Abalinx 26 March 2018 Peter Adamis
I have always been fascinated with the amount of work done by staff at State Council Elections. The tight security, the checks and balances in place to stop double dipping and finally the monitors and Scrutineers in place to ensure that all was above board.
I ask this because I received an email requesting I conduct research into how Greg Mirabella defeated Serge Petrovich at last year’s State Council elections. It was an interesting email full of praise of Greg Mirabella and sarcastic comments against Serge Petrovich. I was intrigued and sought out my records of the past and conducted my own research on the subject. A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: Liberal Party tightens State Council Elections
I had met Serge Petrovich some years ago and to be honest, I only knew of him through third parties and never had the pleasure of being properly introduced. My research found that Serge Petrovich during his tenure as Country Vice President, went beyond what was expected of him and travelled throughout the breadth of Victoria advising country, attending the numerous events and fund raisers including annual General Meetings, and keeping them abreast of policies and the fortunes of the party. Sadly, Serge Petrovich was struck down with an illness that had him incapacitated for a while. I can only imagine what it must have been like after having experienced my own health problems.
This illness was used against him by his opponents in 2017, including vicious gossip that Serge was technically not living in the Country. Supporters of Serge Petrovich pointed the finger at Greg Mirabella alleging that it was him responsible for the rumours. Others in their attempts to blacken went as far as to say that Greg Mirabella used “Cake Whisperer” tactics against Serge Petrovich, a rumour which I find hard to believe. But then again, if people are gullible to believe such accusations, they are just as liable to believe the others.
On the day of the state Elections in 2017, when the votes were counted, it appeared that Serge Petrovich had won by seven votes. This is where it becomes nasty. It was stated later that the wife of Greg Mirabella in a valiant attempt to support her husband forced her way into the room where the votes were being counted and monitored the votes being counted again. This time all scrutineers came to a different result. Greg Mirabella won by three votes. Eyebrows were raised, but no-one said anything at the different result and subsequently Greg Mirabella was elected Country Vice President.
If the above is said to be true, I beg to ask the question, why was Sophie Mirabella allowed into the room in the first place when it is against the constitution for a spouse/partner etc. to be a scrutineer for one of the candidates. Why she was not challenged? Were the staff intimidated by Sophie Mirabella’s presence? Were the staff and Sophie Mirabella not aware of the restrictions placed on candidates relatives attending as scrutineers and why did not the Constitutional Committee overturn the result and begin anew. These matters should have been rectified at the time and put a stop to the vicious rumours about Sophie Mirabella allegedly bringing in additional ten votes to turn the tide in her husband’s favour. Such is the viciousness of State Council Elections. It was not fair to pain Sophie and her husband in such poor light and un-Australian in my books.
It now appears that changes are being considered by the current Administrative Committee to ensure such incidents are not repeated. In fact I would go even further and code all the ballot papers and have them checked against a master data base designed exactly for that purpose. At the moment, ballot papers once they have been collected are not checked once they have been completed and there is no foolproof system against corruption and attempted fraud. State Elections are an important organism of the party structure and they must be above board and beyond reach of anyone creating an environment that alters the outcome at the last moment.
This year, Greg Mirabella (alias, the wombat) is being challenged by Paul Mitchell, (alias, the Wolf). A member who is based in the Mornington Peninsula and works around the State of Victoria. Paul Mitchell works in the Melbourne City District, is on the Administrative Committee, a dedicated Liberal party member, a former young Liberal and a successful membership officer. Greg Mirabella on the other hand is alleged to have used his position in an unorthodox manner, raising eyebrows amongst senior members of his criticism towards the President Michael Kroger. Mind you Greg Mirabella has every right to constructive criticize the President behind closed doors but not as it is alleged to spread misinformation and Administrative matters to members outside the Board room.
Mind you, I am of the belief that Greg Mirabella is an honourable man and these alleged rumours have been spread to undermine him. Having said this, some may say it is karma and others may say that what goes round comes round. I can only guess that when one is seeking power, influence and status to enhance ones position in life, nothing is sacred. This brings us back to the question of who is responsible for enforcing the election procedures, and ensuring that the constitution is followed to the letter. Members will point their fingers at Administrative arm of the organisation and say that it was the responsibility of the State director, who in this case is Nick Demiris. On the other hand members will say that the buck stops with the Administrative Committee.
I am of the belief that all State Council logistical, matters were organized by the State Director and his staff. In this case, this year it is Nick Demiris while last year Simon Frost was responsible. Be that it may, the overall responsibility must rest with the outgoing Administrative Committee to ensure that all logistical matters are in accordance with the Constitution. To do otherwise is both folly and inappropriate that only has one outcome. Loss of faith by party members towards the State Director, his credibility and that of the outgoing Administrative Committee integrity. Therefore we as party members when voting must ensure that we elect officials suitable to fill the roles and not see a repeat of the blind leading the blind during the Damien Mantach era.
I always finish a positive note and state as always that members who are not supporting Michael Kroger and his team are not supporting Matthew Guy win the Victorian State Election. Michael Kroger and his team have brought back the Liberal Party to its former glory, increasing membership, putting financial structures in place, getting rid of dead wood and replenishing the coffers of the party to fight the good fight against Labor and the Greens. I just want to see State Council Elections be conducted with the dignity that we as members expect.
Post Script. I have written a number of political article on various subjects and other matters. Since that time I have received a number of abusive telephone calls at home and on my mobile. Furthermore please note that all my calls are monitored due to inappropriate behaviour. I have also received unwarranted and inappropriate threatening emails. As I take such matters to heart, I would like to point out that I have no malice towards any individual. In fact I admire anyone who stands up or what they believe in. I am the same and will do what is right in the eyes of our society. If any reader is aggrieved by my comments, then an apology is in order on my part.
I will go even further and apologise to all and sundry if my posts have offended or upset my very dear friends, mates, ex-military, retired cobbers political, military, community and all those I have met throughout life. But having apologised does not mean that we do not have our political differences and I don’t expect us as individuals to see eye to eye on many things apart from wanting as in my case Liberal Governments in power. My disagreements if any with individual are never personal.
If those who read what I have written, please be assured that it was not my intention and I am sorry if people have taken it the wrong way. I have explained in another post what has occurred to my database and in my own manner of speaking I hoped that it would make matters clearer. If not then I am sorry if readers have taken my posts the wrong way. I welcome as always constructive criticism to mattes which readers may feel need further clarification and I will endeavour to correct it. It may also mean that I may have to add a postscript to any article that I write in order that others understand that what is being written is not personal at all. Thank you to everyone for their kind support and understanding. Peter Adamis.
Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), and Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0481 342 791