Politicians crave opportunity to show independence

ACCORDING to contender Richard Torbay (independent, come Nationals member for Northern Tablelands) the title holder Tony Windsor (independent, Federal Member for New England) trashed the independent brand by supporting Labor’s policies as against the Coalition’s at the last federal election.

Question. How do you tell the difference between the left and right of Australian politics?

Answer. When protesting one mob marches while the other mob rallies. A discerning difference?

Mr Torbay’s reasoning implies that had Mr Windsor’s support been with the Coalition this would have lifted the independent brand to some treasured status. Why?

At the last hung election and as a responsible independent politician it was Mr Windsor’s moral 

obligation to help form a government. This idea that he was obliged to support the Coalition, just because they are seen as “conservative” is an utter furphy.

I think many of our politicians are “closet” independents who from time to time crave the opportunity to show independent courage on some issues contrary to their party line.

In August, 2012, the electorate received a letter from Mr Torbay justifying his move from “trashed” independence to “reassured” Nationals candidature, and the support party politics offers. I saw the letter as a “feel good gesture” outlining a list of local issues to be addressed. 

Not surprisingly the same list of issues Tony Windsor has been attending to over the past two years with enormous funding from the incumbent government.

I believe that the independent brand is not trashed but still intact, and the latent desire on the part of many elected politicians to appear independent to their electorate in opinion, conduct etc is alive and kicking.

In paragraph five of his August 2012 letter Mr Torbay places in doubt his allegiance to the Nationals with the proviso that he can withdraw his support. This begs the question “Where would he go? Back to independence or on to Labor?

My opinion was reinforced last week when I received, in the mail, a copy of Kevin Anderson’s (State Nationals Member for Tamworth) December Regional Roundup, which is a well presented comprehensive document but makes no mention of the Nationals of which he is a member.

He describes himself as Kevin Anderson MP your State Representative for the Tamworth Electorate. How independent is that?


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