Messy track for election race


Messy track for election race

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council candidates are calling for those who have distributed an alleged ‘illegal’ election document to be disqualified from the vote.

A satirical form guide circulating South Gippsland sparked the controversy.

While many agreed it was cleverly written, others felt the form guide was nasty, derogative and trivialised the major issues in South Gippsland.

The document treats the election as a horse race, and describes each candidate’s likelihood of making it over the line.

The front of the document also deters voters from voting for anyone who has appeared on a joint how to vote card.

Strzelecki Ward candidate David Amor is one of the candidates calling for disqualification.

“I’m appalled and annoyed that this has happened. It should never have happened,” he said.

“At first I saw it as comical. You immediately look for your name and I found they called me a ‘windsucker’ and I might as well be a donkey vote. A small part of it is clever, but 80 percent of it strips candidates of their dignity.

“I think the candidates involved should be disqualified. We should all be in the same boat in this election.”

Incumbent councillors Lorraine Brunt and Jim Fawcett have been accused of being involved but have denied the allegations.

Cr Brunt refuted claims she was caught distributing the document on a CCTV camera in Korumburra.

“I am being accused because of a grainy photograph. It’s not me and I someday I will prove it,” Cr Brunt said.

“I think someone was just being clever and has a big sense of humour, but I have received quite aggressive accusations.”

Cr Fawcett agreed it was a bit of fun and denied accusations of placing the form guide in the window of his business.

According the Victorian Electoral Commission, it is unlikely the candidates would be disqualified if they were caught with the document.

However, if a formal investigation found the document to be unauthorised and misleading, distributors could be looking at a 10 penalty point fine per individual.

One penalty point equates to $155, bringing the total fine to $1550.

Strzelecki candidate Jim Forbes shared the form guide on Facebook, but was not approached by the Victorian Electoral Commission to remove it.

“I thought it was witty. It’s a very clever piece of satire that covers all 32 candidates,” he said.

“I don’t think it will have an effect on voters. I think how to vote cards are more likely to have an effect on the election. If a form guide was going to influence an election, there be one published for every state, federal and local government election.”

However, other candidates felt the unauthorised form guide would sway voters. Cr Don Hill said the document was humorous, but found it strange that it favoured a group of councillors.

“I find the conduct of some of the candidates ludicrous and I have no problem with the Victorian Electoral Commission investigating the document,” he said.

Cr Andrew McEwen the form guide was critical of anyone standing for change and reform in the shire.

“A series of complaints about candidates displaying and distributing illegal and defamatory brochures has been lodged with the Victorian Electoral Commission. It is a sad day when some members of the majority group stoop so low, but it is consistent with them playing the man and not the ball,” he said.
Although accepting it was a joke, Tarwin Valley candidate Graeme Heath also feared the form guide would have repercussions.

“There are some underlying truths and people may take it as gospel. I’m hoping it is not used as a voting formula,” he said.

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Posted by on Oct 11 2016. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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