So-called “independent” candidates in the South Australian state election, MPs Bob Such and Geoff Brock, seem set to repeat the Oakeshott and Windsor charade.
Did the voters realise that voting for an independent would just continue Labor’s twelve year rule for another four years? Brock claims he represents South Australians in the Port Pirie regional district of Frome. Such claims he represents South Australians in Adelaide’s “mortgage belt” metropolitan seat of Fisher.
Thanks mainly due to Labor’s gerrymander electoral boundary fiddling the election result has been skewed to deny first past the post winner the win.
Labor has benefited from the mal-apportionment of electoral boundaries in South Australia despite the Liberals winning more than half (53%) the statewide two-party-preferred vote. Labor’s gerrymander has delivered an uncertain hung result.
So both “independent” candidates Brock and Such hold the balance of power in South Australia and can manipulate the election result if either or both decide to forego independence.
And this is exactly what Brock (right) has today done. Brock has today publicly declared he will back Labor to form minority government, while Such has remained independent so far. Such (69) has just gone on indefinite sick leave after undergoing surgery, and so is a dud MP until/if he returns to parliament.
If Brock and Such were truly independent from the political parties they could have quickly confirmed their independence before, during and after the election. But they haven’t. They have both betrayed their constituents.
For Labor in South Australia, it is minority government business as usual.
Such for years was as a Liberal Party MP, so how independent is he really?
Voters in New South Wales will recall federal independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, whose crucial support helped the unpopular Gillard Labor continue in minority government after the 2010 election.
Both Windsor and Oakeshott presided over predominantly conservative electoral seats, so their support for Labor was widely seen as a betrayal of their constituents. They are widely regarded as king makers serving their own interests, who then departed pocketing generous pensions for life.
The story of Brock and Such seem set to be another instance of false independents who end up directly supporting the major parties Labor or Liberal anyway.
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