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Thor Prohaska the Independent Candidate for Dickson says, “GetUp has stepped over the line and is now a Political Player”


GetUp claim they are Non-Political and Independent yet they are now behaving as a Political Player in the 2016 Federal Election. They can’t have it both ways and should declare where they really stand!

GetUp say they are a non-political party who will provide voters with independent issues-based advice on how to use their vote.

But on election day, they'll be handing out to voters ‘How-To-Vote’ cards thinly disguised as what they call ‘clear information’ advising voters how to number their ballot to get the best outcome on local issues that matter to their movement. But this will not necessarily be what the voters of Dickson want.

How can they be a ‘non-political party’ when they are handing out ‘How-To-Vote’ cards. And how can they be independent when they state, “they do not feature every political party, nor do they give a comprehensive review of each candidates' policy positions”.

Also they are actively trying to influence the voters by prioritising the candidates who they think will have the best chance of winning and who support the issues that their movement cares about.

Then they have the audacity to say that every effort was taken to independently scrutinise the parties or candidates featured on our How-To-Vote cards. This cannot be true because when I found out that they were running a campaign in Dickson to Ditch Dutton I contacted GetUp and met in person with their representative on the 24 May to discuss how I, as the Independent Candidate for Dickson, could partner with them to achieve our shared goal of unseating Peter Dutton and electing a candidate that would represent what the majority in Dickson wanted.

The GetUp representative said to me that they cannot endorse any individual candidates. I then asked them about the ‘Scorecard’ they would be handing out and asked how they were going to mark me. I was concerned, because I am representing what the majority in Dickson want, that on the scorecard they would mark me down because I didn’t take a personal position on policy. I was told that they could not say anything more about this until after the nominations closed and that I could contact them again to discuss the scorecard after I was officially nominated.

Nominations were officially confirmed on 10 June so I rang, emailed and sent texts on 13 June but received no reply. On 14 June I then personally spoke to the same GetUp representative at the Ryan/Dickson Candidate Forum held by the Catholic Social Justice group.  I asked the representative when the scorecards would be finalised, they said they didn’t know. I asked who I could speak to who would know, they said they didn’t know. I then asked would I be able to have input into the scorecard and I was told they weren’t sure but probably not. I made further attempts to contact both of the GetUp representatives involved with the Ditch Dutton campaign but I have had no reply. Yesterday ( 21 June) I emailed the former National Director of GetUp in the hope that he could put me in contact with someone at GetUp. He said that he had forwarded my request to discuss this matter to ‘someone at GetUp who may be able to help’. As of today I have had no contact from that person or any other person from GetUp.

With this being the case how can they possibly justify making the claim that, “every effort was taken to independently scrutinise the parties or candidates featured on our How-To-Vote cards”. I can state that at least in my case they didn’t do this even though they knew I had concerns that reasonably needed to be discussed further!

Then last night ( 22 June ) I received a general email sent to all people on GetUp’s database that showed the below How-To-Vote card for Dickson. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I saw they had ranked me 3rd for the House of Representatives behind Labor and Greens in Dickson. How can they justify this when they say they prioritised the candidates or parties whose policy platforms are broadly aligned with the GetUp movement's core values and policy priorities which includes among other things candidates who are in favour of participatory democracy? Labor and the Greens not be before me on this primary criteria as are both political parties that require their candidates to pledge as part of their membership oath to put the policy positions of their parties before what the majority of voters in the electorate want. That is clearly putting participatory democracy in second place. On this basis I should be GetUp’s  number one choice because I have publicly pledged to represent what the majority want and to do this via a 100% participatory democracy model. It is not GetUp’s place to tell the voters of Dickson or any other electorate what position to take on any policy.

They then ask the question on their website where they explain how they reached the order on their How-To-Vote card, “Is GetUp backing any candidates this election?” and answer it by saying  “GetUp is backing policy positions on the issues identified as top priorities by GetUp members – climate change, renewables, democracy, health and hospitals. In turn, we're giving voters information about how to support parties and candidates who support these policy positions”. Whichever way you look at that convoluted statement it can’t hide the fact that they are backing the Greens and Labor over myself and the other 3 candidates in Dickson. On this basis I say they have crossed the line from being a non-political party providing independent issues-based advice to being a political player.

I call on GetUp to either withdraw their How-To-Vote cards in Dickson or reissue them with me as their number one choice as I am the only candidate who has guaranteed to represent what the majority in Dickson want and GetUp’s stated core value of participatory democracy. Or to issue a statement that they are now a political player in the election who have chosen to back candidates that reflect what GetUp and their supporters want and not what the majority of Dickson voters want. They can’t have it both ways!



For further information contact Thor Prohaska:


Phone: 0459 167 377


Written and authorised by Thor Prohaska 6/728 Gympie Rd, Lawnton Qld 4501