Last week Australians had the pleasure of being bombarded by the leaders’ television debate. I still find it hard to believe that they can call it a debate, since a debate usually requires that those involved take contrary and opposing positions. Gillard at least should be recognised for her services to humanity: if Abbott had his way then the airwaves would be polluted by two more of these dreary affairs. For standing up and saying ‘No’, I salute you Julia. If either of them manages to express another clear stance in the next four weeks, I’ll be very surprised.
From here to polling day, I officially give up on “real news”. There’s no point trying to get any meaningful information from the candidates or from the press who diligently report their platitudinous nonsense – I swear I will give my vote to the first candidate running on a platform of moving sideways, believing in an unfair go, and being against families. Instead, I will turn to the only thing that can possibly justify western democracy – comedy and satire.
The Chaser team is back with their 4th election series, although I’m not sure if they’ll be able to get enough material out of the battle of political blancmanges that this is shaping up to be. On the other hand, I have high hopes for Gruen Nation – an election version of Wil Anderson’s comedy panel show delving into the world of advertising The Gruen Transfer (if you haven’t seen it, that description will sound bizarre, but trust me, it works). In an era where politicians are media-managed and focus-grouped to within an inch of their lives, an advertiser’s deconstruction of the election campaign may be the most insightful analysis available.
Gruen Nation is on ABC1 9pm, followed by The Chaser’s Yes We Canberra at 9.45pm every Wednesday up to the election. Wil Anderson is also performing his show Wilful Misconduct at the Comedy Store, Fox Studios Moore Park, August 5-15.