As the election period winds up, political reporter BELINDA STRAHORN files her final “Trail Mix” column and finds there’s still plenty of life in the campaigns…
PUNTERS are making an early score on Saturday’s ACT election with online bookie sportsbet.com placing Labor as the short price favourites at $1.20 for a win, the Liberals are at longer odds at $3.75, the Greens are ranked outsiders at $17 and other parties $67. If the betting market money is on Labor, it will be interesting to see how it plays out on voting day. It is worth remembering, however, that not everyone is a punter.
THERE are many forgettable moments in politics such as Tony Abbott’s big bite into a raw onion while visiting a fruit shop and John Howard’s infamous attempt to bowl a cricket ball, which landed at his feet. Perhaps Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe’s decision to step into the boxing ring will go down as a moment he’d rather forget. Coe jumped in the ring this week to spruik his “lower taxes and better services” message in a last-minute “knockout punch” pitch to voters. The move drew comments from boxing enthusiasts on Facebook who were quick to offer advice on improving his technique: “Mate, need to drop your left shoulder a little, follow through with the right, never put two in the same spot, block and follow through from your opponent, other than that, mate, you are on track.”
EVERY campaign manager lives in fear of missing that stray letter that turns their campaign material into a source of ridicule. This election the Animal Justice Party has reduced its campaign flyer “to dust” by failing to run the spell check over its final proof. Instead of its commitment to introduce “dusk and dawn” speed limits for major roads that surround nature reserves, it now looks as though it’s pushing for a dirty morning.
THE Belco Party wants to make sure Canberrans can wash down their kransky with a freshly brewed German beer poured into a stein. If elected on Saturday, the party says they will reverse the ACT government’s ban on the sale of beer in steins, at the Harmonie German Club’s fast approaching Oktoberfest. Prost!
INDEPENDENT candidate for Kurrajong Bruce Paine is channeling the spirit of the late Jack Mundey and the late Bob Hawke in attempting to protect the natural environment of West Basin from further development. Mundey, the then head of the Builders Labourers Federation in NSW put a “green ban” on Kelly’s bush in Sydney in the 1970s, while Hawke as Prime Minister introduced legislation to prevent the damming of the Franklin River in Tasmania. Paine has likened himself to a modern-day environmental crusader with a vow to save West Basin from infill and development.
CANBERRA Liberal candidates from Brindabella clearly didn’t receive the memo from head office about signing pledges during the election campaign. The Libs have been advised not to sign individual pledges but MLA’s Andrew Wall, Mark Parton and Nicole Lawder appear to have flouted the party’s wishes by signing individual pledges on Facebook in support of the Vikings Club Community Pledge.
BOTH major parties are engaging in the tactic of discrediting the others figures following the release of their election commitment costings. The Canberra Liberals claim to have made $1.1 billion worth of promises to date, compared to $2.5 billion for the ACT Labor-Greens coalition, according to the Liberals’ calculations. But Labor leader Andrew Barr said his party’s spend is half of what the Liberals say it is, bringing it to around $750 million. The safe bet is probably a whole lot more than either side has budgeted for.
AND according to Dr Andrew Hughes, a lecturer of marketing at ANU, the number of corflutes this election compared to last, is down by around 25 per cent. Dr Hughes has been conducting his own corflute analysis using a GoPro attached “legally” to the front windscreen of his car. The marketing guru says the use of the “parody” corflute is achieving “good cut through” this year and the fake vandalised ones, such as the Andrew Barr’s pirate patch and the Gordon Ramsay replicas, are copied “straight from what I’ve seen overseas with similar tactics as it helps improve likeability.”