YOU could almost hear the collective groan go out across the country on Wednesday afternoon.
When Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the September 14 poll date, the media went into overdrive with the news that Australia was about to be subjected to the longest election campaign in its history. They were, however, only half right.
The reality is that the campaign has not stopped since 2010, when the Labor government assumed power in the hung parliament. Apart from a few lazy days between Christmas and New Year, all the noise out of Canberra – and there has been a lot of it – has had the annoying buzz of a campaign about it.
Almost every evening at news time, our TV screens have been lurid with politicians in hard hats and high-visibility vests doing their very best to be seen by a public that has grown weary of them. Almost every Question Time has been a circus, with cheap shots flying both ways across the dispatch box, all intended to eke a second of vision, a headline, anything that says, “Look at me, vote for me.”
We are assured by the PM that the campaign won’t start until the election writs are issued in August. As if…
We have eight months of even more intense political babble before us – endless advertisements with their annoying sale-must-end-Sunday style messages; politicians driving trucks, filleting fish, kissing babies, ducking, weaving and generally dousing us all in hollow rhetoric.
Let’s hope that the outcome delivers a government grounded in a firm majority so we don’t have to endure this nonsense for another three years.