Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

The Windsor knot

By Everald Compton - posted Monday, 14 March 2016


Tony Windsor has made a decision that will change the political culture of Australia and instigate a long era of minority governments.

He will challenge Barnaby Joyce for the Seat of New England in the 2016 Federal Election and he has a better than even chance of winning, as do lots of independents across the nation.

It is a contest that should have occurred in 2013 except for a disabling illness that hit Windsor at that time, but is now under control due to the right medication being found. At the same time, his daughter was diagnosed with cancer and he made the correct decision to spend quality time with her. The good news is that she has won the battle.

Advertisement

I have known Tony Windsor personally for many years and we chat regularly by phone, so his decision does not surprise me. He started thinking about a comeback when the chaotic reign of Tony Abbott disturbed him so much that he felt he would serve Australia well if he had a role in getting rid of him.

I remember vividly a conversation we had when Windsor decided to back Gillard over Abbott in 2010. He stated emphatically that he rejected Abbott as a flawed leader more so than he embraced Gillard. He believed him to be unstable, an assessment that has since been proved correct.

When Turnbull took over, he reserved his judgement as he reckoned Malcolm deserved a fair go at proving himself to be the right choice as PM. But, it was soon obvious that Abbott was not going to give Turnbull any chance to prove himself. This, together with Windsor's growing concerns about mining near the best agricultural lands in Australia, undisciplined fracking for gas, water contamination, the growing delays with NBN and his strong support for Gonski Education reforms, tipped the scales.

And so it is on. Tony versus Barnaby. David versus Goliath. The last of the great Gladiators. Who will win?

May I say first of all that I regard Barnaby as a friend too. I helped him win his National Party Senate seat in Queensland from the Liberals and am pleased I did. He is one of the best retail politicians I have ever seen. He loves being out on the campaign trail fighting the good fight. He is far less happy behind a desk. It is just not his scene. He has also never been too enamoured with the discipline of party politics either. So, he will put up a very colourful fight and can never be written off. Windsor will know he has been in the battle of his life.

Nevertheless, Barnaby has some major difficulties to overcome.

Advertisement

There is a rapidly growing legion of angry voters out there and they are spread right across Australia. They are utterly disenchanted with politics and the political establishment and want to 'shaft them mightily' in Donald Trump style.

Barnaby will cop their backlash. As Deputy PM, he clearly represents the establishment. Windsor does not.

Additionally, Tony has a vast network of dedicated volunteers right across the electorate. They have been faithful to him for decades and will turn out again to run a highly personal grassroots campaign. Even with the passing of the years, they will provide him with a minimum of one third of the vote.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

This article was first published on EveraldCompton.com.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

20 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Everald Compton is Chairman of The Longevity Forum, a not for profit entity which is implementing The Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. He was a Founding Director of National Seniors Australia and served as its Chairman for 25 years. Subsequently , he was Chairman for three years of the Federal Government's Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Everald Compton

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Everald Compton
Article Tools
Comment 20 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy