Political double act

Last year in Five things that (still) surprise us about Australia we mentioned the informal language used in Australian politics and media. When we first arrived we were shocked by the language permitted on TV and radio at all times of day and surprised by the informal way politicians speak to each other.

Politics wherever you are in the world often descends into finger pointing and the sharing of snide remarks that in the end overwhelm the general public. In any political struggle media coverage represents the battle zone with equal shots being fired from either side.

Tomorrow the Australian Labour Party will vote for a new leader (Julia Gillard vs Kevin Rudd) and Australia potentially gets a new Prime Minister. We’re as confused as ever about where the Australian public’s allegiances should lie but, whoever gets party backing; we have been thoroughly entertained by the recent comedy of Australian politics.

Whilst the informal way politicians speak to each other, and the lack of censorship in Australian media often surprises us, it invariably makes us laugh; from Kevin Rudd’s swearing video (search for this on YouTube if you haven’t seen it yet) to the opportunity individual politicians have taken to deliver classic one-liners and put downs.

Here are some of the most recent events and comments from the comedy of Australian politics:

Anna Bligh’s opponent pops the bland tablet

Even before Rudd’s resignation as Foreign Minister we enjoyed some political put downs from former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, who was talking to Labour supporters in Queensland during Anna Bligh’s local election campaign. Talking about Anna Bligh’s opponent, LNP Leader Campbell Newman, Keating said; “”He’s a very ordinary little guy. Pops the bland tablet every morning. Bottle with bland written on it. Pops one every day.” No beating around the bush there, we had to laugh at the analogy.

Twitter overwhelmed by announcements

On Friday 22nd February, social media went crazy trying to keep track of the announcements regarding Rudd’s resignation and the labour leadership spill. These tweets from @crisdeal made us laugh and sums things up:

“I’m so glad the announcement of the announcement of the next announcement was finally announced.”

and

“I’m so disappointed that the announcement of the announcement that there would be an announcement resulted in an actual announcement.”

Simon Crean says it’s a farce

Although Australian politicians have said that the leadership battle isn’t an episode of Celebrity Big Brother or Australian Idol, Rudd has been referred to as a rock star all weekend. Someone who always has something interesting to say is Labour MP Simon Crean who won’t be supporting Rudd and calls the current state of the Australian Labour Party a farce.

Even Kevin Rudd’s supporters call him names

Finally, some of the language and name calling that surprised us most this weekend came from an MP who supports Kevin Rudd, read all about that here.

What do you make of recent political events in Australia? Who do you think is going to win the leadership battle? Have you enjoyed the media coverage? The next 24 hours are going to be interesting…

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