Friday, 21 October 2016

The wash-up (pt N): ACT elections

As well as the Federal election held in July the Australian Capital Territory did its local government thing last Saturday.  It appears that the big-picture result was pretty much known on the night as the Leader of the Liberals conceded defeat at 9:30.  The Canberra Times published a slate of likely winning candidates on the Monday.

However it seems that the formal result won't become known until a week afterwards,  That being said, the ABC election guru has made the call two days before that, nominating all 25 recipients of public munificence on the Thursday.  This gives Labour 12 seats, Liberal 11 and Greens 2.  Given that the Greens have said they cannot form a Government with the Liberals that means that the Government have been returned.

This is certainly less-bad news than the Liberals winning.  It isn't "rip your shirt off good" news because the Labour Party has a few problems such as:

  • undue reliance on the CFMEU through dependence on the construction industry to keep employment healthy; and
  • undue reliance on sales of land to keep the budget (sort of) under control

Neither of these are helpful for people such as me, concerned about environmental issues.

Winners

The obvious big winner is Andrew Barr, elected in his own right as Chief Minister.

Other big winners are the 12 other members of the Assembly (4 Labour, 7 Liberal and 1 Green) who have retained their seats.  I rate Joy Burch (Labour) as the standout in this: to have achieved the number of cock-ups she did while a Minister, to be kicked out to the back bench and still get re-elected is a source of wonder!  Tied for mention as lesser standouts are:

  • Meegan Fitzharris, also on "number of cock-ups overcome" although I suspect she tended to get parachuted in to minefields of policy rather than creating them; and
  • Giulia-with-a-G Jones who not only had to overcome a pretty lacklustre performance in the last Assembly but also was outed as having worked with Tony Abbott in the past.

I rate the 12 newbies (7 Labour, 4 Liberal and 1 Green - although the Green has been in the Assembly in the past) as lesser winners, but still winners.

I think I class Alastair Coe as a temporary winner since he looks likely to become the Leader of the Opposition in the near future.  I only rate him as a temporary winner since once his hard line policies become fully exposed he will become very unpopular.  He is young, but looks younger: somehow I always expect him to burst into "Tomorrow belongs to me".!

Losers

The Biggest Loser is clearly Jeremy Hanson the Leader of the Opposition in the previous Assembly.  Not only did he not win the election but he scored a swing against his Party.  Can you imagine being rated as less popular than an organisation led by Zed Seselja?  My guess is that he will making a tearful announcement sometime soon after the results are formally declared.

Other big losers are the two Labour members who were kicked out.  I feel that Mr Bourke didn't do as much as he could have done while in the Ministry.  The other guy I had never heard of, neither while a Member nor in the Campaign.  I think Jayson is probably what could be termed a "name at risk" since his parents obviously couldn't spell proper.

Neutral

This is where I dump the people of Canberra.  They've got a lot more snouts in the trough to keep fed, but with so many many newcomers they stand a good chance of having at least one or two good folk in there.

The Canberra Times made a big thing out of the people of Gungahlin switching affiliation since the previous election so perhaps they should be regarded as winners.  However it appeared that there were two major issues which drove this and I suspect both are furphys:

  • The light rail project (which I think is a great idea and about 60 years too late) is seen as very popular in that area since it will reduce congestion on the morning commute.  My suspicion is that this is actually a mistaken hope as everyone will assume that everyone else will take the tram and thus clear out the roads.  Nope they'll all keep driving their cars since they don't just want to go to Civic.
  • Apparently the aren't concerned about urban infill.  That isn't surprising as there is little "in"that isn't already "filled'.

I also put myself, as someone who is dependent on the ACT for many things despite living in NSW, as having a neutral outcome in this.

Final Wash up

This will occur shortly after November 8 2016.

Let it be noted that the most significant difference between me and The Donald is that he will only accept the result if he wins while I will only accept it if he doesn't.  (There are innumerable other differences between us, but that is the biggie.)

A thought has just occurred: in US notation 9/11 is a very dark date whereas in Australian notation 9/11 is 9 September and we could be very happy on 9/11/2016!

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