Sunday 15 August 2010

The closest race in the country, and it's between politicians

This time next week, we will know if the Liberal National Party's Warren Entsch will be the new Federal member for Leichhardt, or Labor's Jim Turnour will be returned for a second term. It's anyones guess.

Regardless of who you support, this is shaping up to be a cliffhanger, and neither side would be wise in claiming a clear lead as we enter the last few days. Polls everywhere are showing us that this election is unusual in many aspects, with traditional voters on both sides, disenfranchised with their usual party of choice.

As I've been out and out in the last couple of weeks, I've encountered many Labor folk that are angry with the way they're been treated. Top of their agenda is how money is being spent, along with the State sale of assets; the botched home insulation programme that was a disaster and killed a number of installers, including a young local lad on the Tablelands. Many have cited their disgust with the Rudd execution, and also his 'replacement'.

On the other side of the political fence, some Liberal supporters have been less than impressed with Abbott. He's hardly a charismatic leader, often has a way with words that wouldn't even impress a 5th grader.

I've pondered the absence of visionary leadership in this campaign. You know, those big forecasting type subjects. Planning for future fuel sources for our ever growing population, instead of importing billions of dollars iun fuel every year. We used to be self-sufficient. There's hardly even discussion, let alone a plan, about how we are going to grow beyond a vehicle-dependant nation.

On a local front, the upgrade of major access roading infrastructure, to also accommodate cyclists, is all about vehicles. Labor's answer is simply make the southern access road bigger, wider and turn it into a super concrete highway. Jim said that in 2007 to get elected, and he's saying the same thing now to get re-elected.

Where's the dialogue on alternatives? Trains? A proper cycle network that is independent of the road system. Simply painting a white line to a 100 km highway, with a few yellow blocks around the crazy roundabouts, hardly constitutes a cycleway.

Visionary leadership is rare. I thought the strong ecological philosophy of new pollies like leftie Garrett, would have been a dynamic force in Labor politics. Wrong. He quickly became a sell out in the eyes of supporters. Even Penny Wong shied away from the gay partnership debate. The Australian Labor Party has become the most right wing left wing party in the Western world it seems.

The so-called big debate a week ago at Brothers Club in Cairns, was hardly big. Organised by the big fat-end of town, they only invited two of the seven candidates, showed their narrow view of what this election is all about. In contrast, last Thursday, four candidates turned up to happy-clapper central for a God-fuelled debate on morals, rights and wrongs. The moderator managed to put the fear of God into the 100 or so strong audience, ensuring there was no rowdy interjections from the floor. The Greens, along with Labor and LNP, were all absent, and will need to say 50 Hail Bloody Marys as penance, for their non-attendance.

With over 500 votes in, the CairnsBlog poll for Leichhardt, it seems to reflect the general mood of the community: confused and divided. The Greens are polling high, and by all predictions, will be a stronger vote this election. The Fishing and Lifestyle Party will be excited by that. Not.

Over of Councillor Rob Pyne's The Rock News, they have a similar number of Green voters.

"More than we had imagined," Rob Pyne says. "We're predicting Jim Turnour will be re-elected by the proverbial bees proboscis."

"It seems fewer people are rusted on to the major parties than ever before. However, most drift back either out of fear, apathy or lack of any confidence in the alternatives on offer," Councillor Pyne says. "Given the increasing likelihood of a Gillard government being elected next Saturday, we can only hope the numbers do ‘Firm Up’ for Jim Turnour, otherwise we will see a Liberal MP in the form of Warren Entsch, who, given his polarising nature, would have some difficulty currying favour with ALP ministers in Canberra, leaving us in a far worse predicament than we are now."

Whatever the outcome, we'll get the government we vote for. It should be a fun night next Saturday evening. I'll be visiting both Jim and Warren's bash to record the outcome. It's hard to predict where the tears will be.


GG said...

"Whatever the outcome, we'll get the government we vote for"

But really, that's the problem in a nutshell. We don't get the government we vote for. What we get is another bunch of self-serving hypocrites that can't control the bureaucracy which continues on its merry way making life harder and harder for the rest of us.

For example, the 'crats have dictated that food at a wholesalers that is within 'X' days of it's arbitrary expiry date cannot be sold. Worse, it can't even be given away. Can you imagine what the Salvos and Harald Falge et al could do with a windfall like that? But Big Brother says "Nope - bin it."

It really is time that 'we the people' had some say in what goes on - because sure as hell the pollies don't!

too smart 4 u said...



ALP - Jim Turnour 2.65

LNP - Warren Entsch 1.45

IND - Yodie Batzke 26.00

Any Other Party 26.00

Copirri said...

Agree with Rob Pyne. If Entsch gets elected and Labor wins federally It will be the kiss of death for this part of the world for federal funding. Entsch is only in it this time to shore up his disgustingly effluent pollies' superannuation fund.

Pussi Liquor said...

I heard that Sackley was vitriolic in her character assassination of Entsch for his support of gay rights. Who would have thought that the this Sackley woman (who is she, what has she ever done?)and who from the ad on this blog, exudes such a grandmothery exterior, was such a c*&t?

nocturnal congress said...

If the Greens control the Senate, which is predicted, will they be able to roll back neo-liberalism in this country?

Paul Drabble said...

wish it was like the melbourne cup and over in 4 mins

Watch this space said...

say goodbye to wazza this week - word is Jim and Labor will blitz the tv and old mate wazza has already blown his election budget

Alison Alloway said...

I still believe Abbott and the LNP will win the House of Reps. However the Senate will see both Labor and LNP Senators replaced by Greens with possibly a Greens/Labor majority of one or two in the Senate. That will set the scene for one of our most confrontationist Parliaments since 1975. It will be interesting to see if the Greens Senators remain solid or if they fracture under pressure. Confrontation within Parliament from rejection of legislation will spread to the wider community, fuelled by the "shock jocks" of right-wing radio etc. (Imagine John Mackenzie!) Abbott wil be pursuing the line that "Parliament is unworkable" and raising the old scurrillity of "tree hugging greenies" to turn Australians against the Greens. The chances of another election within a year would be very high.
Whatever, a Greens/Labor dominated Senate and an LNP House of Reps. will guarantee we are about to ive in interesting times!

Non drinker said...

Alison still lauging at your line in the letters to the editor in the cairns post " to lose out to a community which is united in its vision" what the hell are you on? I CANNOT FIND ONE RATEPAYER THAT WANTS VALS VALCANOE BUT MANY THAT WANTS WARRENS VISION.

Weak as water you lot. said...

Not one labor or paper or blog or tv station has asked jim or even published the story that jim turnour was asked not to contest this election .Come on respond because I know and so do you gutless lot.

KB :-) said...

To Watch this space... I think you might want to check ur facts. The word on the street is the ALP have given up on Jim as a lost cause and are pouring all their money into Mooney in Townsville. Not that it makes much difference Jim has been MIA for the past couple of years. It's about time we were given a much needed strong voice again in Leichhardt...

Alison Alloway said...

Non-drinker, do you understand what the cornerstone of a "Cultural Precinct" is? Do you?