Geelong will be transformed – but only by representatives with energy, creativity and imagination.
So whoever wins on September 7 take note.
We need a transformation in this region and it’s not going to come by doing the same old things the same old way.
Having survived the experience of the popular election for Geelong’s mayor with my values and honour intact, I am interested to see how things differ at the federal level.
In a local government election I saw – and felt – bullying, lies and everything to the contrary. So far in the federal sphere there have been only shadows. It seems no one is prepared to play the game because they either have too much to lose, too much to win or they don’t trust the other players.
But the message is coming through loud and clear from the people on the street that, at a Federal parliamentary level, we want values, respect, commonsense and decency.
For those who are not heartily sick of hearing about politics, people are demanding the job of governing, notably policy making and budget management, should be accountable, transparent and rigorous.
And those people are not fooled by glib catchphrases.
Regardless of how it all turns out at the polls, let me share the fact our system of preferencing can be a very nasty business.
To win an election you may have to play the preferencing game but it is a game which does not always bring out the best in people.
In this federal election, as a genuine independent, I can’t in any conscience play the game because all the other parties are Parties.
So it’s like a Mexican standoff. No one is playing anyone because it reflects badly to even engage in the game.
The major parties know, and are trading on the fact many people will pick a party first and their person second. Almost as if to say, “we liked you so much we put you second”.
This does not help small fish at all; it simply builds the ego of the big fish.
Yes, the system of preferential voting is necessary for smaller parties and independent candidates to be able to stand and make a difference.
But by putting major parties first, the vote goes straight into the bucket of the duopoly system which is so destructive in Australia. There is no message heard about what needs to change.
By putting an independent No 1, or a smaller party, the major parties have to take note of what the electorate is telling them.
Rather than a donkey vote, send a message of protest by voting independent, or for a smaller party, and put the major parties lower down the list.
Not everyone wins that way – but the major parties will certainly learn a lot more about what you think.