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Should GetUp! stop associating with Simon Sheikh

By johnboy 13 March 2013 32

Simon Sheikh was the only senate candidate I saw out and about the lake on Canberra Day (not saying that’s a scientific survey, just saying).

But Liberal head kicker the Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz is kicking up a fuss over the former GetUp! founder being involved in GetUp! events while running for the Greens in the Senate.

GetUp! has been caught red-handed promoting Simon Sheikh’s candidacy for the Greens.

Despite claiming to be ‘independent’ GetUp! was as late as yesterday promoting a ‘GetUp Simon Sheikh’ event next week at Fraser, in Canberra’s north.

GetUp is up to its usual trick, pretending to be ‘independent’ while blatantly supporting the Greens.

Its so-called ‘Gettogethers’ are cynically aimed at funnelling unwitting people concerned about particular issues into being foot-soldiers for the Greens during the election campaign.

GetUp was always going to be in the absurd position in the ACT of pretending not to campaign for their former national director.

Dangerous precedent Erica’s setting. Plenty of like minded groups do events with Liberal candidates around the place.

What’s Your opinion?


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Should GetUp! stop associating with Simon Sheikh
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howeph 3:03 pm 15 Mar 13

Skidbladnir said :

By the way, don’t misunderstand me.
As far as I am concerned, I am not a GetUp apologist and do not consider them an effective activism group, or particularly helpful to anybody ouside the advertising industry.

They’re good at seperating cash from well-intentioned slacktivists and do-gooders, but most of their campaigns fail to resontate with the middle-ground audience susceptible to convincing argument, and are targeted instead at audiences who already support the campaign’s alleged goal, so don’t actually need reinforcement of their beliefs, all while delivering a media spend to advertising or media profile colleagues.

IE: They are seen to be spending money relevant to their intended goal, and seem to be spending money on supporting chosen causes, but either jump onboard after momentum has been gathered and claim the entire effort as theirs, or spend in ways that don’t actually contribute to building momentum in any significant way while asserting that this was money well spent without proof, so that they aren’t actually affecting anything.

GetUp rides high on the wave of public opinion\action, rather than helping build the wave and spends on big campaigns that don’t actually contribute to political discourse, while counterproductively claiming some of the available funds for themselves instead of directing it those actually doing effective activist work.

PS for Howeph:
This is civil debate, don’t appeal to ignorance.
You might want to familiarise yourself with the phrase ‘Post hoc ergo, proctor hoc’ for now. The burden of proof remains with those who assert claims, and just because GetUp ran a campaign against an issue and it later stopped doesn’t mean that their campaign stopped it (or even affected it). People who could actually get involved and affect an outcome were already involved, GetUp just tried to generate buzz and be seen as seeming and claiming to do something, because that is the minimum amount of effort that their supporters would expect for their dollar, whilst not actually achieving anything.
This theory at least conforms with their established form.

Don’t misunderstand me either.

I made no such claim that the policy was dropped solely, or even largely, as a result of GetUp’s campaign. Only that the campaign was successful, in the only meaningful way measurable.

The answer to the question as to what degree GetUp, or any other organisation’s, actions effect complex policy outcomes is… Who knows? It’s probably impossible to measure.

However you make a number of assertions above that their campaigns are superficial and ineffective. That’s your opinion, based upon… what? Probably “gut feel” and the degree to which their campaigns align with your world view. That’s fine, without evidence that’s all any of us have to base such opinions on – myself included. We just need to be honest with ourselves and others when offering such opinions.

Skidbladnir 2:22 pm 14 Mar 13

By the way, don’t misunderstand me.
As far as I am concerned, I am not a GetUp apologist and do not consider them an effective activism group, or particularly helpful to anybody ouside the advertising industry.

They’re good at seperating cash from well-intentioned slacktivists and do-gooders, but most of their campaigns fail to resontate with the middle-ground audience susceptible to convincing argument, and are targeted instead at audiences who already support the campaign’s alleged goal, so don’t actually need reinforcement of their beliefs, all while delivering a media spend to advertising or media profile colleagues.

IE: They are seen to be spending money relevant to their intended goal, and seem to be spending money on supporting chosen causes, but either jump onboard after momentum has been gathered and claim the entire effort as theirs, or spend in ways that don’t actually contribute to building momentum in any significant way while asserting that this was money well spent without proof, so that they aren’t actually affecting anything.

GetUp rides high on the wave of public opinion\action, rather than helping build the wave and spends on big campaigns that don’t actually contribute to political discourse, while counterproductively claiming some of the available funds for themselves instead of directing it those actually doing effective activist work.

PS for Howeph:
This is civil debate, don’t appeal to ignorance.
You might want to familiarise yourself with the phrase ‘Post hoc ergo, proctor hoc’ for now. The burden of proof remains with those who assert claims, and just because GetUp ran a campaign against an issue and it later stopped doesn’t mean that their campaign stopped it (or even affected it). People who could actually get involved and affect an outcome were already involved, GetUp just tried to generate buzz and be seen as seeming and claiming to do something, because that is the minimum amount of effort that their supporters would expect for their dollar, whilst not actually achieving anything.
This theory at least conforms with their established form.

howeph 11:35 am 14 Mar 13

Dilandach said :

howeph said :

As for comments criticising GetUp! for “lurch[ing] from one topic to the next in quick succession”. If GetUp! was a charity, focused on a single issue then I think this would be a valid criticism. But GetUp! is a political activist group not a charity.

The whole point of GetUp! is to allow progressive, politically engaged citizens to coordinate a rapid and effective response to the many issues of the day. It is participatory democracy in action and so necessarily must deal with the wide variety of issues as they arise.

Perhaps those criticising just don’t agree with the positions held by GetUp! members, rather than the method used.

To take one such issue they took on regarding the internet filter, when it was first announced GetUp! rallied for the IT professionals to pony up some cash so they could help raise awareness. Simon went as far as jumping on whirlpool to stir people into action directly.

On one day they raised $30,000 and obtained 75,000 signatures within 3 days. What was the result? A half hearted website that could have been knocked up in 10 minutes. What ended up happening? The money being funneled to their less fundraising friendly efforts such as a TV spot for refugee action and bidding on a ‘surf lesson with abbott’.

People were pissed and understandably so.

The only financial details that I can find on this particular GetUp! campaign is what’s on their website, that they raised a total of $125,000 and that this was used to “put [the] Censordyne ad on the air.” [‘Save The Net Campaign: http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/campaigns-archive?page=5%5D.

Developing, placing and promoting adverts cost money – the mining industry’s $12M campaign comes to mind – so $125K sounds cheep to me. If anyone is interested you can see the ad and its level of coverage by a google search: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Censordyne%5D

Dilandach, If you have different information on how the campaign money was actually spent (e.g that it was used on other campaigns) please provide links or references.

P.S. The campaign was also a success. The government quietly dropped the net filter policy. Do you still think that you didn’t get value for your money.

Deref 8:15 am 14 Mar 13

EvanJames said :

It’s a tricky one. GetUp was to give a voice to the many who found themselves voiceless, faced with Laboril, or the Greens. The Greens are the only big alternative voice, but again they don’t speak for eveyrone who finds that LibLab no longer represent their views.

I expect that Sheikh chose the Greens as they are a wide church, and allow members to follow their own position on most things, rather than parroting a party position like LibLab. And hooking onto an established party presence was a better option wiht more chance of success than trying to start his own party.

GetUp’s various stances are best reflected by the Greens, but they’re not in lockstep, and GetUp range a bit more widely. It’s a tricky one though.

Abetz is a greasy idiot, but it seems that most of us nowadays buy whatever is reported and don’t look at who said it, why, when etc.

+1 to all that.

IrishPete 8:47 pm 13 Mar 13

Diggety said :

I doubt it matters – the Greens seem to be stinking it up all over Australia – GetUp! or not.

Like in the Kimberley, perhaps?

IP

Deckard 7:34 pm 13 Mar 13

A leftie organisation supporting a leftie candidate? What has the world come to?

chewy14 7:23 pm 13 Mar 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Skidbladnir said :

Because someone almost inevitably mentions their own pet conspiracy statement about the GetUp are feeding votes and money to the Greens…
Feel free to tell the Australian Electoral Commissioner that they have been wrong on multiple occasions and have incompetently neglected their mandated role, but come armed with whatever evidence you have, so that their stance can be formally reconsidered (yet again).
Until then, be silent.

[GetUp] do[es] not appear to be controlled by one or more registered political parties, nor do[es it] appear to operate wholly or to a significant extent to the benefit of one or more registered political parties. In particular, the currently available information does not show a real or actual benefit to any party or parties, nor does it show a sufficiently direct link between the entities and any political party or parties.
Source: AEC’s position on GetUp in 2005

AEC conclusion: The AEC has reviewed the previous information in its possession together with the additional material that has come into the public domain since 2006. The results of this review are that there is still no information or available evidence to show that GetUp meets any of the six grounds set out in the definition of an “associated entity” contained in subsection 287(1) of the Electoral Act.

The AEC has also considered the previous information in its possession and the lists of all the GetUp campaigns set out on its website. The AEC readily acknowledges that many of GetUp activities could be reasonably regarded as of some “benefit” to the ‘left’ parties (e.g. the anti-Coalition Senate campaign in the ACT prior to the 2007 election). However, the AEC also notes that many of the activities of GetUp appear to be solely issue based rather than supporting or advocating support for a particular registered party political.

The AEC is of the view that the present information and available evidence is unlikely to be sufficient to enable a Court in a criminal prosecution to find that GetUp is operating “wholly, or to a significant extent” for the benefit of either/both the Australian Labor Party and/or the Greens.
Source: The AEC’s more thorough position as at 2010 when the matter was again referred

Exactly. Use your got ham intelligence instead of parroting jones and Hadley. Or admit you have zero intelligence. Either way, the smart peeps win.

Skid,
Is the legal criteria of this a balance of probabilities or beyond reasonable doubt? It says criminal prosecution on your link so I’m assuming its the latter.

I don’t think, as the AEC says, that they would be benefiting a particular party to a significant extent but I also don’t think that Getup are completely free of political party interference or bias. They are very issues based but it does seem that a lot of their major lobbying is coming from a generally left ( or at least what’s perceived to be left) position.

Postalgeek 6:42 pm 13 Mar 13

milkman said :

So letting a bunch of lefty hippies bitch on a website = ‘participatory democracy in action’…?

Um… ok…

Look at it as a counter-balance to the bunch of rabid right-wing tea-baggers bitching on moderated radio stations. Democracy finds a way.

milkman 6:41 pm 13 Mar 13

howeph said :

milkman said :

So letting a bunch of lefty hippies bitch on a website = ‘participatory democracy in action’…?

Um… ok…

Well your comment sounds like “bitching on a website”… not mine.

I’m not the one trying to change the world by raising awareness.

Dilandach 6:21 pm 13 Mar 13

…and the irony is that they were censoring comments on their forum regarding the filter that they found unhelpful to their fundraising efforts. Along the lines of ‘well the internet filter will most likely not get through but its not a huge deal to get around anyway… here’s why (insert technical explanations).

Dilandach 6:18 pm 13 Mar 13

howeph said :

As for comments criticising GetUp! for “lurch[ing] from one topic to the next in quick succession”. If GetUp! was a charity, focused on a single issue then I think this would be a valid criticism. But GetUp! is a political activist group not a charity.

The whole point of GetUp! is to allow progressive, politically engaged citizens to coordinate a rapid and effective response to the many issues of the day. It is participatory democracy in action and so necessarily must deal with the wide variety of issues as they arise.

Perhaps those criticising just don’t agree with the positions held by GetUp! members, rather than the method used.

To take one such issue they took on regarding the internet filter, when it was first announced GetUp! rallied for the IT professionals to pony up some cash so they could help raise awareness. Simon went as far as jumping on whirlpool to stir people into action directly.

On one day they raised $30,000 and obtained 75,000 signatures within 3 days. What was the result? A half hearted website that could have been knocked up in 10 minutes. What ended up happening? The money being funneled to their less fundraising friendly efforts such as a TV spot for refugee action and bidding on a ‘surf lesson with abbott’.

People were pissed and understandably so.

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