Spicy fact: Political policies matter more than political stories.
But what do I mean by this unnecessarily provocative statement? Well, I mean that we should hone in on how our politicians vote, not the stories that they spin. It doesn’t matter if a politician came from poverty if they don’t support a higher minimum wage. It doesn’t matter if a politician defeated a coma if they also want to privatise our hospitals. Judge these folks by their actions, not their words.
Yet, no matter how many times I say this, people will always care about a politician’s personal story. Heck, even I get swept up in the drama of an MP crushing it on Q+A or Tony Abbott biting into a raw onion. While political stories aren’t the be all of politics, they will always impact how some people think about their leaders.
So, with this in mind, NSW has scored a new Premier named Chris Minns, and a lot of folks don’t know his personal story. This fact can be demonstrated in the number’s of a Daily Telegraph poll. During the campaign trail, 60% of Minns’ own electorate couldn’t even recognise this dude and wouldn’t be able to tell you his backstory.
What’s more, while I’m someone who could pick Minns from a crowd, I still didn’t know much about him until researching this article. And, when I asked my politically astute fiancée who Chris Minns was, she said, “Boy? Girl? Who knows.”
So, to rectify this situation, we’re going to dive into the personal story of the Minns. Oh, and we’ll also detail how he votes.
Chris Minns: The Origin Story
Like most pollies, Chris Minns has a bit of a bland first few chapters. He’s the son of a principal, grew up in the St George area of south Sydney, and that’s about it. I wonder if some days Minns wishes he had the same origin story as Batman.
However, the Minns’ journey became a whack more interesting after he started working. Between 2006 and 2007, he was a legit firefighter. NSW Labor, if you have several swole pics of Minns from this time, you might score more support by releasing them.
In 2015, Chris Minns got his big boy gig, becoming the MP of Kogarah. Additionally, his opening parliament speech was a roller coaster of hot takes.
“I was never interested in politics,” said Minns. “I was only ever interested in the Labor Party. My interest in public policy is driven and directed by the pantomime of Labor history. Labor’s heroes and the Liberals’ villains shaped my understanding of complicated public policy problems.”
“Labor has survived intact not because its processes have never changed but because the essential values remain the same: Equality, opportunity, and recognition that no matter what your parents did for a living, you can make it in Australia. We have achieved these goals because of a decent health system, the best education money cannot buy, and an egalitarian spirit that does not place social barriers before people from other classes or backgrounds.”
However, this speech also got Chris Minns in some internal trouble. This is because he said, “Trade unions are integral to both our success and our heritage, but Labor also needs to represent those who are not in a trade union. That will mean taking steps to reduce union control on the floor of our conference.”
Now, if you followed the Minns campaign, you might have realised that this vernacular is very different from how he speaks in 2023. This speech was a bonfire. And whether you agree or disagree with Minns comments, he’s now more measured with his words.
The Current Day Dude
As previously mentioned, Chris Minns’ temperament has changed over the years. When he was on the 2023 campaign trail, he didn’t get fired up or angry. He just evenly provided his thoughts.
This updated rhetoric was also dosed all over his campaign launch. The aura of this event was a chill one.
“Labor is ready, and this state is ready for a fresh start,” said Minns. “There will be some of you who say, I’m OK with a fresh start, but I mainly want to get rid of this government. And we’ll take their votes too.”
“Labor will make choices to repair our essential services. We’ll make tough choices to protect the budget. We’ll choose to end pork barrelling across the state.”
Now, whether this rhetoric switcheroo is because Chris Minns has gotten older or has a new political strategy in place, well, it’s hard to tell.
And while some might prefer a more fired-up Minns, NSW Labor doesn’t feel this way. Labor liked the energy that he was bringing to the table. They believed that Minns could win the election by not being fired up or boisterous.
They ended up being correct. Granted, this victory wasn’t perfect. Labor will likely score 45 parliamentary seats, two shy of forming a majority government. This means that they’ll have to collab with the Liberals, Greens, and independents in order to pass the breadth of their legislative agenda.
However, it’s impossible to pin this failing solely on the shoulders of Minns. As voters are becoming more and more disillusioned with two-party politics, independent candidates are becoming more and more popular. This trend can be demonstrated in Wakehurst and Wollondilly turning into independent zones.
Overall, Minns’ win wasn’t half bad for a dude who was unknown a few weeks ago.
What’s more, Minns has continued being very measured since becoming NSW’s Premier. For example, he was even calm and reserved during his campaign victory speech.
“I think it’s undeniably the case that this election campaign, perhaps uniquely, was a model of respect and civility,” said Minns.
“Neither party took the low road. Neither political party took the low blow. And I think it can be a model for how democracy is done right across this country.”
Chris Minns: How He Votes
Unfortunately, getting solid info about who voted for what in NSW’s Parliament is harder than it should be. The bills that shape this state typically don’t make the front page. Across NSW, the political beefs and betrayals are usually what trend on the interwebs.
Yet, despite this being the case, here are two solid examples of how Chris Minns voted in the Parliament of NSW. Analysing these votes should give us an angle on Minns that his words just can’t provide.
In 2021, a Labor bill to prevent the selling of some public assets got through parliament. To be specific, this law protected the likes of Sydney Water, Ausgrid, and NSW Port Authority, from easily being sold on the market.
“Our bill to stop the sell-off of public assets has passed the Upper House,” said Minns. “The only parties to vote against it were the Libs and Nats.”
“This bill will force both houses of parliament to approve any sale of these assets. We’ll never stop fighting to keep these in public hands.”
Meanwhile, in 2023, Chris Minns voted against the Liberal Government’s stamp duty reforms. However, these reforms passed and give first home buyers the option between paying an annual property tax or paying regular, old stamp duty.
The Liberal Government has stated that its annual property tax is currently cheaper than its house-purchasing tax.
When discussing these reforms, Minss said, “If you’re already on that merry-go-round, you have to trust this premier and all future premiers not to up the land tax rate on your family home.”
“I understand the stress of trying to purchase your first home. I want more singles, couples, and families realising this dream. What I will not do is saddle first home buyers with a new, yearly tax bill that increases every year.”
The Election Promises
Let’s be honest, two voting examples, while super important, isn’t enough info for you chums. So, with that in mind, here’s a quick and dirty list of what Chris Minns promised during the election:
- Labor promised to ban mobile phones in NSW’s public schools
- Labor promised to give $100 million to Women’s Health Centres
- Labor promised to axe the Liberal’s stamp duty reforms
- Labor promised to create a state-owned clean energy corporation
- Labor promised to further protect NSW’s public assets from privatisation
Who the Heck Is Chris Minns?
While Chris Minns’ way of speaking might have changed, his politics haven’t.
Back in 2015, he said he wanted “a decent health system, the best education money cannot buy, and an egalitarian spirit that does not place social barriers before people from other classes.”
In 2023, he wants to improve Women’s Health Centres, ban mobile phones in public schools, and give working-class people government jobs.
Chris Minns’ origin story might be bland and his rhetoric might not be big or exciting, but he’s a dude who has basically stayed true to his values. And now that he’s the Premier of NSW, let’s hope this continues to be the case.
Related: NSW Election Results — Labor Has Won a Majority
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