Australia's dull debate

 
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talks with conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott before the debate on 11 August 2013 Did fear of a slip-up constrain both Mr Rudd (L) and Mr Abbott (R)

So what did you think of that? Worth tuning in for? The prevailing view in the Australian media is that last night's television election debate between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott was dull.

The reviews range from "The political equivalent of a hospital meal" to "A night of waffle". There were few talking points with a rigid debate format that produced little actual interaction between the two candidates. Both men looked a little stiff and nervous, perhaps more concerned with not making a slip-up rather than trying to shine.

A row has broken out over the point at which Kevin Rudd was using notes, which is against the rules. The fact that Tony Abbott has not made much of a fuss about it suggests he may have been too.

But as Lyndal Curtis, an ABC News political correspondent who was on the panel of journalists asking questions put it, if that's the biggest talking point out of an hour-long debate, it doesn't say much about the rest of the discussion. Neither candidate dealt a knock-out blow, but by not losing Tony Abbott was probably the winner.

The opposition leader is ahead in the polls. This is his race to lose. The prime minister is the one who needs to make up ground. There's little evidence he did that last night.

Gluttons for punishment and insomniacs can watch the whole thing all over again here.

 
jon donnison Article written by Jon Donnison Jon Donnison Sydney correspondent

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 32.

    I wonder if anyone raised Australia's awful human rights record? Their terrible treatment of the Aborigines (those who haven't been wiped out) and the fact that their land was taken from them.
    Behind the usual gloss of 'barbies' and 'cricket' lies something very sinister and nasty.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 31.

    Politicians seem to be the same boring, patronising prats all over the world, these two come into the same category of lying self serving bores as our party leaders. Like our useless fashionistas, they say and do nothing that will offend the self righteous, and nothing that the rest of us want to hear.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 30.

    lol Australians fighting again, betraying their heritage.

    I suppose it's genetic and they can't help it so we should pity them. We did send the first lot over after all.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 29.

    I would like to enlighten BBC (based on the menu bar above) that Australia is not part of Asia (yet) but is a separate continent just like Europe, Africa, South America, and other continents.I hope you will correct your error.It's unseemly for a news organization that claims what BBC does for itself to be so obviously misinformed.You Aussies don't have to thank me here, I know BBC offended you.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 28.

    Snoozers!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 27.

    @26: A famous economist once said: "In the long run we're all dead..." One interpretation of that is that the economy must serve the people. If the Labor Govt hadn't spent during this time of economic weakness, hundreds of thousands would've been thrown into unemployment with all the social consequences that that entails. If Libs gains power, their mindless cuts will devastate the economy.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 26.

    25CCat
    There's 2 reasons the Aussie economy hasn't crashed:
    1. It's ridden the best terms of trade ever with China during an unprecedented mining boom.
    2. Howard/Costello saved $100billion for a rainy day.
    The boom is ending, Rudd/Gillard managed to blow ALL the savings on gimmicks.
    The ideologue is Rudd-heading a party controlled by the unions while workers are doing it very tough.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 25.

    The Australian economy is doing comparatively well. What there is, however, is a confidence problem. The debate highlighted what an ideologue Abbott is. His determination to talk down the economy in order to slash & burn the average person's wages & conditions & to give big business ever more power.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 24.

    Same old nothing- what a waste of time with these two who would be better if they had a comic role in some one sitcom. Politcially Australia has nothing to offer

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 23.

    It's a disgrace the polls are even close.
    People have forgotten that Rudd/Gillard have brought us 6 years of instability and poor government. Everything they have touched has turned sour- the economy, illegal immigration, carbon tax, electricity prices, the list is endless.
    Worst is the deceit.
    Bever been so ashamed of my country's government. I hope people see through Rudd.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 22.

    Once again its plain to see the truth of my words born out, feigned indignation and the typical lecturing rant from the self anointed are often the tools used by the left to perpetuate their illogical chest poking. And when someone stands up to them , the usual predictable comebacks occur. So predictable.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 21.

    It may not have been a great debate but the photo above is one for the ages. It just about sums up the two mens' public personas perfectly.

    For what it's worth, I thought KR clearly won. Articulate, polished & on-topic I thought he amply demonstrated the differences between the two men. Come election day, a lot of people are going to struggle to vote for TA, so I'm tipping a Labor victory.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 20.

    @17

    I dont set myself up as the voice of the people or the only person with a valid point and the sage of the ages. You make that distinction and I add that to simply denigrate others who make reasonable points is more telling of yourself and your insecurity then anything else. If you dont agree with the point argue that and refrain from name calling and personal insults.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 19.

    @17

    You criticise BC as one of those psuedo intellectuals with an axe to grind against the Murdoch press and as superior to all others, yet I just see you as acting this way. reread your earlier post where you simply denigrate people as psuedo intellectuals having hissy fits and tossing tantrums.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 18.

    @16. "democracy doesnt really work"

    Trolls and haters are not practising democracy - they know all about speech, but nothing about listening. If you toss out democracy because some don't operate according to its principles, you're just opening the door to dictators like Hitler and Stalin. Put another way: Just because there are thieves, doesn't mean nobody should be able to own anything.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 17.

    @15 You presume we accept your comments as 'intelligent thought' and 'logical discussion' because you write here? You nullify your argument by your inadequate comment and your obviously sour demeanor towards the Murdoch media, its often a moot point when the truth hits its mark, obviously my comments did to you. Your comment also stems from an obvious sense of superiority that is misguided.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 16.

    A message to anyone thinking about posting a point here that isnt about putting people down or denigrating personal beliefs - dont bother. Only a few points raised and rather pertinent too, but the haters and trolls take over all too quickly and turn it into a redneck lynching party. This is why democracy doesnt really work, power in the hands of the underserving given to them by the masses.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 15.

    @11 Do you resent intelligent thought and discussion so much you have to resort to name calling to feel important about yourself and to put another viewpoint down labelling people as lefty, the pc brigade or whatever else when you cant challenge a rational point. It is sad to say the least that this is how political debate degenerates to and the reason why Australian politics is disappointing.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 14.

    Nasara your comment used to hold true, it also held true for the British, unfortunately and often when those of the 'left' cannot provide logical debate they scream PC slogans and mantra's that stifle all intelligent debate. And hence the socialist agenda breeds. Those that go along with this PC concept are despicable and should be thrown out on their arses.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 13.

    Benson Button - Perhaps you should post elsewhere, I suggest Brisbane's "The Courier Mail". I reckon you would fit nicely there.
    London is modern, busy, exciting, beautiful and yes, a dump in places. However, there are many dumps in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart as well.

 

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