Denton to robocall marginal voters in push to stop euthanasia backflip
A pro-euthanasia group will harness celebrity power in a fresh campaign urging undecided voters to only support candidates who back assisted dying laws.
A recorded phone message by television personality Andrew Denton will go out to thousands of voters in the Albert Park, Prahran, Bentleigh and Burwood electorates, prompting voters to make voluntary euthanasia a priority at the state election on Saturday.
Voluntary euthanasia laws passed the Victorian Parliament in a conscience vote last year, but supporters still fear a change in government could undermine the laws.
Despite his personal objection to the laws, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy insists that he has no plans to rescind them.
Yet the message from Mr Denton, a supporter of voluntary euthanasia, says the new laws are at risk.
‘‘ This is about a personal and important issue,’’ he says in a recorded message. ‘‘ Victoria has Australia’s only voluntary assisted-dying law. That means people who are dying don’t have to endure intolerable suffering at the end of their lives. This election, only support candidates that back these laws.’’
The phone calls will go out to voters this week. The messages also offer a prompt for callers to connect to their local MP to voice their views on the issue.
Voluntary euthanasia lobby group Dying With Dignity also has raised concerns about how the assisteddying legislation will be implemented if the Coalition wins.
The group has run an online advertising campaign to pressure MPs into promising they will not obstruct the laws once they are introduced.
But on Sunday Mr Guy told reporters that Dying With Dignity had been running a ‘‘ highly misleading’ ’ campaign against him. He said the vote in Parliament was ‘‘ the conclusion to the matter in my eyes’’ .
Mr Guy said opposition health spokeswoman Mary Wooldridge would be responsible for implementing the scheme if the Coalition wins the election.
‘‘ I’m not going to intervene in the health minister’s portfolio. That will be a job for her to work out,’’ he said.
The euthanasia laws are due to come into effect in June 2019.
Labor holds two electorates that will receive the robocalls – Bentleigh and Albert Park – where the sitting MPs both supported voluntary euthanasia , while the Greens MP in Prahran also voted in favour.
But Graham Watt, the Liberal MP for Burwood, was a vocal opponent.
Source: The Age Digital Edition: Denton to robocall voters to stop euthanasia reverse
By Benjamin Preiss
19 November 2018