Bleats

The Winners And Losers Of The NSW Election, And Why The Whole Country's Paying Attention

Spoiler: nobody really won this one.

The New South Wales 2019 state election saw Gladys Berejiklian’s Liberal government holding on to power, which might have surprised anyone who mainly hangs out with people under 40 in inner Sydney.

The youth vote against the Libs was thought to be strong, given the controversial pushes against music festivals and late-night culture over the last few months and years. But NSW is bigger than just Sydney, and frustration with all the major parties saw regional and rural voters chip away at a couple of their seats.

And Gladys’ government is still potentially a minority one, with one seat short of a majority – meaning she’ll need to negotiate with the cross-benchers to get anything done in the next three years.

With less than two months to go until the Federal election, everyone’s trying to work out how this affects Scott Morrison.

Nobody came out of this election looking good, though, and NSW is worse off for it.

Winners: The Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party

After months of scandal and millions of dead fish, this election did to the National Party what the National Party did to the Murray-Darling.

The SFF picked up two seats, Barwon and Murray, previously held by the Nats, with eye-watering swings of 33.5% and 21.8% respectively, as of Sunday morning. Which roughly translates to “So long, and thanks for killing all the fish.”

We can only hope that the Farmers part of their party name is where these new representatives will focus, to give rural and regional NSW a real voice.

Losers: The Labor party

With three months to turn things around after losing their leader to a groping scandal, NSW Labor still had a shot at this one given the negative sentiment against the Libs over everything from the lockouts and live music laws to that cheeky stadium demolition.

But new leader Michael Daley (recognise his name, even?) flushed a close race right down the loo with the revelation of extremely icky comments from a few years ago about “Asians with PhDs” takin’ all the jerbs, just a week out from the polls.

Winners: Women, apparently

Gladys is the first woman to be elected premier of NSW (not the first female premier, thanks very much, Libs). She’s the second woman in the country to lead her party to a state election win.

An unmarried woman politician who doesn’t have to do performative feminine housewifey things in order to make people feel more comfortable with her being in power? That’s some minor progress. But women winning power isn’t automatically “feminist” – they actually have to do good things for the women they represent too.

Losers: NSW

Whatever you think of the broader result, we now have Mark Latham set to sit in the NSW upper house til 2027.

That’s an eight-year term. That’s four Olympics from now. That’s either seven or three years past the end of Donald Trump’s term in the White House. That’s your twelve-year-old cousin’s entire adolescence. That’s the year Children Of Men is set.

It’s bad enough to have One Nation picking up votes at all, but nearly a decade of this party-hopping melted Beaker Funko Pop figurine, a man who ran on DNA testing Indigenous people, emboldened by the platform, megaphone and electoral legitimacy of a state senate position?

Festivals Are Now Crowdfunding To Sue The NSW Government For Its Unfair New Live Music Rules

"The threat of losing your favourite festivals is now extremely real."

Over the weekend, electronic music festival Days Like This was held in Sydney.

It went off without a hitch: no major safety incidents, and also no reports of any significant negative interactions between the police and festivalgoers. (There was an estimated ratio of one cop per 60 punters.)

But now the festival has joined with Lost Paradise festival, promoter Finely Tuned, and agencies Novel and Division Agency to crowdfund for legal action against the NSW government for the damage done to their business by the draconian new licensing laws.

“Being categorised as a ‘High Risk’ festival despite having much better safety, experience and event planning record than many other high-profile festivals which were not listed has had a catastrophic effect on both our reputation and ticket sales for this year’s event,” said Days Like This’ Jason Ayoubi.

“Not only were ticket sales down by almost 50%, the resources that needed to be implemented were excessive for an event that has never experienced a major incident during its three years of operation.”

Festivals deemed High Risk have been required to increase the number of police at their festivals, and thus the amount they pay to the NSW government for the “user pays” police presence. In Victoria and Queensland, the number of cops per festival attendee is usually closer to 1 per 1000.

“As a direct result of these factors, the future of the festival is now in jeopardy. The number of patrons in attendance did not warrant the heavy police presence, which our patrons found intimidating.”

The new rules were brought in hastily, with festival representatives who met with the government being told they would have just 24 hours to read over the regulations before they came into effect at the beginning of March.

The campaign has raised over $13,000 of its $40,000 goal in less than a day.

The NSW Liberals Are Claiming A Totally Fake Milestone For Gladys In A New Election Ad

"Her?"

With two weeks to go before the New South Wales election, things are not looking promising for Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Polls released over the weekend are pointing to a potential change of government, with the Labor opposition leading the Libs by a slim but definite 51-49.

So it looks like Team Gladys are throwing everything in for the final fortnight of campaigning – including just making s**t up.

A “personal touch” video released on March 10 on the NSW Liberals’ Facebook page shows the Premier looking relaxed in a totally non-rehearsed way and talking about her favourite reality TV shows – and it also features a caption singing her praises.

Including the tidbit that she’s “[t]he first female Premier of NSW – chosen on merit.”

The comments, of course, are full of people pointing out that not only was NSW’s first female premier Kristina Keneally (2009-2011), but that Gladys actually rose to the position unchallenged when Mike Baird resigned – whereas Keneally won a party room vote against two men after a leadership spill.

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There’s a lot of chat about whether quotas for women in political roles are appropriate or helpful. People who are against the idea of having a minimum number of women mandated in certain positions or on ballots argue that it might mean women who aren’t that great will get jobs over more qualified men.

Of course, this means that those people think there are generally more qualified men than there are women – but that’s another whole can of worms.

It’s not great to see the state branch of a party notorious for its issues with women on the federal level implying in official advertising material that only some women in power are there because of merit, and that the others must be, y’know… less merit-y.

Keneally’s party definitely had its issues at the time too, let’s not get it twisted. But trying to play the empowerment card here is pretty hilariously transparent.

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