Wednesday 8 September 2010

'Disappointed, not surprised' - Warren Entsch and Leichhardt go against bellwether trend

LOOKING NEXT PARTYTIME - Leichhardt Liberal National MP, Warren Entsch, reflects following yesterday afternoon's announcement that the two remaining independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, would back Labor.

According to Warren Entsch, this is the first time in Leichhardt's history, that the elected MP is not in the government.

The electorate of Leichhardt has often been called one of the 'bellwether' seats. Eden-Monaro in New South Wales has also elected representatives whose party won government at every federal election since 1972.

In an apt and appropriate description, the term is from the Middle English 'bellewether' that refers to placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram, leading his flock of sheep.

Warren Entsch may well feel like a castrated ram today, and yesterday afternoon, couldn't help but show his disappointment at his Mulgrave Road campaign office, when he learn't his return to the Federal seat of Leichhardt would mean three years in Opposition.

"Yes, it's disappointing, and I'm very surprised those two [Windsor and Oakeshott] went with Labor," Warren Entsch says. "They'll pay for it at the next election. I find it quite bizarre."

Entsch says even though Tony Windsor was quick to back Labor due to the National Broadband Network, he said most of rural electorates will miss out.

Warren Entsch also took aim at Rob Oakeshott, and said his demand to get aboriginal recognition in the constitution, was hardly a gain for indigenous Australians.

"He seemed for focused on thinking a couple of words in the constitution... was more important than giving them an economic future or a job," Warren Entsch said.

Entsch describes the new parliament, saying it will be like "herding cats" and saying it will be "very interesting" when the Greens start to push their agenda.



Syd Walker said...

It seems to me that a key part of Warren Entsch's job from now on is to ensure that Leichhardt does NOT miss out on the NBN any more. On the contrary, we should be included in the next wave of the national roll out.

If Mr Entsch is an effective politician, he'll make sure that happens. All the community will support him in that endeavour.

The electorate who elected him - and taxpayers who pay his salary - have a reasonable expectation that our local MP works very hard on our behalf to secure the best outcomes on issues where there's no real disagreement.

There is no disagreement about the need to get FNQ into the broadband fastlane ASAP, at LONG LAST.

greenbottle said...

Entsch is the master of vituperative cant. His celebrated "outspokenness" only applies to opposition parties, as his admirers will soon find out.
He now finds himself in Heaven, with THREE women to rant against.
Be prepared for years of railing accusations, censorious diatribe and an endless tirade.

Tony Hillier said...

It is to be hoped that Mr Entsch, as a member of the opposition for the first time, will not simply indulge in spitting poisonous darts at the independent members and the government in general, but do his level best to broker the best for the Far North, commensurate with the new deal for regional Australia.

A Real Liberal said...

Tony, I know you're a positive kind of bloke, but in this case I think you are being wildly optimistic.

Without the perks and privileges of the government benches, Warren will soon get bored with trudging down to Canberra to sit on the opposition backbench.

Taxpayer-funded overseas junkets will be looking pretty good - got any native birds to export?

KitchenSlut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KitchenSlut said...

The concept of Leichhardt as a bellweather is swamped by the regional reality of what has happened.

Murdoch-hating pavlovians may object to the reference but for my money George Megalogenis is one of the best analytic journalists around at The Australian and i note his comments today:

"The nation's parliament has never been this divided before.
A minority government has been formed by a Melbourne and Sydney-based Labor Party in agreements with two bush independents in NSW, a Hobart-based independent and a Greens MP in Melbourne.

They voted in stronger numbers for the Coalition than the rest of the nation did for Labor.

This is not to diminish Labor's authority because a minority Coalition government would have faced the same contradiction at the other end of the nation's fractured demography because the southern states and young people voted overwhelmingly for Labor or the Greens.

The numbers on the floor for Julia Gillard have no precedent in the deregulation era because they come at the expense of Queensland.

The last federal election where Queensland was on the wrong side of the national result by delivering more seats to the opposition than the government was in 1984.

In every election between 1987 and 2007, the sunshine state picked the winner.

Gillard's is the first government in history that didn't carry a majority north of the Murray River.

If the mining states are counted together -- Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory --the parliament of 47 seats is blue, with 34 Coalition plus one independent to Labor's 12.

The red zone is found in the southern states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Out of 55 seats, Labor has 34 plus one Green and one independent, to the Coalition's 19.

The mining and southern states are in essence mirrors of one another, with NSW caught between the two trends.

The dilemma for Labor is how to tend to its southern base, while not enraging the mining states any further.

There is no obvious issue that can unify the two constituencies.

Consider the mining tax, which Windsor and Oakeshott support. How will that go down in the mining states if NSW is seen to be the main beneficiary of Gillard's new focus on regional spending?"

Edited because of text restrictions.

The regional split here is the most Profound since 1901. I don't know what shade of rose coloured glasses Tony Hillier has on but all I saw in Oakeshott and Windsor was a narcissist and a machiavellian! Perhaps Tony's research was even less than the Compost on this with regards to Windsor's subsequent comments?

The North / South divide also now includes the "tasmanian gerrymander" where they are guaranteed 5 seats despite population justifying only 3 which on current numbers would otherwise be in NSW and WA!?

The regional divide throws up a complete new set of parameters and paradigms? As I posted elsewhere the letters to Oakeshott and Windsor rather than the agreement are what reveal the extent of pork-barelling and how much of that regional package is even up for grabs?!

But when it comes to comment on Cairnsblog I have a problem with contributions from most of the local ALP spruikers and it's not meant to be partisan!

When a party gets hammered they usually in Australia are humble and have the sense to confess the people have spoken. In Queensland the people have spoken with one of the most profound results in our political history and yet the local ALP seem in denial and exalt in victory rather than reflect on the reality?

KitchenSlut said...

By the way I could also comment here on an economic basis that the election results nicely reflect different economic demography with a booming Victorian real estate market dichotomous with a languishing Qld? The statistical correlation with election poutcoomes is almost perfect?

Syd Walker said...

@KitchenSlut A Murdoch-hating pavlova sounds delicious. Where can I get one?

I think George would find that a map of where the local Murdoch newspapers favoured the Coalition - and where they favoured the ALP - correlates rather closely with the electoral result.

Each of those newspapers may well claim they were merely reflecting their readers views. Perhaps.

But overall, it seems to me this result is a delicious irony. Genuine independents and the Greens have become empowered at the expense of the usual centres of unelected power - including News Corp.


KitchenSlut said...

Well actually no Syd it doesn't correspond at all. The Murdoch presence in WA in notably minimal. This is just another excuse to justify poor performance from the Qld ALP and Leichhardt Greens (capital 'g')

Is it seriously suggested that that in 2010 the influence of Murdoch papers suddenly produces such a divergent historic outcome in this election alone?

Just an excuse which is all I see? Multiply the number of Jews in Cairns by the bagels consumed on a Sunday morning and convince yourself that there is a significant relationship with the speed of collapse of WTC7 divided by the square of the footprint!

ABS numbers somewhat obscure i wish they would be more blunt but did I undertand Alan Kohler correctly tonight on new jobs?

Victoria plus 19,000
NSW plus 12,000
Queesnland minus 12,000

From memory could be wrong subject to confirmation but it seems to correlate amazingly with electoral outcomes? Regional data for Cairns next Thursday!

The question remains how the ALP see themselves representing Qld?

Syd Walker said...

Well thanks Kitchenslut. CairnsBlog is indeed fortunate to have such expertise as your within its reguar commentariat.

I could quite easily defend my case, but WTF. I'll bow to your the superior understanding you claim to have on what caused the divergence in voting patterns around the country. Just like, apparently, you're an expert about bagels and BUILDING WHAT.

The thing is, I don't really care to argue to toss about psephology here with you; that is not why I decided to contribute to this thread.

What I DO care about is getting a good outcome within this TERM of Parliament on broadband rollout in FNQ.

I've been pleading for this now for YEARS. More than a decade, to be precise. Please God someone deliver it. If Warren Entsch thinks the ALP in Government gives him an excuse for inaction - or vice versa - they are wrong.

There is NO excuse for ANOTHER three wasted years.

I am currently on a local exchange that only offers ADSL1. Getting all the exchanges up to ADSL2 standard without further prevarication is SO basic. May it please happen, without further delay and yet more finger-pointing and buck-passing from major parties.

If that's too hard, how about we give FNQ to South Korea - or someone else who can manage this wonderful region with a modicum of competence?

KitchenSlut said...

"I could quite easily defend my case, but WTF"

How strange for Syd to be too lazy to miss the opportuinity for a longwinded epistle? Now that is a first and will chalk that up as a win :-)

The question Syd on your diversional NBN rant to divert from previous loigical deficiencies is why should the rest of us be expected to cross-subsidise fund your own broadband connection in Speewah which is what you have proposed at the expense of?

Alison Alloway said...

I'm with Syd on this one. I expect Entsch to work hard on our behalf and to ensure we don't miss out. Cairns has had Opposition members of Parliament before. The late Ray Jones, the longest serving State Member of Parliament was in opposition during the entire length of his term of office - 23 years. I'm disappointed to see Entsch already throwing hysterical tantrums about Leichhardt "being punished" for not voting Labor. His claims are absolutely ridiculous when you look at Ray Jones' record. Entsch needs to pull himself together and get on with the job.