March 26th, 2011 at 10:50pm
The election is done and dusted, Barry O’Farrell is the new Premier of New South Wales as I think we all knew he would be.
The only way that I can really sum this up is that this is a night for the Liberal/National coalition to be proud, proud of the fact that they have gained the trust of a massive majority of New South Wales voters, proud of the fact that they have gained the trust of people in electorates that they could never have imaged that they would ever win.
This is also a night for the people of New South Wales to be proud, proud of the fact that they have given themselves the hope of something better than the endless soap opera of scandals and incompetence that they have endured for far too long.
For Labor, this is a night of despair for more than one reason. Partially because they lost the election, but more so because they have tarnished their name and really lost their way, and have finally been told by the people of New South Wales that enough is enough. Despair because their bizarre back-room antics have cost them some of their best people.
Kristina Keneally, despite her faults, believed in what she was doing and, I think, tried to get her way without pushing too hard and suffering the same fate as her predecessors, a public humiliation by the Labor Party henchmen. Kristina even seemed to believe that she had a chance of winning this election, or at least coming closer than she did…as delusional as that was, it was clear when she gave her concession speech that she is hurt, not just by the loss, but by the way her party’s actions have betrayed her.
Kristina will stay on as the member for Heffron, but has made the very wise move to step down as leader of the Labor Party. This is in no way an indication of her abilities as leader…in fact I think that if she hadn’t been constrained by the party backroom, she could have been far more effective than she was…rather this is an indication that she is better than all of the ripping and shredding and destruction that is about to occur in the ranks of New South Wales Labor. Kristina will be able to work as an effective local member without having to deal with the daily scandals which will surely come out of Sussex Street for the next few years as the party regroups.
Nathan Rees, the former Premier who was knifed by his party when he stood up to them for what he believed, is in a tight battle to retain the seat of Toongabbie. Nathan is apparently a good local member, and if he wins, I will be happy for him. If he loses, I’ll feel sorry for Nathan as it will really be his party which cost him the election, but I’ll be happy for his electorate who will have chosen their representative. Either way, Nathan, mate, run as an independent next time. Being associated with the party which betrayed you does you no favours.
Closer to my home, some good news from this election for the people of Monaro with the ousting of Steve Whan, a local member who would often tell his constituents one thing and then do the opposite in parliament. John Barilaro, the National Party candidate, will be a much better local member than Steve Whan ever was, and I congratulate John on his victory.
Overall, this is a night to be proud, both for the coalition, and for the people of New South Wales. Tonight is for celebration, and tomorrow is the start of four year of very hard work, as Barry O’Farrell and his team work to get New South Wales back on track.
On a national scale, this election has important repercussions as Barry is not as sold on the idea of giving more power to the federal government as NSW Labor were, and this could place many of the Gillard government’s national/state government “partnership” ideas in some jeopardy. This, overall, is probably a good thing as these plans will ultimately give too much power to the federal government and remove power from the state governments which are, ultimately, supposed to be a bit closer to the people.
Also, as this election was partially fought on the subject of the federal Labor party’s carbon tax and Barry’s fervent opposition to it, it is important for federal Labor to realise that New South Wales has loudly said “no” to the carbon tax, and many people in other states agree. I think what we will see from this is Julia Gillard clinging to power as hard as she can, because she knows that if she went to an election now, she would probably be defeated, even if narrowly.
Congratulations to Barry O’Farrell and the Liberal/National coalition. Take tonight to celebrate. You have much of which to be proud. The work starts tomorrow, and with your continued hard work, you and the people of New South Wales will be much prouder by the time the next election comes around than you were as you went in to this election. Labor have a lot of hard work to do as well. They must sort themselves out and mount some form of credible opposition…I doubt it will be complete by the time of the next election, but hopefully they will be well on their way.
Four years of hard work and lots of effort starts now.