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Day 17 – Amusing Ourselves To Defeat

Day 17 of the election campaign centred on the desperate attempt to resuscitate the campaign of Prime Minister Gillard.

But it began with a televised confrontation between Fiona Patten of the Sex Party and Wendy Francis from Family First. Since the “debate” was on Channel 7’s Sunrise program, it necessarily lacked gravitas but contained many loud buzzers to signal the thirty-second time limits.

Patten was out-talked by a more confident Francis and it reminded me of my conversation with Martin Leahy, the Sex Party candidate for the Victorian seat of La Trobe.

I met Leahy at the ballot draw, an arcane ritual complete with tattslotto style cages, numbered balls and blindfolded Electoral Commission staff. A two-stage selection of the numbered balls takes place, the first to allocate numbers to candidates, the second to designate the order of candidates on the ballot paper. [Read more…]