Nov 212007

It’s clear that Wentworth, and it’s possible loss to Labor in Saturday’s election, is of high importance to the Coalition.

I think there would be innumerable people in Australia, who for whatever reasons oppose theocracy or theocratic rule as a means of government, especially living in a country like Australia which is essentially secular. Rose Jackson, George Newhouse’s campaign manager is one of those. That’s her right and I dare say Mr Newhouse probably knows of her sentiments regarding theocracy, but even if he doesn’t, I’m bemused by what impact The Australian and known right-wing activist Imre Salusinsky might think her beliefs could have on Mr Newhouse’s election campaign for the seat of Wentworth.
Zionism is a Jewish issue and of no concern to non-Jewish peoples or especially secular societies such as Australia, in my view. That said, clearly Ms Jackson’s beliefs are her own and she has every right to espouse them. I would doubt her understanding of exactly what Zionism represents and suspect her opposition to Zionism is based, as she states, on her opposition to theocratic rule, not on any anti-Jewish sentiment per se. This would appear to be borne out by her statement that she believes in the right of the state of Israel to exist, with the unspoken understanding that Israel is a Jewish homeland.
Clearly, this column by Salusinsky for a media outlet with known Coalition sympathies is yet another desperate final hours bid by conservative forces to save a seat, and political face, which represents the heart of conservative politics in New South Wales. Personally, I find this kind of tactic distasteful and decidely undemocratic. More to the point, it’s probably best described as un-Australian, being much more closely aligned with American politics where every move by candidates is over-shadowed by potential for litigation, win, lose or draw.
Surely it’s up to the Australian Electoral Commission to determine whether George Newhouse resigned from his publically funded office when he was supposed to, and is fit to run as a candidate accordingly. Trial by biased media adds nothing to the clarification of candidacy and merely muddies the electoral waters for voters come Saturday. Of course, this is entirely the purpose of this 11th hour conservative tactic. To claim someone may or may not be anti-semetic is one thing, but acting in a decidedly undemocratic manner in doing so is most definitely another.

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