The sleaziness of Federal and State politics, which has previously not polluted local council elections, has now become the norm for some candidates in the Cairns Regional Council elections.
Much of the community discussion has focused on longtime ALP leader and perennial candidate Richie Bates, who apparently has never seen a "team" he can't support - as long as there might be a job for him. A member of Val Schier's Cairns 1st Team in the 2008 council election and roundly defeated, Bates then pushed hard to garner the ALP preselection as MP for Cairns in the state election. Dissed by the party in favour of Kirsten Lesina, in apparent desperation has signed on to the Byrne/Manning Unity Team. If Robert Mugabe were running in North Queensland, Bates would be there with his hand up.
Sadly, he's showing what seems to be his typical lack of personal morality by now "toeing the line" set by the Unity Team despite his known personal antipathy to such ideas. The latest of his positions to change violently is his known, published stance in opposition to more dredging of the Trinity Inlet. Bates has now so descended into the sludge that he called into Cueball MacKenzie this morning to announce and confirm his changed position. Cueball ensured that Bates eat as much shit as possible by pointedly telling Bates "so you've changed your previous position", and Bates dutifully grovelled out a "yes" to the dark master.
Bates has no shame, and no ethics. And no vote from us. He's the poster boy for the Worst of Politics. Should the Unity Team endorse child abuse or sex with marmosets, Bates can be counted on to agree.
And just to ensure the record is clear on Marge Cochrane and the Entertainment Precinct - while she now has built her campaign on the idea that the approved plan is "should not be built on the waterfront", Marge Cochrane voted "AYE" on this site when it came to council. ALONG WITH EVERYONE ELSE. Running away from their votes now? Not what community leaders do . . .at least not with some kind of bullshit explanation.