Campaign countdown: And the winner is… Masterchef
The headlines: Courtney had to leave Masterchef. The most discussed topic of the evening on Twitter was Masterchef. In federal election news, if you had to call a winner today, you’d have to say it was, er, Masterchef.
Not even the looming opportunity to exercise what the PM grandly terms “Australians’ birthright” to decide their government can interfere with the national obsession with this show. The main parties have agreed to pull the televised debate between Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard back an hour so it doesn’t have to go up against the Masterchef finale, expected by some to be watched by 4 million people on Sunday.
Smart move. By comparison the debate ratings would have been embarrassing and probably drawn commentary about the malaise in Australian democracy when a cooking show can trump a debate between the alternative blah blah blah. If you are a fan, or know someone who is, you will know Masterchef is not just another TV show. Watching it is almost a religion. But Masterchef ratings clash or not, have Australians tuned into this campaign yet in the first place?
South Australian Liberal MP Christopher Pyne was making eminent sense when he said: “I do think people should take a bit of a cold shower and start realising that we have a long way to go, otherwise they might find themselves so exhausted they won’t get to the end of the campaign.”
You might add: Ditto for the voting public.
Looking at the traffic volumes to campaign content on news websites everywhere, it appears the campaign has yet to ignite the public imagination.
But as Pyne pointed out, this is a slow burn. Many more millions of Australians will be casting their vote on August 21 than watch Masterchef on Sunday.
Abbott’s industrial relations pirouetting still has him in knots, with the Herald Sun reporting late in the day that his statements contradict policy outlined on his own party’s website.
But as leading Victorian Liberal Michael Kroger telegraphed on Lateline, the Coalition will be looking to turn the focus onto the government’s record now that the “Workchoices bogey” is out of the way.
Quote of the day goes to Sex Party leader Fiona Patten, who said:
“We’ve always been forward and we actually enjoy real action,” Patten said, mocking Gillard and Abbott’s “Moving Australia Forward” and “Stand Up For Real Action” slogans.
More here, under the type of headline the Sex Party will keep on giving to subeditors at international wire services everywhere for the next month.
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