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June 21st 2016 print

Christian Kerr

This Election’s Hoarse Latitudes

Afflicted with a sore throat, the PM nevertheless braved the Q&A audience and even managed a quick swipe at the ABC's bias, which didn't seem to be a bother when he was the communications minister who might have done something about it. Not to worry, only ten more days to go

ten daysIt is the shortest day of the year. Perhaps that may serve as some small consolation to those of us who just want this campaign out of the way.

The Prime Minister appeared on Q&A. That was always going to be a “never glad, confident Malcolm again” moment to those in the audience who once were big fans and always wanted to see him in the Lodge but decided to ignore his membership of the Liberal Party.

For actual Liberal supporters the pre-show tweet — “Prepping for Q&A with a honey and lemon tea to help with a slightly croaky voice” — would have caused some anxiety. This would have only deepened when they actually heard Turnbull speak. For, if anything, his infection made him sound like that other Malcolm who once led the Liberal Party – Fraser.

It all appeared to work out in the end. The PM got in a cute jibe about the ABC and Labor and, if I’m reading Twitter’s guide to the most Tweeted emojis for the hour correctly, went down very well with evangelical Christians.

emojisBut all this distracts us from the most important political item of recent days, already sadly overlooked. Visit The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald website and, among items that have given them the reputation of journals of record that they enjoy today – such as “Could your messy bedroom be making you smarter?” – after a little burrowing you will find “Twelve things you might not know about Chloe Shorten”.

“She started on an MBA at the University of Queensland, which she didn’t finish” it burbles. “ ‘I’d love to finish it sometime.’ ”

Yep. It’s like that. Only worse. “Ms Shorten says she and Bill play to their strengths. ‘I love to cook so do a lot of it at once and freeze like no one’s business,’ she says. ‘Bill does the sports roster, driving kids, some laundry and groceries. He loves reading with the kids and one of his weekly tasks is cleaning up after our bulldogs too!’

“Her perfect Saturday night involves cooking for family and friends. ‘So cooking favourite dishes, followed by music or indulging our love of board games, Monopoly or Uno, or charades, which in my family is hilarious,’ she says. The couple has musical friends, and the kids are musical as well. ‘It leads to noisy fun – my idea of bliss,’ she says … ‘I love the glossies,’ she says.”

‘My rare movie-watching time was invested in the Minions movie which we have sat through half a dozen times and paused every 15 minutes,’ she says.

“Ms Shorten’s passion is cooking and she once won a cooking competition. ‘But probably only because I made coq au vin with my parents’ ritzy shiraz … and lots of it. I remember winning, but I remember being grounded more vividly!’”

So while the chattering classes denounce the Prime Minister as a traitor to their cause, a fellow who turned out to be a Liberal after all, the leader of the opposition’s wife is portrayed as a ditzy housewife in their own media. Seeks to be portrayed as a ditzy housewife, apparently.

Fortunately, after today, there are only ten more full days of campaigning to go. Fortunately.

Comments [5]

  1. en passant says:

    I just voted and, as per another post I made it is (according to the AEC Supervising Gaulitier) invalid to fill out less than every box in the Reps and either less than six boxes above the line, or 12 below (though more than 12 below is OK. I filed out 32 without ever getting to a ‘major’ party or a recognizable loony. I forgot to ask if I could fill out more than 6 above the line. I will do so after the next double dissolution in about six months.

  2. nfw says:

    The 6 above the line for the Senate is both not required and illogical anyway. Firstly the real law (or is it a regulation?) says it only has to be one. The reason Labor invented above the line voting was because its supporters were/are too stupid to follow the how to vote card and it was made easier for them, ie just vote 1 in a box and all your preferences are automatically generated. Now fast forward to today and we have the ridiculous situation of, let’s for argument say, voting ALA and all your preferences are automatically generated as per that party’s instructions. What then is the point of having any other boxes numbered up to six or two or twenty-two for that matter? Are the preferences distributed as per your first numbered box wish and then the vote counted again six times ’til you get it right? This should lead to some interesting Courts of Disputed Returns and expensive follow-on Senate elections due to public service and political stupidity. What the hell, it’s only taxpayer money and there’s always more of that or just print some more and that’s fine.

  3. PT says:

    Now be fair. Turncoat is only concerned with bias against him. That’s why there was no issues when he was Communication Minister!

    • padraic says:

      I prefer the new Senate voting system. Under the old system when you put ’1′ above the line you copped all the ratbags downstream from your first choice and you could end up preferencing a party you loathed, without knowing it. There was no way of knowing what were the preferences of the various parties cascading down at the time of voting. Voting for 6 above the line gives you considerable control of the preferencing activity. – they are your preferences – not those of the ratbags. Doing 12 below the line allows you to decide the preferences, without having to write one to 120 etc as per the old system, under which if you made a mistake below the line your vote was invalid. Having said all, that my personal preference is ‘first past the post’. Such a system would do away with the political paralysis which is such a feature of our ‘caring and sharing’ system.

  4. Jody says:

    I don’t think the electorate really wants a leader – that’s so yesterday.

    What we NEED is a person who can direct the country with a firm hand and make the tough decisions. But what the electorate WANTS – much like the modern ‘philosophy’ of parenting – is somebody who smiles benignly, agrees all the time, gives us what we want, is in a perpetual state of desire to be liked and panders to every little whim lest he/she offends.

    And I’m deadly serious.