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Thursday, July 25, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Here’s the AI tip: Rattenbury for chief minister!

Shane Rattenbury’s Greens and independents is a possibility to make up the next ACT government, says the AI analysis. Photo: Holly Treadaway

“The clear message from an artificial intelligence analysis of the ACT election result is there will be a diverse Assembly with a majority government highly unlikely,” writes political columnist MICHAEL MOORE.

Artificial intelligence is playing a bigger part in the political landscape. As an experiment, I asked ChatGPT to “consider the ACT Election 2024. Cover Labor, Liberal, Greens and Independents”. I also asked AI to “predict the next Chief Minister”.

Michael Moore.

Providing Shane Rattenbury with a good chance of becoming chief minister came as a surprise. However, AI did hedge its bets indicating a strong showing of independents – as shown in the following response…

The ACT Election of 2024 promises to be a pivotal event. As parties gear up for campaigning, the political landscape reflects a diverse range of ideologies and priorities, with key players including the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, the Greens, and various independents.

The Labor Party, led by incumbent Chief Minister Andrew Barr, enters the election with a strong foundation. Having governed the ACT since 2014, Labor has focused on progressive policies such as renewable energy initiatives, social equity programs and infrastructure development. Barr’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic garnered support, with his administration praised for effective health measures and economic support.

Labor’s campaign for the 2024 election is likely to emphasise continuity and further expansion of their existing policies. The party will highlight achievements in education, healthcare and public transport.

In contrast, the Liberal Party, led by its challenger Elizabeth Lee, presents itself as a viable alternative. Lee, known for her legal background and advocacy for small businesses and housing affordability, positions the Liberal Party as a proponent of economic growth and regulatory reform. The party’s platform is expected to focus on tax relief, deregulation and improving public safety.

The Greens, led by Shane Rattenbury, continue to play a significant role in ACT politics with their focus on environmental sustainability, social justice and community engagement. Rattenbury’s coalition with Labor has supported progressive policies in previous terms, such as climate action plans and social housing initiatives. The Greens’ campaign will likely emphasise their role in pushing for ambitious environmental targets and social welfare reforms.

Independents are also expected to influence the election, representing diverse interests and local concerns. Independent candidates often resonate with voters seeking alternatives to major party politics, focusing on issues such as local infrastructure, community services and transparency in government.

The election outcome will depend on various factors, including voter sentiment towards incumbent policies, economic conditions and emerging issues such as housing affordability and environmental sustainability. The preference distribution system used in ACT elections allows voters to rank candidates, which can lead to complex coalition negotiations and unexpected outcomes.

Predicting the next chief minister involves considering these dynamics. Andrew Barr, of Labor, benefiting from incumbency and a stable track record, remains a strong contender. His leadership during crises and commitment to progressive policies could sway undecided voters seeking stability and continuity.

However, Elizabeth Lee’s Liberal Party poses a credible challenge, appealing to voters dissatisfied with aspects of Labor’s governance or seeking a different approach to economic management. If the Liberals can effectively communicate their vision for revitalising the economy and addressing cost-of-living pressures, Lee may garner enough support to lead a coalition government.

Alternatively, a coalition involving the Greens and independents cannot be discounted. Shane Rattenbury’s Greens have demonstrated a capacity to influence policy direction in alliance with Labor, particularly on environmental and social issues. Depending on election outcomes and coalition negotiations, Rattenbury could potentially secure the Chief Minister position, marking a significant shift towards more progressive policies in the ACT.

As parties and candidates campaign vigorously over the coming months, their policies, leadership qualities, and ability to address voter concerns will determine not only the composition of the Legislative Assembly but also the direction of governance in the ACT for years to come.

AI is not perfect. Note the phrase “having governed the ACT since 2014, Labor”. Labor has been in power since 2001. Perhaps AI was referring to the Barr Labor Government…or was trying to cut out my CityNews colleague Jon Stanhope and former chief minister, Senator Katy Gallagher!

For each possible outcome for chief minister, AI focused on negotiations. The clear message is there will be a diverse Assembly with a majority government highly unlikely.

The downside of this approach to my column is that I might be putting myself out of business! Although, the analysis is reasonably shallow… and it does not have the interpersonal insights.

Michael Moore is a former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly and an independent minister for health. He has been a political columnist with “CityNews” since 2006.

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Michael Moore

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