Power to people? Or politicians?

Isabel Bird.
Isabel Bird.

THIS election has been about power and not about people.

If the polls are accepted as an accurate reflection of the people's voting intentions, by the time this goes to print, Will Hodgman could be Tasmania's Premier, leading the first Liberal government in 16 years.

For Will, his power battle began on the night of the last election in 2010 when he announced to tally room attendees in a jump-the-gun victory speech that he expected to take government.

He was not only left a little red faced, after Labor resumed government, but also flushed with a determination to sit and wait until his moment to strike came again.

His motivation was taped to his office walls - a cartoon by Bill Leak.

It showed an image of Will on the winning podium with Bartlett and McKim on the lower tiers, beside another image of Will still on the winning podium but this time looking gobsmacked, with the beaming Bartlett beside him.

A statement underneath the images read: `The Hare Brained Electoral System at Work.'

Jump four years ahead from that moment until today, and the state is breathing a collective sigh of relief.

The onslaught of the election campaign is over; the power struggle has ended, during a time when politicians demand that we listen.

They infiltrated our letterboxes, swamped free-to-air television, clogged our social media feeds, built straw-bale police officers on the side of our highways, plastered their faces on massive billboards and even organised robots to phone us in our homes.

The pitch for power reaches feverish heights when political careers and self- determination are on the line.

Sweeten the people with policies they want to hear, slag off the competition, make decisions with the people's concerns, desires and voices in mind and maybe their thoughts and votes will turn to you.

The Liberals, after recovering from their loss in 2010, have been thinking about how to overthrow the Labor government and get into the people's heads since that time.

Traditional Labor voters were disillusioned with their favoured party who had "sold out" to the Greens, anxious for change, and feeling overwhelmed by a struggling economy.

The strategy began.

The party slogan, the mantra that is a summation of their entire campaign, was out there - "this Labor-Green experiment", "the Labor-Green Accord", "a vote for Labor is the a vote for the Greens", that troublesome "red" and "green tape".

Reporters must go to both sides for comment, and four out of five times that you went to the Libs, amongst the unanswered responses or the politicised answers were the new favourite slogans.

And then, as time went on, you start to see it take effect.

You head out to various reporting jobs, or listen to the callers on talk-back radio, or have a political conversation with friends at a dinner table, and the populace begins to use the same political slogans in their conversations.

"This red tape is killing us." "Minority government is a problem." "We need a majority Liberal government."

So the tactic worked, and a win is a win, but for whom?


Discuss "Power to people? Or politicians? "

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.