Three days to go until the election. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)
Three days to go until the election. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)

EDITORIAL: Time for toxic campaign tit for tat to stop

AN ELECTION this important was always going to mean an intense campaign.

What started as slightly unsavoury behaviour however has descended into a toxic tit for tat where some are determined to turn pre-polling booths into pre-schools and others are engaging in deeply personal and sometimes dangerous commentary and acts.

That our under-resourced police have had to repeatedly become involved in election campaign wars is shameful.

So too is the fact that people from three different parties have been on the phone to the Chronicle or in social media videos in tears over the way election rivals and advocates are treating each other.

It shouldn't be this way.

Rather than engaging in robust debate about policy and plans to lead the Fraser Coast out of one of the most tumultuous times in history, too many candidates and their supporters are stuck in a sickening social media war which manifests in public in ways we've never seen before.

This must stop.

The best thing that happened during the local council election in March was social distancing rules suddenly put a stop to polling booth chaos.

Voters were able to get a clear path to the door and before rules were tightened again, candidates could stand behind a barrier/table where they had placed pamphlets and allow the people to come to them.

There is a lot to be said for permanent local, state and federal election rules which would allow just one candidate and one supporter in their party colours to man tables with HTV cards on top, there for the taking should the voter wish.

It can only be hoped electoral commissions consider this in the future.

In the meantime, for many people, volunteering/working for a cause they align with is a source of pride and the majority should be congratulated for putting themselves out there for the good of their community.

Growing up, this editor watched as parents dropped cool drinks and sandwiches around to polling booths every election, handing refreshments out to all regardless of the colour of their shirt.

There are many well-meaning volunteers who have been caught up in this mess.

Some seem to have been egged on by bitter folk in the background who have had an axe to grind for years and finally have an outlet.

Others are just trying to go about their business in getting the person they believe in elected and are bewildered by what's going on around them.

This behaviour distracts from real issues at hand and dims our hopes that the people we pick this Saturday and those advising them are going to have what it takes to guide us out of this mess.

The people of the Fraser Coast deserve better.

True leaders will draw a line in the sand right now and remind us why they deserve our vote.



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