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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Spot the difference: independent candidate accused of imitating Greens logo

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Independent candidate for Richmond, Ray Karam (left) sporting the controversial logo, which Greens candidate Michael Lyon said was an imitation of his party’s material. Photo supplied

Paul Bibby

Can you see a certain similarity between the election logo that was being used by independent candidate for Richmond, Ray Karam, and that of The Greens?

Mr Karam’s Greens opponent, Byron acting mayor Michael Lyon certainly could.

Cr Lyon made a formal complaint to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) over Mr Karam’s election material, arguing it was a deliberate ploy to take votes from The Greens.

It resulted in the AEC sending a letter to Mr Karam, who has now promised to change his t-shirts and how-to-vote cards to be less like those of The Greens.

Mr Karam told The Echo: ‘I had a chat to Michael and said I would change a couple of things that he was concerned about, and then show him [the new material] prior to moving forward.’

‘I did that out of respect because that’s how we move forward as a society,’ he said.

Cr Lyon said Mr Karam had been ‘making a direct play’ for The Greens primary vote.

‘That will not only affect us in this election, but has an impact on our future electoral funding [which is based on primary vote],’ Cr Lyon said prior to Mr Karam agreeing to change the material.

He also accused Mr Karam of trying to ‘harvest votes for the Nationals’.

He said that Mr Karam’s how-to-vote cards advise locals to put The Nationals before Labor, and that this could make a difference in a very tight election.

‘He’s put The Greens second but I think that’s a smoke screen,’ Cr Lyon said.

‘If we get knocked out and it turns into a really close two-horse race between Labor and the Nats then those preference votes could make the difference.’

When pressed, Mr Karam denied that he had was attempting to steal votes from The Greens by imitating their logo.

He declined to comment directly on the claim that he was harvesting votes for the Nationals, saying ‘you’re better off asking Michael about that…that wasn’t part of our conversation’.

Speaking in more general terms, Mr Karam said the incident had served to confirm why he was running.

‘I feel like people should be more engaged in the process. The way we engage is paramount,’ he said.

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  1. Here we go again. Impersonating the opposition.
    I’d gone to my bank in Ballina & walked back to
    chat with the red & green volunteers & heard the
    story & was told the ‘cheating’ was being taken
    care of. The Nats are nervous. Our pollies &
    often their supporters could well do with a shake
    up. It’s sickening.

    • Yes Karam certainly has a lot to answer for. Member of [the Universal Medicine] ‘cult’, ( and close to the top eh Serge?) seems to be trying to gather Green votes .. because of replication of Green colour, and apparently very similar leaflets..

  2. What kind of would be parliamentarian thinks it morally justifiable to gain votes based on a deliberate intention to misrepresent themselves as a candidate for an opposing party? I’d call that interference in the course of democracy.

    • The electorate spoke, and Karam got a tiny proportion of the votes. And I think we can surmise that those he got were supporters of the universal medicine ‘socially harmful cult’ – or those who took one look at his logo and thought he was standing for the Greens.

      This is now the second election Karam has wasted the voters time and stood and hopefully now this even worse result than the first will convince him not to bother again.

      No one wants universal medicine in positions of power.

      • We’d never heard of him before, even though The Echo published that Ray said he was a renowned local candidate running on a campaign of ‘renewable’ ‘decency’ or something or other.

        The Greens campaign manager Andrew Blake called Karam’s misleading stunt “underhanded”, We have more than enough of this in politics already.

        I don’t see much decency at play and after this Ray is perhaps more locally infamous than renowned. The lack of community support for this man and his methods speaks for itself.


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