by Jim O’Toole in Cairns for the election
Political chicanery and deception by the Liberal National Party handed the nation’s most colourful politician an 11 per cent surge in popularity at Saturday’s poll.
Bob Katter romped it in leaving young Liberal opponent Johnathon Pavetto choking in his dust with 62 per cent of the two party preferred vote against Pavetto’s 38 per cent, representing an 11.4 per cent swing.
A concerted campaign by the Liberals erecting signage at most Atherton Tableland booths claiming a ‘vote for Katter is a vote for Labor and Greens’ spectacularly backfired.
According to LNP sources, two of the Liberals responsible for the false signs, former Eacham Shire Mayor Ray Byrnes and Atherton LJ Hooker franchisee Kevin ‘Rambo’ Ramke will endure a “reaming out” by Johnathan Pavetto and his team members for the failed campaign.
Katter’s booth workers reported hostile comments from voters after viewing the discredited signs then checking the order of preferences on KAP how-to-vote cards.
Heading off the unlawful Liberal signage were advertisements in local newspapers the preceding week featuring the KAP card that clearly showed the party had preferenced the ALP and Greens second last and last.
The thought bubble originating this misleading message began at the 2013 federal election,when the LNP placed large roadside signs in the Atherton district. It nearly cost Katter his seat. This time shrewd voters no longer believed the LNP.
Proforma letters-to-the-editor writers such as Ray Byrnes, Helen Kanak(Dickinson) of Mareeba and Beverly Prescott of Atherton made fools of themselves with their hateful spiel demonising Bob Katter.
Not to be outdone the narrowly re-elected Member for Leichardt, Warren Entsch lambasted Bob Katter on ABC Radio Monday morning for not bringing home the bacon to the Kennedy electorate.
It seems Mr Entsch, like Mr Katter, does not read newspapers. Two page advertisements placed in regional newspapers by KAP detailed the vast amount of funds for infrastructure and roads that have poured into Kennedy over the past two terms of Parliament, a direct result of Mr Katter’s administration.
For incredulous Leichardt voters, Mr Entsch’s attempt at the pot calling the kettle black must be a slap in their face.
The only significant infrastructure building in Mr Entsch’s electorate over his past two terms has been a $220 million road construction project on Cape York Peninsula.
Mr Entsch omits to mention this funding was put in place by the previous Labor Government Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese.
Election results in the north
Political party pundits and smart university commentators are at a loss to understand the re-election of Katter and the huge resurgence of Pauline Hanson and One Nation in the senate.
Posturing all sorts of theories on radio and television the commentators jump from one lame excuse to another, because these people, just like party pollies, News Ltd and Fairfax reporters, are far removed from reality.
Letters to the editor and comments received by Cairns News and most other notable independent news services for the past several years describe readers’ anguish at being left out of the policy loop, where the embedded bureaucracy make the decisions that the parties simply endorse thus denying any say to electors.
One example is the sovereignty-destroying Trans Pacific Partnership treaty agreed to by the Liberal Government, others are the China free trade agreement, foreign ownership and unbridled immigration.
Islam, publicly embraced by Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy, gave Pauline Hanson a tremendous platform prior to the election. While Islam dominates 15 per cent of the vote in Turnbull’s electorate and 14 others across NSW and Victoria, Turnbull was unapologetic to the nation for kowtowing to Islam, Sharia law and halal.
For Hanson it was manna from heaven.
The two Liberal held seats of Capricornia and Herbert look like going to Labor, but in this case the reasons seem obscure, although both cities of Rockhampton and Townsville have high levels of unemployment thanks to the party duopoly’s destruction of manufacturing and primary industries.
Mr Katter says he has been humbled by the result.
“I thank the hundreds of great Australians who stood outside in the wind, hot sun and in some places cold handing out our How to Vote Cards passionately for Kennedy and the future of their country; and everyone who voted. And I thank my brilliant strategy team who got our key messages out there,” Mr Katter said.
“But upon this base, if the Australian people have delivered a small modicum of power, that power will be used to create a happy and a prosperous North Qld.
“The financial oppression of the elderly, the struggling abandoned young families will be addressed
“It looks like we’ll be in a very powerful position.
“We will be saying our prayers to the good Lord and we hope we can get enlightenment through to the people who have to date exercised power in Canberra.”