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We Answered Your Most Googled Questions About the Election

Let's start with the basics: Scomo is Liberal, Bill Shorten is Labor.

by Lee Zachariah
09 May 2019, 1:56am

We all have lots of questions about the election. Mostly, they’re variations on “when will this shitfight be over?” but some dig a little deeper.

According to Google Trends data, it turns out we’re really curious about the height and age of our leaders, often asking how tall and old Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten are. Just to be clear, there’s one year and four centimetres between them, so don’t complain about a lack of choice at the ballot.

Anyway, we’ve identified the most pressing questions you’ve put to Google and given you some answers.

When is the election in Australia 2019?

May 18. Let’s start with the most important one. The only reason you shouldn’t be voting on May 18 is if you’ve gone with the increasingly-popular option of pre-polling, designed for those who wish to skip the lines and not have to hear “democracy sausage” every two minutes.

Is Bill shorten Liberal or Labour?

This one is slightly concerning, and not just because it’s a bit of a freebie for lazy political satirists. Guys, it’s “Labor” not “Labour”. When you say “Labour”, you’re thinking of either the noun, the verb, or the increasingly useless UK opposition party. So the answer to that question in its current spelling is no. Now go away and try again.

Is Scott Morrison Labour?

Kind of feels like you’re taking the piss here.

Will Labor introduce a death tax?

If that term sounds scary, congratulations on being the offspring of a millionaire. Death tax is the demotic term for “inheritance tax”, which basically means the government will take a slice of whatever you’re about to get from your deceased forebear.

It’s popular on Google because the Liberals have put out ads suggesting Labor will introduce one, which Labor denies. The basis of the Libs’ claim is a 2017 speech by Tim Ayres, the number two on Labor’s Senate ticket in NSW, in which he proposed that such a tax could help fund a scheme to help young people buy houses.

After ridiculing the Libs for rolling out fake news, Labor decided to fight smoke with smoke, releasing its own ads accusing the Libs of the exact same thing. Labor’s claim was based rather unsteadily on a 2015 interview with Neil Mitchell in which the then-Treasurer refused to rule out such a scheme.

So, in summary: neither side is planning to introduce any sort of death tax, but both sides are using old sound bytes of their opponents as proof that they might.

To Liberal and Labor: if you need any incentive to kill this idiotic scaremongering campaign, know you won’t have to pay any tax once it’s dead.

What will be the result of 2019 election?

Like everyone in the mainstream media, we’ve been given the results ahead of time, and not just of the election: also the AFL Grand Final, the NRL Grand Final, and the Logies. Sadly, we can’t share them with you just yet. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and bet my life savings on the Saints, who many naysayers believe couldn’t win a federal election. We’ll see who’s laughing on May 18.

Is there any point voting Green?

I mean, is there any point doing anything? Eventually, the universe will reach thermodynamic equilibrium, unable to sustain all known forms of life. But this is an election, and no place for big picture thinking.

Let’s extrapolate this question out to include all the minor parties, including Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Bob Katter’s Katter’s Australia Party, and Clive Palmer’s Titanic II.

Thanks to preferential voting, putting a 1 next to an independent or minor party means you simply can’t throw your vote away. Even if you live in a Coalition or Labor stronghold, your 3 rd-party vote will have make a point: there will be a record of support that translates to both future funding and future momentum. Plus you get to pick your second, third, fourth choices. Nobody democracies harder than Australia.

How to vote for Pauline Hanson?

We all struggle with our moral and ethical choices, but save this shit for your priest. Google can't help you justify this sort of decision, but it can take the pain away with targeted ads for booze.

Will Bill Shorten win the election?

One thing that Bill struggles with—even as the Libs spent two terms plagiarising Labor’s patented brand of repeated coup-driven implosion—is that even as Labor polls ahead of the government, he is still less popular than Scott Morrison, in much the same way a piece of damp cardboard is still a less-desirable item of clothing than the burlap sack slept on by a leptospirotic dog.

Labor’s been trying to compensate for its uncharismatic standard-bearer by emphasising the team as a whole, highlighting deputy Tanya Plibersek and Senate Leader Penny Wong, either of whom would likely command 140 percent of the primary vote if they were leading Labor in this election.

So will Bill Shorten win the election? On paper, probably. But the more accurate answer is that Labor will probably win despite Bill.

Is Malcolm Turnbull still in parliament? / Is Malcolm Turnbull still in politics?

Two of the top googled questions about Throwback Thursday PM Malcolm Turnbull may seem outwardly identical, but wording matters, because the answer to the first question is no, and the answer to the second is yes.

The spurned Turnbull (parody Twitter account idea: Spurnbull) has been a thorn in his party’s side this election, and his son Alex has been a full-on broadsword, gleefully ripping the Libs several new ones, and publicly advocating for Everyone Else.

The spectre of former leaders hangs over this campaign, if only because they now make up approximately 11 percent of the population. Chances are you or someone close to you has been PM at some point.

With changed party rules making revolving door PMs a probable thing of the past, the majors are now torn between presenting a united front and trying not to remind voters of past disunity.

Labor went all-in on the latter, capitalising on the success of Avengers: Endgame with a concerted effort to bring back all the leaders we thought had turned to dust.

Bob Hawke and Paul Keating issued their first joint statement in 28 years in support of Labor’s economic credentials. But even more shocking was the sight of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard chumming it up at the campaign launch like they’d finally moved past the divisive events of Captain America: Civil War. (Sorry, once you started the Marvel comparison it’s really hard to stop.) Labor even wheeled out former leader Bill Hayden, surely the Hawkeye of the franchise.

Meanwhile, the Liberals—which, if we’re going to overextend this comic book movie metaphor (and we definitely are) is the DC of this election—are struggling with their old guard.

With Turnbull burning bridges, and Tony Abbott keen for another go, the Libs are putting all hopes on John Howard, which they’ve only ever done at every election since 2010.

Despite being once called a “Man of Steel” by President George W Bush, Howard is clearly the Libs’ Batman: still far more popular with voters than any character on either side, but struggling under the weight of constant reboots.

(Note: do not confuse with the Division of Batman, which was, like Ben Affleck’s interest in the role, was abolished in 2018.)

Will Labour win the election?

This again? Come on, people. I keep telling you, there’s no “u” in Labor. Which might explain why so many of you are struggling to get enthusiastic about their inevitable victory on May 18. Whoops.

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