Winds of change

Saturday is election day and the polls appear to point to a change of government in SA. It is predicted that the Tasmanian election on the same day will also remove a sitting Labor Government and install a conservative administration.
If that happens, all State governments will be Liberal and Prime Minister Tony Abbott will have like minded thinkers across the country. So will this be good?
A national symmetry may have some benefit to the nation in that State Premiers are unlikely to rock the boat or delay decisions to score political points – as has happened previously on both sides of the political divide.
It was not so many years ago that Labor had a grip on all State and Federal governments so it is interesting to observe such a strong change across the nation.
But the polls suggest the Mike Rann/Jay Weatherill Labor era is about to end.
That shouldn’t surprise as it is unusual for a third term government to be re-elected.
Unless there is a Joh Bjelke-Petersen gerrymander or the leader is a superior political operator, such as Tom Playford or John Howard, most governments wither on the vine after two terms.
Such a trend is perplexing but the theory of community over-familiarisation with leaders may hold a lot of weight as does a born-to-rule mentality that can come with constant re-election.
That is why the Labor experiment to hand over the reins from Mr Rann to Mr Weatherill in 2011 was a sound tactical decision.
Yet despite the worthwhile intention it has gone all wrong.
The most recent fiasco was when Labor Minister Michael O’Brien attempted to ease Federal powerbroker Don Farrell into his safe seat in a direct threat to Mr Weatherill’s leadership. The infighting boiled over into the public gaze.
Mr O’Brien’s offer for a mate to step into his seat was that of a man too long in power.
The community he was meant to serve was not his master. He could not think beyond the internal factional workings and everything else came second.
The same can be said for former Minister Pat Conlon taking a part-time job with a law firm 12 months ago. A complete lack of respect for his leader, his Party and the community. So perhaps it is not surprising the people are looking for a change.
It would just be nice to see the local politicians in safe seats – Mark Goldsworthy and Isobel Redmond – taking a higher profile. They have huge support yet are rarely seen centre stage.
Mrs Redmond has dropped off the radar since she resigned as Liberal leader a little over 12 months ago and Mr Goldsworthy must make better use of his huge majority and lead from the front.

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