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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 01 December 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 1 DECEMBER 2018 3 NEWS Reform our electoral system… now! GEORGE KAPNIAS* The State Election last Saturday reaffirmed how fortunate we are to live in this magnificent State and country. We can express our opinions, as I did prior to the election, in a forthright manner and even go as far as accusing State Labor leadership of having (amongst other things) no idea when it comes to Taxi and Hire Car reform. Sure, I might have fallen off Ms Mikakos' Christmas card list but we are able to articulate an opposing point of view without fear of having to look over our shoulder the next morning. I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to death your right to say it. The Westminster system of democracy ensures that when the election is over, the Premier is not the only one who gets back to his knitting the following Monday. No Molotov Cocktails, no tear gas or water cannons. *** It has been reported that An- drews got in in a 'Bracks-slide'. That was in 2002. Labor put forward a plan with lots of little trinkets on the State tab. And whilst they 'murdered' taxi and hire car li- People vote at Moonee Ponds West Primary School in Melbourne, Saturday, November 24, 2018. Nearly three million Victorians will cast their vote to decide who governs the state for the next four years. AAP IMAGE/JULIAN SMITH) NO ARCHIVING cence holders like myself, the Victiorian public were (legitimately) more concerned by Skyrail, rail extensions, level crossing removals and exciting proposals like the orbital rail loop. I don't blame them. Sadly, the Liberals (or 'troglodytes', as they were colourfully referred to by Doug Cameron on 'Q&A' last Monday), spent a lot of energy whipping up fear and hysteria. They also relied on that tired, cheap tactic – Abbotisms… Three Word Slogans. End Traffic Chaos! Tough on Crime! Get back in Control! Seriously? Would you engage them as a PR consultancy to talk up the State of Victoria? I thought not. In the real world, beyond the 'lunch box' of AM shock jocks, Victorians realise life is a little bit more involved, more nuanced than low road sensationalist bullshit. As I reported last week, after Labor had slammed the door shut on our Industry, I met with Mathew Guy in 2016 and gave him (the skeleton) of a Hire Car/Taxi/Rideshare policy that, he agreed, could be a world class solution. I also offered my time to help his shadow Transport Minister put some meat on the bone. The Liberals could develop a considered, balanced and costed policy that they could prosecute all the way to the election. My rationale? At least this might put some pressure on Labor to address the issue of compensation reasonably. Call me old fashioned (oh that's right, my kids already do) but I (wrongly) thought that's what opposition is all about – developing a suite of alternative policies in every portfolio and then convincing the public to vote in your favour, rather than gaining access to the Government benches by default. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and doing the detailed work, Guy chose to spring Jeff Kennett on the industry as his proposed 'Taxi Tsar' at the eleventh hour and if successful, would work out Liberal Party Policy after(!) the election. I have heard that one before. The public drew the conclusion that, not only had the Liberals stopped talking 'Victorian', but that they had skimped it on more than just this policy. *** All these years later can an- yone tell me what Bracksy's most lasting legacy was? Give up? Fixed four year terms. This has stopped politicians gaming the system – the sort of thing that the public is sick of. It also gives a reformist government time to get stuck in and deliver its program – as there is no denying Labor has, over the past four years. One of those 'reforms' was giving it to cabbies and hire A big victory for Kat Theophanous Labor’s newest Victorian Greek MP reclaimed the seat of Northcote lost to Greens at the 2017 by-election ZOE THOMAIDOU One of the most significant victories for the Labor party in the Victorian state elections was secured by Kat Theophanous in reclaiming Northcote from the Greens. By Sunday night, the 31-yearold held 52.82 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote beating Lidia Thorpe. "I feel incredibly moved that the Northcote electorate has shown me so much support and given me the wonderful honour of representing them in the Parliament. "It was always going to be a close contest in Northcote and we never once took it for granted," Ms Theophanous told Neos Kosmos. The daughter of former Labor minister Theo Theophanous, entered the battle for the inner northern suburbs seat a few months ago, knowing that it wouldn't be an easy one. "There is no easy time to run for public office. I chose a particularly hard time, with a baby at home and another one on the way. "But I put my hand up be- cause there is too much at stake," Ms Theophanous posted on her official Facebook page the night before the elections. While historically a Labor stronghold since 1927, the Northcote seat was won by Greens MP Lidia Thorpe during last year's by-election where she was elected with a swing of 11.6 per cent after preferences. It was previously held by former Minister for Women and Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson, whose death in August 2017 triggered the by-election. Ms Thorpe made history taking control of the seat, being the first Indigenous woman elected in the Victorian Parliament, but did not succeed in the bid to secure a four-year tenure in office. Talking to ABC, the Greens candidate called for a muchneeded review into the party's campaign which she said resulted in "losing quite a considerable amount of Greens members". Most recently, Ms Theophanous was among Fiona Rich- ardson's staffers working on the state's family violence reform strategy, an experience she credits for shaping her political values and aspirations. Theophanous' win also adds to the swing in favour of Labor in many of the inner city suburbs leading to an impressive electoral performance for the party. "Just like communities across the state, this community has made a clear choice for a progressive, effective, majority Labor Government," Ms Theophanous commented on the election result. "I'm looking forward to contributing to the next term of a Labor Government and representing this community which I have called home all my life." As far as other Greek Labor candidates are concerned, both state ministers Jenny Mikakos and Philip Dalidakis managed to get re-elected in Northern and Southern Metropolitan Regions respectively, as well as Steve Dimopoulos in Oakleigh and Nick Staikos in Bentleigh. Bentleigh, in particular, was considered to be an ultra- marginal seat, but Staikos not only managed to defend it, but also marked a swing of 12.6 per cent swing in favour of Labor, winning with 62.6 per cent. In Oakleigh, Dimopoulos also boasts for a swing of 8 per cent, beating his main opponent, Andrew Edmonds (himself of Greek background) by 66.2 per cent to 33.8 per cent. Following his reelection, Mr Dimopoulos was also elevated to Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, in the reshuffled Andrews government cabinet. Meanwhile, the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA) described the Victorian election result overall as a "victory for decency", congratulating the Andrews government for its re-election. "Voters at the weekend rejected racist and alarmist claims about law and order in Victoria. "Instead, the people of Victoria, overwhelmingly, voted for a strong, stable and positive agenda which puts families at its centre," said FECCA's Chairperson Mary Patetsos. Kat Theophanous with her daughter Ariana. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ KAT THEOPHANOUS - LABOR FOR NORTHCOTE FOR THE FUTURE OF HELLENISM IN AMERICA, AUSTRALIA & EU Google: ELLINIKOTITA ELLINISMOS HELLENISM GREECE Do we want to survive as a Hellenic People? Aristotellis Alexandridis car operators right between the eyeballs. Still reeling from our blood nose, we backed the Transport Matters Party (TMP) in the Upper House. The TMP received 15,000 votes state wide, but by preference harvesting, the TMP was able to secure two (out of forty) Upper House seats! Nothing illegal, they just gamed the system. By contrast, the Greens secured in excess of 200,000 votes state wide and secured only one (1) Upper House seat. How, on any objective assessment does this reflect the will of the people? How does it hold true to that most basic democratic principle of one man, one vote? It simply doesn't – it's a farcical system that needs to be overhauled pronto. Our democracy is just too valuable and too delicate a flower to be an aggrieved man's play thing. Uncle Dan, here's your chance to go into the pantheon of great leaders. Use your numbers, and have the intestinal fortitude (as you did with assisted dying legislation) and reform this sick and outdated electoral system… now! *George Kapnias is Managing Director of Southern Cross HQLC Pty Ltd, a hire car operator service.
24 November 2018
08 December 2018