Advance Summary

1. Traditionally, the Hobart City Council is loosely divided between “pro-development” aldermen and aldermen who stress environmental issues and/or the interests of impacted residents.

2. The current term of Council was expected to be dominated by the “pro-development” grouping which I refer to as the “blues”.

3. The first half of the current Council term supported this expectation, with seven aldermen displaying a blue voting pattern and an eighth displaying a tendency to support them.

4. An ordering of aldermen from “greenest” to “bluest” up til the end of 2012 was: Cocker, Burnet, Harvey, Ruzicka, Foley, Freeman, Thomas, Sexton, Hickey, Briscoe, Zucco, Christie.

5. In the 2013-4 half of this term of Council voting behaviour changed, with both the Green and the blue voting clusters becoming much less cohesive, so that it is not even accurate to classify some aldermen as still in the blue cluster.

6. An especially notable shift in this period was that both Jeff Briscoe and Ron Christie moved away from the “blues” and became much more Green-friendly than before, while John Freeman became more hardline.

7. An ordering of aldermen from “greenest” to “bluest” since the start of 2013 is: Cocker, Burnet, Harvey, Ruzicka, Foley, Christie, Briscoe, Sexton, Hickey, Thomas, Freeman, Zucco.

8. Some of these changes are explained by changes in the issues mix, but by no means all. Positioning for the upcoming Mayoral contest may explain some of the others.

Read full article, comment here:

If you have a question or comment for Dr Bonham you can post it on his site. You will need to have (or to create) a Google/Blogger account, LiveJournal profile, WordPress account, AIM profile, TypePad account or OpenID to comment. If you don’t have these, you can email it to him, marked as for publication. All comments to Dr Bonham on these findings will be on the public record, especially if stated otherwise.