Monday, September 12, 2016

Clover Moore – Historic Victory over Baird-faced Gerrymander

At a time when one-term governments and leadership coups are the norm, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, has won a record fourth term after obliterating her opponents in Saturday’s council elections.

Ms Moore, 70, won more than 60 per cent of the vote – with her closest rival polling only 15 per cent of the vote – making her one of Australia’s most popular and successful politicians.

That rival was Liberal Party candidate Christine Forster, the sister of former prime minister Tony Abbott.

Ms Moore had been expected to suffer at the polls after new rules made voting compulsory for 23,000 businesses, with most entitled to two votes, while 117,000 residents were allowed just one.

“They [the government] wanted to get me out and to get a Liberal mayor in, and that of course hasn’t happened,” Ms Moore said.

The independent increased her vote from the 2012 election where she secured 51.1 per cent of the vote.

“This is a real victory for democracy. It’s a victory for good government. It’s about the continuation of independent, progressive, community-led government for the city.”

Voting changes rejected

An electoral analyst told The New Daily that NSW’s Baird-Liberal government had pushed through the two-vote-per-business voting rules in 2014 to “put the council back in the hands of the business community”, or Liberal control.

Mike Baird ‘changed council voting laws to hand power to business community’, professor claims
The greyhound racing ban was prompted by revelations of live baiting.

University of Sydney electoral politics expert Dr Peter Chen also said the Baird government disliked Ms Moore’s environmental and progressive agenda.

“The conservatives would prefer the City of Sydney was run as a business-oriented council [like Ms Forster would have provided],” Dr Chen said.

“It is them saying ‘Sydney City Council should be run by serious-minded business people and we’ll rejig the electoral system regardless of how people vote’.”

Ms Moore is aiming to reduce Sydney’s carbon emissions by 70 per cent by 2030.

On Saturday, Cr Moore campaigned next to one of her signs from the 1988 election. Photo: Twitter
To achieve this, the city has installed bike lanes, changed its car fleet to hybrids and installed the city’s largest solar energy building system among other measures.

She has also overseen numerous significant infrastructure projects in the city and has forced the NSW government to disclose government contracts with the private sector. Ms Moore took office after the 2004 NSW council elections.

Previous to that, she was an independent member in NSW’s parliament for Bligh (from 1988 to 2007) and then for the new electorate of Sydney from 2007 to 2012.

In 1987 she had run for the position of Sydney’s Lord Mayor but her campaign was scuttled when the state Labor government sacked the council and appointed commissioners to run it.

‘A big message for Mr Baird’: Labor

Meanwhile, following Saturday’s numerous council elections around NSW, a series of swings to Labor have been blamed on Premier Mike Baird.

There were large swings towards Labor in the western Sydney council areas of Liverpool, Penrith, the Blue Mountains, Blacktown, Campbelltown and Camden.

NSW state Labor leader Luke Foley said the results showed the public’s view of Mr Baird was souring.

Some critics say the council election results are damning of Mike Baird. Photo: AAP
“Two-and-a-half million people went to the polls and they sent a big message to Mr Baird,” Mr Foley told the ABC. “What we saw in very large councils with big populations in the outer suburbs of Sydney were huge swings to Labor.”

Labor won “booths that it hasn’t won for 20 years in western Sydney”, he added.

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