With the ACT election now only a day away, the time has come for me to issue my how-to-vote blog post. As usual, this is not endorsed or authorised by any party or candidate. I should also note that, as I live in the electorate of Molongolo, I am focussing on Molongolo, however I do have some advice for people in other areas.
At the most simple level, I believe that the Labor/Greens government in the ACT has been a disaster. Much of this is down to the ongoing waste and bumbling which is inherent in ACT Labor, but a fair amount of blame must also be heaped on to the Greens who have managed to get their bizarre enviro-statist socialist ways on more than a few occasions, not that Labor have really made any sort of reasonable effort to oppose them.
The ACT Government no longer focuses on core local issues and services, and instead seeks to extend its reach to all manner of other things at the expense of ACT rate payers. This needs to stop. The Canberra Liberals have shown that they have a sane and sensible plan to return the focus of the ACT Government to those services for which it should be responsible such as roads, rates, rubbish (yep, I had to get that phrase in there), health, local ovals and the like.
It is for this reason, and for the reason that Labor has a strong following in Canberra, that I support the message of “vote all Liberal and only Liberal” as it will take a concerted effort to get the current horrid bunch out of power, and those of us who believe in limited, targeted government are going to have to vote carefully to make it happen.
In Molongolo I see four candidates who I would very much like to see win or retain a seat. In alphabetical order they are Steve Doszpot, Jeremy Hanson, Giulia Jones, and Elizabeth Lee. My advice is to rank these four in your order of preference from 1 to 4.
The way I voted for these four, and why:
1. Elizabeth Lee – I have had the great pleasure of getting to know and work with Elizabeth. She has shown great organizational skills and an ability to surround herself with people with whom she works well and can achieve a lot. She is also very passionate about core local services and understands that the ACT Government’s role is a local one with a few state-like responsibilities thrown in. I suspect that we disagree on a few national political issues, but as Elizabeth understands that these are things which should not enter the realm of local politics (something which Labor and the Greens clearly do not understand), I am proud to be able to support Elizabeth.
2. Jeremy Hanson – An incumbent MLA who has demonstrated a great understanding of what is wrong with the ACT Government and how to fix it, especially in the health sector. I gladly gave Jeremy my first preference in 2008 and have been very impressed with his work. I believe that it is important to have one of the “experienced hands” in my top two, and Jeremy is someone I have absolutely no reservation in supporting.
3. Giulia Jones – I have been impressed by Giulia’s energy and enthusiasm over the course of a few campaigns. We have a basic ideological agreement on the role of government and the problems in the current government, along with similar ideological views on things which are and are not within the remit of local government. Giulia also cares about delivering local services efficiently and well. I strongly hope that Giulia finally gets a seat in the Legislative Assembly and helps to shape a sane direction for the ACT Government. I have the utmost confidence that she will.
4. Steve Doszpot – Another incumbent MLA. Steve has a large amount of executive experience and understands what needs to change in the ACT Government. I have a great deal of respect for Steve and his part in shaping the Canberra Liberals plan for Canberra. I hope to see him in charge of a department or two after the election.
I have split my top four and following three for a couple reasons. Firstly, the people mentioned above have my strongest support. Secondly, under the Hare-Clark system which is used in ACT elections, your vote is likely to help your first three or four choices. Beyond that, it may still have some impact, but it will be negligible. As such, I suggest placing the above candidates on whatever of the first four positions you like, and then placing the next three in 5th to 7th, once again in your preferred order.
How I placed them:
5. James Milligan – James has a great deal of private sector experience which is fantastic for a politician as it brings a mindset of efficiency and working within one’s means while still striving to do the best job possible. The fact that James is still willing to serve the local community after not winning a grueling battle for a federal seat tops it off by showing me that he is persistent in achieving things which he sets out to achieve.
I then had a hard time splitting the next two but ended up with:
6. Tom Sefton – Tom seems to be strongly committed to local services and has a good track record of helping the community in various ways.
7. Murray Gordon – Murray seems like a very capable candidate, but his experience seems to be more suited to international policy than local policy from what I have seen. I’m sure that, if elected, he would do a great job, but I would much rather see him run for federal seat.
In the other electorates, I highly recommend the following candidates followed by the rest of the Liberal candidates.
1. Zed Seselja – The party leader who has the vision and leadership skills to provide ACT residents with the stability, sanity and solid planning that they deserve from a Chief Minister.
2. Val Jeffery – If anyone in the ACT cares more about the delivery of local services, especially to the communities which are often forgotten by the ACT Government, than Val does, I’m yet to meet them.
3. Brendan Smyth – Brendan is definitely an old hand and knows the ACT Government inside out, especially “Urban Services” (I still call it that, even if Labor do not). Brendan is one of the people who should be able to diffuse any obstructionism from the ACT Publuc Service.
In no particular order Alistair Coe and Vicki Dunne. Vicki has a long track record of helping people with problems with all manner of government services, and Alistair has proven himself to be a very capable and effective MLA.
If you’ve noticed that I’ve referred to the fact that I have voted, it’s because I have. I pre-polled earlier in the week in the knowledge that I will be busy on election day…very busy indeed. Hopefully after the day is done, election night will be a cause for celebration.
I hope that this summary of my thoughts on the candidates helps you to make a wise choice on election day, and helps the ACT to gain a useful government.