Pom in Oz with Derek Goforth: Do we need a restructuring of our political system to feel represented?

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
Durack MP Melissa Price at the booths in Geraldton.
Camera IconDurack MP Melissa Price at the booths in Geraldton. Credit: Geraldton Guardian/Phoebe Pin/Phoebe Pin

So my prediction was off the mark — Labor won the Federal election and won convincingly.

WA turned out to be their strongest State as far as taking seats from the Coalition.

Melissa Price kept her seat though, but hats off to Labor candidate Jeremiah Riley, who has narrowed the gap by some margin. Durack will be an interesting seat to watch in three years time.

Politics is a dirty game and this election was no different. Albo and ScoMo were both rude and argumentative when debating, signs were vandalised and rumours circulated of election day “poor sportsmanship” from all sides. But no one expected any different, but should that be the case?

Should we expect more from our pollies? Or do we just accept the shouting and haranguing in the Houses as “normal”. The constant running down of fellow candidates and opposition parties is just part and parcel of political life?

Do we need a full and comprehensive restructuring of the whole system? Do we really feel “represented” by our members?

For me it’s yes and no. Do I feel represented by our State pollies, like Lara Dalton and Sandra Carr? Yes I do, but that’s more because I know them and know what they are about. But I know speaking to others they would say very much no. Our local members’ outspoken views on hot-potato issues have left a lot of constituents turned off.

Does Ms Price represent me? For me, it’s a no. I have nothing in common, very little connection and struggle to find things that have happened specifically due to her influence.

I can only imagine this will be worse now she is opposition. For the life of me, I can’t actually see the purpose of an opposition pollie other than to shout across the floor.

There are not too many occupations that carry such a huge salary but actually hold little to no accountability. I am happy to be corrected on this however.

But ultimately I can’t see much changing under Labor and PM Albo. Sure he is a different character, more palatable perhaps — especially to women and those in “minorities”.

But are the parties so different that we should expect to see sweeping changes? I very much doubt it.

Congratulations Labor, well done Mr Riley and well done Ms Price (although that comes with a caveat that her close win should be a wake-up call). But as long as my wallet is getting emptier and emptier, I won’t be full of any more praise for any of our members.

Derek Goforth is a teacher at Geraldton Christian College

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails