... as ringing the voting. Councillors at the Gold Coast City Council are being asked not to use their phones during meeting amid fears they are using text messages to control debate and manipulate voting. What happened to the good ol' fashioned art of conversation? The Mayor, Cr Ron Clarke, "fired off" (much more urgent sounding than "sent off") an email recently asking (oops, "ordering") councillors to put away their phones and concentrate on decision making. There is apparently no evidence of the ringing rigging but some councillors, concerned about
the possibility, raised the issue with the Mayor. Councillors contacted for comment said they used their mobile phones during meetings for catching up with correspondence, and this was no different from "councillors going through printed correspondence during meetings and writing notes for their personal assistants". At least one councillor is reported as saying that she was not even aware that she could text on her "Blueberry".