If you look closely, it’s as plain as the nose on your face; politicians of every persuasion are concentrating their efforts on marginalised constituents in marginal seats.
Do they really care about the people and the issues in those ‘key’ seats?
‘Key’ to what I would ask? The key to being re-elected or the ‘key’ to unlocking the potential of the resilient and remarkable constituents in those ‘marginal’ seats?
So what constitutes a marginal seat?
I can’t really put my finger on it; I believe the definition is evolving. However if we look at the Senate Seats in South Australia it is clear there are Senate seats considered as ‘safe’ Labor Seats and others as ‘safe’ Liberal Seats.
I believe it is arrogant to trust your tenure is secure based on your affiliation with a main-stream political party and that voters will vote for the party rather than the person. Votes are a precious thing, they are to be earned rather than just received.
What I have witnessed in my role as a PA to an Independent State MP for the last 4 ½ years is whilst there has been a Labor Government, ‘safe’ Liberal seats are largely left to fend for themselves.
Conversely there is evidence of this peculiarity during the time that SA had Liberal Leadership. This resulted in heartland seats being largely overlooked by their government.
I believe the way you choose to vote should not impact on the level of essential services you receive in your electorate, or the way deals are made in an attempt to secure or re-deliver seats which are not-so ‘safe’. This also applies to seats which are deemed to be unlosable.
I wish to apply this theory to the Federal arena.
I live in the Federal Seat of Grey. Grey was held by the Australian Labor Party for much of its history. From 1943 to 1993, Labor held it for all but one term.
Since 1993, redistributions (such as the latest inclusion of Yorke Peninsula and the upper east) and the decline of the Labor vote in the industrial and pastoral areas have made it, today, a fairly safe seat for the Liberal Party. Even with the perceived ‘mining boom’ in our State’s north and the industrial centres of Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla, the seat remains safely in Liberal hands.
Whilst living in a safe Federal Liberal seat, for many years, what I observed was a pattern of constituents being overlooked by the current Government, the Labor Government.
Will that change at this election?
Keen to hear your thoughts.