Politicalexicon (The electoral non sequitur edition)_January 2013 Update

Posted on: January 31, 2013

Politicalexicon (The electoral non sequitur edition)_January 2013 Edition

With the 2013 election called and what will feel like a decade until polling day, I thought a refresher on the terms you are likely to encounter before and during the campaign would be helpful.

Twitter   The newest way to effectively share your wisdom or expose your stupidity. No one is immune. So dangerous that Liberal Party backbenchers have been banned from tweeting leading up to the 2013 poll lest they cough up policy. Biggest time waster since the slinky. Underestimated by the LNP at their peril. Will probably explode at 9.30pm on election night.

Facebook   Excuse me?

Wind Assistance   Mainstream media’s predilection for ignoring actual policy details and analysis of the incumbent, in favour of fluffing the persona of an aggressive man’s man with a popularity lower than syphillis. See also Newsfilth, The ABC.

Border Protection   A term dating back to the golden days of JW Howard. Involves pandering to true southern cross adorned Strayans that may or may not inhabit the seat of Cook. Both parties competing for the vote of Boganistan in a battle to the bottom given that the aforementioned Strayans seemingly carry clout. See also Fuck Off We’re Full

Gotcha   A gotcha can be mild (@greghuntmp being called out for climate change denial despite his A Tax To Make The Polluter Pay thesis) or downright stupid (@bernardgaynor tweeting that he would not send his children to a school with gay/lesbian teachers). See also gaffe.

Industrial Relations   A more flexible (read $2/day) workplace is needed for international competitiveness, argues the opposition, while the ALP government have a clear agenda to keep worker’s rights protected. The main divider between the two parties. Don’t mention the words Work and Choices together.

Specs Appeal   Notwithstanding (shock horror!) that people who have reached a significant political station usually require glasses, the media’s scraping of the barrel for stories includes what specs our pollies are wearing. Recent optical forays from Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott though are rumoured to have influenced John Faulkner’s decision to retire from politics.

Gaffe   Part of the Venn diagram relationship linking own goals to gotchas, gaffes. These proliferate as the stakes get higher. Examples include:

Joe Hockey’s ‘Go to hell’ interview

Andrew Laming’s tweet

Steve Gibbons tweet

Cory Bernardi’s senate speech

Jenny Macklin’s ‘live on $35 a day’

After the froth and bubble from the media, things usually settle down as people realise that we are, well, flawed to put it nicely.

Elephant In The Room   Subject/s that demand answering but remain mute. For the coalition these include Ashby/Brough currently, and Slipper/Thomson as a past example.

Slim Majority   A nice novelty that arguably caused the current parliamentary disquiet. Ironic given that people outside the major political frameworks got through to the lower house and have the balance of power. Not so ironic that Tony Abbott has been spitting the dummy ever since.

Baby Kissing   No, no and no.

Stunt   Any act  undertaken by a politician with the sole criterion that its duration lasts as long as a camera flash. Such activities include gutting fish, driving trucks, sandbagging (1 whole bag), baby kissing, posing in a CFA firesuit and welding without appropriate safety goggles (while espousing the importance of work safety). Catnip for Herald Sun, The Telegraph & Channel 9.

Marginal Seats  Any seat where a 6% or greater swing equals a change of party. In this case, this means 26 seats the ALP could lose. Let’s just say that there will be likely be less marginal seats after this poll than we currently have. See also sphincter tightening.

The ABC   One of the last remaining media institutions that actually probe either party to explain themselves. eg Leigh Sales v Tony Abbott. Once a bastion of progressive politics, now bending over backwards to accommodate LNP views/biases, especially on The Drum. Slowly being infiltrated by moles. As a guide, only trust interviews conducted by redheads.

Great Debates   A clear misnomer. The PM and Opposition Leader share time equally while shit canning each other. Constructive policy debate will more likely be found on an episode of Yo! Gabba Gabba than here. Expect the worm to be benched and a live SMS/tweet poll to be used. That and some hellishly annoying KFC ads featuring the tattooed Yank brothers no one asked for.

Costings   Where the eager-as-pie opposition attempt to reconcile rhetoric and aspirations with numbers. A bit like trying to mix cordial with crude oil and seeing through it.

Newsfilth   In the main, a triumvirate of The Australian, The Daily Telegraph & The Herald Sun. Interested in running the agenda for Rupert Murdoch and nothing else.

Sphincter Tightening   Anyone in an ALP  seat with a margin of 6% or less.

Mackerras Pendulum A handy do it yourself way to see which seats will matter the most. Much more useful than watching the Kroger & Richo shitfest.

Left/Right   An obsolete term for political parties’ traditional viewpoints and execution on core issues. eg The ALP is progressive on education/health but defiantly alienates gay/lesbian folk from marriage. Also leans in competition for nastiness when it comes to refugees. Left and right are more mixed than ever within parties as well as people.

The IPA   A think tank espousing small government and free market theory. Proposed a 75 point wishlist for Tony Abbott to implement on Australia so as to have the same magnitude of change that Gough did, albeit in a vastly different political direction. Prickly when asked anything, especially on twitter. Likes inhabiting the ABC whilst ironically claiming it is a leftist mouthpiece.

Antony Green   Revered figure amongst politicomathematical tragics, actuaries and nerdy female groupies who slobber over their pizzas on election nights. Distills polls, local factors and electoral trends so you don’t have to.

Preferences   Far too complex an issue for this humble piss take to cover completely. Suffice to say the major parties will put each other last, and then anyone they mutually loathe next to last.

Fiscally Responsible   We’ll cut, no, raze education, health and anything else that does not fit with our constituents’ desires to get the business sector all aroused and moist.

Class Warfare   If rhetoric represents cuts of meat, class warfare is tripe. Trotted out (sic) where a party wants to make their policy distinct from the other. Main culprit: Wayne Swann.

Pissing On Your Shoes   A classic Australian trick as executed by Tony Abbott at his National Press Conference love-in on the 31/1/2013: “Look I have nothing against the Unions”

Trolls   More often than not, people who need a job, a life and probably less alcohol. Characterised by unsolicited snark and usually highly sensitive themselves. Sensitive enough to block anyone who dares question their tweets.

GFC   Almost made the rest of the world carpet itself to death. Curiously forgotten here.

Own Goals   These inexplicable brain freezes vary in duration and impact. Usually even out between the ALP & LNP but some have held more gravity than others.

Pundits   A wide term defining anyone a channel can get to express their gut feelings, inanities and in some cases, incisive analysis. Some appeal come from the Grumpy Old Men aura surrounding the Kroger v Richo banter, while others who take election night seriously look elsewhere. It is surprise that the word stupid lives inside it. For the purposes of definition only, Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman are pundits. As well as clowns.

Life-raft Jumpers   Political figures who announce their retirement in the last year of government with the knowledge that the party’s fortunes are well and truly trucked.

Political Wilderness   see ALP 1996-2006, LNP 1983-1996

Caretaker Mode   A period (starting from the dissolution of parliament by the governor-general and ending with the swearing in of a new ministry post election) where the incumbent operates hard and fast rules, desisting from any major appointments, international visits, policy decisions or legislation. Coincides with the period of pork barrelling  baby kissing, faux debates, staged managed opportunities and much sought after gotcha opportunities by the failed fourth estate.

Repeal   What the opposition will seek to do to the Carbon Price, the MRRT, as well as the 18K tax threshold that is seemingly close to the liberal ideal of lower personal taxes. With so much time repealing, one expects Tony Abbott to ask for a double term to fit the above in and actually propose and implement his vision.

Political Cartoonists   Geniuses who can capture & express political ideas, fallacies and hypocrisies in less words than in this sentience. Best examples are Tandberg, Nicholson and the King of them all, Bill Leak. Try and get your hands on Leak’s 2007 election series. They are the Vermeer of our times.

leak 1

Feel free to suggest more terms and definitions if you wish in comments below, or to my twitter handle @PAforClive.


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