30 sleeps. Day 7. Calls in the night..

Had a couple of interesting phone calls this morning from people concerned about interesting phone calls they’d received. Sound familiar in an election campaign?
One of my callers, Bruce, promised me he had never been a member of a political party, ran his own private contracting company, and was reasonably politically aware.
Last night, just after 6pm, he received a call at home from a young woman who asked if he’d be willing to answer a series of questions about the ACT election.
Bruce said yes, and described the first few questions as ‘quite innocuous’. But then came a question which used the phrasing ‘double or triple your rates.’ Bruce says the question was phrased in a way that made it impossible to dispute the claim, which Bruce wanted to do. In fact, when he told the girl he didn’t want to answer that question she told him he had to. He still refused.
Questions then focussed on the data tampering scandal at Canberra Hospital, which Bruce also felt uneasy about, and then turned to infrastructure projects in the ACT.
Running his own construction company, Bruce says he’s only too aware of the state of the industry in the ACT. The question was along the lines of the Government being unable to deliver on projects, a premise he didn’t accept but felt the available answers didn’t allow him to voice his objections.
At the end of the survey Bruce asked the woman who she was doing the survey for. She said she had not been told, because the people running the survey did not want there to be a perception of bias. But Bruce is in no doubt the survey had predetermined outcomes. He told the woman he wanted to register an official complaint, and the woman told him another respondent had lodged a complaint the previous evening.
And they’re not alone. ALP headquarters has received at least half a dozen complaints in recent days about phone ‘surveys’.
And I also got a fascinating text today, from a listener who had just driven past the famous ‘owl’ installation in Belconnen and noticed someone had put a sign next to it, telling people how much the public art had cost.
The texter said now they knew the owl’s pricetag, they’d be changing their vote at the election.
A similar sign appeared at the Moths on Drakeford Drive, and there were reports other public art installations had been ‘black wrapped’.
Katy Gallagher was in no doubt who was responsible, tweeting that “30 days to go and defacing public art is the best our opponents can do”.
This prompted furious denials from the Liberal Party, but as Gallagher pointed out, she never accused the Libs.
As with phone surveys, it’s often what’s not said that resonates the loudest.

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