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Zed Van Winkle

By John Hargreaves - 27 June 2016 14

Zed and Tony 2

I was reflecting on an article or two from Amanda Vanstone in the Crimes recently and since she is an opinion piece writer, not a journalist, she can express her views in any direction she likes. I am going to follow her lead. She is an unabashed Liberal and it is widely known, so why can’t I, as a Labor aficionado, do the same? She has taken to Bill Shorten so why can’t I take to Zed Seselja?

There are some interesting aspects to the ACT Liberals’ campaign this time around.

Clearly they are not serious about challenging in Fenner or Canberra because not only have they preselected low profile candidates, they have put no money into them at all. All you see is the odd corflute and the occasional appearance at a shopping centre. I got my first bit of mail from the candidate against Gai Brodtmann just the other day, a week out from the election! She told me she was a 29-year-old part-time lawyer mum and trying to buy her first home. Apart from two sentences bagging Labor, I have no idea what she stands for as an individual. Contrast that with the Libs 2nd Senate candidate who has at least been out an about, but has been starved of publicity.

No … all their money is going on Zed Seselja. Let’s examine why that would be.

Zed has held the local Liberal Party in his iron fist since taking the Assembly leadership. He has a group of lieutenants who made sure that the numbers were always there for him. His brother-in-law was his chief of staff and his mate was the Branch President, even having him on the payroll. Everyone remember the firefight between the factions in the party with Gary Kent, a former President threatening legal action and accusing some of financial mismanagement?

But Team Zed held the day and routed the unfaithful. Remember the unceremonious assassination of Gary Humphries? Orchestrated by Faction Zed.

Zed and Gary

But what policy legacies did Zed leave behind after being the Leader of the Opposition in the ACT? I can’t think of one. It was a common joke in the halls of the Assembly that Zed was asleep at the wheel arousing only when his position was under threat from within.

So Zed goes into the Big House on the Hill as a senator. And what have we heard from him since, up and until the election was called? He wants to extend Tuggeranong to the West to introduce more housing, yet no mention of any job creation opportunities. He wants to build a bridge or two across the Murrumbidgee and stuff up the Murrumbidgee River Corridor, further pollute the water, endangering the Murray River crayfish and there are only 10% of that species left in the river!

He wants to take 170 jobs out of central Canberra and take them to Gungahlin. Me-too-ism after the ACT Govt already moved people there. What about his hometown, Tuggeranong and its economic health? He is taking his electoral office to Gungahlin! So much for being a Tuggeranite!

And who can forget his unswerving support for Tony Abbott? But he’s ok to be the nodding dog behind the current PM, even though he would switch back to Tone in a heartbeat. Indeed, they share the same cheer squad, the Australian Christian Lobby, giving Zed a platform to attack the ACT Government.

Zed and Tony

Also interesting, are the posters along the highways and byways of our city. Most Lib ones are shared between Malcolm Turnbull (who is not standing here) and Zed, with an occasional sign for who?

No… this is all about Zed. He’s scared the Greens will knock him off and he has used all his factional power within the party to apply resources to his rescue.

He has even resorted to attacking the ACT Government although he is in no position to fix anything. He’s attacked the tram, he’s attacked the ACT Budget, he’s attacked the planning process. He should remember that as a Senator, he is not an opponent of the ACT Government, he’s not the Leader of the Opposition here and he should be standing up for Canberra. I just see his campaign as personality politics at its worst.

I also reckon that he will face a backlash from a number of quarters.

Firstly, the liberal leaning swingers in Tuggeranong are upset that he has abandoned them as a representative. He ran in Molonglo, outside his region of residence in the first place, then when it suited him, moved to Brindabella, the abandoned Brindabella to assassinate Gary Humphries and go to the Senate.

He has moved his office to Gungahlin and not closer to home, and he has advocated, yea promised, to move people to Gungahlin to help a flagging economy, leaving his Tuggeranong to be a continuing set of dormitory suburbs.

He will see some rusted on Libs go away from him to the 2nd candidate because of long political memories.

So now we are seeing some feverish activity and signage exhorting us to vote for Zed, who has been MIA since the last election, other than standing with the detested Tony Abbott, and now knows that he is in danger.

Well, last minute activity does not a success make. Politics is about being seen to be working, to be seen to be supportive, to be seen to exert influence in favour of your electors, and to be seen as having integrity.

When I served with Katy Gallagher and Zed for a few years, I saw that he was a shadow of hers. He was Dr No and offered no concrete alternative to any proposal before the Assembly. Nothing has changed.

If the ACT puts him back in the Senate, he’ll go back to sleep. Senator van Winkle. A nice ring to it!

Oh.. and I’m still waiting for my birthday card……

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Zed Van Winkle
Crazed_Loner 10:25 pm 30 Jun 16

ungruntled said :

Also funnily enough, I’ve heard almost zero from the local Labor candidates this election in both the House and the Senate.

And the obvious reason is completely overlooked in this article…..because the seats are almost 100% safely going to Labor, so they need to spend zero effort in maintaining them.

The only slightly contestable seat is the second Senate spot which will be between the Libs and Greens, which is why they’re far more vocal in support for Zed and Christina Hobbs.

I’ve only heard from Zed. I don’t support the tram and never will. I’m sick of Labor lies, cute deals with Unions and the building of white elephants under the banner of ‘plan for the future’.

No more.

I think you might be confusing the federal election with the ACT election later this year. Easy to do if you’re easily confused, I suppose. Anyway, you do actually get to vote in that one too, you know.

Yeah, I’m sick of cute deals too – between the coalition and big business, big mining and big Murdoch. So much easier to target The Usual Suspects – the poor, the unemployed, students, pensioners, the sick – for our imaginary savings because we’re not gonna hit our friends, the tax-avoiding corporations. I’m just surprised the ABC and public servants aren’t in there too. Or is that just a surprise for after the election?

Claire 7:20 pm 30 Jun 16

I don’t think that John Hargreaves should talk about legacies after what he left behind.

Mordd 6:56 pm 29 Jun 16

jett18 said :

The only realistic chance to roll Sesalja would have been the Greens. However on the ABC radio news 1.00 pm Wednesday Caterina Hobbs stated that she would like to see another Greens/Labor assembly & that she would would work hard at a federal level to get the next stage of the trams under way & try to get some federal funding for it.

She was given detailed background information on ALL the transport options, many of which are cheaper & considerably faster than trams, but has chosen to totally ignore all data & go along with Rattenbury & the expensive slow trams. So that puts paid to that voting option, Greens & Labor last it appears, pity. So we now have no chance of becoming a swinging seat & attracting some attention!

What a surprise a Greens candidate supporting Greens policy! Stop the presses!

Arthur Davies 5:11 pm 29 Jun 16

The only realistic chance to roll Sesalja would have been the Greens. However on the ABC radio news 1.00 pm Wednesday Caterina Hobbs stated that she would like to see another Greens/Labor assembly & that she would would work hard at a federal level to get the next stage of the trams under way & try to get some federal funding for it.

She was given detailed background information on ALL the transport options, many of which are cheaper & considerably faster than trams, but has chosen to totally ignore all data & go along with Rattenbury & the expensive slow trams. So that puts paid to that voting option, Greens & Labor last it appears, pity. So we now have no chance of becoming a swinging seat & attracting some attention!

rommeldog56 3:24 pm 29 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

I just hope the majority aren’t fooled & put him last. Remember this man shares the same draconian ideals as Tony Abbott.

Whether its Zed or Katy Gallagher, u would seriously put Zed last on the Senate paper – behind even the Rise Up Australia party ? Seriously ? If so, thats not being anti Liberal – that’s pure hatred.

JessP 7:17 pm 28 Jun 16

ungruntled said :

Also funnily enough, I’ve heard almost zero from the local Labor candidates this election in both the House and the Senate.

And the obvious reason is completely overlooked in this article…..because the seats are almost 100% safely going to Labor, so they need to spend zero effort in maintaining them.

The only slightly contestable seat is the second Senate spot which will be between the Libs and Greens, which is why they’re far more vocal in support for Zed and Christina Hobbs.

I’ve only heard from Zed. I don’t support the tram and never will. I’m sick of Labor lies, cute deals with Unions and the building of white elephants under the banner of ‘plan for the future’. No more.

watto23 5:11 pm 28 Jun 16

I don’t recall anything draconian about either of those two individuals. Certainly nothing so draconian as the Greens/ALP legislating against free protest in a public place to protect supporters of abortion from opposing opinions.

Also, I haven’t seen the ballot paper yet, but there are always a couple of people on it that deserve to put last even more than Seselja does.

I’m not for restricting ones ability to voice an opinion and feel ambivalent about the pro life protestors, but reality is, they have a right to voice an opinion. They don’t have a right to make someone feel intimidated or less secure about themselves. If someone was out the front of their church handing out leaflets of doctors who performed abortions, would they be happy then?

Unfortunately I’ve done some research on our senate Candidates and it looks like we got some pretty bad candidates and parties. Thankfully the ACT will never ever elect a Christian Democrat or the horrendous hate filled Rise Up party, whose candidate clearly just repeats stuff she has heard and is more confirmation bias. That said I’d love to see a system where the parties don’t get to pre select the #1 candidate and its done randomly. That will mean we are far more likely to pay attention to candidates and vote the better ones in for fear of voting people like Zed and Cory Bernardi who get top spot due to internal party politics.

If I was voting Liberal, I’d vote for the other Liberal candidate first. Why? because it may send a message that you have to be seen to actually care about your electorate. Then again Zed said he’d abstain from voting on same sex marriage if the plebiscite passed with a yes. Given that its highly likely the ACT would have a strong Yes vote, how does Zed reflect the wish of his constituents. If it was a plebiscite for something he wanted and the Labor candidates abstained, I bet there would be outrage from him. There is far too much hypocrisy in politicians these days, Abbott was the master of it the rest are trying hard to match him.

HenryBG 12:05 pm 28 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

Your article on Rip Van Winkle are spot on. The LNP have thrown a bucketful of money at his campaign; even buying the whole front page of the City News! Opposition candidates placards keep mysteriously disappearing except for Rip’s. I just hope the majority aren’t fooled & put him last. Remember this man shares the same draconian ideals as Tony Abbott.

I don’t recall anything draconian about either of those two individuals. Certainly nothing so draconian as the Greens/ALP legislating against free protest in a public place to protect supporters of abortion from opposing opinions.

Also, I haven’t seen the ballot paper yet, but there are always a couple of people on it that deserve to put last even more than Seselja does.

Ruxyrob 8:17 am 28 Jun 16

Your article on Rip Van Winkle are spot on. The LNP have thrown a bucketful of money at his campaign; even buying the whole front page of the City News! Opposition candidates placards keep mysteriously disappearing except for Rip’s. I just hope the majority aren’t fooled & put him last. Remember this man shares the same draconian ideals as Tony Abbott.

HiddenDragon 5:11 pm 27 Jun 16

“….No … all their money is going on Zed Seselja. Let’s examine why that would be…..”

As John Howard is reputed to have observed (of Canberra) “looks like Moss Vale, votes like Cessnock” (or words to that effect) – that’s why.

chewy14 2:39 pm 27 Jun 16

Also funnily enough, I’ve heard almost zero from the local Labor candidates this election in both the House and the Senate.

And the obvious reason is completely overlooked in this article…..because the seats are almost 100% safely going to Labor, so they need to spend zero effort in maintaining them.

The only slightly contestable seat is the second Senate spot which will be between the Libs and Greens, which is why they’re far more vocal in support for Zed and Christina Hobbs.

chewy14 2:30 pm 27 Jun 16

“since she is an opinion piece writer, not a journalist, she can express her views in any direction she likes. I am going to follow her lead. She is an unabashed Liberal and it is widely known, so why can’t I, as a Labor aficionado, do the same?”

John, I don’t think anyone was under the impression that you were ever not applying this ethos with your articles here.

devils_advocate 10:49 am 27 Jun 16

Firstly, the focus of this article on all the backroom dealing and political machinations is very cute. It’s kind of like house of cards, except completely pathetic because it relates to a regional city council.

Secondly, this article seems to assume that good government requires constantly announcing and funding large-scale, headline grabbing white elephant projects, or other social engineering projects aimed at benefitting the chardonnay social set at the expense of those for whom they claim to be most concerned.

Is there nothing to be said for getting right the basics of good governance, probity and financial management?

gooterz 10:33 am 27 Jun 16

Im sure many people have bashed the tram John.

Many parts of canberra have gone largely unrepresented of late. Why continue that trend when you can make gound easily elsewhere?

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