Sunday 23 September 2007

1am is a good time to do strategy

It's 6 minutes after 1am. I'm sitting at the poolside... reading today's edition of the Cairns Post online.

My new Wireless signal is performing a treat... I might see if it reaches to the beach next time. I can see three other WiFi connections around the neighbourhood, but won't go prying!

It's a perfect Yorkeys September morning. The odd green tree frog are singing along and I can clearly hear the sound of the Pacific crashing along the Knob's coastline. Blogging is never easier when you live right alongside the ocean. You see, I'm a water baby from way back. I think the sound of the sea is so very helpful in collecting thought and planning how to solve the world's problems. And Margaret, I have a curb for you to finish off.

I subscribe to a fully clickable online edition through the magic of a Canadian server. For around $0.80 cents a day, I get all the Post's publications, via a browser, wherever I am.

I blogged a while back about News Corp's green contribution, and have to say, it's a nice way to not have papers piling up everywhere. I mainly used the handy tabloid size for the bottom of the cat's litter tray.

Anyway, I was looking at the story in the Weekend Post about the runners in the new Division 10, the one that takes in Clifton Beach to Port Duggie, Mossman, Cape Trib, and probably southern PNG.

Looks like the race to represent the Douglas Shire in the hallowed halls of Spence Street, will be a good fight. And beyond all predictions, Mr B, or Mike Berwick to the rest of you, won't be joining the race.

I was privately wishing he would have shown his green Jersey and done the good thing for his band of loyal tree-huggers. However, there's still a possibility he may run for Mayor of our Supermarket, I mean our Super Shire. I dunno how many know of Mike in say Gordonvale or Edmonton or Mununda. But most would know about Douglas Shire and the Council's woes and internal bitch slapping over recent years. You'd have to be living in Deadmonton's Bio Solid Wasteland to have missed out on all the clowning at Port Douglas over the last 4 years. God knows why Neil Clarke and his Innisfail team were ditched and Douglas stayed afloat. Bugger me days. Some things you just can't predict, like George Bush getting a joke right.

Whilst I admire Mike greatly for his early achievements, of which there are many... I feel that the difficulties he's had in bringing together his rag doll team of wandering warriors, has overshadowed so much of the Berwick Blossom.

Known Mayoral candidates at this stage are: Kevin Byrne (who couldn't be reached for comment as he's got a Peking Duck stuffed down his pants), Val Schier, the well-known Machans Beach gal who last name's enjoys great word play by Free-For-Any-Developer Freebody, and maybe Mike-not-so-iconic-Berwick.

I think Bryan Law is still in a tent outside Pine Gap, waiting for his chicken soup to get warm from the conspiracy waves of the satellite dishes. So he might not be joining the race next March. Nor will Ted Von Nida. Remember Ted?

The results from 2004 form the basis for this campaign, although the landscape has changed somewhat. Cairns has gone from 12 to 9 Divisions and Douglas from 6 Councillors to 1. And the Cairns Mayor gone from Right Wing to Just Plain Arrogant.

Given the new landscape we have now before us, strategic voting will be something that will play highly on voters minds in this local body contest. Val and her team polled way more than most pollsters predicted at the last election, taking nearly 50% of the booth in some cases. She was the clear alternative to Byrne's Unity Team. Since then, a number of Unity folk are now dis-unity, and will go it alone.

There is a chance that a few could band together to for a center right alliance, maybe under the watchful eyes of Captain Blakie. I know his young lad might even take a punt this time.

Soon the current Councillors will digest the new maps and see where they will stand amongst the newly drawn boundaries. One would even suggest, that contesting this race without internal divisions might have been a better recipe for good local government. However, I'm a fan of a local representative who looks after his or her patch.

New Zealand's First Past the Post was changed under referendum to Mixed Member Proportional representation, or MMP, a decade or so ago now. It did deliver more participation from minority interests and representation of issues like ethnicity that wouldn't normal get over the threshold to represent an electorate seat. This system is favoured by many European governments and certainly delivers more accountable democracy.

If the divisional structure wasn't applied to Cairns/Douglas, and we merely voted for a team to represent the entire region, I wonder who would look after geographic areas that seemed to be the hardest to visit and engage the community.

Anyway, the three-quarter moon is telling me the werewolf will soon howl and the Curlews are screaming that it's now nearly 2am.

I think that whatever happens in the next 188 days, it's going to be one of the most interesting local campaigns for many years. It will also be a strategical important one as the radical mix of the two distinctly different regions, will need to think far more broadly than just where the next KFC will go.

I will be backing the horse without the flu. I know it's an oldie, but very true in this race. Byrne won't win this election, he will loose it. Same goes for Schier and Berwick, if he stands.

I'm convinced that if there's a credible united and strong alternative to the current Byrne-led right-wingers, a more fairer and balanced and open approach of local government will prevail and the people are ready for it, and been hanging out for better access and participation in their local body.

That said, I bid you good night. Don't call or txt me till mid-morning.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

mr moore, re your poolside attendance, I hope you remembered to bring a towel.

Anonymous said...

Val Schier alone unfortunately will not stand much of a chance to win the job of Lady Mayoress,if she combines with Mike Berwick,that is if he stands for Mayor,they could form some sort of an alliance and maybe lead a team of independants.they have the best chance of booting out K.Byrne and his crew including a couple of de-facto independents,here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

Anon, how come you reckon Val Schier doesnt have a chance? She got 42% of the vote in 2004 and more people must know her this time round. And she's got some good independants with her. Go Val.

Anonymous said...

schier definately does not need berwick, who would take votes away from her, schier can win if she includes the residents of suburbs of cairns in her campaign and if a general culture of anti-Byrneism can be fostered. Berwick is a pain.