Kevin Hillier is heartily sick of steak knife politics

Kevin Hillier

By Kevin Hillier

The forthcoming state election is the gift that keeps on giving – or, at least, promises to give. The Sale of the Century gift shop never saw as much action, with the latest round of “But wait, there’s more” handouts involving schools, level crossing removals, kindergartens, jobs, public transport, dog parks, hospitals, a partridge and a pear tree. Well, almost.

This badly disguised plan to buy votes while erasing the sins of the past is very transparent, but usually effective. Both the major parties are guilty here. It also has the potential to bury independent candidates who do not have political machines to fall back on.

It is infuriating to see the frenzy of activity and the increased visibility of candidates leading up to polling day. The system does not make it easier, with formal nominations not opening until October 31 and the actual field of candidates being unknown until then. That date is probably fitting in a way, as that is Halloween and some of the candidates are pretty scary. And that is just the ones we know of. If any come knocking on my door, they will not be greeted with a bag full of lollies, trust me.

As voters, we must decide who we want to represent us, to do the best job in our backyard. But that has become more confusing. The meat and three veg elections I grew up on are gone, with a veritable smorgasbord of candidates now on offer with increasingly diverse reasons to stand. There are a couple of dozen registered parties for the state election and any number of independents will be running.

There are many questions to answer before the big day. Is there a major difference between the major parties that will directly affect us? Will anything change if the Opposition is elected? Can an independent candidate make things happen or do you need party muscle to effect change? Is our area a rusted on Labor safe haven, so it doesn’t really matter who I vote for?

There are numerous different answers to all those questions. I only hope whoever is elected is visible and contactable, if and when the you-know-what hits the fan – and that they serve the people and not themselves.