Exclusion of independents is discriminatory

Letter to the editor

I just read in Wednesday’s (8/6/16) Express Advocate about the proposed forum with the candidates for the federal electorates of Dobell and Robertson to be held on Tuesday June 21, at Mingara Recreation Club.

It is a joint venture between the Advocate and the radio station 104.5 FM, but only the candidates for Labor, Liberal and the Greens parties have been invited. Why was this invitation not extended to Independent candidates? When I rang 104.5 FM and spoke to the manager, Mr Paul Moltzen, that this was most discriminatory, his response was that there would be too many candidates to speak on the night in the two hours scheduled for the forum.

But he couldn’t tell me the total number of candidates for these two electorates. Today (10/6/16), is when the ballot papers for all electorates are finalised for both houses of parliament and as yet all candidates have not been announced. Mr Moltzen said that the arrangement for the forum has been fi nalised and will not be changed. This is indeed a most discriminatory action and should be heartily condemned. Silly me, I thought that I lived in a democracy where everyone is treated fairly and freedom of speech is enshrined in our democracy.

Letter, Jun 10, 2016 James McMillan, Wamberal