What vot­ers gave MP Jones, Ab­bott steals away

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

EWEN Jones must be feel­ing the heat in an elec­torate where, with a 10 per cent ma­jor­ity in the 2013 elec­tion, he should be feel­ing re­ally safe.

But it isn’t as sim­ple as a 10 per cent ma­jor­ity for Ewen. To start with he hasn’t done very much. He sup­ported Tony Ab­bott on the sub­stan­dard ADF pay deal, a deal that still hasn’t been de­liv­ered. But any de­lay is in ef­fect a pay cut, like the Medi­care co- pay­ment, a dis­hon­est way to achieve an out­come. There goes 6 per cent of his mar­gin.

Then there is gay mar­riage. I don’t see why gays should not have the same rights as me. It is an im­por­tant one to many peo­ple and one that could well cost Ewen another 1 per cent.

There are other Ab­bott is­sues that will cost jobs and votes. The at­tack on Aus­tralian ship­build­ing, out­sourc­ing our sub­marines to Ja­pan. The “se­cret” China Free Trade Agree­ment al­low­ing poorly qual­i­fied Chi­nese work­ers to take Aus­tralian min­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs and killing off Holden. I think there is about 2 per cent in these.

Most Aus­tralians also love the ABC. The cur­rent at­tack on the ABC is plainly driven by a con­trol­ling ide­ol­ogy, with a bit of help from the free- to- air com­mer­cials and of course An­drew Bolt.

It was a “coura­geous move” by Ab­bott to at­tack the ABC, one which will likely cost Ewen about 3 per cent.

Fi­nally, Townsville is an in­dus­trial town within the dry trop­ics and fringed by the Great Bar­rier Reef. We have a very large amount of tourism- based em­ploy­ment and small busi­ness.

The Ab­bott “coal at all cost” tilt at wind farms and any­thing else en­vi­ron­men­tally sound is very likely to en­rage a large num­ber of these. Some will vote Green, but many will vote ALP. I think this is­sue will cost Ewen 2 per cent.

Peo­ple like me watch the whole po­lit­i­cal pic­ture, and the one I see now is lit- tered with lies, bro­ken prom­ises, sneaky tac­tics like the ADF pay deal and un- Aus­tralian be­hav­iour like ex­port­ing jobs. The pic­ture Ab­bott paints is one I think most in­tel­li­gent Aus­tralians will re­ject, and since Ewen has based his ca­reer or rep­re­sent­ing Ab­bott in Townsville rather than Townsville to Ab­bott, I think the swing against him will be huge.

So Ewen is right to be ner­vous, his 10 per cent is look­ing like - 6 per cent and I am hop­ing Co­ralee O’Rourke will be the next mem­ber for Herbert.

DR AN­DREW KER­ANS,

Mag­netic Is­land.

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