Sep 15, 2013

Palmer loses the plot


With the election in the House of Representatives all over but the final count in the odd close electorate, the post election knives, recriminations, and score settling is in full swing.  The Greens are suing a newspaper, Labor blame Rudd rather than bad policy, the Sex Party are knifing the Liberal Democrats, and everybody has it in for the minor parties.
Meanwhile Clive Palmer of the Palmer United Party, who many suspected of being off the planet prior to the election, is becoming increasingly paranoid since.   His favourite topic seems to be that the Election Commission has it in for him and is totally corrupt.
GYMPIE accountant Shahid Khan has denied a vote-tampering allegation, based on his ownership of a building rented by the Australian Electoral Commission. Controversial federal election candidate Clive Palmer last night looked to be on track to achieve the victory he has said is impossible. 
Mr Palmer blamed Mr Khan, whom he described as an LNP member, saying he might have been able to access votes stored in the building.  Mr Palmer told The Australian newspaper that he could not possibly win the seat, because of an allegedly corrupt electoral system. 
Although Mr Palmer's vote lead is expected to narrow as counting continues, he was last night more than 1000 votes ahead of his only rival, the LNP's Ted O'Brien. 
Mr Khan told the news.com website the allegations were "outrageous" and the AEC denied any security issues. …
Clive Palmer is standing for the seat of Fairfax, whose northern boundary is about 30 miles south of Gympie, so any votes for Clive there would most likely be a small number of absentee votes.  Were there tampering there it is doubtful that it would have the capacity to materially affect the result unless it was extremely close.
Mr Khan has a reputation as a solid citizen and a man of integrity in the area and is not likely to act in the manner Palmer is describing.
Most of us who stand for elective positions for new or minor parties and have a bit of experience have the maturity to accept that our chances are limited.  When negotiating preference deals though, it is common to encounter what is called candidate fever.
This is an affliction among the newbies, which convinces them that they just can’t help but win the position unless there is some sort of flaw in the system.  Clive seems to have been bitten by the bug.  He has a senate seat in the bag, another possible to probable one, and is leading in the seat he is standing for.
While his lead is dropping back on pre-poll and postal voting and he may be pipped at the post, he has done exceptionally well at his party’s first outing.  He needs to grow up and stop tossing wild accusations around about the world and possibly the whole universe being against him. His accusations are a disgrace.
ED Note: From my personal dealings with the Electoral Commission, I have nothing but respect for them.  They have to abide by a strict set of guidelines, which you have to follow to the letter if you want to achieve the result you want.  On the other hand, they are the least bureaucratic, and most cooperative government department I have ever dealt with. 

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