Let’s call a spade a spade!
I’m really not keen to get too involved with the State Election media circus but events of last week compel me to say something.
It’s about the $25 million carrot that has been thrown out there, provided we elect the local National Candidate and that she’s part of the next parliament.
Speaking for myself, I find that absolutely appalling and will always have an issue with anyone, party or individual, who believes that type of tactic is a noble way of campaigning.
Some have called it a form of blackmail, others pork barrelling, others a straight-out bribe – whatever name you want to call it, it is not the action of a decent minded party or person. What’s worse, because of the way the media loves to play up such issues, it leaves other candidates with no alternative but to respond and then, among other things, all that does is feed the media with further opportunities to keep the issue alive.
If a party finds themselves coming out of the gates later than hoped for and has ground to make up, one would expect them to work harder but not like this. By all means extol the benefits of having a local member in the government, and certainly talk up how that might play out but please do it with integrity. I also think for an opposing candidate to ask if such tactics were legal, or at least in the spirit of fair and reasonable electioneering, is understandable. I also have to say that if the positions were reversed, the opposing party, whoever they were would do exactly the same thing.
That’s all I want to say on that.
One other thought I have is this.
During the campaign it has also often been mentioned how Bathurst and Dubbo, both who have members in the government have benefitted more than Orange which doesn’t. For me that too raises question marks about the integrity of our politicians. Wouldn’t you think that yes, they may represent a specific area or region and be in government, but as a government who’s acting in the interests of the entire State, that they’d be required to spread the money fairly and evenly across the whole state. I may be a bit naive but surely that’s a reasonable thing to expect, and as a matter of general policy.
We all pay taxes etc., so surely it shouldn’t come down to which party the local member is part of, as to who gets the money and certainly not who gets the lions share.
I know the system has been the system forever but in my humble view, the system we have leaves a lot to be desired. I’d prefer a system that lets voters choose the best person for the job, whoever they represent, period!