Local MP Ken Smith found himself at the centre of a whirling vortex in State Parliament again recently after the maverick MP from Frankston expressed no confidence in the Speaker. But coming from a man tagged with that worst of all possible labels for an MP – ‘The Turncoat’ – you’d have to take it as almost a compliment if you were Ken Smith and it certainly won’t lose him any votes locally. And to hear the Labour Party crowing over it beggars belief. So, what does the ALP want to do; force a new election? With only one year left to run on the Coalition’s four year term, it would be far better if the MPs on both sides of the House agreed on one thing at least – that we have the next election as planned on Saturday, November 29, 2014. It would give the community, especially the flagging business community, some level of certainty and also allow the voting public proper scrutiny of each party’s policies in the run up to the next poll. And surely, if the Andrews’ Opposition is critical of the Napthine-Ryan Coalition for accepting the tainted Member for Frankston’s vote on the floor of the parliament, wouldn’t the same thing apply if they accepted Geoff Shaw’s vote against Mr Smith. Mr Shaw has not been found guilty of the 23 counts of obtaining financial benefit by deception or the very serious charge of misconduct in public office, levelled at him by the Victoria Police on September 17 this year. So he’s entitled to keep his seat in Parliament until the matter is heard but wouldn’t it be better for both sets of MPs to agree to sideline the ‘Shaw Circus’ in the meantime and get on with the business of governing this state which is in a very delicate space at the moment – ready for recovery but not really on its way to prosperity. We’re told that the fundamentals of the economy are generally sound and that it’s consumer confidence that is the missing ingredient. While there’s enough upheaval in parliament to force its suspension, as happened last week, our political representatives are doing the state’s economy and therefore jobs’ creation a great disservice. And it can only serve to damage their own low standing in the eyes of the voting public. There were bound to be episodes of difficulty once the people voted in such a tightly strung parliament last time, and contrary to the view of the city press and others, Mr Smith appears to have actually done a good job of holding it all together up until now. So, stick to your guns Mr Smith. We don’t want to have any more elections than are absolutely necessary.
Editorial: Stick to your guns, Mr Smith