Liberal Arrogance Will Lose March Election
When will the Liberal Party, at both a local and a federal level, wise up and realise that it is their own arrogant refusal to listen to local voters across WA that will lose them the March election, not anything Labor or Mark McGowan are likely to throw at them? In my opinion the realisation can't come soon enough, but the evidence we're seeing in news cycle after news cycle makes it glaringly obvious that they won't be changing tack any time soon.
Remember back in August, when Malcolm flew into town to reassure the party faithful at their State Conference? Remember the applause as he committed the Commonwealth
to establishing a floor in the GST distribution to avoid any repeat of what he called the "unprecedented" collapse in WA's share of the GST distribution? Well, it's not going to be unprecedented for long. According to WA government's own Treasury modeling released this week, any hope of a rebound before 2020 - that's FOUR years, and one whole Federal Parliament away - are entirely without foundation. Next year we'll be lucky to scrape 40c in the dollar, and the year after that we might break the half way mark if we're lucky. In spite of all the hype, and all the promises, we won't break through the 70c ceiling suggested by senior Liberals back in August until at least 2020, and maybe not even then.
The GST is broken, and the Federal Government has it within its power to fix it, but prefers to sit on its hands, spouting platitudes it hopes will calm discontent enough to allow it to wobble along. And don't fall for the argument that Turnbull's hands are tied by the requirement to obtain agreement from all the States before a change can be made. That would be true is he wanted to change the way in which the cash was raised, but the Treasurer has it within his power to alter the distribution with the stroke of a pen. The Turnbull government's unwillingness to countenance any such change is proof positive that they are content to abandon WA in favour of a continued focus on the eastern states.
Then there's Colin Barnett here in WA. You'd think, with all of this weighing on his mind, the Premier would be looking to ally with fellow travelers. Instead, earlier this week he made an astonishing statement. He told reporters that since he expected the Liberal Party to come in either first or second place in every electorate, the Liberal Party would not entertain any preference transfers in March. Rather than work with like-minded folk whose opinions might differ on one or two policies, the Premier is prepared to walk off into the wilderness alone.
And make no mistake about it, that's exactly what looks likely to happen. If Mr Barnett is so confident, or so deluded as to think that he can win a majority in his own right without listening to voices from across the State and tailoring his policies accordingly, then he and his party are staring defeat in the face.
But before you celebrate his fall, think on this - McGowan and WA Labor have no viable economic alternatives to offer. They are soundbite politicians, offering thought bubble policies. They won't be able to squeeze anything more out of Turnbull than Barnett has done - indeed, they'll probably end up achieving even less. The only viable option, the only way to get both of the major parties to see sense is, to use an increasingly popular phrase, to "drain the swamp." Send their candidates a strong message by backing independent candidates who truly represent your views and those of your local community, people who aren't tarnished by failed policies, and out of touch with the reality that faces West Australians on a daily basis. Let the arrogance of BOTH major parties speak volumes this March, and return genuine representatives in their place.
Both major parties are failing the people, and we know it!