Alan Howe

Dec 13, 2011

Misleading voters is not “democratic”, Alan.

Alan Howe (whose previous dubious polemics on

Pure Poison IconAlan Howe (whose previous dubious polemics on sentencing we’ve dealt with previously) was back in the Herald Sun yesterday trying to defend with utter disingenuousness the Victorian Liberals’ highly distorted and misleading survey on sentencing.

The State Government would’ve indeed been right to ask voters their views on sentencing. Sadly, what it did instead was ask voters their views on completely one-sided and unrealistic scenarios without any context, and then attempt to conflate them with what actually happens in courts when all the evidence is actually heard. And then, in a massive insult to those voters that it misled, it – and its cheerleaders on this subject at the Herald Sun (although who’s cheerleading who here might be the other way around) – then pretended that voters’ answers to those limited questions represented voters’ answers to sentencing decisions generally.

And, as we have repeatedly seen every time the Sentencing Advisory Council actually sits ordinary voters down and puts them through a mock trial where they see all the evidence, if anything voters are actually less punitive than the judiciary.

Which makes it a genuine undemocratic outrage that the Herald Sun and the state Liberals are working so hard to make the gap between the public and the judiciary wider. Judges are already tougher than the public actually wants them to be – and yet these shameless campaigners want to force them to be even tougher. Who wins? It’s not the public, whose actual idea of justice is thereby betrayed. It’s not the public, whose streets become more dangerous as more people are locked up instead of rehabilitated, as funding for actual programs that reduce reoffending is cut in order to fund a massive expansion of prisons, as people who come out of jail are further brutalised instead of reformed. It’s not the public, which has to pay increased taxes for fewer public services in order to fund this expansion of the prison system.

In fact, apart from a few muppets who’ll say anything to sell newspapers, a few shameless and grubby politicians who’ll legislate anything that buys them a few votes, and apart from whichever company it is who’ll end up building and running the new prisons, it’s a lose-lose all round.

I wonder if more of the public being insulted by this rubbish will notice, before it’s too late.

PS is there anything more irksome than Alan’s habit on this subject (he did it in the earlier piece, too) of pretending that his views are necessarily those of the general public at large? “We” and “us” he says, as if he was just speaking for the average Joe, rather than trying to sell him a polished turd.

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6 comments

6 thoughts on “Misleading voters is not “democratic”, Alan.

  1. Lee Harvey Oddworld

    Howe is one of those with scant respect for any democracy in the world except Israel’s dysfunctional version (which, true to his hasbarist handbook, he’s repeatedly and erroneously told his readers is the only democracy in the Middle East). Then along came with Arab Spring and a risible but wearily predictable volte face: suddenly those immature Arabs couldn’t be trusted with and/or didn’t deserve their own democracies.

  2. stephdoubleu

    internet hug for MOC.

  3. Matthew of Canberra

    I think they should put the design of public works to a democratic vote too. No need to hire expensive “engineers” to work out what sort of generators to buy or where the wires should go. The people know what they want – let’s just ask them! Heck, why not develop all policy that way? Let’s ask the readers of NEWS publications to develop our national defence doctrine by sending in ideas and voting on them. It’s their safety at stake, right? And their tax dollars. Why should “generals” get to say what sorts of helicopters we buy?

    And when we eventually do get those nuclear power stations, I think we should let the people decide how they will be designed. No need to leave it to “physics” and “experts” – everyone knows those guys are in the pocket of Big Science (and no science is Bigger than nuclear energy!). Corrupt, the lot of them. Nah – I think it’d be better to let high school students decide how it should work and let 2UE run a phone-in vote to decide the winning design.

    As all readers of the Hun will tell you – FAR too much power has been concentrated in the hands of people who know what they’re doing.

  4. shepherdmarilyn

    It’s as bad as the OO today reporting that some refugees are pissed off with asylum seekers, which ignores the fact that those refugees were once asylum seekers.

  5. Eponymous

    This is stupid and terrible. It also reminds me of this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal

  6. Lord Barry Bonkton

    The Fiberals must have shares in the “Private Jails ” business ??? and are trying to boost their share price. You only have to look at their mates in the USA , where the Fire Fighters watch a house burn to the ground , because they have not paid their “Fire Levy ” or “Stop bleeding on my Hospital Floor ” , you don’t have Hospital cover ??? This is what the Fiberals want in Australia and more.

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