We all remember how the Libs/Nats were decimated in the 2018 State Election.
Well here’s an idea they might find useful in regaining power: Start by circulating some wild allegations of bullying and dysfunction in Parliament.
That shouldn’t be too hard given the way they normally carry on in the Chamber, and pass Bills they haven’t even read the background to – things which would never happen in the just-dismissed South Gippsland Shire (SGS) Council.
Then get the Age and Herald-Sun on side, along with the big-end-of-town business community.
Other media will soon fall into line when you get a few of your MPs to resign amidst continuing allegations, whilst being careful never to make any complaint official.
Time for some suggestions of procedural irregularities in Parliament and the plot starts to thicken – could this Government be on the nose?
Let’s get an investigator in from Canberra.
Meanwhile the Government seems to be managing the Victorian economy pretty well but there are a lot of question marks over it now.
The next phase would be the social media campaign to bolster the rumours and cement the doubts, followed by a massive public demonstration down Swanston Street calling for the Government’s dismissal.
A few more indignant resignations and appropriate bleatings later, a commission of inquiry comes from the Feds and eventually concludes that the State Government must be dismissed since they are obviously dysfunctional: so many MPs have left.
So, they send down a bevy of Canberra bureaucrats to run the State (along with the outrageous bill for their services) and even delay the next State Election by a year, just so the Conservatives can be more organised for the next tilt.
Anyone who’s more than a casual observer of what has just happened to the SGS Council will see what I’m doing here – simply moving the scenario up one level of Government.
Of course this is all ridiculous and couldn’t possibly happen for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the Federal Government doesn’t have this overt and absolute power over the States.
The second isn’t so obvious but perhaps explains what has happened here.
It’s the party system. In our higher levels of Government it’s clear from the start whose camp everyone is in, so we end up with a Government and an Opposition.
The latter knows they can’t expect to get their own way for a number of years, and grudgingly accept their fate. Not so in Local Government, where Councillors are not supposed to be aligned with particular ideologies: just argue issues on the basis of merit and move on if you don’t win the vote.
Well, we all know how well that worked, when few conservatives and no Leongatha natives were elected at the last vote.
It was all downhill from there and blatant power has taken over, to the detriment of all our citizens.
Gone is the likelihood of no rates rise this year and any chance of local democratic representation for 2.5 years!
If there’s a level of Government we could genuinely do without in this country, it’s the State.
Frank Hirst (sacked second-choice Councillor for Strzelecki Ward), Ranceby.