‘Dishonest’ byelection posters will backfire: political expert

EXTREME POSITION: One of the controversial election campaign posters which have been fixed to the front fence of a McLachlan Street home. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

EXTREME POSITION: One of the controversial election campaign posters which have been fixed to the front fence of a McLachlan Street home. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

THE comparison on election posters of NSW Premier Mike Baird and deputy Troy Grant to Adolf Hitler and Kim Jong-un is likely to hurt those it’s intended to help in the Orange byelection.

That’s the view of Charles Sturt University’s Associate Professor of Political Science Dominic O’Sullivan, who described the posters – which are displayed on a McLachlan Street home – as “extremely disrespectful”.

So much so he believed they will prove counterproductive for those looking to gain political mileage from the controversial greyhound ban issue in the November 12 election.

“I can’t believe that many people will see these posters and have sympathy for their position,” Professor O’Sullivan said.

“To liken their actions to Hitler’s killing of six million Jews or Kim Jong-un, who fed his uncle to some dogs, adds a distinct crassness to the political debate.”

The Bathurst-based academic believed the political messages cross more than one ethical line.

According to the NSW Electoral Commission all election posters must show the name and address of the person who authorised the printing, the name of the printer and the address at which it was printed.

In not doing so those displaying the McLachlan Street posters have been “dishonest”, according to Professor O’Sullivan.

To liken these actions to Hitler’s killing of six million Jews or Kim Jong-un, who fed his uncle to some dogs, adds a total crassness to the political debate. - Charles Sturt University’s Associate Professor of Political Science Dominic O’Sullivan

“If you’re going to print these kinds of things you have to say who you are and why these comparisons are justified,” he said.

“These posters do neither of those things.”

Member of Orange’s Social Justice group Sister Mary Trainor was shocked by the tone of the posters, saying they had no place in the nation’s political landscape.

“They are ill-considered and basically just plain wrong,” she said.

“It really upsets me that my fellow citizens of Australia would descend to such depths.”

Sister Mary believed residents seeing them for the first time “will be offended and sad”.

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