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Australia will go to the polls on the 21st of August. Rumours of potential elections dates have been floating round since Ms Gillard took office on June 24th but yesterday, the PM ended speculation by formally asking Australians who they want to lead their country.
Ms Gillard has stated that she won’t move into The Lodge until she wins an election as leader of the Labor Party. Now the people have their chance to decide who will lead them, and where Melbourne’s favourite representative of the hardworking western suburbs will call home for the next three years.
Elections provide rich pickings for political satirists and comedians turn to politicians for some quick laughs. However, as the information age takes hold, anyone with an internet connection or mobile phone can contribute to the commentary of how the political parties are fighting it out.
One of the newest ways to follow the fun of the 2010 federal election is following the right people on Twitter. Here’s a short list of some of the best political satire on Twitter.
The leader of the family first party has, after stumbling over many words in parliament, publicised his struggles with dyslexia. Despite his struggles with the English language, Fielding earned an electronic engineering degree and an MBA before having a successful business career. The Australian public can’t quite figure out if Fielding is extremely intelligent, or a Chauncey Gardner-like character who has inexplicably stumbled into holding the balance of power in the Senate. @Fake Fielding leans towards the latter, often breaking the not-so-major political news of the day such as announcing he ‘just found half a Redskin in my pants pocket.’.
Godwin Grech was formerly a senior public servant who was accused of forging emails which lead to the OzCar Affair. His actions resulted in both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, who was then Leader of Opposition, calling for each other’s resignation. Godwin going into hiding ever since. This fake Twitter feed now has over 7,000 followers as many enjoy ‘insights’ to the workings of federal government departments.
Real- life Penny Wong is determined, serious, poised and calm. The Twitter version is the opposite, described as ‘behind the grave persona there’s a diehard ALP head kicker who holds grudges’. Fake Penny Wong describes herself as the Minister for everything Garret can’t wants but can’t have and has also written about her fake experiences at the Copenhagen Convention on New Matilda and can be read here.
It’s rumoured that this account been created and managed by the Australian Labor Party. The account was started after Tony Abbott announced on national television that he was a liar. The bio for this account states that he is the ‘Member for the Gospel Truth (except in the heat of the moment).’ It’s one thing for anonymous individuals to poke fun, but when it’s a rival political party, it may cause already high tensions between parties to rise. It will be interesting if we can find any hints towards who the person behind this fake account is.
This is the fake account of Andrew Bolt, a right-wing writer and blogger for the Herald Sun who now contributes to Melbourne’s newest right-wing station, MTR. He’s a climate sceptic, and the Stolen Generations outraging many people on a daily basis. His public reputation is now so low there are multiple groups on Facebook discussing their hatred for the man. The author behind this fake version makes full use of Bolt’s reputation as a rampant ego-manic, stating in the bio that he is ‘never wrong about anything’.
The Laurie Oakes twitter account is no fake, although it took many — myself included — some time to realise. The confusion is based on the difference between Twitter Lawrie Oakes and Nine Network Lawrie Oakes. The Twitter version of Oakes isn’t forced through the Nine Network’s sieve. On Twitter, Oakes reveals his witty and humorous side and will certainly entertain, and well as inform during the 2010 election.
Join Upstart in tweeting the election
Ryan Jon is upstart’s political editor.