Mézec: ‘This is the dirtiest election I’ve been a part of’
SENATORIAL candidate Sam Mézec has called this year’s election campaign the ‘dirtiest’ he has been a part of after comments on a blog arguing in favour of scrapping the finance industry were falsely posted in his name.
Deputy Mézec said that the volume of abuse on social media aimed at candidates could put people off from standing in the future.
And he added that it was ‘frustrating’ that opponents of the party he chairs – Reform Jersey – had began to use his name to make ‘ridiculous’ comments online.
The St Helier Deputy also cited a recent incident where fellow Senatorial candidate Kristina Moore had one of her posters defaced with a Swastika.
In a blog by Richard Murphy – a vocal critic of offshore finance centres – comments purporting to be from Deputy Mézec said: ‘It is time we rid ourselves of the finance industry and gave Jersey back to its people.’ The comments have since been removed from the site.
Denying he had anything to do with the post, Deputy Mézec said: ‘The blog has no security settings on it and anyone can go on, use a random name and add a comment.
‘This is without a doubt the dirtiest election campaign I have been a part of. The Senatorial by-election [in 2016] was a delight to be involved in. The evidence shows that this campaign has been particularly dirty because of contributions like this.’
He added that someone had also paid for adverts to appear on Facebook attempting to discredit Reform Jersey and dissuade Islanders from voting for their candidates.
‘We have had some posters ripped down, but that is fairly standard during an election. Kristina Moore had a Nazi Swastika graffitied on one of her posters – that is disgraceful and offensive.
‘Some of the social media stuff has been particularly vile – rounding on candidates they don’t like. Something has to change or it will put people off running in the future.’
The Reform Jersey chairman said that negative comments made in previous campaigns ‘did not feel as problematic’ as online trolls were now ‘being smarter’ about how they targeted candidates they disliked.