Why watchdogs won't work without widespread change
THE appointment of an Independent Council Election Observer is good in theory, but it was never really going to fly in Queensland.
There's just been too many failures and questionable motives in State and Local Government ranks for anyone to be satisfied that voters are better off with someone deciding what is and isn't fact. It makes no difference if the people appointed to these kind of roles are the most balanced, by-the book, respected members of our communities.
You can understand why it seemed necessary to bring in someone to shut down some of the baseless claims that are made.
No doubt Cr Daniel Sanderson felt it was important to defend his family and reputation and is comforted by the result.
Editors, including this one, are routinely rebuked for perceived failings and subjected to baseless allegations and conspiracies.
Annual leave or time off for illness can quickly become "she's being punished or is on the way out because she did/didn't do this …"
But at the end of the day you've got to be able to get as good as you give and understand that while there is always room to do better, when you are called an unrepentant far-right Murdoch bootlicker and a commie responsible for a Labor rag in the same hour, you are probably not too far off the right track.
Defamation laws are there to pursue people if you believe they have crossed a line.
Creating an avenue where people are singled out when there is so much of it going on and it is impossible to deal with every example in a three-month time frame, will only give rise to conspiracy theories especially when there are already too many questions still hanging over which councillors in Queensland are pursued more vigorously than others.
It's a bitter pill to swallow but until we can be sure the system isn't sick, government and government association/lobby group appointed watchdogs can't be the cure.