Twirling towards freedom

Campaign Week 2: The Debate Team, Buddy Rojek and Sexual Education

The Debate Team

After a brief moment of delusion, it was apparent that the Leadership Debate was not going to be a discussion between two party leaders who would hold each other to account. And startlingly enough, it wasn’t the candidates’ fault. True, Kevin Rudd peppered his heavily scripted answers with a few Ruddisms so it would seem impromptu enough, despite the sheaf of notes he clutched throughout the proceedings. Yes, Tony Abbott’s opening remark, “This is a debate between Kevin Rudd and myself,” made him look as though he had been pushed behind that podium by overbearing parents who know in their heart that their child has no natural talent for public speaking – but just want him to give it his best. The problem was the format. It was a debate in name only, more of a joint press conference shaped around questions that had been handed over to each candidate’s media advisers days in advance. Only the moderator was allowed to interrupt the speakers because, why exactly? In case they hurt each other’s feelings? Because not being able to immediately respond to each other somehow made it more interesting?


Homecoming Committee

Buddy Rojek, the excellently-named Victorian candidate for Palmer’s United party, has promised an over-18s party full of female and male models, “who might take you home if you behave”, in exchange for people volunteering to man his booths on election day. Rojek needs 150 volunteers for his campaign, according to the flyers he distributed this week, and it’s set to be quite the party: “You will have a rocking night with DJ’s, mingling models and possibly a rock band if I can secure. Fingers crossed! My parties go off!!! Kevin '13 party is for nerds! I have booked a hotel for the models, if you are lucky and behave yourself they might invite you back to party longer. :)” The pub that will be hosting his party has a capacity of 300, and Rojek is confident that he can supply a 1:1 ratio of models to volunteers. Yet he isn’t quite sure, and this is frankly adorable, that he can successfully book a rock band. 


Sexual Education

The Liberal Party has been frantically educating the nation this week about suppositories of all wisdom, young and feisty women with a bit of sex appeal, and same-sex marriage as “the fashion of the moment.”

But it’s OK, everyone. Tony Abbott was just being a bit “exuberant,” in his sexism. “It was a dorky dad moment.”

Hopefully, sometime before election day, Abbott will learn from his colleague Jaymes Diaz about when to keep his mouth shut. “It’s all good,” Diaz told reporters this week, when he was again goaded to recount his party’s six-point plan to stop the boats. “It’s all good.”





Michaela McGuire

Michaela McGuire is a journalist and the author of Last Bets: A True Story of Gambling, Morality and the Law and the Penguin Special A Story of Grief. Visit her blog, Twirling Towards Freedom.


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