Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Marrickville, smear campaigns, democracy

Further to my brief blog the other day on the attempts by the ALP to smear Green candidate Fiona Byrne in the Marrickville elections, there is some good coverage of the issue in New Matilda. Antony Loewenstein has an excellent, if depressing, overview. On one hand it addresses some of the weaknesses in the wider electoral system and in the Greens’ organisation which perhaps allowed them to lose what at one stage looked like a safe victory. On the other it tackles some of the vicious slurs that Byrne encountered, and the sources of attacks – both in the press and physical – against Green campaigners. Under a general Newmatilda byline, another article raises the question of why Murdoch’s newspapers chose to throw their huge weight against the Green campaign. And critiquing another aspect of last week’s NSW elections, Patrick Wright reveals that prisoners who were eligible to vote were nevertheless denied information about party policies by prison authorities’ refusal to distribute election materials.

Possibly one of the best comments I can think of on all this (in that it is funny, perceptive and bitter), is from the excellent Robb Johnson:

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