On the upcoming election

Kim Lockwood writes: Re. “Turnbull kicks off campaign fighting fires” (yesterday). When Abbott was rolled I had high hopes for the country. They’ve been dashed. We still have the same stomach-churning soap opera of self-interest.

On preference deals

Stuart Johnson writes: Re. “Strange bedfellows: what a Liberal-Greens preference deal says about both” (yesterday). For the most part this is a reasonable article on the fact that, as has been the case for a number of federal and state elections in Victoria, the Liberals have a hard choice of who to recommend last in their preferences — their main rival for power, or the party furthest from them in most policy areas.

The headline however is quite misleading, and only plays along with the recent Labor scaremongering over a non-existent deal, as well as promoting the misconception that all decisions on preferencing are the result of deals. If you decide to hand out a how to vote with a formal vote shown, then you need to indicate a preference for every candidate regardless of whether or not there is a deal. In 2010 in Melbourne the Liberals put Greens above Labor, in 2013 the other way around. In neither case was there a deal, they just had to decide one way or another.

Vincent O’donnell writes: Two thoughts:
1. Victoria has been the home of progressive politics since protectionism was progressive (circa 1895). First home to Menzian Liberals, then new Labor, now the Greens.
2. Michael Kroger is one of very few Liberals who can imagine the future through different lenses, and thinks about strategic ends, not temporal hostilities.

Peter Fray

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