Results for the election of the new Penrith Council are still being counted. It is a close race between many candidates, given that voters have sensibly shunned the major parties.
The future of current deputy mayor Jackie Greenow is still in the balance as she fights a tight race with Australia First Party candidate Maurice Girotto in East Ward, though preferences could see her sit for her sixth consecutive term.
The NSW Liberal Party did not endorse candidates in the election due to factional divides but incumbent Mayor and Labor candidate Greg Davies said the Liberal-leaning candidates had spread their votes too thin by putting a number of groups in each ward.
Independent candidate Ross Fowler would not comment on the claims of there being too many Liberal candidates but said he had had a “good response” to his campaign agenda. Fowler is a member of the Liberal Party, so why was he permited to run under ‘independent status? It is just like dodgy so-called ‘independents’ Jim Aitken and Mark Davies – both are Liberal-leaning if not card-carrying Libs.
At least Marko Malkoc was actually expelled from the Liberal Party last year, so he can legitimately claim to be ‘non-Liberal’.
Some candidates pretended to be ‘independent’, while being members of one of the major political parties on the nose. Trickiness besets the LibLabs/Greens to their cultural core. So how coincidental that the orange colour came across on so many different candidates’ publicity material? ‘Whatever it takes‘ in true Richo style.
Nevertheless, many voters weren’t fooled. Or else many just gave up and voted informal – some 10 percent! Such is the voter disaffection with politics due to the legacy of LibLab electoral neglect, abuse, broken promises, and The Greens going ganGreenous toward local Australians.
Our Australian electoral system needs many democratic improvements – one certainly being that all candidates must publicly and noticeably disclose their membership of any political party on all their electoral publicity material.
At least with Maurice Girotto and his team, all were very clearly and definitely Australia First Party – true blue and white!
Penrith City Council has chosen to conduct its own elections, outside the control of the Australian Electoral Commission. Perhaps that is why there were so many complaints about voter confusion at the ballot box? Perhaps that is why it is taking so long to determine the results?