Thursday, June 24, 2010

Real Australian Drama

Often the knock on Australian films is they shy away from conflict and therefore true drama. You know the ones - a bunch of quirky characters in a desperate search for a story (and third act). What we saw last night and during today is drama at its finest. An incumbent Prime Minister ousted in a bloodless coup so swift, so brutal and so efficient as to put most Aussie movies to shame. Intrigue, machinations, raw emotion, political back-stabbing and history in the making. Some random thoughts:

How wonderful to see the robustness of a great democracy where this sort of leadership change involves only the rhetoric of violence (coup, plotters, back-stabbing etc) instead of actual violence.

The rise of social media in not only breaking but setting the agenda for events. Tweets (and reported text messages) by journalists and politicians seemed way ahead of the more traditional media outlets and fueled the speculation that led to a full blown leadership challenge.

The knock on effect as a diverse range of people started commenting on events during the day. People who have not previously exhibited any interest in domestic politics.

Lastly, unfortunately, the fixation on ephemera such as the colour of the incoming Prime Minister's hair, the fact she is unmarried. That she is an atheist. As if those are the most important qualities for a leader.

It has been a fascinating and exhilarating 24 hours. Now for the Third Act - the looming election. It promises to be a corker!

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