Contest required for democracy
Anyone living in Victoria’s Lowan electorate with any sense of democracy has reason to have a growing feeling of disappointment as we draw closer to a State Election.
With the calendar edging towards the November 24 poll and political campaigning in full flight, the sitting government has yet to announce a candidate for the largest district in the state.
Yes, that’s right, Victorian Labor was still ‘yet to determine a candidate’ for the lower-house seat when The Weekly Advertiser inquired again yesterday.
If the delay continues for too long, Labor might as well throw the door open to its political opposition and sitting member Emma Kealy without any real fight for the region.
Regardless of the political gamesmanship at play, it suggests a case of giving up a fight before the fight’s even started to concentrate on ‘more important’ battles.
This might seem fine to the many looking for an easy way to navigate through an election, but for others it simply doesn’t seem right.
We might live in an area of dwindling population that has a history of voting conservatively.
But we are Victorians like everyone else and deserve to have a choice at the ballot when debating policy, philosophy and direction.
Forget all the hoo-ha about promises for this and promises for that – if a major political movement can’t be bothered in trying to win general support across the state, what sort of message does this send to everyone? We remind Victorian Labor that despite the Nationals having long had a stranglehold in the electorate, that it maintains dedicated supporters and voters, many of them devout, in this part of the world.
Labor is making an effort to win Ripon in what looms as a toe-to-toe battle between sitting Liberal member Louise Staley and Labor candidate Sarah De Santis.
All we ask is for the Victorian Labor party to take the contest a bit further to the north-west.
While 2014 election results showed a landslide for the Nationals’ Emma Kealy, more than 7200 voters – or 18.5 percent of the voting electorate – listed former Labor candidate Bob Skates as their first preference.
It is not good enough to try to govern far-flung parts of the state from the upper house, which seems to be the case.
We need a contest, especially when we are considering an area covering 39,182 square kilometres of the state, extending from the Big Desert to 10 kilometres from the south coast.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy needs competition and would surely welcome a Labor opponent.