In this eight week tribute to jibber-jabber, TPA’s Alasdair McClintock takes us through the highs and lows of the upcoming federal election. Proving, once and for all, that when it comes to politics, he has no idea what he’s talking about.

*****

The Leaders

What kind of lunatic wants to lead this great country of ours? Are they so naive they think they can make a difference?

Or just power-mad degenerates who yearn for their names in the history books?

It is a thankless job. Australia, as a whole, is such a fickle beast. We are as vile, ruthless and vicious as we are open, forgiving and thankful. So quick to turn on each other, then defend one and other should someone else join in the vitriol. Soaked to our eyeballs in Bundaberg Rum and Victoria Bitter, we are convinced of our own ability to ‘do a better job’ leading the country than those who actually jump through the hoops and attempt it.

And why not? Our leaders have been about as productive as Mitchell Pearce’s State of Origin career of late. Thankfully, the pooches in Canberra have been left out of the scandals, but how long will that last for?

There is a very real and present danger this could happen again.

There is a very real and present danger this could happen again.

We’ve had our fair share of dreamers, narcissists, holy men and alcoholics. Now we have two gnomes men. Driven by what? Power? Fame? Ego? Sex? I can’t imagine many ridgey-didge, jaw-dropping political groupies are roaming the streets of the nation’s capital, desperate for some pasty, white, middle aged flesh to be pressed up against them. So I’m certain it can’t be the sex. You don’t need to be a politician to walk into an S&M club.

And it’s certainly not for the fortune.

Malcolm ‘Harbourside Mansion’ Turnbull could probably buy the country if he wanted to. Wiping out this all powerful budget deficit in one fell swoop, with enough spare change for some raspberry daiquiris at Casablanca in Double Bay. And Bill “Beaconsfield” Shorten could surely make more money in the private sector. Doing what? I don’t know. I’m not sure he’s doing anything now, as it is.

So if not sex, money or power – the traditional motivations of the red-blooded male – it must be ego. Ego: the only thing, apart from our thumbs, that separates us from the monkeys. Or so I’m led to believe. I’ve met some pretty egotistical monkeys.

What the hell is going on here?

What the hell is going on here?

A wise Venezuelan once said to me “Do you know that the problem with the human race is, Aldo?” He then wrote ‘EGO’ in bold capital letters on the notepad in front of him, crossed it out with a furious slash, and confronted me with a tremendous stare that shook me to my boots. Thank you, Roberto. You are an intimidating man, but wise nonetheless.

He was right, of course. In a way. Ego is as much our downfall as it is our success. Could you trust a man driven solely by ego? Maybe, if his interests aligned with yours. Should you? No. Because his interests will never fully align with anyone but himself.

And these are short men, do not forget.* Short men have very little but their egos to keep them going. History has shown us what short men are willing to do, and as exemplified so elegantly in the circus that is the US presidential race, about the worst thing you can do to a proud man is label anything about him “short”.

Needless to say, the Opposition leader has the very word in his last name. This would have been an intolerable cruelty in his high school days. What demons from the schoolyard is Bill still carrying with him? He strikes me as a master manipulator (as all good politicians are) and I do not doubt for a second he soon learned to use bigger kids to act out his dirty work. Bill’s Goons, if you will. Perhaps it’s why he went on to work with the unions.

Turnbull, on the other hand, seems to have fooled himself into believing he could actually be our saviour. From what, Malcolm? Flat screen TVs and annual trips to Bali? You did save us from Tony Abbott, I will give you that, but he still looms like a menacing shadow, all the way from the Northern Beaches to your Point Piper palace. You can’t stab the devil in the back and expect him to go quietly.

A troubled man.

However ignorant, evil and misguided as Abbott was, at least he made decisions. Great leaders are known for their decision making and I don’t think Turnbull even confidently picks his tie in the morning. And that should be his forte. We all fell in love with his charming, self-assured style, when he had no real responsibility and the time to subscribe to fad diets and detoxing. He was once accused of being all style and no substance, but that would now be a generous appraisal.

His time in power must have worn him and his self-belief down to all time lows. The cracks are showing. Gone is the glint in his eye and the charming confidence that only comes with someone who has made their fortune and knows they are a success. Now he looks tired and jaded. He has learned it is near impossible to make a difference and still make everyone happy. Because we are all selfish beings who both fear and love our neighbours and don’t even really know what we want, but we sure as hell know we want it now. One suspects, if it weren’t for his ego, he would pull out of this caper altogether.

So who should we vote for come election day? Which of these men is least likely to completely cock things up for us all? Is it even possible for them to make that big a difference to our daily lives? I can’t imagine my social media feed is going to change too dramatically either way. Is Shorten going to make Game of Thrones spoilers punishable by public flogging? I don’t think so.

For all this talk of the ‘great divide’ between the two major parties, they all seem the same bunch of douchebags to me.

By Alasdair McClintock

Twitter: @AWJP1983

* Google has them down as a generous 1.78m each, but I do not believe it. Even, if it’s true, they hold themselves as short men do, which is perhaps more alarming than anything else.