Election Predictor numbs the digits.
21 July 2010
Our election predictor http://electionpredictor.com.au/ seems to have captured imaginations in the tweeting world since we launched it yesterday. And we have a month of campaigning to go. “A pleasure,” is all I can say. We Australians can be said to be obsessive about politics, or at least our media is. Political reporting usually dominates our news, and in the lead up to the calling of an election (about six months), this has been more so. Every nuance is analysed to determine just when the big day will be called. So now we have it – August 21 (polling day is always a Saturday in Australia).
I am a little horrified to see that our Head Girl Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has sanctioned a laxative-like slogan “Moving Forward” for the ALP’s campaign. Worse, she peppers her speeches and comments with those ghastly words. A month of it to go! I have long banned the phrase- and others that have sadly become the lingua franca of dullards who parrot management guides- from being used by my Public Affairs team (and anyone else I might have influence over). I refuse to wave the white flag and will continue to loudly groan at every utterance of those filthy little words.
The Coalition has something less hideous, but equally unispiring, as its slogan. All to do with standing up for Australia, or having a contract with us…..forgettable, but you understand. “Moving Forward” is memorable because it is so yukky. It is a symbol of what has become of our language. Pundits say the idea is to point to the Opposition as ‘moving backward’. Some of us might call that ‘reversing’. Which is more to the point, and indeed where there appears to have been traction. I doubt that has been due to the ALP’s silly slogan. More, I say, to do with the curious Opposition tactic of starting day one of their campaign with an announcement that the workplace relations policy they had when in government (and killed off by the new Government Julia Gillard now leads) will not be revived (or ‘move forward’). It was ‘dead, buried and cremated’, their leader Tony Abbott announced in the first minutes of the election being called. Sadly for the Liberal leadership, they could not prove it when it came to the detail. The Liberal Party’s major weak spot was revealed. Its been hanging around in the headlines ever since – which is a long time in politics. In 2007, Australians overwhelmingly voted the ‘dead’ workplace policy down when they removed the Liberals at the last election. Now, thanks to their curious campaign strategy of raising it as a major platform they won’t do, they will give the voters another chance to do it again. Very odd way to “progress” a campaign (now isn’t that a better word than ‘move forward’?)