The electorate of Stirling is a mixed socio-demographic one that is also classified as a marginal seat.Â It’s diverse ethnic makeup reflects the banal suburban stereotype of middle Australia in many many ways.
Our Candidates from the main parties are Michael Keenen (Liberal) and Peter TinleyÂ (Labor).Â
In the blue corner, the incumbant Michael Keenan is a pleasant fellow, of local origin, and well connected throughÂ his family real estate business.Â As an MP he has been fair, active, and diligent in representing the electorate.Â However he also hasn’t set the world on fire.Â As a firstÂ term junior he has unfortuantely sometimes givenÂ the impression that he is attached to puppet strings andÂ in this respect he exercises great care inÂ “towing the party line”.Â He is not a strong public speaker, which is something that counts against a sitting member in a high profile marginal seat.Â With this said, it must be noted that Michael Keenan has been consistent and hard working.Â MyÂ summary of this is that he hasÂ doneÂ nothing wrong in attending to his duties, but some moreÂ flair, spontenaity, and outspokeness to liven things up would be a welcome addition to his political character.
In the red corner is a worthy challenger.Â A local entrepreneur with a military background.Â The PR associated with Peter Tinley has made much of hisÂ service,Â whichÂ in turn is claimed as a mandateÂ to campaign for a troop withdrawal onÂ Iraq.Â It is this point that has ironicallyÂ contributed towardsÂ losing Mr TinleyÂ myÂ vote.Â I fully support Australia’s presence in Iraq.Â I do not believe that the campaign was “based on a lie”, as Mr Tinley has suggested, and IÂ support the Prime Minister when he says that we need to finish the job for the sake of western political stability.Â A withdrawal represents a win for terrorism, andÂ a political aspirant’sÂ support of aÂ withdrawal, no matter howÂ qualified, isÂ to my mind an admission of defeat and a foreign policy danger.Â Â Aside from the “military hero” image, thereÂ are many other qualities that Mr Tinley has thatÂ I greatly respect.Â Â He would be far more endearing to my swinging vote if he focussed more on his commercial acheivements andÂ his vision for the growth and development ofÂ the electorate.Â
The good thing about this election is that no matter who wins the seat of Stirling, we will be well represented by a good politician.Â ThatÂ is a big step up on the last election when the Labor Party fielded the then incumbent Jan Farr, whose political outlook and style of representation when she held this seat was nothing short of an embarrassment to her constituency.
A final comment.Â Â This is a two horse race, and there are no third party candidates that have any relevance as serious challengers.Â HoweverÂ as the close polling indicates, it may ironically be the preference allocations of these “irrelevant” candidates that determine the outcome of the vote.Â Â Â Â Â