The state's upper house voting is a curious beast as it is preferential to nth degree and brings about some weird results, such as the hire car drivers party winning two seats, the hunters and shooters party winning a couple, but The Greens being reduced to just one upper house seat from five although they had quite a high primary vote. Such is the nature of Victoria's Legislative Council and preference dealing. Professional preference dealers really came to light at this election.
The sitting Labor Premier of our state, one Daniel Andrews, performed quite well in his term of office, and even managed to cast aside some election corruption from his person. He campaigned terribly well and while the conservative media got stuck into him, he managed to convince the electorate that borrowing $40 billion in the next 25 years to build things was a good thing. Given our state can borrow money at 2% interest rate on the international market, he is probably right. I would have nothing now if I had not gone into serious debt earlier in my life. It wasn't easy, but you do what you have to do.
My own state seat of Prahran is still undecided between Labor and The Greens, with The Greens slightly ahead. There are a lot of poor people in my seat. There are a lot of rich people in my seat. There are a lot of gays in my seat (oh, perhaps I should rephrase that one). There are a lot of alternatives in my seat. No one was more surprised than me when The Greens won the seat at the last state election, and again I am surprised that The Greens are a little ahead in vote counting even now. We voted early, but not too often. I shook the hand of Sam Hibbins, the sitting Greens candidate who was in attendance at the polling booth, and the gay Labor candidate Neil Pharaoh, who is part Irish and part Maori. I quite like Sam. He comes across and warm and sincere and in his one term of office he did get things done.
So, if sitting governments lose office and allow an opposition party to win, this was not the time.
Which brings me to the Her Majesty's Leader of the Opposition, one Matthew Guy. I will condemn him straight off by damming him with faint praise. He is not bad looking, has good grooming and can talk well enough.
For me he was tainted meat long before he became Leader of the Opposition. He was a former Minister for Planning and approved some very inappropriate large buildings.
He approved redevelopment of a huge swath of industrial land for highrise apartments in the Port Melbourne area, without putting in the appropriate infrastructure or controls. Developer mates made fortunes as land was rezoned. Fortunately the government has turned back what would have been a planning disaster.
Then the was Guy cracking lobster claws and drinking Penfolds Grange with an alleged mafia figure at The Lobster Cave (note, while we have eaten there twice, no Penfolds Grange was consumed and we had cheap meals using shopper dockets).
Is that enough to make him unelectable? There is more. He went down the law and order path during his election campaign, I think without actually mentioning black youth gang crime, but it was there, if not said. He planned to legislate that if someone broke bail conditions while awaiting trial, they would be straight back in gaol, which on the face of it sounds appealing, but how many more gaols would we need, never mind that it might not be the best course of action for some people, usually decided by a magistrate. While I might have a 'lock 'em all up' attitude, I know I am wrong and the more laws that are made to control what judges can do, the less well the system works. Judges are not unaware of public opinion about courts and sentencing.
But the clincher for me was even longer ago. Here are some snips from The Age. His behaviour in public office has been disgraceful and he should have never been near government, let alone be Leader of the Opposition. But this is not to say either that the Liberal Party doesn't have serious problems within its much diminished Federal and State ranks.
On September 8, 2011, Mr Guy stunned many in politics, planning and the law, when he used special ministerial powers to override the local Bass Coast council to rezone 24 hectares of farmland for housing at picturesque Ventnor on Phillip Island.
The intervention was against the advice of two expert planning panels, the minister’s own department and lawyers, and the unanimous position of the local council.