Letter To The Editor

16 November 2017

Click here to download this letter as a Word document.

Death of Democracy?

CountryMinded is a genuine political movement founded by people in this electorate who were disgusted by the poor standard of politics and the lack of genuine political competition in the electorate. It is a serious organisation with serious things to say and a vision for the future.
While I understand that some people will be sceptical of the commitment of all 17 candidates on the ballot paper, there are serious and committed people genuinely participating in our political system that deserve respect and an opportunity to be heard.
I am dismayed, disappointed and disgusted by the Tamworth Business Chamber’s decision to cancel its Meet the Candidates event just because Barnaby Joyce refused to participate. It shows absolutely no respect for the genuine candidates who will turn up, and do have something to say in this election.
Town Hall candidate meetings have been an essential feature of our electoral process since federation and are key functions for voters to test the field and learn who might be the best candidate for them.
If Mr Joyce has the right stuff and is truly the best candidate, then he should be willing to back himself and participate in public debate. Instead, he and his Party minders think they do not need public contest or scrutiny. They want the limelight, but not the spotlight.
It is a given that Mr Joyce would criticise any other candidate who did not attend a Meet the Candidates event for not being committed to the electorate. So, why his sudden disdain for a time honoured electoral process?
The Business Chamber’s decision is more disturbing. They have unilaterally dismissed the legitimacy of any other candidate in the election. In this instance, it could seem that political party alignments within the Chamber may well have played a part in its decision to undermine our democracy.
Similarly, CountryMinded wrote to every Mayor in the electorate seeking support for candidate forums in their towns. We did this because we are committed to the campaign and would be committed to support as many forums as possible. We did not receive a single acknowledgement or reply.
It is a travesty that any community leader would put their allegiance to a political party ahead of the pursuit of genuine political competition and finding the best candidate with the best plan to get the best deal for that community.

Peter Mailler
CountryMinded candidate

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Contact Details: Pete Mailler on 0427 265 707 or at pete.mailler@countryminded.org.au