Pollie Tickled: The dam simple road to getting re-elected
IF ANYONE ever bothered to map the fortunes of various local members or for that matter the fortunes of the ruling party over many decades, they would discover a very simple pattern. It goes something like this.
Falling votes for that member in the key electorate of Mugwump, "heartland of our party".
Promise of big project (dam, road, airport, mine or fast train connecting Mugwump and the capital).
Calculation of the number of jobs (usually rounded up to the nearest 50,000) of which 97.3% are guaranteed to go to locals or to people who work locally (even though they actually fly in and out from Perth every week).
Total the amount of money it will inject into the local economy - about umpty billion dollars, give or take a few hundred million.
We're still trying to find the departmental calculator to add it all up, it's such a huge boost.
Numerous releases of snippets of information.
Team of surveyors spotted in the area wearing appropriate logos.
The election. Local member returned. Member thanks the electorate for its loyalty. Now it's time to get on with the business of keeping Mugwump vital.
Budget time comes then passes with the project not funded.
Minor local outcry.
Local member photographed with them and a large sheet of paper (an 11-year-old's school project - but at least it looked like a map until said kid spilt the beans on social media).
Some random celebrity is caught somewhere with clothes on. Shock. She normally has wardrobe malfunctions. I
s she well? Does she have a baby bump? Media attention diverted. Public diverted.
Personal reality sets in for voters. Work. Raising kids. Finding out how to get around the latest restrictions on downloading Game of Thrones or similar without paying for it. And ideally before it goes to air here. One sport season opens just before the other closes. Populace resumes dazed state in front of one screen or another at home or at work.
Local member seen snoozing with feet on desk and brain on pause.
Two years pass and it's coming up to election time. Again, dammit.
Numbers not looking good.
Surveyors reappear. Member takes a more professional map this time. Not surprising since that kid is three years older than the last time.
Member announces that the two breakdown telephones on one section of highway will use latest 7G mobile phone technology allowing stranded drivers to play games while they wait for a response. Lights at those two phones will be LEDs powered by sun and wind. Toilets nearby will fertilise a grove of trees in memory of soldiers from the First World War. Many ribbons cut over many months. Member smiles a lot.
Election arrives with splinter parties eating most of the previously safe seat's standard majority. But member squeaks back in.
Party starts major project of ejecting the useless member so a new candidate can be parachuted in before the numbers inevitably drop below 50% at the next election.
Sports star or musician stands and party is safe and returned with solid majority.
Party goes back to sleep.
New member finds party is not interested in the things member announced in maiden speech in parliament and which were the reason for going into politics.
After two years and six months, member has had enough and announces retirement from politics to happen after election - will go back to performing with band/chasing ball around sports field.
Party starts hunting for new parachute owner. New candidate announces dam. Surveyors appear. Candidate elected. ZZZZ.
Pollie Tickled is a satirical column.