Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


The ‘Zone’

Money talks.

Money also walks, and runs, when it comes to elections.

Malcolm Turnbull gave $1.75 million to the Liberal Party during the last Federal election, leading to charges by Labor that he bought his way back into office. [1]

Nothing illegal happened, but that money demonstrated how the size of donations impact on polls.

Having run in the Tasmanian election on a small budget, I was unable to afford paid advertising.

I issued a number of media releases, but none were covered by the media.

Now I can wonder if I had been able to spend a few thousand dollars on paid advertising, would the media have covered my stories.

As the media releases were published in the Tasmanian Times, the reader can judge for themselves whether any of them were worthy of media coverage. [2]

If my stories had been given coverage, because of paid advertising, how much higher would my vote have been (the final count is not yet in)?

So, does money buy election wins?

Many people are concerned about the glittering dazzle of gambling machines, and how they are designed to addict people to the machine and drain their money away.

A recent Conversation article talked about “The zone”, where the machine gambler sinks beneath all reason to play compulsively.

““The zone” is the term that frequent poker-machine gamblers often use to describe the altered state they enter into when gambling on pokies. The experience of entering the zone – and even the term itself – has been independently described by gamblers in studies in Australia and the United States.” [3]

Gamblers describe the zone “as an out-of-body experience. As one gambler put it: “You aren’t really there, you’re with the machine and that’s all you’re with.” Or in the words of another gambler: “I feel connected to the machine when I play, like it’s an extension of me, as if physically you couldn’t separate me from the machine.”” [3]

Like a vampire, the machine will drop the gambler, when there is no money left to drain from them.

At that point the gambler may have stolen, wrecked their home and family, and even become homeless, where their health will deteriorate and their life be at risk if sleeping rough on the street, where death may take them from the boots of a thug, or a freezing night in the shrubbery.

Even employed people are now having trouble getting a roof over their heads in Tasmania, as a casino economy soaks up rental accommodation.

This effect is even being seen in a country town like Ross, where one resident may be forced to move out because of a lack of rental accommodation.

When Labor did what many saw as the right thing, and declared an intention to phase out the gambling machines, a political fight began, with giant signs appearing on gambling venues, and gambling gains flowing to the Liberal Party to help them win the election.

Did gambling money help the Liberals gain more media coverage?

Did gambling money buy the Liberals a win in the Tasmanian election?

After the win, Will Hodgman observed, “as to the gaming issue I think Labor and the Greens are screaming a bit too much. I mean, if you threaten to close down an industry, that industry is going to spend money to protect itself and to protect the jobs of its employees and that’s what happened.” [4]

Has Tasmanian politics entered the “zone”, where the voters have become mesmerized by gambling money to vote Liberal?

Did money win the election for the Liberals?

Was there a Liberal Party policy to deal with gambling machine addiction, or the rental housing crisis, or homelessness?

The gambling policy was to secure power, and the way the media play for money made those roulette wheels spin like the lights on a gambling machine.

If anyone wants a political alternative in Tasmania, one that does not come with the spinning lights of gambling money, then should good citizens be more active in supporting candidates who do not have gambling money to buy ads that secure media coverage?

When I consider whether to run in another election, it is clear now that people power is mighty thin on the ground in this State.

To win an election in Tasmania may be a question of how much money is available to make the media wheels spin.

We can now know that with this latest election, those wheels have been greased by the lives of people addicted to gambling machines.

Cassy O’Connor summed up the feeling of many when stating, “My message to the Liberal Party – you will be celebrating tonight, but this stain of being bought by the gambling industry. It will live with you forever.”

Did people vote in support of gambling addiction, or simply respond to the level of paid advertising and media coverage, funded by gambling addiction.

Is this now the election “zone”?


[1] Malcolm Turnbull admits donating $1.75 million to election campaign
Alexandra Beech, 1 February 2017, ABC News Online

[2] The China Shadow over Tasmania
Kim Peart, Independent candidate for Lyons, 27 February 2018, Tasmanian Times

Does Tasmania need a Climate Change Plan?
Kim Peart, Candidate for Lyons in the House of Assembly, 27 February 2018, Tasmanian Times

Rewarding Ideas ~ not just Power and Pestilence
Kim Peart, candidate for Lyons in the State Poll, 20 February 3018, Tasmanian Times

Where is the Public Car Park in Ross?
Kim Peart, Candidate for Lyons in the Tasmanian election, 18 February 2018, Tasmanian Times

Today on the campaign trail in Lyons
Kim Peart, 15 February 2018, Tasmanian Times

[3] Woolies is just one of many gambling companies using spying and other techniques to lure gamblers
Francis Marham & Martin Young, 1 March 2018, The Conversation

Engineering of Addiction
Andrew Thompson, The Verge

[4] Tasmanian election: Opposition Leader apologises for not congratulating Will Hodgman
Georgie Burgess, 4 March 2018, ABC News Online

[5] Tas Greens blame ‘dirty money’ for slump
SBS, 3 March 2018

*Kim Peart stood as an Independent candidate in the state election …

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Russell

    March 14, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Re #3
    Jacquie should have been more picky with her candidates.

    They were in it for the free ride on her back and probably would have gone Independent or to one of the major parties once the election was over.

  2. Kim Peart

    March 4, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Re: 3 … Chris Harries .. Maybe a zombie flash mob in a gambling joint.

    Or vampires.

  3. Chris Harries

    March 4, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for your efforts, Kim.

    The most pitiful thing of all was seeing Jacquie Lambie, distraught and shipwrecked, her political career in tatters. Her failure was probably not related to the gambling issue at all, but her demographic supporter base deserved representation and she has been widely recognised as being gutsy and genuine. Elections and politics are not for the faint heated, especially if you are not in the mainstream.

    Politics will keep coming back to a choice between Coles and Woolworths.

  4. Kim Peart

    March 4, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Who would support a PLEDGE?

    I was surprised to read of how carefully gambling machine addiction is manipulated to assist in the vacuuming of money from victims (see reference #3).

    What do those gambling workers seen holding placards really do.

    Is gambling really an industry, or a legalised method of addiction, dealing and pushing, as happens with drugs.

    Would there be support for a pledge to NOT accept money from the gaming industry, whether for election campaigns, or community activities?

    Would the Premier sign that pledge?

    Should the refusal of gambling donations and grants be made law?

    Should this law include the media, making it illegal to accept political advertising that may come from gambling?

    When the media accepts this form of donation money from a political party, they are also spinning with the gaming machines, and may favour media stories about those who pay for more ads with gambling money.

    Should all gambling related advertising be made illegal?

    At what point does a democracy shuffle into a dictatorship, when elections can be won with gambling money?

    Promoting a pledge, with a view to law, may help awaken the voting public on how they are being politically gamed with gambling money.

    The pledge may also help those who get trapped by the mesmerising machines that syphon money from victims, like a mechanical vampire.

    A pledge movement could also deal with the rental housing crisis, homelessness, and providing real work with real pay for all able citizens.

    A pledge movement could fight for a healthier society, rather than accepting legalised addiction.

    Should there be a bonfire of the mechanical vampires?

  5. TGC

    March 4, 2018 at 10:01 am

    “I issued a number of media releases, but none were covered by the media.” But you had good coverage on TT and generally did very well in the TT poll

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