The Coalition has taken Yass for granted.
Having decided that it is not ‘strategic’ to allow both a Liberal and a National candidate to fight it out for Hume voters, it’s been decided a Liberal candidate will do the job.
The decision has left local National party members feeling completely disenfranchised.
Liberal candidate Angus Taylor has many admirable qualities. Intelligent, personable and media savvy he has already distanced himself from Alby Schultz’s temperamental ways, showing himself to have well-thought out opinions.
He is also willing to put in the time and the miles to cover this electorate and get to know his voters.
But is his mind really on Hume voters in the long term, or on his Canberra career? When Tony Abbott came to Goulburn to launch Taylor’s campaign, it sent a clear message that Taylor is set for big things.
Do we want to hand him all of that without rattling the cage a bit?
Our region would get more attention paid to it, more funding coming this way, if we showed a willingness to vote in other directions.
One person who is keen to offer voters a choice is James Harker-Mortlock.
He announced this week that he will run as an independent candidate. President of the Burrinjuck Nationals, he is independent in name only although he will not be endorsed by the National Party.
It’s unlikely that Taylor will see Harker-Mortlock – or any of the other emerging candidates for that matter - as any real competition. His ultimate goal will be to take Hume in a resounding majority, probably even hoping for a swing towards him of a few percentage points just to show how well he has locked in Hume voters.
Do we want to be ‘locked in’? Do we want to be taken for granted? Or is it time to shake things up a bit?
In effect, conservative voters in Hume have been railroaded into voting for Mr Taylor. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sit right with me.