A number of people commented on yesterday’s This is How Tony Got Elected expressing the idea that the pictures were from a satiric site “Why I’m Voting Liberal” and that I’d mistaken a satiric post for real actual Liberal voters.
Now I am aware that people have sometimes taken made-up quotes from my writing as genuine, even when they’ve clearly been satiric. Even when I’ve used clearly fictional names and characters like “Hoe Jockey”, “Tiny Habit”, “Arnie (I’m not sexist) Corperson”, “The Speaker: Dolores Umbridge” or “Christopher Pyne”. Even when their behaviour has been so outrageous, so unbelievable that surely, surely nobody could confuse them with the actual Liberal Party. (Although there have been a couple of times that the Libs have adopted my satire as their actual policy a few days later – makes me wonder whether all those jobs Abbott created for monitoring social media are actually just searching for new policy ideas.)
Anyway, I always try to be careful not confuse what Liberals are actually doing and saying with attempts to make them look ridiculous through exaggeration. Admittedly, Abbott, Brandis, Pyne and others make this an almost impossible task sometimes. But, in this case, the photos weren’t taken from the site that wasn’t serious. I went back and checked the site’s description. It asked for people under 30 to post reasons that they were voting Liberal. I copied its description to show to someone who assured me that the site wasn’t serious:
Voting Liberal on September 7th?
Tell the country why!
We’re young people who care about our future and opportunities. We care about the economy. We care about what jobs there will be for us in the future. We care about good, sustainable and forward-thinking government. We want real change.
I’m Voting Liberal is a campaign for young Australians.
Get involved! Get together with your friends and send photos to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or message them to this page.”
And I found the other site – the satiric one. Yes, it is hard to tell what’s satire and what’s not these days. I mean, how do you caricature Andrew Bolt or Alan Jones? And yes, if that description hadn’t been written before the election, one might easily think that it, too, was purely a send-up of the Liberal’s Real Solutions document.
So yesterday I added the following P.S. to the article.
P.S. Just to clear up some confustion, this is a genuine site and not the parody site.
Update at 8pm. The site seems to have disappeared in the last couple of hours and that link no longer works.
If you’ve just clicked on the link. Yep, that’s right. It no longer exists.
Given that there seems to have been no updates to the pictures since the election, it does seem a strange coincidence that the day “This Is How Tony Got Elected” appears that within a few hours, the site disappears, leaving no evidence that these people once cared about “good, sustainable and forward-thinking government”.
Well, this is hardly shades of 1984. I mean, I don’t even know that there was a direct connection to the Liberal Party it may have just been created by a group of concerned young citizens determined to create a stronger economy led by someone who wears speedos and can do a pull-up.
Whatever, it’s gone, and if that’s because of what I wrote yesterday then I’ll need to be careful what I write in future.
I mean, imagine if I wrote about Tony Abbott, and he was gone the next day.
Labor supporters would never forgive me.