The forthcoming federal election presents the Richmond electorate as an interesting conundrum. I do not believe the current leaders of the major parties are well accepted on their own merits and therefore will equally polarise the vote with no winner. Morrison is not trusted, and Albanese is simply not up to it. Therefore, the quandary.
Voters could vote on party lines similar to the 2019 election where Justine Elliot (Labor) was elected with the benefit of 86 per cent Green second preferences.
If that was to be repeated in 2022, we would end up with an MP who has mostly been a backbencher (last 12 years) and, in close to 20 years, has made little difference to our standard of living despite being in government for some of that time. Further, when she was needed to pressure her own party to open the Queensland border during covid, she went MIA.
Clearly, she has little sway in her party currently, and that is likely to remain. This does not help Richmond.
If we want progress, realistically speaking, we are left with two viable MP possibilities in this electorate: The representatives from The Greens or The Nationals. Both are women who help this electorate actively, unlike the incumbent MP who is a ghost around Ballina.
The Greens will support Labor through preferencing and the Nationals will poll strongly if history is a guide. Greens will not be in government under any circumstances but will continue to be disruptors regarding legislation while the Nationals have a chance of governing as a coalition.
Nothing happens in any electorate progressively and/or specifically unless the local MP is part of government and has sway. So, who to vote for is a conundrum if we want practical improvements in this electorate?
At present, amongst many other things, we need major road infrastructure, improved hospital, ambulance and police services to cater for our burgeoning community of Ballina and environs. Which one of the candidates is most likely to achieve this is hard to foresee.
But what I do know is that repeating the same thing, time and time again, and expecting different results, will not prove to be productive or progressive in Richmond. We need effective change to occur in our region rather than purely and solely an expression of viewpoint based on party lines.