from quite a number who had hitherto been strong supporters of Labor (and still support Labor federally), but are very unhappy with ACT Labor – some would have voted Liberal for the first time, others would have gone to independents because they couldn’t quite bring themselves to vote Liberal. Likewise, I would guess there are people who might have voted Liberal in the past, but didn’t this time, including because of the actions/inactions of the federal government – there was probably a lycra-clad Banquo’s ghost lurking about on Saturday night.

Ummm there was only a swing against the Liberals only. On a electorate level they may have seen swings but overall the swing was against the Liberals

On current first preference counting there’s also a 0.5% swing against Labor and the Greens vs 2.3% against Liberals.

It seems that a large proportion of the electorate was disaffected with the major parties, with those first preferences leaking to minor parties.

The main thing that saved Labor was the massive swing towards them from Gungahlin (5%+). Hardly surprising that voters being bought off with a massive infrastructure project paid for by other taxpayers were quite happy to vote 1 self interest.

rommeldog56 4:40 am 20 Oct 16

pink little birdie said :

Closing the nurse walk in centres for eventual changes to glorified GP centres. Also the lack of policy on housing affordability and accessibility. There policies had nothing for renters or people already in the market. Their policies didn’t stand up to scrutiny on the policies where there were differences.

I suppose its a question of perceptions. I would have thought that those so called “glorified GP centres” would be much better than the nurse walk in centres. Each to their own.

However, its a bit laughable to imply that ACT Labor/Greens offered more for affordable housing. ACT Labor/Greens have : (1) Capped the concession for Annual Rates to what applied in 2016-17. (2) Increased Annual Rates on Units by 20% this year and 15% next year. (3) Drip feed land releases to keep prices artificially high. (4) and then there is the acceptable to “progressives” Annual Rates increases whether those owners have already paid conveyancing stamp duty or not.

“Affordable Housing” from ACT Labor/Greens. I think not.

pink little birdie 3:30 am 20 Oct 16

rommeldog56 said :

madelini said :

The Liberals campaign was incredibly negative…..

I get how tearing up the tram contract could be seen by the “progressives” as being negative.

What else in the Lib’s campaign was so “negative” though ?????

Personally, I thought that they had the running with promises/initiatives and that Labor/Greens were playing catch up.

Closing the nurse walk in centres for eventual changes to glorified GP centres.
Also the lack of policy on housing affordability and accessibility. There policies had nothing for renters or people already in the market.

Their policies didn’t stand up to scrutiny on the policies where there were differences.
In Belconnen they pushed the new hospitals quite hard. Which the only problem was Belconnen and Gungahalin are well serviced by medical services and they are getting a new hospital that will grow with the UC’s medical department.

There was almost nothing for the under 30’s or young families.

pink little birdie 3:24 am 20 Oct 16

HiddenDragon said :

madelini said :

Are you really surprised at the outcome? The Liberals campaign was incredibly negative, and while many people do not support Labor or the tram, basing an entire campaign on that assumption was both naive and ill-advised. It reeked of propaganda, and as a friend of mine pointed out, felt similar to the Brexit bus in the UK. Why would voters trust anything that reminded them of that horrific campaign?

I have felt for a while that there is a sense of apathy floating around at the moment. There are some who feel passionately that either of the major parties would do a better job, but many who feel that it doesn’t matter beyond a couple of promises because the parties are basically the same. There seems to be a higher proportion of the vote than normal that has gone to the minor parties and independents – all up, those votes attracted more first preferences than the Greens.

Personally, I hope that both parties don’t discount this disengagement and apathy. If they ignore it, it’s only going to become more widespread, and it’s hard to convince people to care when there is no encouragement to differentiate between either of the major parties.

Some of that “apathy” may be the reaction of people who used to be happy to support one of the major parties, but have trouble doing that now. In the months leading up to the election I heard from quite a number who had hitherto been strong supporters of Labor (and still support Labor federally), but are very unhappy with ACT Labor – some would have voted Liberal for the first time, others would have gone to independents because they couldn’t quite bring themselves to vote Liberal. Likewise, I would guess there are people who might have voted Liberal in the past, but didn’t this time, including because of the actions/inactions of the federal government – there was probably a lycra-clad Banquo’s ghost lurking about on Saturday night.

Ummm there was only a swing against the Liberals only. On a electorate level they may have seen swings but overall the swing was against the Liberals

HiddenDragon 3:12 am 20 Oct 16

madelini said :

Are you really surprised at the outcome? The Liberals campaign was incredibly negative, and while many people do not support Labor or the tram, basing an entire campaign on that assumption was both naive and ill-advised. It reeked of propaganda, and as a friend of mine pointed out, felt similar to the Brexit bus in the UK. Why would voters trust anything that reminded them of that horrific campaign?

I have felt for a while that there is a sense of apathy floating around at the moment. There are some who feel passionately that either of the major parties would do a better job, but many who feel that it doesn’t matter beyond a couple of promises because the parties are basically the same. There seems to be a higher proportion of the vote than normal that has gone to the minor parties and independents – all up, those votes attracted more first preferences than the Greens.

Personally, I hope that both parties don’t discount this disengagement and apathy. If they ignore it, it’s only going to become more widespread, and it’s hard to convince people to care when there is no encouragement to differentiate between either of the major parties.

Some of that “apathy” may be the reaction of people who used to be happy to support one of the major parties, but have trouble doing that now. In the months leading up to the election I heard from quite a number who had hitherto been strong supporters of Labor (and still support Labor federally), but are very unhappy with ACT Labor – some would have voted Liberal for the first time, others would have gone to independents because they couldn’t quite bring themselves to vote Liberal. Likewise, I would guess there are people who might have voted Liberal in the past, but didn’t this time, including because of the actions/inactions of the federal government – there was probably a lycra-clad Banquo’s ghost lurking about on Saturday night.

A_Cog 3:22 pm 19 Oct 16

dungfungus said :

I guess we should expect an “ICAC levy” on next years rates/land tax notices.

Easy fix. Instead of having an ICAC guard dog, it should be more of a hunting dog agency, that can seize the assets of crims and live off that. Cops already appropriate assets of crims and then sell them at auctions. Just widen the criminal conduct definitions to cover bureaucrats and pollies and staff and valuations agents.

rommeldog56 3:11 pm 19 Oct 16

madelini said :

The Liberals campaign was incredibly negative…..

I get how tearing up the tram contract could be seen by the “progressives” as being negative.

What else in the Lib’s campaign was so “negative” though ?????

Personally, I thought that they had the running with promises/initiatives and that Labor/Greens were playing catch up.

dungfungus 12:00 pm 19 Oct 16

justin heywood said :

My wish is that the Green’s maintain their commitment to establishing our own version of the ICAC.

In doing this, the Greens could learn from the NSW experience and have three ICAC commissioners instead of just one. With three commissioners, our corruption body would be more likely to operate independently of both the government and the whims of a single individual commissioner.

And how is this all going to be paid for.

I guess we should expect an “ICAC levy” on next years rates/land tax notices.

madelini 10:42 am 19 Oct 16

Are you really surprised at the outcome? The Liberals campaign was incredibly negative, and while many people do not support Labor or the tram, basing an entire campaign on that assumption was both naive and ill-advised. It reeked of propaganda, and as a friend of mine pointed out, felt similar to the Brexit bus in the UK. Why would voters trust anything that reminded them of that horrific campaign?

I have felt for a while that there is a sense of apathy floating around at the moment. There are some who feel passionately that either of the major parties would do a better job, but many who feel that it doesn’t matter beyond a couple of promises because the parties are basically the same. There seems to be a higher proportion of the vote than normal that has gone to the minor parties and independents – all up, those votes attracted more first preferences than the Greens.

Personally, I hope that both parties don’t discount this disengagement and apathy. If they ignore it, it’s only going to become more widespread, and it’s hard to convince people to care when there is no encouragement to differentiate between either of the major parties.

rommeldog56 10:10 am 19 Oct 16

justin heywood said :

My wish is that the Green’s maintain their commitment to establishing our own version of the ICAC.

In doing this, the Greens could learn from the NSW experience and have three ICAC commissioners instead of just one. With three commissioners, our corruption body would be more likely to operate independently of both the government and the whims of a single individual commissioner.

Seeing as ACT labor had to be dragged kicking and screaming into a commitment to have an ICAC style body for the ACT, it will be interesting to see, if it happens, what the terms of reference and its powers will be !!!

justin heywood 8:20 am 19 Oct 16

My wish is that the Green’s maintain their commitment to establishing our own version of the ICAC.

In doing this, the Greens could learn from the NSW experience and have three ICAC commissioners instead of just one. With three commissioners, our corruption body would be more likely to operate independently of both the government and the whims of a single individual commissioner.

pink little birdie 4:44 pm 18 Oct 16

Returning governments don’t often have much churn of top public servants. In fact it’s more a feature of conservative governments that encourage churn of top public servants when newly elected. Labor generally lets the contracts run out.

HiddenDragon 4:40 pm 18 Oct 16

Camelot on the Molonglo – we can dream, but if the election night bravado is anything to go by, it will be four more years (on steroids) of the same.

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