Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Local Elections - Stooges

Well Derr.

The Age today has an article about the use of 'Stooges' in local elections to help drag preferences to particular candidates.

In part it states:

This might explain why the man who authorised Samantha Baseggio's election campaign material was asking yesterday: "Samantha who? I have no idea who she is."

Ms Baseggio's flyer arrived in the letterboxes of Moreland residents
this week, with those of leading Labor candidate Lambros Tapinos printed in the
same shade of blue.

On one side of the flyer, Ms Baseggio declares Moreland has been dominated by political parties for way too long and promises a fresh approach. On the other she directs her preferences to Labor, straight to Mr Tapinos. Ms Baseggio did not return calls from The Age.

I know it is a good thing to allow anyone to run for local office and this should be encouraged to allow people with concerns to get a voice. My issue is that it is too often the candidates from major parties (and in this case Labor) who use this tactic hoping that the extra few votes the stooge will generate will get them over the line. Also using Stooges who are supposedly independant is wrong. It decieves voters who are generally basing their votes on how to vote junk mail and one paragraph of information contained in the ballot paperwork.

Sad really. Especially when it is the local community who misses out on:

  1. A voice to represent them and not a political party;
  2. Independant Councils and Mayors whose role is to represent the community and not just look for a seat in state politics;
  3. Making their vote count the way they intended it to be.

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