State Election

At the risk of being identified as socially destitute, welcome to Jewgle Perth’s State Election coverage.

I’ve been observing several media concurrently for the past two hours.  The ABC television coverage has been by far the worst, with grumpy and confused presenters calling a Liberal victory througout the night.  At the same time the 6PR Radio coverage has been running the story that the National Party will hold the balance of power and negotiate a Government with whomever offers them the best deal.  The internet coverage has been sparse, but news.com.au has several articles that are heavily biased in different directions.  About an hour after the close of poll they were running a headline “Labour tipped to win poll”.

Boldest call of the night was by Matt Birney who criticised the West Australian newspaper for running a concerted campaign against Labour, with some justification it must be said. 

The comments on Television by Bob Kucera were very interesting.  When asked about what happened in Morely, he identified the strong Jewish vote as a factor.  He was complimentary of the community, and also noted he carried the Jewish vote, both points being fairly on the mark.  However I would not have thought the Jewish vote to be such a significant influence in Michael Sutherland’s victory over Karen Brown.  We have a smaller collective voting power than other ethnic communities in the electorate, and also do not vote on a communal party ticket.  Bob Kucera may have raised this as a matter of discussion with the premier, but there was little or no interaction by the candidates with the Jewish community aside from some standard advertisements in the Maccabean.  It is also worth noting that a significant portion of the Jewish vote would be postal (due to the Sabbath) and therefore not factored into the vote count that was presented on election night.

We mentioned in an earlier post the type of issues that impact on Jewish voters.  Economic performance rates highly, support for private schooling, daylight savings, shopping hours, health, security and social services are all issues of distinct relevance to the way our community works.

The election has not yet been called at the time of writing, but a change of administration is the most likely outcome at this stage.  At the end of it all, it is probably less of a positive vote and more of a protest vote.  Firstly, against the early call of the poll, secondly against the poor management of an economic boom, and thirdly, a balancing influence to counter a Labour administration at Federal level (may the other States follow suit, for the sake of Federalism!)

Finally, once again it has been the polling and the pre election hype that has let the voters down.  We had everything to vote against in this election, and very little to run for.  The negative campaigning did little to help.  The incoming Government is going to inherit a huge mess in the area of social services and infrastructure development, and I only hope they perform better than their predecessor.

 Update 11.00 PM:

Both party leaders have delivered their speeches, confirming a hung parliament.  The irony that one-value, one vote changes to the electoral system, aimed at reducing regional representation has now placed the National party into a powerbroking position is very striking. 

Alan Carpenter was definately off his oats tonight.  He looked shaken and rattled, and was not in good form when he gave a lethargic speech.  He tried to outline what his Government had achieved, but ended up only reinforcing their lack of accomplishment (education, health security…..) Colin Barnett gave what Kim Beazely described as a mature and balanced speech.  At the end of the night, we have voted for change, and despite the politics of coalition negotiation, it will be very hard for the minor parties and independents to justify the delivery of Government back to the Carpenter administration. 

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