What voters gave MP Jones, Abbott steals away
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,