Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Julia Gillard’

Anatomy of Sales -v- Gillard interview

In Federal Election, Peter Clarke on March 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM

By Peter Clarke
March 26, 2013

A little context …

Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.
The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

What would Wilde have had to say about losing a conga-line of ministers, parliamentary secretaries and assorted whips?

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Another day, another interview. Or two, or three.

For an anchor of a nightly national current affairs program such as Leigh Sales @ABC730, this is her bedrock job: conducting set-piece accountability interviews and performing to the highest broadcast journalistic standards she and the team around her can aspire to and produce.

Last Monday night (25 March) was typical and unusual both. Her interviewee was the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. That’s standard. Sales has interviewed Gillard many times both as PM and earlier. And, at times, very effectively both in terms of the information that she elicited and the tone and dynamic of the interview itself.

Monday night’s interview did not fall into that category. It was clearly an unusual context with Gillard, after yet another Ruddesque encounter with losing her Prime Ministership, out in media land selling her message of ‘done and dusted’ and essentially telling Australian electors, ‘Nothing to see here’.

The repeated lines tended to work better on shows such as The Project.

The Project

The Project

Of course, there was much to be seen here and imagined and speculated about and grimaced over and long sighs expended upon, heads shaking all the while. We knew that. Leigh Sales had that as an inescapable reality as she sat at her desk, writing her leads and plotting her approach to what turned out to be a short interview considering the steaming pile of political slag the PM was standing in front of vainly attempting some verbal legerdemain and misdirection to divert our collective bemused and weary gaze. Read the rest of this entry »

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I want to vote Labor – give me a reason!

In Federal Election, Noely Neate on March 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM
My grandfather "Chum", bit of a dapper bloke in his day :)

My grandfather “Chum”, bit of a dapper bloke in his day 🙂

By Noely Neate
March 25, 2013

Every  man and his dog has given up Labor as a dead loss for the election in September.  I am not so sure.

John Howard was pretty much in that position at one stage. and it was only the intervention of  Tampa and Twin Towers Towers that saved his butt.  The fact is that when people are scared they stay with the ‘devil they know’.  Now, I don’t wish the likes of a Twin Towers to save the Labor Party, though a bit more focus on Tony Abbott’s policies may help level the playing field so that people could get past personalities to actually look at what each side will do for this country.

Having said that, I don’t hold out much hope for the ALP unless they can get back to grass roots.  Basically we have a two horse race. There’s the Liberal/National coalition, which equals Money.  Now everyone can relate to money, everyone has aspirations, so that is a no brainer for them to attract people. Labor has traditionally been Labor, equals unions.

For people like me – I am 45 in a few weeks – I understand that we owe the unions a lot.  Without unions there would be no minimum wage and no safety requirements in the workplace and kids would be working working for two bucks an hour.  Unfortunately, with so much small business now and the fact that the unions did such a bloody good job that the Government has taken over in some respects when it comes to fair pay and conditions, younger generations don’t ‘get’ or appreciate unions.

But they do see the news and unions scare them, Unions stopped them getting on that flight with Qantas to go to the mates 21st, Union ‘stuff’ meant they could not get that part-time job on the work site (that they were not qualified for but we won’t worry about that…). Unions have a bad rap.

Unfortunately for the unions they are not a large percentage of our population anymore. Also, like our politicians, too many union leaders are career managers, not actually from the site or factory floor, so it is even hard for old time blue collar workers to support them.

Worse, the Labor Party being so closely aligned with unions and the massive voting block they have that is not proportionate with the population actually makes the Liberals case for them.  If you are not in an area that has a big union presence, like mine, unions mean nothing to you.

The funny thing is that Labor was not always like that. They had more members and more support, and it was not just because we had more blue collar jobs in this country.  It was also because often the Labor party, just like the Lions or Rotary, were part of the community. Read the rest of this entry »

Just so you know, the government’s media reform case in Parliament today

In Media Reform on March 19, 2013 at 1:32 AM

House Of Representatives

19 Marc 2013

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Media Reform

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth) (14:30): My question is to the Prime Minister. If this week she is unable to persuade the parliament to establish a public interest media advocate to regulate the content of newspapers for the first time in our peacetime history, will she have the courage of her convictions and commit today to take that policy to the next election and pledge to legislate it if she were to win government again?

The SPEAKER: The difficulty with the question is that it is slightly hypothetical.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: And I am not referring to the last part of the question. It also presumes the outcome of a vote in this parliament, and that is a very dangerous precedent to set.

Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (14:30): In answer to the question from the member for Wentworth, the government does not have before this parliament and does not have as its policy a proposal to have a public interest media advocate that regulates newspaper coverage. That is not the case. That is a distortion of the reform proposition. I said it last week and I will say it again: I understand why the
member for Wentworth is seeking to curry a bit of favour with those who run media outlets in the hope of some good publicity—presumably for himself; maybe for the opposition—in the future. I understand that craven attempt at political advantage. But on more than one occasion—

Mrs Mirabella: That is the pot calling the kettle black.

The SPEAKER: The member for Indi will leave the chamber under 94(a). She was warned just moments ago.

The member for Indi then left the chamber.

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The imputation from the Prime Minister concerning the member for Wentworth was unparliamentary and I ask that she withdraw it. It was absolutely outrageous.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has the call and will refer to the question before the chair.

Ms GILLARD: I was referring to the question before the chair and the distortion that appeared in the question of what the government’s intentions are. There is legislation before the parliament this week. The government will continue—

Mr Pyne: Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Madam Speaker, I am wondering whether you heard exactly what the Prime Minister said. She accused the member for Wentworth of improper motives for the position that the coalition has taken on the media reforms. We have asked her to withdraw that accusation.

The SPEAKER: I probably did not hear, actually, given the level of noise that continues to flow around the chamber. I did not think that the issue warranted a withdrawal. But I ask the Prime Minister to withdraw in order to assist the parliament.

Ms GILLARD: I withdraw. In answer to the question from the member for Wentworth, firstly, his question misconstrues the proposition that is before the parliament. Secondly, the parliament is yet to have a debate on these various pieces of legislation and the government obviously in that debate will be putting forward what is in the public interest in our nation. I am not going to speculate on the outcome in this parliament. We will work, as we always do, in good faith with those parliamentary members who are prepared to deal with reform propositions on their merits and on their facts.

When it comes to reform propositions on their merits and on their facts, the member for Wentworth has characterised this reform proposition one way in his question. I would refer him to the following: According to the international and well-respected organisation Reporters Without Borders, Australia currently sits 26th in the world when it comes to a free press. The country in first place, Finland, has specific laws that dictate to media organisations that they must provide a right of reply and correct factual errors. We are not proposing to do that. In Finland, the press council gets 30 per cent of its funding from the government. We are not proposing to do that. Denmark, which is sixth on the list, has a press council that was established by legislation in 1991. We are not proposing to do that. What the government has put forward are some propositions clearly in the public interest. They are propositions about freedom of the press, about diversity of voices and about self-regulation by our media. We believe that they are propositions of merit to be pursued this week in parliament. We will join in that debate well and truly.

* Read the rest of this entry »

Citizen journos unite!

In AFHP, Journalism, Margo Kingston, MSM, The Hanson Affair on March 15, 2013 at 9:01 PM

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By Margo Kingston
March 15, 2013
Source: Sheilas

Sarah Capper, Sheilas editor: Veteran political journalist and author Margo Kingston is back! And just in the nick of time with an election year upon us.

After some time off, Margo returned to writing at the end of last year, spurred into action when she heard Opposition leader Tony Abbott attacking the Prime Minister over the so-called ‘AWU’ slush fund. In her best-selling book ‘Not Happy John!’ (recently relaunched by Penguin as an e-book), Margo examined Tony Abbott’s own involvement in a ‘slush fund’ – with the dubiously named ‘Australians for Honest Politics’ fund that was set-up to bankroll court action against Pauline Hanson. Margo reminded readers of this with articles published on the Independent Australia website, and was then further encouraged back into writing when former Webdiarist Tony Yegles created a website under the same fantastic title of ‘Australians for Honest Politics’. Welcome back, Margo!

In terms of returning to a ‘virtual reality’, she explains:

After seven years in the real world I’m back in the virtual one until the election. Once I dabbled on twitter and realised the extent of the collapse of the mainstream media as an accountability mechanism, it was inevitable. So I have deferred the final year of my nursing degree, accepted the services of the geek who created a website, and got to work with fellow citizen journos. I’m excited to be again fulfilling my vocation, this time watching the death of the old media and playing a part in the creation of the new.

We hope to publish more of Margo Kingston over this election year and link readers to articles on her new site. In this piece for Sheilas, Margo looks at what’s been making news through Twitter over the last week – click on the links below to be redirected to articles:

On March 7, Australian Women’s Weekly editor-in-chief Helen McCabe linked this post on Twitter:

Miranda Devine on “mummy bloggers” and the PM’

I came across it on International Women’s Day. Grrrrr. It read to me like sour grapes from a columnist who had privileged access to the former Prime Minister John Howard, and was now pissed off from feeling a little, well, displaced.

Helen McCabe is an old friend – we did the road trip chasing Pauline Hanson in her 1998 election campaign – so in response, I tweeted:

Why Miranda on PM dinner, Helen? Why not run someone AT dinner? ‘mummy blogger’ sexist on IWD!‘.

Vigorous twitter talk ensued, and Helen asked for pieces – which she paid for – on why the phrase mummy blogger was not OK.

Mandy Lee wrote ‘‘Why I hate the term mummy blogger’ .

Zoe Arnold wrote ‘Why mummy bloggers are so much more than their condescending name suggests’ .

Kim Berry wrote ‘Don’t call me a mummy blogger’.

To Helen’s credit, she then used her gig on Network Ten’s The Project to put the wider world in the picture.

This is what can happen on Twitter.

I felt uncomfortable watching Tony Abbott use his sister to remake his image on Sixty Minutes.

So did Shelly Horton, Sydney party reporter for the Sunday tabloid the Sun Herald. She tweeted:

‘I don’t think Tony Abbott is a reformed woman-loving gay-accepting man. I just think he’s been media trained to be polished liar’.

Her personal opinion on the Abbott interview summed it up for so many that the original tweet was retweeted nearly 500 times. Read the rest of this entry »

The MSM won’t report this, so here’s Gillard and Conroy on media reform

In Freedom of Speech, Journalism, Media Reform, MSM, News Limited, Press Gallery on March 13, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Photo Alex Ellinghausen @ellinghausen  #thepulselive

Photo Alex Ellinghausen @ellinghausen #thepulselive

Question Time House of Representatives March 13, 2013

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth) (14:29): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can she provide the House examples of published content in breach of the standards her government wishes to enforce through the Public Interest Media Advocate? Is the front page of today’s Telegraph such an example? If she cannot provide any examples, what exactly is the mischief, the problem, that her new media controls are intended to address?

Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (14:30): I thank the member for Wentworth for his question and I understand its motivations. I understand that the opposition have decided to seek some political advantage by bandwagoning with media interests and media organisations, transparent—and bordering on the laughable—as that is. Yes, it is.

Opposition members interjecting—

Ms GILLARD: I am glad the opposition have the good grace to laugh when their motivations on this matter are transparently exposed. To the member for Wentworth I would say this: before we get into any sanctimonious nonsense about freedom of speech, it was under the Howard government that two journalists—

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: Order! There seems to be sanctimonious disrespect for the standing orders. I am not going to preside over, yet again, another day when not a word can be heard in this chamber. The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD: Yes—this is the kind of hypocrisy that we see from the opposition. It was under the Howard government that two News Limited journalists faced jail for contempt of court. The reaction of the Howard government: do nothing. The reaction of this government: provide journalist shield laws. It was under the Howard government that churches would have their grants taken away—their services smashed—if they spoke out against government policy.

Mr Turnbull: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This is not relevant. I am more than happy to debate freedom of the press. I have asked the Prime Minister—

The SPEAKER: The member for Wentworth will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has the call. Read the rest of this entry »

The view from Rooty Hill on last week’s invasion

In Federal Election, Journalism, MSM, Pascale Grosvenor, Transport on March 11, 2013 at 4:49 PM

rooty2

By Pascal Grosvenor
March11, 2013

I attended St Agnes high school at Rooty Hill from years 7 to 10.  I went to Loyola College next to the RSL in years 11 and 12.  My mother still lives in Rooty Hill, and my grandmother lived in the Catholic nursing home next to St Agnes for quite some years before she passed away.

I want to give a personal account of the last week at Rooty Hill and offer my reflections and opinions on what took place.

The PM’s week in Western Sydney was in essence a mini-campaign launched by her speech to Labor faithful on Sunday night. It was a tightly stage-managed week with little room for unscripted opportunities to meet the people on the street. It was billed as a listening tour but the reality was different.

If you’re interested you can check my twitter stream for real time tweets and photos I posted during the week at https://mobile.twitter.com/pascalg15.

rooty1

Sunday

Sunday night was similar to a campaign launch speech. It was at Parramatta rather than Rooty Hill and only Labor Party faithful and the media were present. This article is an excellent description of the speech and the night . Most shocking is the comment that Tony Abbott has weekly meetings with News Corp, no doubt to planning how to bury Labor.

Julia Gillard was also invited to attend the MBM church (www.mbm.org.au) at Rooty Hill, and she missed the opportunity to speak with residents of Rooty Hill.  I’m a member of the church, and I know that people support vote Liberal, Labor and Greens. This would have been a chance for her to talk to real people in an environment where they are courteous and respectful to each other despite political differences.

The church has 300 to 400 people at its 10.30am service. There are about 40 different ethnic groups represented in the congregation – Maltese, Lebanese, Indian, Filipino and Sudanese to name a few. Its a great illustration of the how multicultural Western Sydney is.

Monday night

The PM had a private dinner with bloggers and did not appear to mingle with locals at the club. I think this was a bad decision. It gave the appearance of her being too removed from the locals. It didn’t help that the bloggers are not residents of Western Sydney

She also missed a a great chance to sit in the regular bistro, have a chicken schnitzel and beer and chat to the locals there that night. I had dinner in the bistro and waited for some time, hoping to introduce myself. Not seeing any sign of the PM leaving the dinner. I went over to the live broadcast of Sky News with PM Live being recorded at the RSL.

I thought host Paul Murray’s opinion that Julia Gillard’s tour wasn’t authentic was true based on what I’d seen and heard. During the show there was quite a lot of anger and heckling by locals towards Mark Latham and Ed Husic, who were defending Labor’s economic record. I noticed that the vocal members of the audience all felt the NBN is a waste of money or not needed. To me this is a clear sign that they either believe what the LNP has been saying or the Daily Telegraph’ biased reporting. If the ALP wants to convince these people of the benefits of the NBN they need to do a better job.

David Oldfield (former One Nation pollie) got in some comments about climate change scepticism during the show which a lot of the audience seemed to agree with. David Oldfield and the Liberal state MP Stuart Ayres got the best reception from the audience.

Near the end of the show I got the chance to ask a question live on TV about Cityrail and what the federal government could do to help Read the rest of this entry »

MSM to blogger: ‘Stunt – so what did she say?’

In Fifth Estate, NDIS on March 6, 2013 at 5:12 PM

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By Kim Berry
March 5, 2013

EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday night dummy spit:

Next morning I see this:

I check out the dinner guests and find that I follow @allconsuming and she follows me so I DM and here’s a piece by her for us.


On Monday night I dined with the Prime Minister. This followed last year’s morning tea and then Christmas drinks with her at Kirribilli House, as part of a select group of ‘influential women in digital media’. I totally acknowledge this is a very big deal, a privilege, and pretty darn cool. But let’s back up for a moment.

I started blogging 10 years ago when I was at home with two small children, one with a disability, and in the grip of the clichéd ‘What have I done with my life’ period of angst every 30-year-old is prone to roll around in.

The early stuff is atrocious, akin to teenage diaries of misery, woe, and inexplicable vitriol. I persisted because I’m stubborn and a writer by trade. I learned pretty quickly that writing about yourself in an engaging way is actually quite difficult. See also: white, middle-class whinger.

There were a few stops and starts in those early days of dial-up, a fun year blogging with a friend, and then the last six or so at allconsuming.com.au, my own corner on the interwebs. Anne Summers called my blog  ‘idiosyncratic’. Someone on Twitter said it was “peculiarly fascinating” which pandered nicely to my ego.

I am a personal blogger. I write about my life and all aspects of it which can include a LOT of baking, a fair smattering of swearing, the occasional indignation or insight, and a bit of froth and bubble.

Because I am a woman and a mother and occasionally blog about my children I am often labelled a ‘mummy blogger’. It doesn’t rile me as much as it used because the bigger blogging becomes, the more using that term to patronise or dismiss reflects on the labeller rather than the labelled.

I adore the online space. Blogging gave me a voice when I felt isolated and alone. It built a community, an international force of friendship that buoys me through the dark days and rejoices at the good. The arrival of Facebook, then Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest has only served to grow that community and I think that is pretty awesome.

Did I ever imagine blogging would see me having dinner with the Prime Minister? Absolutely not. Sure, I’m a current affairs addict and passionate about people educating themselves on the issues which form the fabric of our society – but to be in this position? To talk directly to the PM? Never in a million years.

There’s been a steady amount of sniping in mainstream and digital media forums about how we were chosen, that we weren’t from Western Sydney, and that the PM was snubbing women from the very area she was trying to win over, scoring a “Let them eat cake” kicker. Honestly, I don’t know why we were chosen. Read the rest of this entry »

The round-up: For whom the poll ticks

In Fairfax, News Limited, Press Gallery, Sarah Capper on February 28, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Sarah Capper

Sarah Capper

By Sarah Capper, Sheilas Editor


VOTER support for Labor has jumped to its strongest levels since the last election to put the federal government within striking distance of the Coalition …

This story appeared not two years ago, not six months ago, but less than six weeks ago, on 15 January, 2013 (in The Australian newspaper, ‘Labor starts poll year with bounce: Newspoll’ by David Crowe).

Fast forward six weeks and it’s an entirely different story, with the mainstream media’s coverage on the federal Government’s opinion poll fortunes as being incredibly dire, with doom and gloom scenarios abounding – the resurrecting of has-been Kevin Rudd leadership challenge possibilities, with commentators once again (gleefully) issuing death toll bells for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Murdoch press has never been a great fan of the Gillard Government, with a history of editorials and columnists aplenty going on the attack throughout the course of this minority government’s duration. Following last week’s Nielsen poll, which has the gap widening between the Government and Opposition, calls for Gillard’s head were not just limited to reports by News Limited journalists.

ABC Drum columnist Barrie Cassidy noted the switch in collective commentary, writing that:

Troubling for the Government, Fairfax at varying levels has joined News Ltd in baying for Julia Gillard’s blood.

Cue Mark Baker, Alan Stokes and Waleed Aly (and a raft of others) who wrote scathing opinion pieces last week which could cause even the most ardent of social democrats to choke on their Weeties and feel that all hope was lost.

Baker: It’s time, Labor. Time to end the delusion that Julia Gillard and her battle-scarred camp followers have any chance of political resurrection. Kevin Rudd might well be a very naughty boy, but Labor has no choice but to test whether he still has the makings of a messiah. It is the only card this discredited, demoralized and dysfunctional government has left to play.

Stokes: Julia Gillard, it is time for you to make your graceful, dignified, humble, selfless exit from the prime-ministership.

Aly: Labor’s problems are not nearly so managerial and technocratic. They are much, much bigger than that. Labor’s problem is ideological. It doesn’t really mean anything any more, and probably hasn’t since Paul Keating lost power in 1996. Read the rest of this entry »

The mysterious photo no-one took: New evidence for Press Council

In Anne Tan, MSM, News Limited on February 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM

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By Anne Tan
February 22 2013

On 6 November, 2012, an article with accompanying photo appeared on Michael Smith’s blog site. The post included a weblink to The Australian, and the article Gillard call would have ‘ led to fund inquiry’, by Hedley Thomas. Sandwiched between the headline and the article on Smith’s blog site was a photograph of the Prime Minister depicting her behind bars.

I immediately lodged a complaint with the Press Council: ‘…an article/accompanying photo in today’s copy of The Australian, and available through Google, has prompted me to [make] a complaint. I include the weblink and a copy of the page. I believe the photograph impugns the integrity of the PM, depicting her behind bars, and as a private citizen I am appalled at this journalism.’

The Press Council advised that no such photograph had appeared in the digital or hard copy editions of  The Australian and that it was a ‘doctored’ photo posted by a blogger. Obviously, my complaint was prompted by a ‘fiction’ and as such, I did not proceed. The Press Council dealt with the matter in a very timely fashion, contacted me by phone and email, and thanked me for bringing it to attention.

I was and remain shocked by such a blatant and disrespectful representation of the Prime Minister.


But what really happened…
by Margo Kingston

When Anne emailed me her complaint to the Press Council, I suggested she write a piece about her experience and noted that I would seek comment from Mike Smith before publication. I expected a ‘Yes, I photoshopped the pic., big deal, I reckon she’s guilty’.

You never know the truth till you call.

Mike’s response was surprising and disturbing, and we agreed that he would write a considered statement, published in full below.

You make up your own mind about what went on in Murdoch’s stable. I will email this post to the Press Council upon publication and request it to re-open the investigation in the light of new evidence.

We have published Anne’s correspondence with the Press Council under Mike’s statement.


Mike Smith responds:

I recall seeing that photo for the first time very early in the morning of 6 November, 2013 – Melbourne Cup Day.

Hedley Thomas had filed this report.

On reading Hedley’s story I cut and pasted some of his text and republished it on my blog for the purpose of eliciting commentary about the issues he disclosed.

I don’t know if I took the text directly from The Australian’s website or from a re-posting of Hedley’s story elsewhere on News Ltd sites like perhaps www.news.com.au or one of the tabloid sites, dailytelegraph.com.au or heraldsun.com.au.

I know that I lifted the photograph from Hedley’s story, wherever it was published, and thought it an apt pictorial allegory for the imputations I took from Hedley’s story.   I wanted to elicit commentary about the photograph as well as the text. Read the rest of this entry »

Speculating Poll Dating

In Federal Election, Sarah Capper on February 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM
Margo’s note: Sarah Capper edits the Victorian Women’s Trust feminist monthly Sheilas. She’s an old friend who has kindly let AFHP publish her first column in 2013. Each month she interviews a bonza sheila and this time it’s Ita (registration for Sheilas is free). I love Sarah’s writing, this time on timing the election, and hope you do too.
227 Days of MSM Farce

227 Days of MSM Farce

By Sarah Capper
Source: Sheilas
February 14, 2013

If you google ‘election date speculation’ or ‘election timing’ and any of the last federal election year dates (eg. 2010, 2007), you get millions of results. So much so, that in the lead up to a federal poll (or state for that matter, where there are no fixed terms), a large media focus becomes fixated on the exact date on which we will vote.

When the Prime Minister surprisingly announced September 14 as this year’s federal poll date (at her National Press Club address a fortnight ago), it sucked a lot of oxygen out of a tedious debate that would normally ensue.

Of course, there’s always certain supposed ‘rules’ in setting election dates. The main ones to consider are that elections are not to be held to interrupt any religious (secular or sporting) festival. Yes, as a sports mad nation, the notion that we might have to vote and watch a football game on the same day for some is said to be sacrilegious.

For example, it is seen to be a no brainer that an election would be called on a grand final weekend. Even a clipping from the Sydney Morning Herald from June 1946 carries this ominous passage:

“CANBERRA, Thursday.-Victorian members of Parliament are frowning on September 28 as the Federal general election date because a big football match is to be played in Melbourne that day … They claim that the game will attract 80,000 people and will affect polling figures.”

The election was held on September 28, and Chifley was returned to Government.

According to the AFL, there have been nine federal elections that have fallen during the “football season” since 1946, which is presumably a bit of a broad statement given that the season lasts for nearly six months of the year and general elections are held on Saturdays.

But if you listen to the current doomsdayer commentary surrounding the latest ‘drugs in sport’ scandal, we might be lucky to actually get to footy finals this year (queue doctored tabloid images of Lance Armstrong wearing an AFL jersey, or a photo of random footballs from various codes with syringes in the foreground).

And presumably as a Western Bulldogs supporter the Prime Minister may not think she herself will be preoccupied with her team being in one of the finals.

Of course, whenever an election date is announced there will always be someone or some group unhappy. Queue the Member for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull, who immediately took to Twitter to bemoan the coinciding date of Yom Kippur with this year’s poll date. Read the rest of this entry »