A message to Canberra

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THE place to send messages to our politicians at the last election was always going to be the Senate.

While this is the city of the true believer (it takes extraordinary circumstances to unbolt the ALP members from the House of Representatives), in the Senate we had a smorgasbord of candidates and exotic minor parties to feast upon.

We had all of the drama of a bloody assassination in the lead up to the Federal election… and I mean the way that the Libs dealt with the incumbent Senator Gary Humphries. And we had the dynamic, ever-smiling Greens candidate Simon Sheikh running a city-wide campaigning blitzkrieg.

This was a poll that begged for history to be made in the ACT, but it wasn’t.

Despite there seeming to be twice as many Greens volunteers as there were actual enrolled voters in the ACT, the Greens primary vote in the Senate dropped by two per cent.

In the end, the only reason that it appeared to be a close contest was that every party just about delivered their above-the-line preferences to Simon Sheikh ahead of Zed. Well, not quite every party because, oddly, the Animal Justice Party passed their preferences to the Liberals apparently to punish local Greens minister Shane Rattenbury for rubber stamping the local kangaroo cull.

The really weird thing out of the preference deals was that Palmer and Katter parties’ Senate votes flowed to the Greens. If either Clive Palmer or Bob Katter are political heroes of yours, I can just about guarantee that Christine Milne isn’t and this really highlights the inadequacy of the current Senate preference deal system.

The ALP vote in the Senate fell to its worst level since 1975 at a time when Labor was telling us that Liberal frontbencher Joe Hockey was set to execute public servants by firing squad. What does this mean ?

Sifting through the results from the minor parties, we find that the Sex Party ran fourth on primary just ahead of the Bullet Train mob. Stable Population and Drug Law Reform ran last.

Perhaps the message was that, as a city we’d like to get amorous more… on trains, that we’re not phased about how many people live here and that a bit of weed never hurt anybody.

I can’t find any other message out of it, can you?


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Mark Parton
Canberra Liberal MLA and former breakfast announcer on 2CC.

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