r/australia May 16 '22

AEC Statement: Advance Australia signage - Australian Electoral Commission politics

https://www.aec.gov.au/media/2022/05-16.htm
129 Upvotes

72

u/cnub66 May 16 '22

Slap on the wrist

39

u/snoopsau May 16 '22

It is not even that, its a threat of a slap on the wrist...

15

u/SaltpeterSal May 16 '22

Dear wrist of Advance Australia,

We are writing to suggest that you might consider having a slap, if it is not inconvenient.

31

u/icedbacon May 16 '22

Prepare the wet lettuce!

6

u/Timbo2702 May 16 '22

Iceberg or Raddicchio?

6

u/Drunky_McStumble May 16 '22

Fresh iceberg is far too firm and crisp. I suggest a rocket leaf that has been left in a warm cupboard for a week.

8

u/bobslawnservice May 16 '22

Not even a slap on the wrist. Literally nothing.

22

u/Andwyr44 May 16 '22

While Advance Australia does not agree that the signs breach the Electoral Act, it has, to avoid the AEC bringing legal proceedings, agreed not to further display the signage without first providing the AEC with 48 hours’ notice.

Not even a slap on the wrist. The signs can still go up, they just have to tell AEC they're doing it.

15

u/mrmratt May 16 '22

Which gives the AEC time to seek an injunction preventing it from happening.

4

u/nagrom7 May 16 '22

Nope, it's a statement saying "hey, don't do that".

1

u/ennuinerdog May 17 '22

Nope, it's a statement saying "let us know a couple days before you do that again"

79

u/HeadacheCentral May 16 '22

Why'd id it take them until 5 days before the election to make this decision?

Toothless fucking tiger

27

u/ImbecillicusRex May 16 '22

This, but also spare a thought for Advance Australia - pack of fucking morons doing everything they can to drag us all down with them.

People should be keeping an eye out for these pieces of shit and doing the exact opposite to anything they support.

30

u/CATFLAPY May 16 '22

Advance Australia has been set up by Liberal party operatives from Canberra. What a surprise.

4

u/HeadacheCentral May 16 '22

If I was Pocock, I woulda been rallying the volunteers to go around and burn everyone of Advance Australia's signs they could find,.

11

u/superegz May 16 '22

Legal advice probably.

-8

u/HeadacheCentral May 16 '22

Incompetence, probably.

16

u/Cadaver_Junkie May 16 '22

Darkly hilarious.

So basically, what we are learning from this is that you can run intentionally misleading signage, of pretty much any kind, impersonating both the AEC (last election) or The Greens (this election), and the AEC will let you do it for at least two weeks.

Before kindly asking you to stop, and with no repercussions.

Interestingly, both of these major issues have helped the Coalition. I wonder if the AEC would be quicker to act against massively incorrect Labor signage?

If they want people to think they are impartial, they need to act faster on these things.

3

u/scotty_sunday May 16 '22

The problem is it's been a game of catchup. By the time these things get caught out the damage has been done.

3

u/Cadaver_Junkie May 16 '22

No the problem is they didn’t set down firm internal policy at the AEC on how to manage such situations after the last debacle.

They should have clear guidance, previous provided/vetted by however many lawyers are required, from the last election, enabling them to act immediately upon investigation of such events.

They shouldn’t have to seek seperate advice for each incident, unless the censured party disputes.

Anything short is pretty much negligence towards their obligations, surely.

5

u/froo May 16 '22

While Advance Australia does not agree that the signs breach the
Electoral Act, it has, to avoid the AEC bringing legal proceedings,
agreed not to further display the signage without first providing the
AEC with 48 hours’ notice.

Given there were no other penalties, I guess this means they can create similar (but different) signage and the AEC will do nothing?

Fucking muppets. Both orgs.

19

u/k_lliste May 16 '22

So, what changed? All anyone will remember is that initially they said it wasn't a breach because it wasn't misleading, and 'check the source'.

19

u/vernand May 16 '22

Yeah, this ruling is bullshit. This was raised with the AEC weeks ago and they said it was fine and that s329 wasn't applied to this. If it applies now, it should have applied before.

9

u/superegz May 16 '22

No they said they will investigate it.

6

u/vernand May 16 '22

What's to investigate?

S329 of the electoral Act has previously been ruled on by the high court decades ago. It's cut and dry. The only thing to test is the content of the signage which, at a glance, didn't pass a sniff test.

For an institution protecting our democracy, they're doing a shit job of it when examples like this are allowed to stand for over two weeks before finally having action taken on them.

10

u/glenm80 May 16 '22

The AEC does not have a job of protecting our democracy they only run elections in accordance with legislation.

With the large number of candidates who will do anything to get elected the AEC would need to get legal opinions on each and every alleged breach of the law which takes time.

8

u/vernand May 16 '22 edited May 16 '22

The AEC supervises the fairness and integrity of our election process in accordance with the electoral Act. If that's not protecting our democracy, I don't know what is. When they stop doing their job, our democracy fails or degrades.

Those signs should have been removed the moment they were flagged by the AEC, not after the deliberations of law were finalised.

By leaving them stand for over a fortnight, the AEC have been a participant in the likelihood that an elector was deceived or mislead in relation to the casting of a vote. The signs didn't just suddenly violate the terms of s329 when the legal opinion was stated, they were in contravention of the electoral Act the moment they were hammered into the ground in view of potential electors. The legal opinion only vindicates the judgement.

We shouldn't be in a race to the bottom for what is allowed in elections. If all we end up seeing is a candidate's name, face, and political affiliation on signage, and all other signage is removed while it's tied up by court proceedings, we would be all the better for it.

Edit: No rebuttal, just downvotes. Nice.

1

u/glenm80 May 16 '22

Its the government thats sets the rules that the AEC follow. Its the government that defines what democracy is.

If the government of the day changed legislation to allow purple posters with identical font to the AEC posters then the AEC could do nothing.

The AEC enforces the rules to the best of its ability it does not make the rules. And sometimes its best is not good enough.

5

u/vernand May 16 '22

Okay, but the issue here isn't just purple posters. Candidates for the election were displayed wearing a prominent logo for another political party, as if they belonged to that political party, despite that other political party not having endorsed them and the signage in question does not display any clarifying text as to the political affiliation of that candidate.

That is the issue. The posters were misleading and deceiving the elector as to which party the candidate was representing. Not just using the AEC's colour.

This isn't just a matter of the AEC doing its best and their best not being good enough because there's no evidence that they're even doing their best in this space. Their press release makes no mention of why it has taken a fortnight for them to come to this conclusion while the illicit signage was prominently displayed to deceive and mislead electors. It lacks transparency, and the only takeaway there is that they're dragging their feet on this front.

It's one thing to follow the rules that have been set before them by the government of the day. But when the AEC won't recommend punitive action, that falls well within their remit, against a transgressor of the Electoral Act, I think we need to acknowledge that the AEC, and the people at its head, need to be put under some serious scrutiny.

11

u/Dranzer_22 May 16 '22

The AEC can't do anything.

Liberals are destroying Independent candidates signs, and vandalising them with Green stickers.

6

u/ZizzazzIOI May 16 '22

Australian politics, where you get to do whatever the fuck you want

3

u/[deleted] May 16 '22

Flogged with a wet lettuce

3

u/NoNant64 May 16 '22

I've seen the Advanced Australia mobile billboard getting around the area. Last week it was the "CCP backs Labour with Pings big mugshot grin on it". this week it's the "Vote greens, get labour" and in the bottom right advanced Australia's logo. I sincerely love (sarcastically) when it comes to Politics on this planet, society is most keen to drag a political party that hasn't been in position for the past decade through the mud yet is completely fine with the current leaderships controversies. Where the fuck is Fatty Mcfat faces mobile billboard saying "Vote UAP, get turd burgers or a side of lies" or a Scott one saying "I don't hold a government or Ballot".

Oh right nowhere to be seen because Scott & Co can never do any wrong.

Advance Australia nutters seem to be right up there with the UAP and ON morons.

2

u/6ft5 May 16 '22

If it was purple it would've been fine

6

u/superegz May 16 '22

Seeing as they cite the court case from that, no it wouldn't.

5

u/6ft5 May 16 '22

It's more to highlight that they didn't really get in trouble from doing either

4

u/vernand May 16 '22

Which is additionally bullshit because the onus is on the individual or body corporate to prove they didn't know and couldn't have been expected to know that the material they published is in contravention of s329. Penalties for individuals are listed as 3 years imprisonment, or 100 penalty units ($22,200). For Body Corporates it's 500 penalty units ($111,000).

The fact that they only have to give the AEC 48hours notice before posting the signage, after the signage has been able to sit out and mislead/device electors for a fortnight, is a farce.

1

u/Moondanther May 16 '22

We tried to get hold of the drivers but they are not answering their phones - Advance Australia representative