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The Problem with the Canberra Liberals

By The View From Here 12 October 2008 60

Now I’m sure that Zed Seselja and his cronies are genuinely nice people who, deep in their hearts, really believe that what they are doing is for the good of Canberra and the Canberra people in general. Of course, being Liberals doesn’t real mean that they are liberal in the true sense of the word, in fact, they are generally far from that and one only needs to look as far as Steve Pratt to realise this.

And yet, in this enlightened age of collective bargaining and new age music, they still cling to the freemarket will rule all policies and even more genuinely think that they can really do some good to the Stanhope ravaged communities that cringe in the windswept, barren and featureless suburbs such as Gungahlin, Lanyon and Dunlop. But, as much as Zed is young with a big goofy smile, and his party believe what they are doing is right, they seem, well, pretty wet and ineffectual to be brutally honest.

Indeed, if they were a 14 year old hockey playing girl you’d suggest that they need a few more footy seasons in them.

Quite a few years ago in a time now seemingly forgotten by many, a great fire ravaged this place. The fire itself was not unexpected, nor was the damage it caused given that it was roughly a kilometre high with a front as wide as Tasmania. And when the chief Minister Mr Stanhope stood up in front of all and sundry and declared that it was his fault he was widely applauded. Sadly, in the coming months, Mr Stanhope backed away faster than a alter boy from a priest from the comments he made and pretty soon it seemed that the fires where everyone’s fault. That is, except his.

And then came an election. An election that could have only been won by one party. And that was the Liberals, led then by Brendan Smyth, an annoying elf that one day woke up in the bottom of the garden to find he was supposed to be a leader. Of course, he faltered, Stanhope blustered and bullied and an unlosable election was lost. Not only that, the ineptness of the Liberal party at that time saw them actually lose ground and allow majority government for the first time ever in the ACT.

Sorry, what was that again? The ALP allowed Canberra to burn to the ground and the opposition lost votes? Ineffectual indeed, like throwing oysters at a charging rhino on speed.

Much soul searching followed with rumours flying left, right and centre, but mainly right. People quit and became loudmouthed but totally ineffectual independents, and leaders changing faster than Italian prime ministers. Indeed, for a while there was no opposition in the ACT given the state of the Liberals and that Deb Foskey, the Greens member was more worried about staying in her tax payer funded public house whilst carpeting everyone about global warming.

And in the meantime no-one noticed Mr Stanhope as he simply went about his ways totally unhindered and unencumbered by any political opposition. A statue of Al Grassby appeared amid much wailing, moaning and gnashing of teeth. Gas fired power stations suddenly were planned for every suburb, pot holes got larger, government enterprises went broke and dodgy looking deals happened.

And yet, still the opposition sat in stony silence like the giant rock moas on Easter island, not daring to make a move in case someone noticed them and asked what the hell they were actually there for. Except for Vicki Dunn, who can’t stop speaking.

And then there is this Moonie stuff? I mean, what the hell is an Australian politician doing cavorting around in Korea with someone who’s minor plans are world domination and major plans are probably not worth repeating. Is Zed serious when he remains steadfastly silent on the issue? Besides, weren’t we fighting these little blighters only 50 years ago for world domination? And if Zed is cosy with these guys does that mean we will be a sister city with some other Asian place that no-one has heard of or will ever visit? No thanks Mr Cultist, I want my Canberra free of bizarre cults and place names.

Having said that, I’m still sure that Zed is a really nice bloke with a big generous Christian heart. But this also worries me because, like 747 Kevin and John ‘Blokey Mateship’ Howard, will he push these views onto us, the community? I mean, I’m not adverse to being nice to people and I regularly give to charity but seriously, have these guys actually thought about the abortion issue rather than just follow the teachings of swarthy bearded Jew who went around annoying Romans?

There is so much to like about the current ACT Liberal party, but as yet I haven’t discovered it and so with two weeks to go before an election I am seriously in a quandary. Whether to emigrate to the UK or to New South Wales, except I’ve heard that New South Wales is even more a basket case than here.

I’ve heard that Wiltshire is nice in autumn.

What’s Your opinion?


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The Problem with the Canberra Liberals
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Mrshmellowman 3:28 pm 13 Oct 08

Neanderthalsis
I see what you mean about Andrea – but I think her massive tallness -(she is about 12 ft tall isn’t she?) will work against her
My vote is for the every popular anti-emo crusader Elena Kirschbaum

tickboom 3:03 pm 13 Oct 08

Rid, not ride.

tickboom 3:03 pm 13 Oct 08

You’re spot on, harvyk1: but then going from a number of the comments on this board, a lot of people just want rid of Stanhope. They don’t care who replaces him, or what the policies of the alternative government are – they just want ride of him. Which strikes me as pretty short sighted. (Not that I am suggesting people *have* to vote Labor and to do otherwise is crazy – just that it’s worthwhile to think not only of who you don’t want in government, but also who you do want there.)
Disclaimers: yes, I will be voting Labor. No, I am not part of the Labor machine.

harvyk1 2:51 pm 13 Oct 08

No one has yet convinced me not to vote labor. We are seeing a lot of ads on TV saying “Stanhope broke something, we think.” and yet none of them are actually saying what Stanhope broke, how he broke it and what these new guys are going to do to fix it (what ever it was).

Val Jefferies was the worst for this from memory.

The libs to me need to fix up their “we don’t deal with the little people” mentality. I’ve met a few of them and each one has been rude to me from the get go. (One of them all I did was ask who they where at a networking function), considering they where there to tell us who they where and why we should be voting for them I thought it was pretty poor form.

I do love the liberals current policy release policy. “We don’t tell anyone anything, that way we don’t make promises we can’t keep”

pelican 2:50 pm 13 Oct 08

Skidbladnir said :

Major parties handing out Product Disclosure statements would lead to only one thing:
Politicians being accountable to their voters.

We can’t have that…

True Skidbladnir…What was I thinking. 🙂

They would also have to release their statements simultaneously so that others did not steal their ideas. Can you imagine the pork-barrelling – bit like a silent auction process – adding that bit extra just in case.

Crikey 1:37 pm 13 Oct 08

I love Katy’s new ad where she slams the Liberals smear campaign by saying that Stanhope is just misunderstood. Usually following this is an ALP anti-Liberal smear ad.

Labor must think we are naïve idiots.

jakez 12:39 pm 13 Oct 08

Mrshmellowman said :

i think I will have to go shallow and vote strictly on appearance
My vote goes to the best looking candidates

Damn! I knew I should have run for preselection! 😉

jakez 12:37 pm 13 Oct 08

The cat did it said :

Zed was looking ok until this morning, when I heard him promise a $500 one-off handout to single aged pensioners. WTF!!!! This is the kind of last-minute attempt at vote-buying that junks all the Lib’s efforts to look like economically responsible managers. It’s short-term tokenism at its worst- and an unfortunate continuation of the Howard Government’s handout mentality. No mention of how he plans to finance this gem? I fear this is symptomatic of their commitment to sound economic management. I always thought pensions were a Commonwealth issue. What next- a Canberra Militia? As far as I’m concerned, Zed can go back to hob-nobbing with the Moonies.

PS- The other highlight of this campaign has been the near-total absence of Jacqui Burke, Vicki Dunne and Steve Pratt. Surely they haven’t been shut away for the duration of the campaign to avoid any foot-in-mouth incidents. Has anyone seen them in the flesh? or does Andrew Heath have them locked away in a storage facility in Hume.

Yes I heard that policy announcement on the radio Sunday morning while in the shower. My family was subjected to a lot of swearing and yelling.

neanderthalsis 12:37 pm 13 Oct 08

Mrshmellowman said :

i think I will have to go shallow and vote strictly on appearance
My vote goes to the best looking candidates

Well now, so far we have examined policy, green credentials, religious affiliations and general personality, but not attractiveness.

So fellow rioters, who gets the vote for being the No. 1 hottie / spunkrat of the election?

Andrea Tokaji (Libs, Gininderra) gets my vote

jakez 12:36 pm 13 Oct 08

OliverCromwell said :

The big thing wrong with the original post is that the author failed to recognize the fact that Stanhope getting a majority had as much to do with the death of the democrats/other minor parties/indies as it did with the failure of the liberals.

Ahh yes that’s the other thing i wanted to say. The Liberals didn’t go backward in 2004, their vote improved as did the ALP. As Oliver Cromwell said, the destruction of the minors benefited the ALP vote more.

The cat did it 12:32 pm 13 Oct 08

Zed was looking ok until this morning, when I heard him promise a $500 one-off handout to single aged pensioners. WTF!!!! This is the kind of last-minute attempt at vote-buying that junks all the Lib’s efforts to look like economically responsible managers. It’s short-term tokenism at its worst- and an unfortunate continuation of the Howard Government’s handout mentality. No mention of how he plans to finance this gem? I fear this is symptomatic of their commitment to sound economic management. I always thought pensions were a Commonwealth issue. What next- a Canberra Militia? As far as I’m concerned, Zed can go back to hob-nobbing with the Moonies.

PS- The other highlight of this campaign has been the near-total absence of Jacqui Burke, Vicki Dunne and Steve Pratt. Surely they haven’t been shut away for the duration of the campaign to avoid any foot-in-mouth incidents. Has anyone seen them in the flesh? or does Andrew Heath have them locked away in a storage facility in Hume.

OliverCromwell 11:56 am 13 Oct 08

The big thing wrong with the original post is that the author failed to recognize the fact that Stanhope getting a majority had as much to do with the death of the democrats/other minor parties/indies as it did with the failure of the liberals.

Mrshmellowman 11:46 am 13 Oct 08

Jakez – thanks for the referral
I looked them up on the ‘pedia and they look a little kooky for mine

“The party generally adheres to libertarian and classical liberal principles, with a low tax laissez-faire approach to economics and a high regard for individual freedom and responsibility.”

i think I will have to go shallow and vote strictly on appearance
My vote goes to the best looking candidates

realityskin 11:33 am 13 Oct 08

Zed is the new black.

jakez 11:23 am 13 Oct 08

Mrshmellow: Usually when someone swears off the Libs I would advocate for the Liberal Democratic party (www.ldp.org.au). however judging by your mention of Val Jefferies I take it you are a southerner and as the LDP are only running in Molonglo they aren’t an option.

So basically I think you are stuffed. It’s time to bite the bullet and get into ‘voting against candidates’ mode.

neanderthalsis 10:35 am 13 Oct 08

Donkey voting is the only option then Mrshmellow, but with electronic voting now in use you’ll have to ask for a old-fashioned paper ballot paper.

Mrshmellowman 10:31 am 13 Oct 08

I think everyone is aware that party members post comments here and that all these political “opinions” should be taken with a grain of salt. However, the fact that they create debate amoungst all us cynics is to be applauded.

having said that
Can’t vote Labor – Stanhope is an evil wicked smirker and Katie is a ditz
Can’t vote Lib’s – they will self distruct at least once more this year and possible take us all with them
Motorists – Laugh!
Greens – Too try hard and not enough substance
Val Jeffery – Do I want to elect someone who will bang on about the fires and his bridge every chance he gets – plus he lives in a tinytown and has no idea what is important for me in the big smoke
All the other independents – no experience and generally without a single good idea

So who is left?
Please tell me!!

neanderthalsis 10:24 am 13 Oct 08

jakez said :

“And yet, in this enlightened age of collective bargaining and new age music, they still cling to the freemarket will rule all policies”

They do? That’s pleasant news to me.

Agreed Jakez, if only the parliametary Liberals did stick to the free market / small government / individual choice ideals that the party was founded on…

There are a few “small l” liberal members of the Liberal Party, but we’re a rare breed.

Loose Brown 10:23 am 13 Oct 08

The interesting thing about this post and the previous offering by the author is that it demonstrates that a one-issue party with limited membership and organisational structure (motorist’s party) are free to try and exploit new media websites because there is no clearance process for any of the rubbish their members produce.

I’d like to see some of the major parties on this site laying out their agendas in an HONEST and upfront way.

And if the intention of the Motorist’s Party is to get their f*&king dragway they are doing well. I’m willing to support that as long as they promise to f^&k off.

And all the people who think the post was written by Labor – I can’t believe you are allowed to vote.

Skidbladnir 10:19 am 13 Oct 08

Major parties handing out Product Disclosure statements would lead to only one thing:
Politicians being accountable to their voters.

We can’t have that…

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