The Tasmanian ALP, trying to smear the Greens, torpedoes its own chances:
The Labor Party caused [a nine-year old girl named] Alice Bellamy’s phone to ring at her home in Spreyton. When she answered, an ALP robocall, an automated message, told her that a vote for the Greens would be a vote to legalise heroin in Tasmania. Alice had to ask her mum what heroin was.
That single event, lasting less than a minute, reported on the front page of the Advocate newspaper on Wednesday, represents the nadir of Tasmanian Labor’s appalling campaign for Saturday’s poll.
Their rationale apparently was that with one quarter of the voting population still undecided, it was time to nail the Greens once and for all. Former premier Paul Lennon had already corralled his Labor and Liberal predecessors Rundle, Field and Gray to put their names to a document warning of the end of the world as we know it if the Greens held the balance of power.
Labor backed it up with its robocalls warning that the Greens would not only decriminalise heroin but what would give long-serving prisoners at Risdon Prison the vote. Think Port Arthur mass murderer Martin Bryant.
If a journalist had written such a libellous summary, they would have transgressed Tasmania’s electoral laws, yet those laws do nothing to stop this garbage being broadcast over the phone lines, with no identification, no authorisation.
It’s weird, isn’t it – there’s a part of the ALP that would rather the Liberals, Family First, anyone to win a seat instead of actual progressives, the Greens. And yet the same people cry foul if they don’t automatically get Green preferences.
It’ll be hard to mourn their passing on the weekend.
Meanwhile, the AEC really needs to do something about unregulated automated political advertising telephone calls, quick smart.