Probably the greatest thing that undermines democracy is the vote rigging of elections. It would therefore surprise many people that the alleged vote rigging of the 2013 Bill Shorten – Anthony Albanese Labor Party leadership ballot has never been fully investigated.
It has been almost 18 months since Bill Shorten was elected leader of the Labor Party and his own party are still unsure if he was elected honestly. On Friday (10-4-15) the NSW ALP administrative committee will be discussing the 50 dodgy ballot papers. The papers had mailing addresses altered on the instructions of a former staff member of Senator Sam Dastyari. Mr Dastyari is known to support Bill Shorten.
If they admit there were 50 dodgy ballot papers how many were there really?
Australia had a federal election in September 2013 with the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd losing to Tony Abbott. Mr Rudd resigned as leader of the Labor Party and Labor had a ballot in October 2013 to elect a new leader which was won by Bill Shorten.
“Rank-and-file members and federal Labor MPs were each given 50 per cent of the vote. Mr Shorten lost the rank and file vote but won the caucus vote to defeat Mr Albanese by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.” (Click here to read more)
Earlier this year it was leaked that some dodgy voting had gone on during the ballot that involved a person who was at the time a staff member of Senator Dastyari.
“The integrity of the vote that installed Bill Shorten as federal Labor leader is under scrutiny after an ALP tribunal found the mailing addresses for dozens of ballot papers were altered at the request of a staff member of senator Sam Dastyari.” (Click here to read more)
Senator Dastyari’s position this week is:
“Asked on ABC radio on Tuesday if he had instructed Mr Buckland to request the change to mailing addresses on the ballots he replied: “Not at all.”
“Frankly, it had nothing to do with me,” Senator Dastyari said. “I wasn’t aware of it.”
And: “Mr Dastyari said it was “all a bit of a storm in a teacup”.” (Click here to read more)
Sam Dastyari says it is “a storm in a teacup”
Mr Dastyari has a long history of being involved in vote rigging in one way or another in union elections it would be of no surprise if he was involved in vote rigging for Mr Shorten.
For any politician to say that allegations of vote rigging is nothing more than a “storm in a teacup” is disgraceful and a true sign of the contempt they have for democracy.
Senator Dastyari has a very colourful past. He was General Secretary of the NSW branch of the Labor Party from 2010 until 2013 when he was appointed to the Senate to fill a vacated seat. (Click here to read more)
In his short time as GM of the NSW Labor branch he was up to a lot of no good which included funding elections at the HSU from dodgy slush funds, paying legal fees for Craig Thomson, trying to bribe Thomson, being personally sued by Craig Thomson’s lawyer for unpaid fees and he has been named at the Trade Union Royal Commission many times.
An enlightening background article on The Monthly website has this to say about Sam Dastyari:
“Dastyari has become such an adept machine man that it undermines his trustworthiness. “He presents himself as a naive young guy trying to change the world,” says a Labor figure who has observed his rise. “That’s his schtick. ‘I’m a simple boy, a refugee from Iran, trying to make my way in a complicated world.’ He does the naive outsider stumbling into the world of Realpolitik – a kind of Mr Smith [Goes to Washington] act. But Sam is every inch with the old school.”
“Dastyari has nurtured close relations with the NSW old guard. His mentors include Graham Richardson, who also became general secretary in his 20s, and his father-in-law, Peter Barron, Bob Hawke’s old fixer. (Dastyari met his wife, Helen, while she was working for former NSW premier Morris Iemma.) Bob Hawke himself is another friend.” (Click here to read more)
Where to now
Bill Shorten has many skeletons in the closet and this scandal will be another one raised at the next federal election unless there is an open and public inquiry or a re-election for leader of the Labor Party.
The chances of a proper investigation are zero and so is a re-election. If there was a proper investigation it is almost certain there would be a re-election because the ballot was so tainted and the Labor Party know this. It would do too much damage to the Party’s credibility so they deliberately hide the truth.
What the Labor Party powerbrokers do not realise and/or care about is that in the long-term it will probably do even greater damage to the party. If there are people in the Labor Party admitting that there were 50 dodgy votes then it is quite possible the real number might be 500, 5000 or greater suspect votes.
Most people think vote rigging only happens in the third world where countries like Australia send observers during elections to make sure they are run honestly. But it clearly happens here as well. If things don’t improve then maybe at the next federal election in Australia we should ask the likes of North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un or Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe to send observers.
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