I wonder how many people really examined the figures quoted by Mark Rodda (NDL, February 19).
They, like so many figures, can be used to change the answer by simply “setting out’” a variation of the numbers and the wording, to make a different statement.
Yes, our member for the New England House of Representatives holds a conservative seat. This has been continually borne out by the electoral results at the various elections since the Commonwealth came into being. Yes, there was a Labor member, Francis Foster, 1906-1913. However, he was considered a conservative, also he was not a member of the ALP Laborites.
During the first few years of the federal government the names of the parties had virtually no effect on the beliefs of those members.
We have had 25 conservative members of the Country Party, National, and Nationalists parties, as members of our electoral division. We have had only one Commonwealth Liberal member, one Free Trade member and one Protectionist. These last two members were our first two members for New England. One of which was my great-grandfather.
It was a most unfortunate change that the Country Party made when they changed to be The Nationals, as they had held the seat of New England for 15 years of parliament, during which time they were really a country-oriented party.
For the 15 years of the Country Party we had very good representation, which I also supported. However with the change to the Nationals I could no longer support that party with their policy changes.
I believe that the point being made by Mark was that our independent member cannot be considered as being a conservative member. Tony Windsor has always been a hard worker and ready to assist any resident in the electorate when they had a sound request. It appears that way purely because he supported Labor instead of Tony Abbott and the Coalition Party of the city-centric Liberals and the city-controlled Nationals in the formation of a government.
I for one believe that our independent member did the right thing in supporting the Labor government. He was not to know that they were so weak in their management organisation and changing policies.
A government will always be made stronger by a sound Opposition, whereas a negative Opposition will always weaken any government. This has been proven time and time again over many years, and in many countries around the globe.