IF a week is a long time in politics, than it’s an eternity in a local election campaign.
Since Wednesday’s official cut-off for nominations for the Orange City Council election on September 9 there’s been more drama than a playground love triangle.
Retirements. Disqualifications. Appeals. Unlikely alliances. If the news on the Orange hustings continues at this rate for the next month we’re in for an entertaining journey to the polls.
Among the biggest stories to break in the past five days were the announcement by mayor John Davis that he will not contest the upcoming election, and the NSW Electoral Commission ruling that a second ballot will be held to include the previously disqualified Glenn Taylor.
Our coverage of both attracted more than their fair share of readers at www.centralwesterndaily.com.au, as well as a flood of comments on both the website and Facebook.
Anyone who saw footage of Cr Davis’s retirement announcement would realise exactly how much his decades of public service to this city have meant to him.
For the most part, our readers were content to pass on their thanks and congratulations to him. And rightly so.
For while there has not been uniform praise for Cr Davis’s decisions and policies across the breadth of his time in office, there can be no questioning the strength of his service to this city or his loyalty to its residents.
The Central Western Daily joins our commentators in thanking him and wishing him well in whatever his retirement holds.
The ballot ruling bares closer scrutiny.
The Electoral Commission’s decision to conduct a second ballot on Tuesday drew low-key reactions from the candidates with the most to lose from a re-draw.
Councillor Jeff Whitton and Tony Mileto – whose tickets were set to occupy the top two spots on ballots after Wednesday’s initial draw – were both magnanimous in their views that a second allocation was simply democracy at work.
That may be true, but would it be any less democratic were Councillor Taylor to assume the first slot on Ticket E – the place already drawn for his group – as suggested by Greens candidate Stephen Nugent?
Surely dragging all or some of the 88 candidates down for another round of political lotto is just a waste of time masquerading as procedural disclosure.