Just when it looked like the prospect of a hung Parliament had taken us to a new paradigm of political discourse, where nice trumps nasty and diversity of opinion is respected, the public has sent a clear message: enough already!
After railing against stage-managed elections, two weeks of introspection and pandering to the wishes of non-aligned members has the public calling for a recommencement of hostilities.
According to this week’s Essential Report, a majority of voters want a new election – and even more (70 per cent) believe a new poll is inevitable.
So why would we trudge back to the polls? After consulting broadly, the Punch has compiled a special report ‘Ten Reasons Why We Want Another Election’
1. We Need a Bad Guy – The problem with the last two weeks is that everyone has been on their best behaviour, lest they upset the independents and are marked down. All this positivity, is frankly a little creepy and quite disturbing for the average voter used to seeing their leaders belt away at each other.
2. Bob Katter Has No Place at the Centre of Power – Deep down we all love Bob and his hat and his agrarian socialism. But we love him on the fringes of power and not at the centre. That’s when he becomes scary.
3. Rob Oakeshott Needs Some Sleep – At each media event Rob Oakshott’s eyes seem beadier and his vision for Australia becomes whackier. If this goes on for another three years Australia will be run by of a national commune operating out of a yurt in the Coffs region. The man needs some rest.
4. Economic Stimulus – The most responsible thing government can do to keep the economy going. Another election will inject much-needed funds into the advertising industry and fund the arts – with Australia’s out-of-work-actors gagging for a chance to portray a battling mum or dad.
5. A New Way of Highlighting Labor’s Schools Building Program – It’s not enough to build them and open them, elections force the public to witness first hand how $600,000 can be spent on a school canteen,
6. Life Coaching for Tony Abbott – It now appears calling a federal election is the one way to keep Tony Abbott disciplined and focussed, subverting the whacky impulses that pass for his world view outside the campaign. As soon as the election is over, he reverts to belting anyone who gets in his way. If life were a constant election, Tony would be a nicer person.
7. The Chaser Needs Another Gig – Three years is too long to keep these comedic geniuses out of he limelight.
8. Mark Latham Needs Another Gig – See above.
9. Missed Opportunities – Labor forgot to include Peter Garrett in their last campaign and want to start over. Wilson Tuckey, too, wants another shot in the locker.
10. There is nothing else booked for Rooty Hill RSL next month – as club land entertainment goes, allowing punters to punch holes in their leaders was more compelling than aging rockers belting out covers. Surely this could become a regular part of the RSL circuit: Julia and Tony by request.
Peter Lewis, Director EMC
Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.