A SATIRICAL form guide launched by independent Liberal candidate Pete Smith is set to ruffle political party and bureaucratic feathers.
Using the Liberal Party’s livery and font, the South West Coast candidate has outlined his take on the by-election in a how-to-vote card with a twistahead of the October 31 poll.
Mr Smith said the flyer, inserted in Friday’s The Standard, aimed to make people consider their vote carefully.
“I don’t have the budget of the major parties to flood the population with leaflets and propaganda,” the Portland businessman said.
“I wanted to have a how-to-vote card that made people smile as well as think. With the Spring Racing Carnival coming up, I thought it was an opportune time to have a form guide of the by-election race.”
CARD CARRYING: Independent Liberal Pete Smith has launched a satirical how-to-vote card with a Melbourne Cup-style interpretation ahead of the South West Coast by-election. Photo: Vicky Hughson
Mr Smith describes himself in the by-election form guide as “Liberal independent –will give the favourites a run for their money; liable to finish anywhere; carrying excess weight at the moment. Best bet by far.”
The Smith form guide also describes fellow independent Michael McCluskey as “well-known to other horse owners and trainers” given his career as a vet. Country Party candidate Jim Doukas is touted as being a “good runner (but) seen better days” while National Party candidate Michael Neoh is described as appearing“good in Fine Cotton”, a reference to the infamous 1984 racetrack controversy.
A Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) spokesman said candidates were free to distribute non-registered how-to-vote cards prior to October 31.
“Candidates have until 12pm tomorrow (Friday) to register a how-to-vote card with the VEC,” the spokesman said. “If a candidate doesn’t do this then they cannot distribute any printed material within 400 metres of a voting centre on election day.
“However, candidates are free to distribute a non-registered how-to-vote cardbefore election dayatearly voting centresas long as the material is authorised by the candidate.”
Mr Smith said his how-to-vote card highlighted what he termed a VEC “double standard” by allowing one card during the pre-poll period by calling for registration of by-election day cards.
“It’s a dreadful loophole given 30 or 40 per cent of votes are pre-poll.”
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