This year’s federal election campaign is only five weeks (and two days) long. Which is good, because if it went any longer there would probably be no candidates left.
Since Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the May 18 election on April 11, close to 20 candidates have been disendorsed. A few have had citizenship issues (surely we should have a handle on that by now?), one was disendorsed because she is an Australia Post employee and another, Liberal candidate Murray Angus, because he called his Labor opponent a “good bloke”. Outrageous.
Then there have also been the candidates from many different parties who have been disendorsed, sacked, or made to apologise due to their shady online behaviour.
Mamamia’s daily news podcast The Quicky spoke to a competitive intelligence research consultant whose job it is to find the dirt on politicians… because in the game of politics, you win or you die. Post continues below audio.
This all begs the question: Who the heck is vetting these people?
Here’s a run down of the embarrassing/disturbing/infuriating things 14 of our candidates have done – people who, by the way, are asking us to vote for them.
- Gurpal Singh, the Liberal candidate for Scullin, was asked to resign after Facebook comments he made on a story written by an alleged rape victim in 2017, in which he said he had “no sympathy” for the author, were discovered. His party and Scott Morrison previously stood by him despite a 2017 interview with SBS Radio where he linked same-sex marriage to paedophilia – in response, Labor released an attack ad on gay dating app Grindr.
- Tony Pecora, the United Australia Party candidate for Melbourne, was sacked after he outed himself as a September 11 conspiracy theorist, claiming the terror attacks were the work of "globalist forces" possibly including the US government, in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
- Jay Dessi, the Greens candidate for Lalor, quit after old Facebook posts in which he joked about having sex with a ghost and made a racist joke about an Asian friend were uncovered.
- Jessica Whelan, the Liberal candidate for Lyons, has been dumped for anti-Islamic comments she made on Facebook, including calling for a referendum on whether or not Australia closes its borders to Muslims and saying refugees were not wanted in Tasmania. In another post she appears to suggest feminists and Muslim women should have their genitals mutilated.