Bush in ice bucket challenge
Former US President George W Bush takes the ALS ice bucket challenge to raise awareness about the degenerative disease. He dares President Bill Clinton to do the same.PT0M48S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3e1a3 620 349 August 21, 2014
The ice bucket challenge that has famous Americans self-drenching in ice-cold water to raise money and awareness for motor neurone disease has jumped the Pacific Ocean and found its way to the highest echelons of Australian politics.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott may become the first political leader to take up the challenge after he was nominated by his Parliamentary Secretary and member for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg, who completed the task on Wednesday.
The challenge, which requires the nominated person to film a video of themselves dumping a bucket of icy water on their head before "tagging" others who have 24 hours to complete the challenge, has gone viral on social media with scores of high-profile celebrities taking up the task.
Challenged: Tony Abbott Photo: Stephen Wark
The challenge is premised on an "either or" ultimatum - either complete the icy drenching or make a donation to charities fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). But the campaign is undoubtedly achieving both, with the American ALS association reporting on Tuesday that it had received $US22.9 million in donations compared to $US1.9 million during the same time period last year.
A spokesperson for Josh Frydenberg said he was very happy to complete the challenge after being nominated by his constituent and friend Andy Gowers, a former AFL Premiership star for Hawthorne, whose wife's sister-in-law has motor neurone disease. The spokesperson confirmed that Frydenberg also made a donation to Australia's leading motor neurone disease charity, Laugh to Cure MND.
In addition to throwing down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister, Frydenberg has set the stage for the viral craze to conquer Australia by nominating Carlton Football Club coach Mick Malthouse and ABC journalist Rafael Epstein.
With the clock now ticking, the Prime Minister is joined in the nominations by his embattled Treasurer Joe Hockey, who was passed the baton by Channel 7 Sunrise co-host David "Kochie" Koche yesterday.
Neither the Prime Minister nor the Treasurer's office were able to confirm whether they would take up the challenge.
President Obama set the diplomatic standard when he turned down the challenge in favour of a $US100 donation after he was nominated by Ethel Kennedy, the 86-year-old matriarch of the famous political dynasty.