Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese’s First Election Debate: Was It Worth Watching?

Gladys, the former lover of a man named Daryl, was invoked, although not by name. But when Morrison complained about state corruption agencies poking around at “who your boyfriend is,” you somehow knew that the former prime minister sent someone a nice text about her boyfriend the prime minister.

Lacking much more to deal with, the viewer looked for diversions like this one.

Since this was Australia, of course we had one of our patented and very strange chest-thumping sessions about boats and their stopping, a hallmark of every federal campaign since most of the participants on Chef were even born. An audience member depicted with his head bowed in deep thought or deep sleep, you would have hoped he would start snoring loud enough to provoke an intervention.

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It wasn’t boring television because the questions weren’t dignified; they were, and covered, important policy areas ranging from the NDIS and JobKeeper to the Solomons/China issue and the issue of public trust decline. What was frightening was the delivery by heart – same lines, all day, delivered to the campaign trail every day – and the glaring absence of anything that gave you hope that an Australia 10 years later might be different from the Australia of 10 years. past .

All in all, there’s a reason we don’t see these things on a general network-wide broadcast anymore: TV executives know they can be pretty awful. Even the Worm that once entered the nation is no longer with us.

If it was a hopeful vision of a confident Australia you were looking for, you were better off in the kitchen.

Cut through the noise of the federal election campaign with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Sign up here for our Australia Votes 2022 newsletter.

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