A message to the ACT Liberals - if you want to win government, undertake the policy reforms necessary to make you attractive to Canberra's left-leaning electorate.
The shift to the Seselja right has made you unelectable. Move to the middle. Mirror the likes of Kate Carnell, Gary Humphries, John Hewson, Gladys Berejiklian and Fred Chaney and expunge the inner Abbott or Craig Kelly. Re-consider your position on climate change, refugees, euthanasia, pill testing and abortion.
You need to give the Canberra community an alternative to the poor management of the Barr-Rattenbury government as exposed by the Auditor-General and critics such as Jon Stanhope in areas including social housing, health and financial management, public transport, light rail, planning and urban development. Force the government to justify its policies. Your conservatism is giving them a free pass.
The real miracle will be if the you reform and can present an electable alternative in 2024. Appealing only to the rusted on 35 per cent or so of the electorate wins you one federal Senate seat .
Mike Quirk, Garran
One rule for the political types
I voted with many others in the ACT elections on Saturday and we all dutifully followed COVID-safe distancing rules.
However, when I later watched the political parties celebrating/commiserating I was stunned to see the complete disregard for COVID-safe rules. Obviously one rule for self-entitled political elites and another for those they rule over.
Mike Buick, Narrabundah
Cheap shots don't pay off
It is not just the clunky Coe stunts that many intelligent ACT voters would not have appreciated ( "The Liberals' campaign took the voters for fools", October 18).
Perhaps the election result is partly due to the fact that we never hear the PM praising the ACT government for managing its COVID-19 response, especially since it is the only jurisdiction in Australia that has not closed its borders at any stage to date.
ACT voters' antennae would also have been be twitching for some time at the blatant partisanship shown by the PM and other senior Liberals towards state leaders who have had to address the ways in which this mercurial virus can spread so quickly and easily.
Sue Dyer, Downer
Some regular programming
Was it really necessary for all four of the ABC's TV channels in Canberra (2, 20, 21 and 24) to be devoted to coverage of the ACT election on Saturday night? Surely at least one of them could have shown normal programming, including a news bulletin at 7pm?
Don Sephton, Greenway
There are benefits
I agree with Rohan Goyne (Letters, October 13) that there is little immediate economic benefit from changing from gas central heating to reverse cycle electric heating/cooling.
He misses the point however. People who can afford the change from gas to electric provide cleaner air for everyone. Celebrate all actions to reduce pollution, it's not political.
Everyone who can afford it should personally reduce their carbon footprint. This may be expensive, such as buying an electric car or changing heating from gas to electric. It can also be relatively inexpensive. Why not buy a rechargeable electric lawn mower.
Electric mowers have a run time of between 45 minutes to one hour on one charge. That's more than enough to cut a normal size lawn. Fossil fuel lawn mowers account for some five per cent pollution in the US. Australia is probably similar.
Dennis O'Hara, Wanniassa
I believe that the statements of the leaders of the opposition parties in both NSW and Victoria in public and in parliament regarding the votes of no confidence are just appalling.
They illustrates the worst of political behaviour. The venom in their utterances is just disgusting at a time when their leaders need support and when there should be some political bipartisanship.
I think both Gladys Berejiklian and Daniel Andrews, as well as the other premiers, have generally done a good job and deserve support from all their political colleagues. Now, more than ever, is not the time for gutter politics and cheap shots.
Geoff Gillett, Chapman
Trump has made America great. Just look at these great numbers on COVID-19 from worldometers.info.
There are over 2.6 million active cases in the USA, easily outstripping India with about 0.84 million, and its population is more than four times that of America. How about that?
Mirror the likes of Kate Carnell, Gary Humphries, John Hewson, Gladys Berejiklian and Fred Chaney and expunge the inner Abbott or Craig Kelly.Mike Quirk, Garran
On the deaths per million score, at around 660, America is also doing well, easily beating Russia with only about 150 and China with a miserable three; that's right, three. Pathetic.
On the cases per million too, the USA is right up there with the best of them. Keep up the good work, great leader.
Ed Highley, Kambah
Give Gladys a break
I am very sad to see the current uproar about the NSW premier.
I remember a time when the press politely ignored such personal matters. Things that were quite well known, such as many, many affairs, trips with private secretaries, pregnant press secretaries and such never, until very recently, received a mention in the papers.
Oh! Now I remember, they were all men.
I, for one, am very glad to see in Ms Berejiklian this human side, this tenderness and need for close personal contact. You are a genuine, real, and loving person. This is an enormously electable characteristic that should be valued. You fight on girl.
I am certain that I speak for at least half of the population of Australia.
Marjory Kobold, NSW
Lockdowns do work
D Zivkovic (Letters, October 14) seems to suggest we should lift all COVID-19 lockdown restrictions now. But there have already been more than a million deaths worldwide.
The numbers of deaths and infections have increased sharply when these measures are relaxed, particularly so in Europe. Britain is now at nearly 20,000 infections per day. What is certain is that such infection rates will lead to overloading of emergency medical facilities.
We are all painfully aware of the effects of lockdowns on personal freedom, economic losses and mental illness. But, that said, people who die from COVID-19 have lost all their freedoms.
D Zivkovic insists that all those who approve lockdowns are somehow directly responsible for deaths resulting from their ill-effects. Will he or she take responsibility for additional deaths and disability resulting from open slather? As an older person, I am reluctant to be a human sacrifice for personal freedom or the economy.
David Roth, Kambah
Lockdowns not to blame
D Zivkovic says that an uptick in poverty is due to lockdown measures. (Letters, October 14.)
Apparently economic consequences apart from lockdown are zero. Tell it to an economist. Sweden, with far fewer restrictions, has had much the same economic hit as its Nordic neighbours (but far more deaths and disabling illness).
His exercise in wishful thinking, which seems based on the proposition that no economic restrictions should be taken and (somehow) at-risk groups should be protected otherwise, isn't consistent with the WHO's advice that distancing, masking, isolation and tracing should now be preferred.
And the deaths of children from starvation and from preventable disease follow, not from their parents' poverty, but from the absence of international action.
It's international action that ended smallpox, has nearly ended polio, and would be able to end malaria. COVID-19 has big economic impacts, and those impacts get far bigger if its spread is unrestrained.
We should worry about those impacts, not the minor question of whether particular lockdown measures (like the NSW border closure against country Victoria) are the best choices.
We should also worry about suspending or reducing international action against starvation and disease.
Christopher Hood, Queanbeyan, NSW
Forward to the past
In answering the final question of his NPC address, posed by club president Sabra Lane, shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers expressed the philosophical difference between Labor's and the LNP's attitude regards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor's expectation is one of opportunity and reaching forward to new highs of achievement for all Australians and learning from the past. The government's expectation? "Bounce back" (code for backward) to the favoured highs of the past. That is more coal, insecurity, more rorts, more slogans, less accountability, and the continuation of trickle down economics.
Matthew Passant, Gladstone
TO THE POINT
COE'S NEAT TRICK
Alistair Coe has achieved the remarkable feat of appearing both too young and too old for Canberra voters at the same time.
Paul Mason, Cook
WE MUST BE DOING WELL
The election win returning a Barr government suggests a good proportion of people in Canberra are cashed up. Rising residential rates and substantial land taxes are apparently not a great concern for many people.
Murray May, Cook
While most of us can't get within a bull's roar of Queensland the PM gets an extra night in Cairns because his plane breaks down. Lucky beggar.
N Ellis, Belconnen
I WONDER WHY?
The speed limit on Parkes Way is 90 km/h on a packed road in peak hour. William Hovell between Glenloch and Coppins Crossing, with separated double lanes both ways, is 80 km/h. William Hovell towards Belconnen Way, packed and single lane both ways and the scene of a scene of a serious crash is 90 km/h. Who knew?
Bob Gardiner, Isabella Plains
How do pollies expect aged pensioners to survive below poverty line. I paid tax all my life. That was supposed to guarantee a quality aged pension in later life, not the pittance we get now.
Barrett Johnston, Singleton, NSW
GLADYS FAILS PUB TEST
High ranking public servants usually have to pass intensive security checks in order to eliminate the likelihood of governments being compromised. Publicity of the NSW Premier's private life would now suggest Gladys may not even pass pub test scrutiny.
John Sandilands, Garran
Last Wednesday's Dilbert cartoon was particularly amazing giving the same edition contained the report on the Anzac Hall demolition plan.
Brian Gosling, Holt
AN ENDLESS SUPPLY
Present events have reminded me that the late Peter Ustinov used to say: "No matter how hard the times, there is something of which there is never a shortage - idiots!"
Ricky Dennis, Murrumbeena, Vic
THE SAME OLD BARR
Your article on Andrew Barr ("I had a good hard look at myself'", October 15, p6) should have been labelled an advertisement. Barr changing his spots? You're dreaming.
Ric Hingee, Duffy
MALCOLM'S TRACK RECORD
I agree with Dave Roberts (Letters, October 15 ) that Malcolm Mackerras is likely to be wrong and Trump will win. But for an entirely different reason. Mackerras has an astonishing track record of getting all of his predictions wrong.
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
GO FOR IT DONALD
Given Donald Trump's banging on and on about how the coming US Presidential election will be the most fraudulent ever, I was taken by Geof Murray's "vote early - vote often" (Letters, October 14).
I wouldn't be surprised to see photos of Donald voting at at least six different polling stations.
Dallas Stow, O'Connor
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