With another election done and dusted it's time that we as a country all sit back, reflect, and dissect what just happened. It's now, and only now, that we can dedicate the time to answer the important questions. And first and foremost we need to ask: Was that just the most boring election campaign of all time?
When Malcolm Turnbull announced the Coalition would be calling a double dissolution, the country all went through the same emotions we did when Ross and Rachel finally ended up together. Nobody was surprised, the feeling was just relief. Obviously, no one foresaw the mind numbing grind the next two months would hold.
Perhaps we should've known from the start. Why did we expect that this election had the potential for saucy stuff? In the one corner we had the once loveable rich white guy, and if movies have taught us anything, it's that you can never trust a rich white guy (thanks Rush Hour). Like most rich people, Malcolm tackled the election with the same strategy I use at my day job, "Don't draw attention to yourself and no one will notice you're barely treading water."
Then in the other, there was Bill "Zinger" Shorten—a man whose charisma blackhole is so strong that it sucks the life out of everything that draw near. Scientists across the country are currently working tirelessly in the hope of being able to capture the essence of Bill Shorten to use as a breakthrough treatment for insomnia.
Normally, in an article like this, a reflection on a federal election, you'd look back at the iconic moments. The big turning points that would go down in Australian political history. But there's literally nothing to report. Instead this election will be remembered as "that time we voted in a prime minister but nothing else of note really happened."
If I was asked to describe the events of the last eight weeks (and I was, so I am) I'd say that what we've seen is the strategic equivalent of two people locked in an intense staring contest. Both unwavering, neither willing to risk a movement. Both hoping for the other to blink so that they can swoop in and take the hollow Steven Bradbury-esque election win. Meanwhile, on the sidelines the rest of us have been wondering, "Is this it? Should we throw something at them?"
The whole thing has felt stale, like a reunion tour from a band that's clearly just doing it for the money. I mean, sure, they played the classic hits. The fans erupted and sung along to the familiar lyrics of "Jobs and Growth," we all waited in expectation for that feel good favourite "What About Medicare? It isn't Fair." Even from a distance though you could tell that everyone was kind of just going through the motions.
There have honestly been times during this campaign when, rather than fall into the inevitable politics chat that comes with an election, I would've rather sat down with my dad and have him walk me step-by-step through my long term financial plan. Even that would be less excruciatingly painful than hearing another empty, unfounded, cliché catch phrase from party politicians.
If you need proof of how god-forsakenly slow this election has been, look no further than the political scandal that broke less than 48 hours before Australia headed to the polls: Julie Bishop caught driving on her phone. If you're wondering what that sound is, it's people pretending to care while all deliberately ignoring the irony of the fact that the photo was taken by a dude who was also driving while on, guess what? His phone.
Over in the US, human clown of death, Donald Trump, has been pouring water all over himself and saying god knows what, while Bernie Sanders has blown the minds of everyone who thought all boomers were like their adorable but slightly racist grandparents. It's hard not to have watched our version of events and thought, you know what, can one of you just eat a raw onion or something? I just want something interesting to happen.
Since South Park coined the expression politics is like a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich we've heard it repeated countless times. But, to be honest, either would be more desirable at this point—at least they might bring a little flavour to the table. This election has felt more like a choice between a stale slice of white bread and a slightly fancier slice of white bread, which is also a few days past fresh. Sure, either will tide you over, but neither is anything to get excited about.
Maybe one of the reasons the election has been so hard get into is that the stakes just feel so low. Sure, we've got a new prime minister, but what does that even mean anymore? We all know that if we don't like them we'll just get a shiny new one soon, probably in a scandalous internal coup. We can only hope.
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