We made it! It’s the night before the federal election and the glorious advertising blackout means we can go back to existing without fluorescent yellow United Australia Party ads assaulting our vision, or scare campaigns threatening the end of the world as we know it. As a bonus, nobody has had to take a trip to the ER because they rolled their eyes so hard they got stuck – something I really thought would happen when we were promised a high-speed rail for the billionth time.
This campaign has been long and uninspiring no matter what side of politics you lean towards, and the passing of Bob Hawke late last night has really highlighted that. Videos being shared of Hawke shedding tears about the Tiananmen Square massacre, cheering on the winners of the America’s Cup, and necking beers are serving as a grim reminder of the shortcomings of our modern day leaders.
What do you remember most about this campaign? What incident or policy sticks out in your mind, for better or for worse? I asked myself this the other day, and the results were less than ideal. For me it was the ‘do you think gays are going to hell?’ question that Scott Morrison couldn’t answer straight away, reminding us all of just how far we’ve come since passing marriage equality into law.
I asked around, and got answers like Eggboy, Morrison the space invader, the Daily Telegraph’s attack on Bill Shorten’s mother, the unending spree of dropped candidates, and even waiting for the election itself to be called. The closest answer I got to an actual policy was the re-opening and prompt re-closing of the Christmas Island detention centre.
Recently I was talking to my boss, who was reminiscing about a time when he trusted politicians and genuinely believed what they were saying and wanted to go along for the ride.
I was born a few months before John Howard took office for the first time, and I was 11 years old when Kevin Rudd took over in 2007. I vividly remember my primary school self having a bit of an existential crisis at the thought of a Prime Minister that wasn’t John Howard – was it even legal? How would that possibly work? My point is, people my age hardly remember a Prime Minister that served a full term, let alone one that we want to rally behind.
I may have sent my boss into a depression pointing that out.
Who knows? With any luck we may see something inspiring come out of the next leadership term. For now, go and enjoy your democracy sausage, and I’ll see you on the flip side.