2 September, 2013
I recently discussed the election with my 19 year old hair dresser after I remarked that she would be voting for the first time. She only enrolled when sent a notice saying she was going to be fined. Her colleague called out, “It’s only $20”, to which she swore and wished she hadn’t bothered.
So how would she vote?
“What’s the choice? I’ll just ask my parents who they vote for and just do that.”
I explained that our current representative for Tangney was Dennis Jensen, who didn’t think climate change was real and refused to participate in the apology to the Stolen Generation. She hadn’t heard about the Stolen Generation.
The future of Tangney looks like the past.
With less than a week to go until the federal election the voters in the electorate of Tangney remain blissfully unaware that something may be happening next weekend.
Unless you are a political junkie like me there is no message being peddled in this electorate. I have received no flyers from any party. I have not been door-knocked or hassled by phone. To the average punter on the street the election is happening elsewhere.
The sitting Liberal MP in this safe Perth seat has a few corflutes on strategic street corners, but he has been strangely quiet and Iess controversial on Twitter than usual – he is not engaging in debate with detractors.
On his Facebook page he has had a couple of questions directed to him, one with regard to compensation to home schooled children, but there has been no visible interaction with the questioners .
He has held some ‘listening posts’. He claimed to have had ‘huge turnouts’ at Wireless Hill and Riverton meetings, and released pictures of half a dozen people at each. He has also held ‘Tangney trekwalks’through the electorate.
According to his Twitter posts he has waited outside the Ardross, Attadale and Melville primary schools – all very blue ribbon suburbs within the electorate – to chat with parents.
I attended his campaign launch at the South Perth Yacht Club, a sombre breakfast attended by business suits and Liberal members. Having never been to any political launch before I expected a bit of razzmatazz and some inspiring speeches but I was disappointed. A pamphlet on the table invited me to join the Tangney 50 Club where I would get a monthly phone calls from Dennis and some commemorative cuff links. I had use for neither.
The only other active campaigner in Tangney is the Palmer United Party candidate Wayne Driver, and only active for me as I follow him on Facebook. I am not sure if he is promoting himself elsewhere but I haven’t noticed and certainly voters I have spoken to have never heard of him. His Facebook posts have mainly consisted of negative Green and Labor memes.
However he has been very active on Facebook, posting regularly and not scared to engage with people commenting on his posts. His HTV card puts Jensen second, Labor last and The Greens second last, a big hint on where his politics lies and contrary to his previous claim to that he would encourage voters to preference who they liked.
And that’s it for campaigning in Tangney, folks.
Margo: I’ve loved your coverage of Tangney, Guinevere, and laughed out loud at times – you have a deft touch in droll. From what I hear you’ve also brought a touch of democratic engagement to quite a few voters in the ultra-safe seat where you live. Thank you and thanks to the candidates, all of whom agreed to speak to our citizen journalist.