Norwood Candidate Stares Down The Lies And Bullies

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21st March 2010, 09:00pm - Views: 956
Norwood Candidate Stares Down the Lies and Bullies

When Norwood Liberal candidate Steven Marshall spoke up against duck shooting during the run up to Saturday's State Election, he soon had a visit from a member of the Hellenic Shooting Sports club promising to ensure electoral oblivion.

Others within the Liberal party also warned him of the dangers of taking on the duck shooting lobby. But Marshall didn't crack.

Animal Liberation's "Heaps backwards -- ban duck shooting" campaign collected 833 postcards for both Ciccarello and Marshall from people in the Norwood electorate wanting duck shooting banned. This is more than all the duck shooters in the entire state, so Marshall bet on there being more votes in compassion than cruelty and stood firm.

Saturday's vote resulted in a complete rout of long sitting ALP member Vini Ciccarello with a 9.2 percent swing. Half way through the campaign, Ciccarello sent letters to all those from whom she had received "ban duck shooting" postcards and repeated duck shooter falsehoods that the ban on duck shooting in NSW has had no impact on the numbers of ducks shot in that state. The Heaps backwards team responded by mailing out the official NSW statistics revealing the lie and lodging a complaint with the Electoral Commissioner. They also requested Ciccarello apologise to the electorate for spreading a lie without checking the facts. She never did so.

The Electoral Commissioner judged that the Ciccarello letters weren't electoral advertising, but private cor- respondence. As such, they didn't come under the Electoral Act, so they didn't need to be true or accurate.

"Duck shooters have been lying, bullying and threatening policitians in Norwood since the early 1990s" said Heap's Backward campaigner Dr Suzanne Pope. She went on that "Marshall's courage in calling their bluff showed an integrity that resonated with the electorate. The contrast with Ciccarello was extreme. She refused to publicly state her opinion on the issue."

Heap's Backward teams operated in 7 other marginal electorates, but candidates on both sides of politics kept their heads down and refused to take a position. Pope says they can all learn a lesson from Norwood: "A politician who publicly displays compassion and courage will be rewarded. People are tired of gutless politicians who sanction cruelty with their refusal to tackle red necked rambos head on."

Dr Suzanne Pope

For further details contact: 041 8805 184

SOURCE: Animal Liberation SA

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