I know, it seems like an oxymoron. With two state by-elections being held today in Brisbane to replace outgoing Speaker Ray Hollis and professional whiner Terry Mackenroth, Premier Beattie finds himself on the hustings to drum up support for an election he believes his party (ALP) will lose. As is standard for an election in Queensland, the Greens and the ALP are embroiled in a minor scandal involving how-to-vote cards.
"GREENS candidate for Chatsworth Elissa Jenkins has accused the Labor party of deliberately trying to deceive the voting public by handing out confusing how-to-vote cards. Ms Jenkins, who's fate will be decided during one of two Queensland by-elections today, said the ALP cards looked the same as the Greens, but with one important difference.
"They look the same as the Greens, but they're sort of saying if you're thinking of voting Green make sure you put Labor second," she said. Ms Jenkins said the Greens were livid about what they saw as a deception, because they adamantly did not want their preferences to go to the ALP. In fact, they didn't want anyone to profit from their preferences."
The Greens candidate may have even had a chance, that is if the seat was Maleny and not in a suburban area that hates hippies and agitprops at the best of times. What is not surprising is the level of deception that Beattie will stoop to defect attention from an issue that will possibly damage his government even more.
"The Labor Party produced a card which said vote 1 for the Greens which is all they're recommending, if you're worried about the environment vote 2 for Labor. I think that's fair enough, I mean we're not asking people to vote us first if they vote green, we're simply saying if you vote green give us your preference." Mr Beattie said he believed the Greens were being "a bit precious" about the whole thing.
"The card's properly authorised, we're not hiding it, I'm happy to defend it, I don't have any problem with it at all, and I don't think any fair-minded people would either."
What the grinning idiot ISN'T saying is that basic structure and colour of the ALP card was very similar to the Greens card, and in Queensland with the optional preferential voting system,you don't have to mark a second choice. Beattie was aiming to cash in on naive voters not willing to commit to the government again, and gain a preference vote by proxy. Beattie then goes to put the other foot into his mouth, and looks to be borrowing other people's feet to fill the available room.
Mr Beattie said the Nationals were also handing out green-coloured how-to-vote cards, but no one seemed concerned about that.
Which seems interesting, seeing as the Queensland Nationals aren't fielding a candidate in either of these seats, so as to focus the effort on the Liberal party candidates.
VOTERS in Redcliffe and Chatsworth will not face three-cornered contests after the Nationals announced they would support Liberal candidates in the August 20 by-elections. State Nationals Leader Lawrence Springborg yesterday confirmed his party would not run candidates in the two electorates in a move which is expected to help the conservatives win the long-held Labor seats.
You mean to say that Peter Beattie is pointing childishly and saying 'Look, they're doing it too!'? So what does Peter think of the way the ALP select their candidates for election?
"I told the Labor Party I didn't want a party hack or a dud and that I wanted a candidate who lived locally and who was contributing to the community. " Interesting concept. The election writ is due for return by 19 September, so it will be several weeks before a definitive result is known. A litmus test of Beattie's debacle. If the Libs pick up both the seats of Chatsworth and Redcliffe, as Beattie is expecting them too, then it may auger well for the future of conservative political forces in Queensland.
Cross posted at Bastards Inc
UPDATE: Beattie has conceded defeat in at least the seat of Chatsworth, with Redcliffe being claimed by the Liberals. Both seats have voters giving a clear swing against the incumbent government, in defiance of previous polling within the electorate. Beattie blames the health crisis and the Morris inquiry for voter frustation and backlash against his government. I reckon people are just sick of seeing the smug git on the telly. He'd turn up at the opening of a beer if there was a camera there.