ACT election: Labor candidate Brendan Long blocked from expressing euthanasia opposition

www.canberratimes.com.au
3 min read
fairly difficult
ACT Labor party mistakenly tells candidate to censor his views.
news, act-politics, ACT election, Brendan Long, ACT Labor Party, ACT Labor

An ACT Labor candidate has accused his party of censorship, claiming it refused to allow him to express his opposition to euthanasia. The party has since clarified it does allow candidates an individual view on euthanasia, but changed Murrumbidgee candidate Brendan Long's answer in error. Dr Long has been a long-time public opponent of voluntary assisting dying, which he described as a "violation of the dignity of the individual" in a submission to Legislative Assembly inquiry on the issue in 2018. He reaffirmed his position in response to a question posed by smartvote Australia, an online platform which helps match voters with candidates who share their views on certain policy areas. In one of 32 questions, candidates were asked: "Do you think that terminally ill patients should be able to end their life with medical assistance?". Dr Long stated his opposition and explained his reasons in written response, which was sent to ACT Labor secretary Melissa James for approval. He told The Canberra Times that he received an email from Ms James on Friday, in which she told him that she couldn't accept his answer because it was in "direct conflict" with the party's position on the contentious issue. The Barr government has been pushing federal Parliament to repeal the so-called Andrews Bill, which prevents the territories from legislating on assisted dying. READ MORE CANBERRA NEWS ACT Labor's official policy platform supports voluntary euthanasia, although it does grant office holders a conscience vote on the issue. Dr Long said that while he understood that candidates…
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