Australian election show makes a quiet start

Elections in a number of countries have fantastic entertainment value.The campaigns, the scandals, the gaffes, the TV pundits, the “fringe” idiots and personal animosities all can contribute to the fun.  Of course a certain amount of distance and having a real interest in the country while not being overly affected by the result does increase the potential. In my case having friends in the country on both sides of the political divide adds to the “fun index”. The US Presidential Elections of course lead in the entertainment ratings. Even though they go on for much too long they usually manage to keep the flow of scandals and blunders coming and the inanity level high enough to maintain the “fun level”.

Generally it requires a strong divide between two major parties to inject some excitement for voyeurs like myself. Single party states don’t provide any level of uncertainty and have too high a level of election violence to have much entertainment value. Proportional Representation – as in most of Europe  – tends to reduce the excitement level but even in the Scandinavian countries does not manage to kill all the fun. Generally in much of Europe the inanity and “fun” comes from the idiot fringe parties – usually on the far right but also from a few remnants of hard Marxists and Maoists.

Following the US Presidential I would put the UK General Election next for fun and games. The political and media circus that accompanies the multiple waves of voting in the Indian General Election are always good entertainment. Then – in my estimation and reflecting my interests – come the Australian, German, French and Japanese Elections.

The first week of the Australian Election campaign called by Kevin Rudd is over. It has been relatively quiet and there has been no heat – yet – and no real fireworks. But I still have hope. Murdoch made his views known – as if there was anybody who did not know what they were. I suspect – but I am not sure – that the days of Murdoch being King-maker (as he was for Tony Blair) have long gone. His stuff is now all pay-walled and the cyberworld has passed him by.

Most of the fun in the first week of this election has actually come from a candidate – Stephanie Banister – representing one of the idiot right fringe parties. She got her knickers properly into a twist and confused the Koran with haram, haram with halal, halal with kosher, Islam with a country and Jews with the worship of Jesus. She quit the next day. Quite amusing but peripheral, short-lived and of little consequence.

Keven Rudd – having disposed ruthlessly of Julia Gillard – flexed his new-found muscles and sacked two of his own candidates. There was a faint whiff of an old gender scandal surrounding one of them and the other was accused of accusing others as being too Catholic and racist. ( A case of against.against= for?). Nobody except some union members, seemed to care very much.

Rudd sees himself as a Shakespearean hero in the assassination of Julia Gillard – “for Gillard is an honourable man” (and “man” here is intentional).  He aroused some feelings of  machismo among his supporters and his party “bounced” in the polls. But that bounce has now withered away and Abbott’s coalition is back in the lead. No real trends are visible yet. Last night there was a pretty tame TV debate. Rudd and Abbott shook hands and came out mewling.  Not much “roar” or “cut and thrust”. Rudd was very cautious and apparently “cheated” and had to make use of “crib-sheets” during the debate. As the SMH put it “More mock and bore than shock and awe, Sunday’s debate was a crushingly dull affair where risk avoidance was the chief aim of both sides.” Tony Abbot got his tongue in a twist and instead of “repository of all wisdom” used the phrase “suppository of all wisdom”! I suppose a suppository – for some – could also be a repository.

As entertainment goes it was not a compelling start. Moscow and Usain Bolt took clear precedence yesterday. But there is still time for the fun and games to get up to speed.

Tags: , , , , ,


%d bloggers like this: