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Tackling the real issues

Lawrie Zion wants the election postponed for a week, so we can instead vote for another debate about debates.

With just days until the election, we’re back in a familiar zone. The pundits and pollsters are narrowly favouring Labor, but aren’t unanimous or especially confident. For the punters, however, the game is all but sewn up.

If betting is the bellwether, even the nebulous nether zone of a hung parliament is deemed more likely than a Coalition cleanout of the ALP.

Which means it’s time to move on to more pressing uncertainty – the where/when/if debate about – you guessed it – another debate.

There can’t be a Town Hall in Queensland that isn’t in municipal meltdown about the prospect of an Abbott/Gillard pow-wow, but with a confusing array of permutations mooted, this is getting more complicated than the Republic referendum.

Still, if you believe that Australians should all have their say, perhaps we should all vote on the debate this week and put off the election until the weather warms up. So this is what the ballot paper we end up filling out this Saturday might actually look like.

Please select in order which of the following options you believe is best for Australia and its town halls.

• A debate between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott in Brisbane Town Hall where the economy is discussed with questions from the audience.
• A community forum where Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are asked questions, at least one of which might be about the economy, in an outback pub north of Rockhampton.
• A recall of parliament to discuss whether parliament itself could be turned into a town hall for the purposes of a debate.
• A citizens assembly that sets questions for a debate between Gillard and Abbott.
• A friendly chat to be held in a recently built purposeless school hall between former leaders Rudd and Turnbull to clarify what they’d be doing now if they were still leading their parties. Mark Latham to moderate.

Lawrie Zion is editor-in-chief of upstart. This piece was first published on the Election Predict 2010 site.

To have your say on the debtate about debates or about the 2010 election,  tweet your thoughts to upstart’s #ozelection page.

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