Embrace the joy of democracy

Saturday should be an exciting day for Tasmanian voters.

Exciting because your vote is your voice and Tasmanians enjoy a great democracy.

Of course, it looks like being a better day for Will Hodgman than Lara Giddings if recent polls remain accurate.

What those polls have told us is that there is an overwhelming feeling in Tasmania that we would be better off with majority government - upwards of 65 per cent.

Even Premier Lara Giddings is campaigning for a majority Labor government saying that the Labor-Green alliance was destroying her party.

The trouble for Ms Giddings is that every poll in the past three years shows that she cannot remotely expect to win 13 seats _ she is, in fact, looking at 6-7 at best.

The Liberals, on roughly 50 per cent of the vote, are the only party that can promise anything like majority government.

Labor will long rue that infamous bike ride in 2010 between David Bartlett and Nick McKim.

Embracing the Greens into a shared government has given the Greens credibility while poisoning Labor's brand and vote.

The Greens lost nothing and Labor lost everything in the deal.

There is now an outside chance that the Greens might become the official Opposition with Labor reduced to a minor party.

Any Labor/Greens alliance in the future would gall Tasmanians, especially core Labor voters.

Palmer United Party will poll strongest in Braddon but it must stay ahead of the Greens in the cut-up of preferences to have any chance.

Unfortunately the ongoing rants from senator elect Jacqui Lambie continue to damage the party.

The Liberals enjoy a buoyant poll position but it is difficult to gauge whether this is approval of Liberal policies or just disapproval in Labor for doing a deal with the Greens.

The Liberals certainly have a superior policy position with Bass Strait in terms of increasing numbers on the Spirit ferries and revitalising overseas shipping links.

Its policy on extending high schools to year 12 is simplistic but appears to have community support.

Unsurprisingly neither party has the guts to tackle school closures and council rationalisation.

A major factor working against Ms Giddings is that Labor has been in power for 16 years and voters appear to want a change of direction.

Normally after 16 years a government can proudly stand on its record.

Not this government.

Four years ago Labor promised to create 15,000 jobs in four years. It then partnered with the Greens and delivered nearly 7000 job losses.

On that assessment alone, and rated most important by voters, Labor has failed dismally.

In 2010 Labor promised to never do a deal with the Greens. Ms Giddings was part of a leadership team that reneged on that deal and effectively lied to voters.

Ironically it has also become a deal that is destroying Labor from within.

Will Hodgman and the Liberal team need to win an least three additional seats with polling showing that Bass, Braddon and Lyons look most likely.

To achieve that result swinging voters and some traditional Labor voters will need a change of heart.

It will ultimately come down to how much Tasmanians really want majority government because Labor doesn't deserve to be re-elected and only one party can realistically deliver a majority outcome.


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