Why politicians don’t care

Why pollies don't careIn this article we explain why pollies in the major parties are rarely, if ever, are able to help shooters.  It explains why a coordinated concerted effort by shooters is needed to overcome this.

It will come as no surprise to you to hear that few politicians have ever held ‘a real job’: jobs which require keeping a small business afloat, managing staff or submitting BAS statements.

Instead many of the pollies from the major parties have only ever worked as electorate staff, advisors or unionists.

Votes: the ‘real’ currency

That’s not to say politicians aren’t community minded. In most cases it was community service which attracted them to politics in the first place, with salaries and working hours most other people would not put up with.

However being a politician is about having the votes.  If a community cause – like shooting – doesn’t bring in votes, then it doesn’t matter.  It can’t matter.

For politicians, no votes means no job.

What many people don’t realise is that politicians in the major parties are rarely the real decision makers.

State directors, state secretaries and a multitude of other people in committees and other positions, who are invisible to the broader community, are often the ones who decide which causes matter and which don’t. The politician is just the messenger.

Those who run the parties also drive preselection of their candidates, which brings with it, factional fights, paybacks and favours. It’s an economy in it’s own right.

What it means for shooters is simple. Unless we can prove to ‘the party machine’ that we are a sustainable and effective voting block, we won’t matter to them. The fact we are ‘law abiding’, have shooters licences and are decent people with legitimate interests, has nothing to do with it.

But many politicians, including in the major parties, hold shooters licences

The number of politicians in the Victorian State Parliament with shooters licences would be close to a dozen.

That’s great, but MPs from the major parties will vote “along party lines” when told to, as we saw in 1996.

It’s been that way for decades.   It’s also logical.  Political parties cannot afford to have candidates “do their own thing” if they are to maintain strong internal disciplines and stop internal divisions from popping up.

Unfortunately for us, it means MPs will always put their party’s interests before ours.

The Greens Balance-of-Power scenario

The problem we have is that there are now 7 Greens MPs in the Victorian State Parliament who are there because of their growing vote.

The Greens policies include a blanket ban on hunting.  Even this week, the Green’s Sue Pennicuik called for a ban on duck hunting.

Like it or not, the day is likely to come where the Greens hold the Balance-Of-Power, in either the upper or lower houses -or both.  That’s when we could become cannon fodder, and the Greens get their wish.

With that scenario, its pretty easy to see why the shooting community needs a solid long term political strategy that goes well beyond simply who has a shooters licence and who doesn’t. It needs to be one that builds long term political support across both sides of parliament.Email button

It’s also easy to see why we cannot afford to have shooters sit back and ‘leave it to someone else to deal with’ because they’ve got busy lives.

If you have never backed a political cause, then think about the catastrophe we could face if the Greens get the Balance-Of-Power.  Think about what you would do if you lost your sport because of this. All you need to do to start helping is to join our email list now.

The CFCV strategy

The strategy used by the CFCV at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Victorian State Elections, as well as the intervening Federal Elections, is a long term approach to building political support with both sides of parliament which hasn’t been used before in Australia but is modeled on how things have been done in the US.

Backed by shooting groups, the strategy involved placing full page newspaper ads and direct mailouts to shooters in key electorates encouraging them to vote for major party candidates who support the shooting sports – and targeting other candidates who were antis.

The outcome of this was a commitment from both sides of parliament not to ban duck hunting, $12.5m in range funding, a firearms consultative committee and funding for safety related programs.

It was a win-win because we helped key decision makers in the parties with their own battles, and we gained some great outcomes for shooters.  It also resulted in the election / reelection of political friends, and removal of some of our enemies.

At the 2013 Federal Election and 2014 Victorian State Election we built on this by backing specific pro-shooting minor party interests.  With the benefit of hindsight, this extension of our strategy didn’t work because it took us away from the central strategy aimed at the major parties – so guess what we’re doing?

Yep, we’re going back to the ‘old’ approach we used in the 2000s, in the knowledge it worked very well and keen to do a lot more for the shooting community.

What you can do

The enhanced ability to connect with shooters through social media gives us a greater opportunity to better position Victoria’s shooting industry as we head to the 2016 Federal Election and 2018 Victorian State Election.  It gives us the ability to communicate with over 200,000 other shooters in a way we couldn’t ten years ago.

Don’t forget, we’ve also got some other fights coming up this year such as the second part of the Adler / NFA fight, the 20th Anniversary of Port Arthur which will keep the antis busy and stopping the Great Forest National Park proposal – which threatens deer hunting in Victoria.

For these reasons, if your shooting mates don’t follow us now, make sure they do.  Get them to join our email list by clicking here. Don’t let them make excuses!th

If they aren’t chipping in to help with the fight to help them keen on shooting, tell them why they need to – for less than the cost of a packet of 22s a month!

If your shooting mates are keep going on about the politicians who make life hard for us, tell them to stop bellyaching and read this article!

Every vote does matters and we need to get that message out to more and more shooters.

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