OK, that’s not entirely fair because I reckon its safe to say that most politicians, regardless of the party they’re affiliated with, are not well known for their honesty. Before I get into the post proper I would like to set the scene.
Most people would probably agree that honesty and integrity is a very important quality. We look for it in almost everything we do in life from sport to business. That’s why people get so upset when they discover that the only reason their sporting hero or team won was because they took drugs. That’s why people who lie and cheat to profit from others usually end up in court.
Yep, most people get into trouble for being dishonest, unless they happen to be a politician. So, where the heck is all this leading to? Well, last Saturday, the 20th of March 2010, South Australia went to the polls to vote. As it turned out Labor pretty well won the election, and while Premier Rann called it a ‘sweet victory’ it turns out that it was marred by Labors less than honorable tactics.
What Labor did was to have members masquerade as Family First in the most marginal of seats so they could hand out their version of Family First how to vote cards. Where the legitimate family first cards gave their preference to the Liberal party, Labor’s phony how to vote cards gave the first preference to their own party!
This is bullshit because they cheated the voting public out of voting the way they had intended to. They went to a whole lot of trouble to defraud the public, from designing similar t-shirts to printing the phony cards. What is really deplorable is that I heard Kevin Foley saying on TV how that’s “what you do in politics.” This is from the deputy Premier, and he’s saying how it’s alright to rip off the public.
Although he and others in the Labor party are alright with getting votes dishonestly members of the public are really pissed off about it. Even today, four days after the election, people are still making their disgust felt. Apparently it’s even got the public in other states into an uproar. People want to make sure that this never happens again.
What amazes me is how Labor defends their actions, although Rann himself has been rather quiet. I’ve already mentioned how Foley felt about it, well it seems that two of his cronies, Grace Portolesi and Leon Bignell said that although they didn’t know it was going on they didn’t have a problem with it. Just goes to show how much they value honesty and integrity.
I must say that it’s unfair to tar the whole Labor party with the same brush as there were some members who knew of the tactics and decided they wanted nothing to do with it. Sort of makes you wonder how those others didn’t know what was going on in their own electorate though.