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Election campaigns have become ridiculous

Election campaigns have become ridiculous. The constant photo shoots, meet-and-greets, dribs and drabs of money doled out for this and that, are mind-numbingly pointless.

Do we really need tv cameras broadcasting to the nation a promise of $12,500 to put new bins at the local netball courts? Do we need to see the PM heading a soccer ball (with glasses on – bad example Scott) or the Opposition leader jogging with Jonathon Thurston? Do we need to see Scott Morrison bar-hopping his way around the country or Bill Shorten asking people in shopping centres if they want selfies with him?

Jane Hutchinson did a great interview with Barrie Cassidy on One plus One a few days ago where he pointed to the silliness of it all. He suggested that politicians would be better served spending more time actually on the job rather than doing daily doorstops which seem to be crucial to party marketing even when we aren’t in an election campaign.

The Coalition is sticking to its campaign strategy of Kill Bill. They don’t bother trying to promote their own vision for the nation. They just keep asking us who can you trust – a meaningless question that is used as a slogan every election.

Scott tells us that if we vote Labor we get Bill Shorten (cue scary music), which is somewhat similar to the campaign that Labor used in 2013 against Tony Abbott – if he wins, you lose.

Everyone remembers Abbott’s “no cuts” election eve promises to the nation.

And many would remember what was called Labor’s “dishonest” ad campaign about what would really happen.

Who was telling the truth? Who do you trust?

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26 comments

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  1. Mr Shevill Mathers

    Totally agree, a waste of taxpayers monies and a complete turn off. Roll on May 18 and get it over with.

  2. Alcibiades

    RACGP Medicare patient rebate freeze television campaign family 2016 (Youtube 50s)

    The Medicare & Veterans Card rebate freeze continues …

    War, War, War & War: Malcolm Turnbull & Scott Morrison, of the then Turnbull Coalition Team(TCT) mention the War 2016 (Youtube 1m 41s)

    Then Treasurer Scott Morrison(16 times) accused Labor of declaring “War on business” and using “tax as their bullets” at the exact moment the first of two RAAF planes carrying the remains of Australian soldiers touched down on home soil.

    It was a staggering display of oblivious timing on the day that the remains of 25 Australian soldiers – who actually died in war, some from bullets – and eight family members were being officially, ceremoniously repatriated to Australia – televised.

  3. whatever

    The feral MSM following Bill Shorten are using tele-photo lenses and long range microphones in a desperate attempt to capture a ‘Gotcha’ moment.

  4. Kaye Lee

    One year ago……

    “The days of subsidies in energy are over, whether it is for coal, wind, solar, any of them,” the treasurer [Morrison] said.

    “That is the way I think you get the best functioning energy market with the lowest possible price for businesses and for households and that is what the national energy guarantee and our energy policies are designed to achieve.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/04/scott-morrison-new-coal-fired-power-station-not-the-answer

    One month ago….

    The nation’s largest electricity companies have snubbed calls for them to use the government’s power subsidy scheme to build new coal-fired power stations.

    Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has said 10 of the 66 submissions to the scheme, that will subsidise new energy plants, involved coal-fired generation.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/big-power-companies-snub-government-underwriting-for-new-coal-plants-20190311-p513a2.html

    Who do you trust?

  5. Alcibiades

    Murdochs UnAustralian. Cue irony, outrageous hypocrisy & lies :

    GetUp is getting away with despicable lies and propaganda in this election campaign

    Because they are not considered part of the political party process. What a joke and a travesty of our attempts to have a rules-governed democratic election process.

    …GetUp uses the oldest, dirtiest political tricks to embed the lies and expand the slurs.

    GetUp uses the age-old smear tactic of publishing a lie, daring someone to deny it publicly, and urging journalists to ask questions based on the lie. It clearly believes the bigger the lie and the more often it is repeated the better.

    GetUp is not alone in this unrestricted sphere of electioneering but falls within the same category of a swathe of activist groups campaigning as “grass roots movements” — often foreign-funded with the convenient opaque mask of being a “charity”.

  6. Kaye Lee

    ….often foreign-funded with the convenient opaque mask of being a “charity”.

    That is the definition of Murdoch’s IPA. Cue irony indeed.

  7. LOVO

    Alcibiades, “Projection, much” …..it’s the LNP/IPA’s MO 😤

  8. Ill fares the land

    I think the biggest issue, for me at least, is that Shorten and Labor are not really putting their “stake in the ground”. Morrison is being a liar, dunderhead and nincompoop and being supported by the usual LNP rabble, but if Labor could just focus on a campaign that is even a little better than what they are delivering, those of us that are mortified at the prospect of three more years of the worst government I can remember in my lifetime might rest a little easier. I remain nervous that when it comes to the actual vote, people will decide they don’t like Morrison, but like Shorten even less. The abject incompetence, corruption, extremist views, government for the rich, disdain for the poor and welfare dependant and descent into covert authoritiarism (small government for the rich, big government and surveillance for the rest) displayed by this government makes them deadly, not just dangerous – they need to go. Bill Shorten – if you are reading this, lift yor game!

  9. Alcibiades

    Here’s Murdochs Daily Terrorgraph … ‘ANZAC Day Edition’:

    Mike Carlton
    @MikeCarlton01

    And now Bill Shorten is going to change your child’s sex. This is the “Anzac Day Edition.” The sewer filth of this “newspaper” is beyond all understanding. pic.twitter.com/6A3oNoD9dK
    4:49 AM – 24 Apr 2019

    http://i64.tinypic.com/33nzqsh.jpg (Image)

  10. Kaye Lee

    A phone app used to mobilise voters to support Donald Trump, the Brexit movement in the UK, the anti-abortion campaign in Ireland and the National Rifle Association in the United States is being deployed in Australia’s federal election campaign.

    The right-leaning Australian Taxpayers Alliance (ATA), which describes itself as a non-partisan grassroots activist group, formally launched its app featuring the “Stop Shorten” slogan this week.

    Near identical versions of the app are also used by the Australian Conservatives and the Australian Christian Lobby, while anti-gay marriage group Marriage Alliance rolled out the tool during the marriage equality plebiscite.

    “They can use the app to spread the message to their own social media channels, to their own texts, their own emails. And the points that you get, you can then trade these for, you know, things like merchandise, T-shirts.”

    The ATA app requests escalating permissions, including the ability to read, add to, and modify the user’s calendar, take photos and videos, read contacts, control the phone’s vibration function and access the phone’s precise GPS location.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-25/the-trump-style-gameification-of-political-campaigning-comes-to-/11043072

  11. Terence Mills

    Any moment now a boat will be spotted entering Australian waters from the North, breathlessly reported by the Murdoch media – cue the Liberal/Newscorp onslaught that Labor cannot be trusted with border security.

    Later, much later it will be shown that the incursion was actually a migrating Hump Back whale.

    Peter Dutton will say that it is a typical Labor diversion to change the subject.

    Barnaby Joyce will say …whatever comes into his head !

  12. Patrice

    I would be happy if each party/ independent candidate was required to publish their policies at the beginning of the campaign and spend the rest of an allocated time( maybe 2 weeks) using a budgeted amount our (the citizens of this country) money to elaborate, answer questions etc on their stated policies.No rubbishing anyone else’s policy, no touring, no kissing babies, no high viz/ hard hats. Maybe several public debates. No donations. Also to publish their version of “Australian values” and demonstrate how each policy represents those values.

  13. Kaye Lee

    John Hewson’s view….

    “Rather than a genuine contest of ideas, elections have become superficial, increasingly presidential, driven by slogans, sound bites and stunts. Voters increasingly feel disenfranchised and ignored, so they disengage. Hence, the drift from the two major parties, both in protest and in some hope that minor parties and independents may be able to force better government.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/far-from-a-contest-of-ideas-this-campaign-withers-to-irrelevance-20190424-p51gr0.html

  14. John Boyd

    To a couple of comments above, Labor has ‘put its stake in the ground’, on global warming, renewable energy, in fact dozens of issues….check out https://www.alp.org.au/campaigns/ . The LNP’s only policy is to attack Labor’s policies, mainly with lies, and mount a personal attack on Bill Shorten.

  15. Kaye Lee

    John Boyd,

    There is no question that Labor has much better policies….but so did they in 2013. They had a very good track record going in to that election except for their stupid infighting. All that they had achieved was lost in the shit storm. They were too busy fighting each other to sell their credentials.

  16. Alcibiades

    Kaye,
    In 2013 the Coalition was not elected, the ALP was thrown out, IMV.

    That from the very first poll loss only 7 days after, continuing with only 2 exceptions ever since, through to today … voters remorse

    And a Federal third term win is historically exceptional. The Coalition started this election in the worst position since 1943. All the lies, smears, desperate hyperbole is indicative of despair & desperation given the likely internal polling. Other than the minority ‘engaged’, is anyone, Joe & Betty Bloggs, even listening ?

  17. John Boyd

    Kaye…true, but not the point. That was then. We have had six years of steady policy development, say from the 2015 national conference, when ‘we’ (I am a member of the ALP as if you couldn’t tell) went out with what was seen by some as a risky strategy of announcing a serious policy on climate change, through the 2016 election that we came within a whisker of winning, the 2018 national conference, and a string of serious policies all out there. And all the LNP can do is try to create panic by seriously misrepresenting the impact of those policies. But I agree, the whole public debate has got ridiculous.

  18. Kaye Lee

    John,

    If you have any sway I would suggest that Chris Bowen backs off from the “my surplus is bigger than yours” debate. He is setting himself up for failure. Underemployment is a real problem. The economy is not running near capacity which is why wage growth is so slow and demand is so low. We may need stimulus spending and should not be constrained from using it because of unrealistic promises about what might happen ten years down the track.

  19. John Hermann

    Yes Kaye, Bowen disappoints immensely. Clearly he is just as neoliberal – in his disposition and understanding of economic issues – as his Coalition opponents. The statistical evidence over the past century indicates, for all who wish to look at it objectively, that regimes of federal budget surplus are followed by recession.

  20. John Boyd

    Kaye…If only I had such pull. I basically agree with you on that point. As a humble member, my big issue is organising a roster to hand out how to vote cards at the polling booths. If any of you above wish to help locally, that is one way of doing it. As a general point, I can’t see the leadership making any serious changes to policy at this stage. On climate change for instance, Labor is so far ahead, why start any hares running now? In government I think there will be considerable pressure both from within and without to strengthen the approach. I just trust that senator di Natale is not really contemplating the same stunt as they pulled with the CPRS.

  21. John Iser (the NSW one)

    “The right-leaning Australian Taxpayers Alliance (ATA), which describes itself as a non-partisan grassroots activist group […]”.

    If they’re “non-partisan” and “grassroots” then I’m Australia’s top astroturf salesperson. Have a look at their “About Us” page. http://www.taxpayers.org.au/about_us

    The first four of their “Academic Fellows” are Mikayla Novak, Sinclair Davidson, Chris Berg and Jason Potts. They are all closely associated with a certain organisation that shares an initialism with Indian Pale Ale.

    Then there’s their “Board Of Advisers”, which includes such luminaries as Tom Switzer, Ross Cameron, Sam Kennard (son of the founder of Kennard’s Self Storage, and Lleytonhjewitt’s running mate at the 2016 election) and JoJo NoGo (oops, sorry; Jo Nova).

    Sometimes I get the impression that the entire “libertarian” cohort of Australian politics could fit in a broom cupboard. They’d have to remove all the astroturf they’ve stored in there first, though.

  22. New England Cocky

    It is time to require all so called political propagandist organisations like the IPA to declare the donations made to them within 24 hours to a public access website run by the AEC. Political donations should be limited to $1,000 per natural person per rolling year and corporations forbidden to make political donations in either cash or kind to either political parties or propagandist organisations.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Regarding the phone app, I was recently sent a link to a TED talk by a reader. It is about exactly this sort of stuff. Compulsory watching about how our democracy is being destroyed by the Silicon Valley giants who have the information about who spreads the lies but won’t share it, even with parliament. She names and shames and details what is going on and how. Fifteen minutes that must be listened to – especially considering what is happening here.

    And a follow-up article

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/21/carole-cadwalladr-ted-tech-google-facebook-zuckerberg-silicon-valley

  24. DrakeN

    Carole Cadwalladr is unique.

    One of those rare folk who seems able to see through the smoke-and-mirrors world in which we exist.

  25. Kaye Lee

    In the past in Australia, we used to be able to do business on a handshake because “a man’s word was his bond”. I have seen this change dramatically. I understand that we probably need better regulation and enforcable commitment than a handshake nowadays, but the pendulum has swung so far towards gimme gimme gimme that it is obscene. Integrity is a dying quality.

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