urban creature: Labor gallops to victory in WA

Sunday, February 27, 2005
Labor gallops to victory in WA
With a name like Gallop, you're bound to get shit load of puns out of journalists this week regarding the ALP's WA election win.

This election is possibly the greatest example of an incumbent winning essentially by default due to the incompetency and sheer silliness of the only viable opposition. The next task for the Coalition is to find someone with a brain between their ears to fill the role of Leader of the Opposition (and let's face it, there isn't much Liberal Party talent left on the opposition benches). It is worth remembering that the WA National Party actually have more in common with the ALP (and the Greens) when it comes to social and environmental issues compared with their supposed coalition partner. I won't be surprised if they (again) break away from the Libs while in opposition.

Hopefully Barnett can take his foot out of his mouth long enough to sign his resignation letter and announce a suitable successor for the seat of Cottesloe - which I hope, despite being in the wealthy western suburbs, is picked up by Labor or the Greens. It is interesting to note that Richard Court's seat of Nedlands was nearly won by the Greens at the 2001 by-election.

Let's also hope that the Libs see that the policies announced at this election - including the canal from the Kimberleys idea and the rolling back gay rights - as not endorsed by the electorate and hopefully never see the light of day again.

It will be interesting to see the new make-up of the upper house. The Greens are bound to lose Agricultural and Mining & Pastoral - which means that Dee Margetts will be out of the job again (she lost her Senate seat in 1998 to Brian Greig from the Democrats - who, by the way, lost his seat to the Green's Rachel Siewert at the 2004 election) and Robin Chapple will possibly go back to working in Giz Watson's office. At this early stage it is impossible to tell for sure who will control the upper house but it is likely the Coalition will once again control the upper house. It is a shame Labor and the Greens didn't manage to get an absolute majority last time around (and could have reformed the, heavily gerrymandered, house).

There was also a referendum held about the extention of trading hours. Technically it is a 'plebiscite' since it simply asks an opinion of the electorate rather than endorses existing legislation. Looking at the figures, there is an overwhelming NO vote to both proposals (first - to extend trading to 9pm on weekdays and second - to extend trading to Sundays). The Liberals seemed to have backed a winner here, although going against their own traditional allies, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (which, you will know also pointed out Barnett's huge black hole in his election promises). While technically backing a loser here, the ALP successfully played wedge politics on this issue and have come out stronger.

The Democrats (remember them?) only ran candidates for the upper house this time around. They didn't hand out how-to-vote cards either. The result, as expected, is possibly one of their worst in the party's history with less than 1% of the vote (although counting is still in progress). It's a shame that a party that once had 2 members in the WA parliament is now getting a worse vote than the Christian Democratic Party who have never held a seat in this parliament. It's also worth noting that Damian Meyer, who was at one stage the President of the WA Division of the Democrats, stood for the Greens at this election for the seat of Perth. My old division appears to be crumbling, although support for the Dems in the rest of the country isn't that great either.

  Scribbled by urban creature @ 5:02 pm - [Permanent Link]


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