Perhaps the next generation of politicians will be more careful what they post on social media. But the current lot has much to learn.
Both the Labor and Liberal parties have lost candidates over offensive social media posts and remarks over the past week. Now it’s the Greens turn — with the resignation of federal election candidate Jay Dessi.
Another painful loss in lead up to election
Young Mr Dessi has learned the hard way that nothing on the internet is secret for long — something older politicians have known for quite some time. And a racist joke about a ‘friend’ doesn’t go down so well with people when they finally come to light.
The Australian released content from Dessi’s social media pages on Wednesday, which depicted distasteful jokes about having sex with ghosts and unsavoury comments about his Asian friend.
While the posts no longer exist, they were enough for the candidate to submit to forced termination from campaigning for the safe Labor seat of Lalor in Western Melbourne.
He apologised in a statement for the offence taken from his posts. The party is now in the process of removing all campaign posters involving Dessi.
But it’s not the first time a Greens candidate has come under fire for a controversial social media history. Following the Victorian election in November last year, the Australian Greens gave state parties the opportunity to vet candidates found to be unsuitable for their roles.
‘As a grassroots organisation, we do rely upon the assistance of candidates during this process,’ the party had said in a statement.
‘In this instance, some unsavoury comments from several years ago were not identified. The Victorian Greens apologise for this error.’
We wonder, now that another bad egg has left the party, whether we’ll cease hearing such frequent leavings from the party. Although, the Greens are still standing by their Northern Territory candidate George Hanna, who is also indigenous, who called Liberal candidate and indigenous woman a ‘coconut’.
‘George has committed to ensuring his criticism is limited to policy in future. He has offered an apology to Jacinta Price for using this language,’ a spokesman for the Greens said.
Candidates drop like flies with offensive behaviour
But it’s not just the Greens that are hanging their heads over misbehaving candidates. Both Labor and Liberal lost candidates last week over racist, homophobic and similarly offensive remarks.
Labor NT Senate candidate Wayne Kurnorth quit following his posting of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, and an Islamic State-themed meme. Additionally, Luke Creasey, Labor’s candidate for its Melbourne seat, quit after making derogatory jokes about Catholics, rape and lesbians, AAP reports.
The Libs have much to be ashamed for too.
Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Willis Peter Killin stepped down after the backlash he received after claiming a ‘homosexual lifestyle’ carried ‘appalling health risks’. Similarly, Isaacs candidates Jeremy Hearn and Jessica Whelan in Tasmania resigned after being caught out over anti-Muslim posts.
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