Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Secret ballot the answer to Labor's secret files

Yesterday's revelations in The Age that the Brumby Government is keeping secret files on citizens should be at the forefront of voters' minds when they go to the polls on Saturday. The secret files - also apparently kept by the Coalition - have no purpose in serving the public interest, but are there to protect the interests of the major political parties.

In the case of Labor, the files should be seen in the context of a Government that has already made deals to provide personal details to large corporations. It is also a Government already under fire for its dirt unit tactics against political opponents. The combination of Labor's propensity for dirty campaigning and its gathering of personal information should be distressing to anyone concerned with open, accountable democracy.

In Northcote, we have already seen smear tactics employed against a local climate campaigner by Northcote MP, Fiona Richardson, who is on Labor's campaign committee.

I would be curious to see if the campaigner recently smeared by Richardson in the Melbourne Times Weekly appears on the ALP's secret database, but we may never know.

There's a simple antidote to Labor's secret files - it's called a secret ballot, and it's coming up on Saturday.

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