Labor needs honesty on leadership

THE Labor Party would be foolish to try smoke and mirror tricks with a new leader.

If they think that rigging the election outcome by recycling defeated MPs is going to enthuse supporters who abandoned them at the ballot box, they should think again.

Franklin MHA David O'Byrne and Bass MHA Brian Wightman have either lost or will lose their seats.

Recycling them by forcing Lara Giddings or Michelle O'Byrne to retire is simply playing voters for fools.

It is why the Hare-Clark rule of filling a vacancy by a recount should be changed. There should always be a by-election. A recount merely manipulates the outcome.

Labor needs to realise that Tasmanians voted for change - not just a change of government but generational change: cleaning out some of the dead wood.

With one and possibly two or three terms before the party will be competitive again, Labor should take its time with leadership grooming.

Lyons Labor MHA Bec White would make an excellent leader, and so would Scott Bacon in Denison, who make lack the charisma of his father but is well qualified as an economist, polled extremely well in Denison and has grown in stature in recent years.

The party could do a lot worse than put those two forward as a leadership team. The others are yesterday's news, and clearly not favoured by voters.

Scott Bacon polled well in excess of a quota required to win a seat. Bec White polled almost 80 per cent of a quota in Lyons. The party machine's great hopes, Brian Wightman and David O'Byrne, polled only half a quota each and won't be in Parliament, while Bryan Green polled just over half a quota in Braddon. That is hardly a ringing endorsement of a veteran by North- West voters.

Braddon Liberals Adam Brooks and Jeremy Rockliff polled 31,107 votes between them, or more than double the Labor Party group total, and neither MP is the Liberal leader.

If the Labor Party says it is listening to the electorate, then it should start with the result and note those whom voters have already selected for the leadership.


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