THE CAMPAIGN DIARY
CD greeted the penultimate day of campaignarama on the sands overlooked by Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club. The water sparkled, surfers bobbed and flocks of budgies were smuggled at Tony Abbott’s beach haunt. Should they land in strife, those very swimmers might find themselves in the rescue cross-hairs of an action-hero PM – or a man who suddenly has plenty of free time on his hands come Saturday evening. Our takeaway from 33 days of trail thrills and spills? If only our politics matched our faultless beaches.
Even by the standards of the farcical hand we’ve been dealt in this campaign, we didn’t see this one coming. Arnold ‘‘I’ll be back’’ Schwarzenegger himself has come out in support of the fast car-driving, Barnaby Joyce-challenging, Glen Innes underdog. ‘‘Jamie McIntyre is an extraordinary human being,’’ the man said from LA, after the two crossed paths at Macca’s 21st Century Education Financial Summit in June. ‘‘I love that he says he has a PhD in results, as I am a Professor of Action myself, we are going to get along very well.’’ We didn’t make any of that up.
DAY TO SHINE
That’s not the only thing we didn’t see coming. Linking the film Bridesmaids with the federal election hadn’t, thankfully, crossed our mind until watching Joe Hockey deliver his humdinger of policy costings and blow to AusAID. We hope it was just nerves that got the better of the glowing Shadow Treasurer as he delivered the LNP’s take on all things fiscal. Someone get the man a bottle of milk of magnesia, he looked as though he had eaten at a dodgy Brazilian steakhouse as sweat beaded along his pale brow under the glare of lights and cameras. Not the best portent of the state of the national purse strings under his rule.
We’ve grown quite attached to the chutzpah of Longman’s young Wyatt Roy. Not only has he won our ‘‘firmest handshake of the campaign’’ gong – three cheers! – but the Caboolture kid seems to know his wheat from his chaff. ‘‘Clive Palmer talking is about as appealing as Clive Palmer twerking,’’ he tweeted on Thursday. After Palmer’s inexplicable ‘‘Wendi Deng is a Chinese spy’’ rant to Karl Stefanovic, we have to say, Roy could be on to something.
It turns out no one likes being told they’re a loser. Labor’s ‘‘If he wins, you lose’’ advertisement fared the worst with viewers with its negative message. The most popular, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor (better known as the worm), was Liberal’s New Hope ditty, followed by the Greens’ Stand Up spot. Being positive really does work wonders.
Political correctness gone mad? Perhaps we shouldn’t blame him for exercising extreme caution after the social hand-grenade that was Abbott’s ‘‘sex appeal’’. But this Ruddism, surely, must count as over-sanitisation: ‘‘We’re the party of the little guy. And I mean that in a non-gender-specific way.’’ Kevin Rudd also invoked Occam’s razor at his National Press Club speech on Thursday. We can’t help thinking it may not have been the best turn of phrase for the wobbly PM. Yes, the simplest way is often the best – not that you have chosen that path, Mr Rudd.
Sophie Mirabella holds the dubious honour of eliciting deep bipartisan dislike from her Canberra colleagues. Tanya Plibersek on Thursday barracked for a Cathy McGowan victory in Indi. ‘‘She’s got to be nicer than Sophie Mirabella,’’ the Minister for Health told the ABC with a smile. Retiring independent Tony Windsor categorically declared in June he would miss the Liberal member the least of all of his parliamentary pals, awarding her the ‘‘nasty prize’’.
We see Jaymes Diaz, no longer AWOL, has had some help from high places this week. Greenway’s Mr Pointless was delivered Liberal heavyweights John Howard and, on Thursday, Bronwyn Bishop to add kudos his campaign. If the beehived grande dame of the Libs can’t whittle Diaz into shape, no one can. As matronly Bishop spun the whole six-point saga to shoppers at Seven Hills Centro: ‘‘Jaymes is for the people, not the press.’’
We’re still a democracy, after all.
Electionsausagesizzle.com clocks up 931 charity events.
Raise a glass to campaign volunteers, one and all.
Stage-managed campaigns. Bring back the real people.
Competitive emailing: At final count, ALP 924, Coalition 405.
McMahon. Heroine, snipers and now assassins.