Let’s make it a real contest

4 August 2010

Written by: Lawrie Zion

As the campaign yawns on, Australians seem reluctant to tackle the real issue that lurks behind the stultifying tedium of “me too” candidates who spend more time debating whether or not to debate than discussing issues and policies.

Put simply, there’s just not enough competition in this contest, and our democracy looks downright old-fashioned when compared with other sporting codes. So why don’t we follow the lead of the Melbourne Cup and open the election to an international field? Chucking in $10 million in prize money wouldn’t hurt either. Then Julia, Tony and Bob might find themselves up at the starting gates alongside at least some of the following candidates:

Chelsea Clinton – Americans might love the Kennedys and elect the Bushes, but has any 30 year-old ever had such a strong form line from both parents? The fact that the American presidency isn’t on offer this year shouldn’t be an impediment to what could prove – after her wedding last weekend – to be the honeymoon phase of her career. 
Ramzan Kadyrov – The controversial Chechen leader might be best known for his human rights violations and support of honor killings. But is it possible that he was testing the water by sending his horse Mourilyan to compete in last year’s Melbourne Cup? It ran third behind the ominously named Shocking and Crime Scene.
José Manuel Ramos-Horta – With our current government so determined to make East Timor a “regional asylum seeker processing centre”, it seems entirely reasonable that the country’s president should have the opportunity to have a go at running Australia. Maybe we could relocate Kirribilli House to Dili.
Queen Elizabeth – After nearly 60 years on the throne, perhaps a change of scene could be in order for Britain’s monarch. Ah, sorry about that, I forgot that she is actually also our Head of State. Now just imagine how lively the Republican debate might become if she was democratically elected to boot.
I could go on, but hey, it’s an open contest, so why not nominate your selection for our first truly global election.
Lawrie Zion is editor-in-chief of upstart. This piece got its first run on the Election Predict 2010 site.