Well, I’ve done my citizen’s duty and voted today – but I sometimes wonder why. Of course! I get fined if I don’t. But it’s not much fun living in an electorate where my vote doesn’t count for much. It will count in the Upper House, but not the Lower where Greg Smith is a shoe-in. Our previous electorate was blue ribbon Liberal and we hadn’t moved to this electorate when Maxine McKew had the upset win of the century. Over the years there have been some great Liberal Party politicians, but they were great because they were liberal thinkers. Sadly, the Liberal Party today is dominated by the large L variety.
Not that I want to see the Labor Party returned (that noise is my parents, turning in their graves!). I grew up in a Labor family. I had a beautiful black and white cocker spaniel called Ben Chifley and my brother had a golden one called Doctor Evatt. We were reared to believe in the values of kindness, compassion, care for others, care for the environment and justice. Part of my parents’ belief system was a firm commitment to the trade union movement and being a dutifully obedient daughter, I was a union member for most of my working life, as was my brother. I came to understand the importance of unions as I matured but I also came to understand the way that union principles can be corrupted by personal ambition and the so-called “bigger picture” at the expense of the least powerful members of the union. I still believe in the union movement. I still believe in the Labor Party. But they are no longer blind beliefs.
So today I cast my vote in the knowledge and hope that the Labor Party would lose its mandate. It had been in power for too long and had been dysfunctional for too many years – as is the case with all political parties who survive too many years at the helm. When Labor eventually returns to government, it will be a renewed and rejuvenated party.
In the meantime we have Barry O’Farrell and his band of trusty Liberal Party members. Let’s hope he can swing into action quickly and effectively and that a dramatic improvement occurs in our health system, public transport and support for public education. Not to mention the environment. Yes, let’s mention the environment with this plea:
Please Barry, whatever you do, replace Craig Knowles as head of the Murray Darling Basin Authority. Just make sure his replacement is a person of knowledge, insight and commitment to the science of the environmental needs of that system. A person who can make the difficult decisions required to ensure the viability and long-term survival of that waterway. I have no confidence that Mr Knowles is the man for the job.
P.S. In the time that it has taken to write this, with a break for dinner, it is clear that the projected massive swing to the Liberal Party has occurred. I wait in breathless anticipation for all to be right with NSW ………