What does “equal” really mean?

Tasmanian State Election

The election on Saturday is likely to result in a continuation of majority Liberal government, but there were several points of interest including:

* The allegations against liberal candidate Adam Brooks that dominated the news on Friday

* Adam Brooks’s likely election (ahead of sitting member Roger Jaensch) despite the allegations

* The Premier Peter Gutwein’s massive personal vote

* The failure of his huge personal support to translate to increased support for the Liberal party

* The likely defeat of the controversial Sue Hicks

* A further decline of the labor vote

* Greens leader Cassie O’Connor’s polarising post-election speech that sounded more like a victory speech

 

But for me, one of the more interesting aspects around the election was the early timing and this coinciding with the Leader of the Opposition, Rebecca White being pregnant. The following commentary was on the ABC News Facebook page from former Labor Premier, Lara Giddings:

Ms Giddings directed scathing criticism at Liberal leader Peter Gutwein for calling the election while Labor leader Rebecca White was heavily pregnant.

“I won’t ever forgive Peter Gutwein for what he did to Rebecca White as a pregnant woman, and the stress he’s put on her baby during an election campaign that was not required,” Ms Giddings said.

“It should not have been held until March of next year, and he will have to carry that, I believe, for ever more.”

 

This raises several interesting questions:

* Should Peter Gutwein have considered Rebecca White’s pregnancy when calling the early election?

* If he did take it into account, was it a valid and clever strategy or inappropriate?

* Whilst Rebecca White appeared to deal with the campaign exceptionally well, how would the Labor Party have responded if she was not able to because of her pregnancy?

* Was there a voter backlash against the Liberal Party for calling the election at this time?

* In this age of equal opportunity, what does “equal” really mean?

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