QandA Scorecard: Alternate debate

13 August 2013

Written by: Liam Quinn

The QandA Scorecard is back for another week, with politics editor Liam Quinn being joined by upstart‘s Fashion and Lifestyle editor Bridget Rollason. It was a star-studded panel last night, and we had to stop Bridget from resorting to such fashion mag staples as “Who Wore it Best” and “Hot or Not.”

 

PdubsPenny Wong – Finance Minister

 

 

 

Liam Quinn: Bridget, you know I have something of a soft spot for P-Dubs. But, even with my predispositions considered, Wong started the night in a measured, controlled manner. Even whilst throwing barbs at her Coalition opponent – and News Corp sworn enemy Janet Albrechtsen – Wong didn’t raise her voice to an aggressive tone. Surely, a clear-cut tactic, and a stark contrast to the borderline shouting of others on the panel. For the majority, Penny was stuck between the proverbial rock and hard-place, battling to keep at bay the Green and Coalition wolves at her door. It helped Penny to get a question right in her wheelhouse as the show wound down, handling the issue of marriage equality with dignity and class, when she could easily have criticised anyone who archaically stood against any such measures.

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Bridget Rollason: I agree Liam, Penelope cruzed her way through tonight ever so calmly despite Pyne’s belligerent nature. The debate of the week being Penny vs. Pyne did not disappoint, with the worm heading towards…just kidding. Despite Wong’s unfair advantage of two against one, I would suggest with her reasoned responses she ruled Murdoch’s minions. Although she may have lost a few votes from the millennial generation not knowing what the largest mobile social network was, #instawhat?

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PyneChristopher Pyne – Shadow Education Minister

 

 

 

LQ: It didn’t take Mr Pyne long to launch into a doomsdayic economic outlook, ironically mere moments after being asked a question about scare tactics in politics. Some may suggest he perhaps missed the point. But, even still, Pyne is certainly a formidable foe in the ultimate bloodsport that is QandA. He was at his attack dog best throughout, chiding Wong at every opportunity, even when it was so poorly disguised it drew laughter from the audience. However, his most amusing moment came when Pyne attempted to imitate an Olympic sprinter, complete with gold chain dangling from their neck pre-race. But, like him on not, Chris is certainly entertaining – that always equals points on the Scorecard, Bridget. I’d say otherwise, but it’d be a “con-ski.”

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BR: Bad jokes aside Liam, I wonder if Mr Pyne actually knows what Q & A stands for?  I was just waiting for the Silverfox to exert his authority and remove him from the panel under section 94a, for not abiding by the most important rule of question AND answer. But it seems that Pyne doesn’t need facts if he’s yelling, especially five minutes in when he labeled Penny the ‘worst Finance Minister’ Australia has seen. Pyne needs not only a lesson in hypocrisy for negatively attacking a parties negativity, but also grammar; I believe that would be ‘fewer hours’ Christopher. But, as they say character conquers score points…

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BandtAdam Bandt – Greens Member for Melbourne

 

 

 

LQ: Bandt was held out of the early sparring by the Silverfox, but when he did get to put his two cents in, his initial question was arguably the most compelling of the evening. He certainly wouldn’t have scored any points with many watching at home by suggesting raises taxes, but he managed to get his point out without relying too heavily on party talking points. Bridget, early on I was worried Bandt was set to be swept into the QandA cracks, but he grew into his performance as the night went on. By the end of it, he was right up around the pointy end for mine; something he’ll surely hope to replicate in order to secure reelection in Melbourne.

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BR: Let me start by saying Bandt deserved the coveted award of tenth hottest politician. Those bad boy glasses and dirty green tie did more than secure my vote. I was disappointed TJ didn’t give him more airtime early on, because it was only Adam that got me across the Pyne line in the end. Strangely, there’s something I just couldn’t quite put my finger on about his performance, but he was the standout for mine. Maybe it has something to do with all those billboards posted around the CBD.

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rhys_m2150989Rhys Muldoon – Actor and Commentator

 

 

 

LQ: Muldoon joked after the opening half-hour about not being able to finish a sentence, but sadly for his prospects, he barely had a chance to do so early in the night. Like MJ at the 1985 NBA All-Star Game, he was frozen out, with TJ playing the role of Isiah Thomas in this particular instance. His most memorable moment was when he suggested a slight increase to the GST wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, making him the second panellist on the night to advocate for a tax rise – I never…

I don’t know how you feel Bridget, but – similar to Bandt – I think Muldoon improved as the night went on. And, after Macolm Turnbull trademarked the leather jacket look, perhaps Muldoon could have coined the “tin-foil hat” market.

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BR: Well Liam, Muldoon was definitely the unlikely winner, and remains that way. He was placed on the right side of the bench from the start, struggling to stand up to the ‘Coalition News Limited Murdoch Coalition.’ But as the night went on he gained enough confidence to stand up to Cruella De Albrechtsen, which is worthy of 101 points. His most memorable moment for me was telling Pyne “gay marriage isn’t going cost much so just do it”.

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janet_smal_m1796502Janet Albrechtsen – Opinion columnist for The Australian

 

 

 

LQ: After her opening impact on the evening was a snide remark directed at Penny Wong, it was clear Janet Albrechtsen was going to be pushing her party line. Janet jumped at the chance to lambast Kevin Rudd and Co. for playing negative politics over the GST hike chatter – Vegemite jar included. However, her “do you have a problem with freedom?” comment reeked of Tea Party/Fox News far too much for my liking, deliberately trying to trap her fellow panellists with the most crude, nauseating straw-man argument.

Also, perhaps Janet wouldn’t be so dismissive of an issue regarding equality if it were women’s right on the table.

Ergh, two thumbs down.

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BR: Normally I’m a big fan of Janet – I love a fiery woman, but she took her scorching remarks a little too far this time around. Here’s some advice, when you make a joke smile a little, it helps differentiate you from Julie Bishop, the resemblance will keep me awake tonight. Channeling Rupert, her superiority was sickening as she patted Rhys’s white ribbon condescendingly after he made a remark she disagreed with, cementing her position as the Dalmatian-stealing Cruella of the panel.

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Liam Quinn is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University, and the politics editor of upstart. You can follow him on Twitter: @Quinn_LP

Bridget Rollason is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student and upstart’s Fashion and Lifestyle editor. You can follow her on Twitter: @Didgeriedoo.