OUR SAY:What the QEC needs to know….
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Saturday, March 5, 2016
The Independent will let the voters of Central Ward make up their own minds about her ongoing refusal to answer what this paper believes the vast majority of its readers would accept as legitimate, fair and reasonable questions that deserve to be answered in an open and honest way.
1. Do you share The Independent’s view that Brisbane residents should always obey both the spirit and the letter of Brisbane City Council rules and bylaws?
2. Do you believe that in putting your name and image to the design feature mentioned above, you are obeying both the spirit and the letter of that council rule that bans the use of the City Council’s intellectual property – its branding “cleat” of alternating blue and yellow blocks run vertically down the left-hand side of official council material - in political material?
3. The council’s CEO told The Independent last year after viewing LNP/Team Quirk political material that the blue and yellow colours used on such material were the same as those used on the council’s official cleat. Do you agree with his assessment?
4. Do you also accept that the dimensions of the blue and yellow blocks used on official city council material vary widely as seen by the public?
5. Do you accept that if just one voter in Brisbane thinks that what appears on your political material is the council cleat, then that’s one too many?
6. The Independent has long argued that you and the LNP/ Team Quirk in general have deliberately used such a design feature to make some voters – The Independent argues it would be the vast majority - think it’s the council cleat. If you disagree with that then why are you using it?
7. The Independent has also long argued that the use of the copycat council cleat in LNP/Team Quirk political material including your own is there for no other reason than to link Team Quirk with the council’s name so that Team Quirk becomes the council’s official election team, thus giving it an electoral advantage, one we argue is unfair, unethical and politically dishonest. Assuming you disagree with that view, please explain why we are wrong.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Independent Brisbane Lord Mayoral candidate Jim Eldridge has fully backed this newspaper's long-running campaign against the LNP/Team Quirk's ongoing use of their copycat council cleat to try to cheat their way back to the keys of City Hall.
And Mr Eldridge has used three simple one-word answers to show what he thinks of the tactic that this paper has always claimed - and one we believe a vast majority of Brisbane people would agree with - blatantly breaks the council rule that says the council's cleat must not be used for political gain.
Here are the questions we put to the candidate and his short, sharp and telling replies:
1. Do you regard Team Quirk's pervasive use of what The Independent believes the vast majority of Brisbane people would see as the city council's intellectual property - its branding image of alternating blocks of blue and yellow down the left-hand-side of official council documents (its cleat)that council rules say must not be used for political purposes - as cheating?
2. The Independent has argued for years that the LNP/Team Quirk's use of the council's copycat cleat is underhand, sneaky, unethical, rule-breaking and politically dishonest. Do you agree with any or all of those descriptions?
3. The Independent has long argued that there's no way the upcoming municipal elections can be conducted on a level playing field if the LNP/Team Quirk continue using a feature we believe is designed for no other reason than to create the impression in voters' minds that Team Quirk has some form of official council support/blessing. Agree or disagree?
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
"For a political party like the LNP to use the council colours and ‘pseudo brand’ is just not being honest with voters," Mr Harding said in response to questions put by The Independent. "The integrity of the Brisbane City Council’s corporate brand is being put into question by the LNP.
"It’s not appropriate for any candidate to be using the Brisbane City Council design to try and trick voters. This has been a long-standing ploy by the LNP in my opinion. To not only trick voters, but go down the road of politicising the organisation and bureaucracy. Candidates shouldn’t try and cheat to win votes, they should stand on their own record and plans for our city.
Mr Harding said Labor councillors have long been questioning the LNP’s tactics and had formally written to the CEO of Brisbane City Council raising their concerns.
"Sadly these concerns have not been adequately addresses by the council. I believe residents deserve to be treated with respect and given more credit than Team Quirk currently gives them.
Our survey makes a mockery of any piece of tricky, sneaky, fancy legal footwork that Graham Quirk relies on (not that he's ever been prepared to tell us) to make his bold claim that the LNP does not use the council cleat. With that claim comes the unspoken assumption that your average Brisbane person could tell the difference, which is an absolute nonsense.
But does it matter? Even if somewhere deep in the administrative bowels of City Hall, guidelines do indeed exist as to what the real city council "cleat" dimensions are, Mr Jensen has done a very poor job in enforcing them.
From the back of buses, to bus timetable signs, to safe precinct signs, to leaflets on what’s happening locally, to rubbish bins, the blue and yellow blocks on the council’s official cleat vary in dimensions from short and fat, to square, to slightly elongated, to very tall and thin. And Graham Quirk and his Team Quirk candidates would know that more than anyone.
It’s why we believe Lord Mayor Quirk lied to this paper – and you, its readers – several years ago when he said Team Quirk candidates didn’t use the cleat in 2012. They most certainly did. As they are again now.
Pasted on the window of one entertainment Valley mall venue is a very serious council edict (see right) on the importance of following council health rules about food standards. It has the tallest, skinniest blocks this paper has ever seen.
LNP state director Lincoln Folo has failed to answer questions from The Independent over the ongoing use of a copycat council cleat by Team Quirk candidates.
This paper believes its readers would regard as fair and reasonable the questions put to Mr Folo as the person who authorises election material carrying the copycat council cleat. The questions are similar to ones Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Central Ward councillor Vicki Howard have refused to answer for years.
Here are the questions asked and the preface to them:
In the run-up to the 2016 Brisbane City Council elections on 19 March, you and/or other LNP officials are authorising LNP/Team Quirk material that uses a pattern of alternating blue and yellow blocks down the left hand side of all sorts of political material, from roadside billboards to footpath candidates’ signs to all sorts of leaflets/pamphlets
Accordingly we seek prompt answers to the following questions:
1. Do you share The Independent’s view that Brisbane residents should always obey both the spirit and the letter of Brisbane City Council rules and bylaws?
2. As LNP state director, do you believe that in using the design features mentioned above, the LNP and Team Quirk are obeying both the spirit and the letter of that council rule that bans the use of the City Council’s intellectual property – its branding “cleat” of alternating blue and yellow blocks run vertically down the left-hand side of official council material - in political material?
3. Do you accept that the dimensions of the blue and yellow blocks used on official city council material vary widely as seen by the public?
4. Do you also accept that if just one voter in Brisbane thinks what the LNP/Team Quirk are using is the council cleat, then that’s one too many?
5. Lord Mayor Quirk told the Brisbane Times recently that the colours being used on Team Quirk material in 2016 are different from the official cleat, yet the council’s CEO told The Independent last year after examining material used in the 2012 campaign that the colours were the same. Has Lord Mayor Quirk lied to the media? Or has the LNP subtly changed the colours used for this current campaign? If so, please explain any such differences.
6. Looking at the attached image of one LNP/Team Quirk north-side billboard that is clearly political as it proclaims it was not produced at council expense, please explain fully to our readers why you believe, if there are any differences in those blue and yellow colours or indeed in the dimensions of those blocks of colour from those of the official council cleat, they are sufficient that any reasonable Brisbane voter – for example, a motorist driving past - could not have possibly mistaken one for the other?
7. The Independent has long argued that the LNP/ Team Quirk have deliberately used such a design feature to make voters – The Independent argues most - think it’s the council cleat. If you disagree with that then why are they using it?
8. The Independent has long argued that the use of the copycat council cleat in LNP/Team Quirk political material is done for no other reason than to link Team Quirk with the council’s name so that Team Quirk becomes the council’s official election team, thus giving it an electoral advantage, one we argue is unfair, unethical and politically dishonest. Assuming you disagree with that view, please explain why we are wrong.
9. If you have been or unwilling or unable to explain why the design the LNP/Team Quirk use is sufficiently different from the council's official cleat that the average Brisbane voter could tell the difference, do you undertake, in the interests of local politics played openly, honestly and cleanly and on a level playing field, to move immediately as LNP state director to ensure that that design feature is covered over on billboards, footpath signs and the like that are in the public eye, to pulp any other existing print material that features that design, and to ensure it is not included in any fresh printed or electronic media/social media campaign material in the lead-up to the 19 March elections?
Thursday, February 25, 2016
But I realised a long time ago that they know very well what they are doing is wrong. They know it would be wrong if they used something that looked just a little bit like the council’s official branding cleat, let alone something that looks so much like it that they have never been able or willing to explain the difference.
They knew full well they were breaking council rules when they used their copycat council cleat in 2012 and they know full well they are breaking the same rules by doing it again now. They are cheating again because they cheated before and it worked for them. They just can’t help themselves. It’s all about votes.
Personally, I’d fear for my safety if I ever got between Team Quirk candidates and a vote, and that certainly applies to Central Ward councillor Vicki Howard.
I doubt there was anything more that Vicki Howard could have done, back in 2012 when she was just a humble citizen, to pretend she was already the councillor for the area. In a ward where the long-term councillor was retiring and one with a high percentage of new voters each election cycle anyway, pretending to already be already elected - to give yourself the advantage of incumbency - was a very good idea.
The use of the council cleat by Vicki then was red-hot wrong, and remains so. It’s against council rules. The other touches are pieces of political trickery that all parties probably engage in. But wouldn’t it have been nice back then if Vicki had told the LNP that “candidate” was fine by her for that’s what she was? And had pleaded with the LNP powers-that-be to tone down the leaflets and maybe use a “if I’m elected” somewhere near the top as a matter of decency and transparency?
Will she get away with it? Who knows? If she has spent even just half the time and effort at being a city councillor over the past four years as she did back then pretending to already be one, she might have a shot.
But I have a different view. You don't deserve to lead if you don't play by the rules. You can't expect the people of Brisbane to obey council rules and bylaws if you don't abide by them yourselves. Leadership brings responsibilities. Forwhat she’s done and for what she’s doing again, I believe she deserves nothing more than to be turfed out on her ear.
But all would not be lost. Both the Can-Do and Team Quirk administrations have been very good at PR, soI was thinking maybe Vicki could apply for a PR job with the police if she loses on 19 March.
Her opening paragraph would begin something like this: "Police work can be tough, dangerous and exacting and I know from my own experience that whenever I'm called out....."
The Independent warned repeatedly over time that the LNP and Team Quirk planned to cheat again at this year's Brisbane City Council elections and they are doing exactly that .... big time!
The LNP/Team Quirk are con-artists, cheats and coward and here's why.
They are con-artists because what they use is there for no other purpose than to let the public think it is the council cleat. And that deceptive, devious and politically dishonest exercise has no other purpose than to create the impression that Team Quirk has the backing of council. Team Quirk becomes the Council's Team Quirk. It gives them a powerful advantage over rivals who are playing by the rules.
They are cheats because it's strictly against council rules for the official branding cleat to be used for political purposes.
They are cowards because while Lord Mayor Quirk will happily repeat a claim that his candidates do not use the council cleat, Cr Quirk has never had the courage of his convictions and answer legitimate and reasonable questions from The Independent over years, challenging him to explain how what Team Quirk uses differs from the official cleat, and to explain how any reasonable person could tell the difference. In other words, we called Cr Quirk's bluff. He and his team stand condemned by their silence.
The Independent asks the voters of Brisbane a very simple and basic question: why should you obey both the letter and the spirit of council rules and by-laws if Team Quirk candidates happily and blatantly break them for political gain?
Citizens who break council rules, such as overstaying on an expired parking meter or using a water sprinkler out of hours when restrictions apply, run the risk of a fine. Team Quirk candidates are blatantly breaking council rules to improve their chances of keeping or gaining well-paid jobs on the public purse.
What the LNP/Team Quirk are trying to get away with once again has nothing to do with politics played in an open, fair and honest way. It has nothing to do with strong and decent community leadership. It is devious, deceptive and politically dishonest.
It is this newspaper's view that the LNP/Team Quirk shouldn't be in charge of running a chook raffle, let alone a great city.
Top: A current Team Quirk sign in New Farm. Above: the real council branding 'cleat' in a print advertisement. Amazing likeness, eh? Editor's note: both these images were taken by a phone camera. Both RGB images have been resized but have not been altered or enhanced digitally in any way. In printed form using CMYK, the yellow in both of these images looks yellower to the eye.
Top: Footpath signs used by Team Quirk at the 2012 council elections. Above: the real council branding "cleat". Lord Mayor Quirk for three long years (and Cr Vicki Howard, then just a humble citizen, for almost as long) have refused to answer our basic questions over their use of the copycat council cleat. Fresh questions for the current election have once again gone unanswered.