According to Frank
Hardy, author of Power without Glory,
were boasting in 1987 they had finally swung the results in
a federal election
which they had never been able to do before."
claimed the result had been manipulated in 22 marginal seats
in favour of the Australian
Labor Party by an inexplicable swing, contrary to the trend
of the swing in all safe Labor Party seats. The Coalition
won a bigger % of both ordinary, and two party preferred,
votes yet lost the election.
“Why bother to
write a book about a 1987 national election in Australia 18
years ago. Because the famous communist author, Frank Hardy,
published a compelling fable The Wizard of Oz in
1988, published in a magazine and a book to explain how the
‘result had been reversed’, because he had been ‘a voice
crying in the wilderness’ otherwise.
Also because a
less famous academic, the former Australian Electoral
Commissioner Dr. Hughes, wrote an even more fabulous tale in
1998 published in an academic journal, saying such a
‘reversal’ would be ‘an illusive phenomenon' of conspiracy
theorists of the H.S. Chapman Society (founded 1996). But
Dr. Hughes was not ‘a voice crying in the wilderness’ like
Frank Hardy, unless the halls of parliaments and
universities are counted as wilderness. .
Frank Hardy on one
side was giving a blueprint of how to steal an election. On
the other side Dr. Hughes, and his successors as Electoral
Commissioners, were in denial that any such fraud could
occur. Indeed I heard Commissioner, Mr. Andy Becker, tell
the special 2001 Pyne Inquiry of the Joint Standing
Committee on Electoral Matters into the devastating
electoral frauds in Queensland’s ALP candidate preselections
that there was no fraud.
No epic electoral
drama could have been more dramatic in recent politics than
1987. It had all the elements. The vast canvas of a federal
election. The Prophet. The Ruler. His Pretorian Guard. The
Challenge to the Throne. The Succession of the Rightful
Heir. The Battle of the Ballot Boxes. The Master of the
Tournament swearing there was no might that was right, no
undetected guerrillas. Queensberry rules prevailed in the
Making of the Titans. The rightful heir was elected.
So who was right?
The ageing communist author from Victoria, Frank Hardy, or
the younger left-wing academic out of Queensland University
in the new Fortress Australian Electoral Commission, created
Canberra in 1984, Dr. Hughes? May you the reader be the
judge. To this end, I have sought to quote many voices in
this book rather than merely my own.
I wrote this book
not merely because I have been attacked constantly since I
began stressing gaping loopholes for fraud in our federal
electoral system, that were created by Labor Government
‘reforms’ in 1983-7. but because Frank Hardy’s story is not
merely a story with ‘a sting in its tale’. It is an
excellent morality story on the fragility of democracy and
all legitimate rule, the prevailing theme of many operas and
Shakespearian plays. And, as in epics, the real life story
generates violence in word and deed – from character
assassination to death threats, as I exemplify with just a
few, out of many, stories that abound.
NB: This book would never have been written if I had not met
a man in 1995 who told me this story but asked me to
suppress his name as he has suffered death threats at the
time for speaking out, so I refer to him as Mr X in the
He was a fellow
guest of the free-lance journalist, Simon Davies, exchanging
argy-bargy about the peculiarities of the 1987 federal
election with Mr.X and the well-known 2GB radio talk-back
host, Brian Wilshire, about the many inexplicable features
of that election, when Frank Hardy walked in. After hearing
what they had to say, he declared: ‘You blokes don’t know
what you’re talking about. Some of my friends have been
celebrating they have finally swung a federal election by
‘rorting’ the system. That’s something they’ve never been
able to do before. The ALP’s been doing it since the 1890’s.
They’ve just got more professional at it.’