Election Diary, day 14: I didn’t realise elections were supposed to entertain journalists

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One of the political commentators I can’t stand is Annabel Crabb. It’s probably her insufferable smugness, but so often when I read her columns I’m struck by the notion that she doesn’t really understand how politics, parliament or our democracy actually works.

“What’s the government been trying to say this week? I don’t know…” she noted.

Tony Abbott "off message". Photo courtesy of @robcorr

Recently, many commentators have been stating that this election is a very boring election. All the candidates are “on message” and there have been few gaffs (Cabinet leak excepted). This lack of “excitement” is one of the regular refrains from political journalists and commentators.

Of course it will be news to most people that elections are primarily for the entertainment of the Canberra Press Gallery.

It is columns that moan about the lack of excitement that underscores why no one reads newspapers any more, and why most Australians are disengaged with the political process. The state of political reporting is appalling.

(The irony of me writing an election update about the poor state of journalism is not lost.)

I personally think that the key issues that this election are being fought over – health, education, WorkChoices and climate change – are all pretty important. The future direction of Australia is fairly exciting. Perhaps I’m just a tragic.

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