John Cziesla, Canberra Liberals president, never runs out of excuses for the poor performance of the Canberra Liberals under his watch ("Liberals all but concede Seselja will lose his seat", canberratimes.com.au, May 27). The media, other candidates, the electorate and everyone except Mr Cziesla and his mates who have run the party into the ground feel David Pocock was a much better candidate than Zed Seselja and that he polled accordingly.
Mr Cziesla's statement that the party's values are no longer shared by the heartland is true. Under his and Zed's leadership the party has moved hard to the right and is obsessed with fringe issues that don't matter to most Canberrans.
As acting president Mr Cziesla managed the flawed preselection process that lumbered the party with Zed as Senate candidate. True to form, he led the party's decision to open Senate preselections two years ago, a decision surely designed to favour his mate.
He also presided over the party's catastrophic loss at the ACT Assembly election in 2020.
Mr Cziesla and his cronies have hollowed out the party to the extent that it has trouble finding campaign volunteers and credible election candidates.
It is a fact that prospective party members who are critical of Zed are refused admission to the party. That is one reason why the party's values no longer accord with mine or most Canberrans.
I find the fact this individual is still president of this once great party is deeply distressing and depressing.
We need to give the new opposition leader a little slack in allowing his competencies to primarily speak for themselves, rather than his perceived disposition.- Peter Waterhouse, Craigieburn, Vic
I write to support Peter Dutton in his recent affirmation in desiring to maintain the broad church foundation of the Liberal Party.
One of the unfortunate phenomenons in recent years has been the Americanisation of Australian politics, where persona can easily trump policies and principles. While this is understandable on an emotional level, on an operational level it means that we can be easily swayed by a member of parliament's likeability, and not really take the time to appreciate his or her experience and capability for the civil tasks at hand.
Minister Dutton's past portfolios have included immigration, border protection and home affairs. These are extremely difficult responsibilities and are not for the squeamish. They frequently involve having to make complex ethical decisions about the worst elements within society which often result in the deportation of violent criminals, terrorists and sexual offenders.
As such, it is surely somewhat burdensome to maintain a cheery or bubbly outer personality when you are perpetually dealing with such human darkness.
We need to give the new opposition leader a little slack in allowing his competencies to primarily speak for themselves, rather than his perceived disposition. Not comparing him to a Harry Potter villain is probably a safe way to start.
There is something in the AEC numbers that I cannot believe that the press has not picked up. The percentage of the informal vote in the ACT starts with a one or a two. Elsewhere the informal vote varies between 1.86 per cent (Brisbane) to over 10 per cent.
All parties should look hard at this; Canberra is a "thinking city" and informal voting and voter turnout are areas ripe for the plucking for extra votes. Blind obedience to orders has never been a big Aussie trait.
This thinking attitude has (probably) cost the Liberal Party the previously unlosable second Senate seat in the ACT.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has asserted his determination to clean up government in Australia. Cynics might say: "Well good luck with that." But there is one area, fundamental to the Westminster System where Labor can take an early initiative: Question Time.
Question Time is one of the cornerstones of the Westminster System. It's purpose is to enable "the people", through their elected representatives, to hold the government to account. This is a fundamental principle that underpins western democracy.
This undermining was brought to a new height by the Morrison government. Questions by the opposition were sidestepped to enable ministers to dismiss the questioners as dangerous simpletons who discredited the house. Government backbenchers, on the other hand, repeated the same questions day-in and day-out, suggesting they have short-term memory loss or were part of some devious scheme devised by the ministers themselves. Albanese ministers, after "thanking the honourable member for the question", might, as the formulation implies, treat the question, the member and those the member represents with respect.
This would be a welcome first step towards cleaning up government. A welcome second step would be a reconsideration to standing orders relating to questions, especially those relating to relevance, which amount to a "get-out-of-jail-free card" for ministers who don't respect Question Time or the people.
The election of the Labor team, the Greens and the teal independents with so many talented and positive people, particularly women, is a great outcome.
They will take the parliament to another level.
There can now be hope that government will deal with the important challenges after nine lost years of negativity. Abbott, Morrison, Dutton and Joyce have done so much damage. The "miracle" in 2019 was because the electorate did not know Morrison. Now, like Macron, they know.
Vive la France. And when our French teacher asked us what the French boy said to the French girl, the answer was "vive la différence".
And what is wrong with a Pacific that embraces "la différence" between China and America?
The Pacific is obviously heavily influenced by both, and the culture that is emerging there will be a mix of Asia, the west and the Pacific itself.
Liberal MP Stuart Robert has reportedly said we shouldn't judge Peter Dutton on his views.
What else are we supposed to judge him on? For the 25 million of us who have never met Peter Dutton, it's simply not possible to move to either Canberra or Dutton's electorate so that we can get to know him.
It may just be that Stuart Robert is still in shock. More likely, though, that the Liberal Party's detachment from reality continues and is getting worse.
Zed may have been "deadheaded" by the electorate but the virulent infection that was introduced by John Howard into the root stock of the Liberal Party remains. The petals dropped off, whole branches on the left side were hacked off and the plant stopped bearing healthy fruit altogether.
The diseased plant then attracted myriads of sap-sucking parasites. What's now needed is a "root and branch" approach to reform in the garden. The rotten roots of greed, corruption, division, racism, misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, rorting, partisan appointments, religious zealotry, warmongering and anti unionism must be grubbed out.
In the meantime we will enjoy a beautiful, fresh garden of red, teal and vibrant green.
The AFL are reported to have stated that there are "good reasons behind a 16 per cent drop in attendances this year". They have got this, at least, correct.
I have a full home and away 2022 general admission membership of Essendon FC but I haven't attended any matches this season and don't intend to do so.
The AFL decided our club membership cards no longer gave us entry to matches and that we have to download an app and book seats throughout the season - even though general admission members do not have designated seats.
The AFL said this new ticketing system made it easier for members to attend matches.
I had paid for this year's membership long before the new ticketing nonsense was announced but next year I will purchase a cheap non-game attendance membership.
When the AFL treats supporters with contempt they must expect a negative reaction.
Are Canberrans aware that in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park baits have been laid containing 1080 (a poison banned in most countries) to kill so-called "wild dogs" which are comprised largely of dingoes?
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