Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Pittwater: The Washup

Not surprisingly, the fingers are being pointed following the Liberal Party's defeat in the Pittwater by-election. Talkback on Virginia Trioli's ABC 702 programme has been most enlightening, with Pittwater voters - most admitting they are rusted on Liberal voters - naming as their reasons for voting Alex McTaggart the parachute machine-man candidate Paul Nicolaou, the expensive bombardment of election material, and dishonest advertising - particularly the controversial poster displaying an old photo of former member John Brogden and Nicolaou, despite Brogden deciding against formally endorsing Nicolaou.

The Sun-Herald's Alex Mitchell penned a very catty analysis of the election, taking Brogden to task for this decision, and for clearly being `bitter'. Well, hold the phone Russell. Firstly, the bloke has retired from public life and, let's not forget, is still receiving treatment for suicidal depression. And secondly - bitter? Who could blame the poor bastard! Shafted from the leadership by your own party? Mitchell suggested that Brogden was being prissy because his preferred candidate missed out on preselection. I'd suggest that he's sick of the lot of them and didn't want a thing to do with the by-election. Why should he? He was probably as racked off as all the rest of Pittwater's voters by the whole circus.

Meanwhile, the fact that Lucy Brogden, wife of John, assisted in yesterday's election has prompted rumours that she will be chosen as the party's candidate for the next election. This seems like a very odd analysis. There could be few more staunch Libs than Mrs Brogden, yet having just observed her husband's career destroyed, why would she power on into the inferno? I could be wrong, but it sounds like a great way to wreck a marriage.

Naturally, Peter Debnam needs all of this like a hole in the head. Losing Pittwater means the Liberal Party must extend its uniform swing from a huge 10.2% to an even more ominous 12% to win government in the next election. Though, as the ABC's election correspondent Antony Green said, he's never seen an Opposition win government on a 12% swing, but then he's never seen a 26% swing against an Opposition party in a by-election, either. There's more of his always excellent analysis in today's Sydney Morning Herald.

Debnam managed to keep his cool reasonably well until this morning when he started to lose it on AM. It wasn't pretty, but who'd want to be in his shoes now ...


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