And so they came. On a Sunday night, prime viewing time, with 'Master Chefs' and 'CSIs' being watched by millions, the first real moves of the 2010 election campaign were unleashed. By which I mean, the first batch of television ads went to air.
And they're interesting to watch, both because they give us an insight into what the major party's focus groups have been telling them, and to what the major party's think their probable support groups look like. To take them one at a time then, starting with the Labor ad:
Focus Group Feedback AKA 'Q: What Do You Like About Julia?'
Julia Gillard is a nice person who cares about the same things I care about. She really cares about Australia and wants to see it develop in a responsible way. She cares about strong border protection but she wants to target the wicked people smugglers not the asylum seekers. She wants to move the country forward (this last repeated at the end of the focus group meeting, 14 or 15 times, drone like).
How the ALP Views Their Supporters Based on This Ad
ALP voters are a pack of easily frightened simpletons who are so dense that they'll only be able to understand our policies if we whittle them down to two or three words each and even then we'll have to repeat them twice. And we better say those words in a soothing tone with some soft music playing or else the voters in the mortgage belt seats are likely to hide under their beds and miss the slogan. These people don't like the boat people but they do like the economy so we'll be sure and say that those are the things we dislike and like too. And, did I mention the slogan, 'Moving Foward'? Better say it a few more times so that it really lodges in there.
And the Libs:
Focus Group Feedback AKA 'Q: What We Like About Tony'
Tony Abbott is a man of conviction, a man unafraid to speak his mind, a man not constrained by the evils of moderated speech and political correctness. A man, in short, that we can rely on to take charge of things, shake 'em up a bit and maybe rough up the deadbeats while he's at it. He may be a successful politician but he's not that dissimilar to YOU! I mean, ME! He understands that Labor has let the darkies take over the country again and drive up electricity prices and this worries him, just like it worries YOU! I mean ME! Really, the similarities between YOU/ME and Tony Abbott are amazing when you think about it...
How the Liberal Party Views Their Supporters Based on This Ad
That there are a lot of people out there in the suburbs that are ready to join a neo-Nazi style cult, with uniforms and symbols and rigid rules and that, if such a cult isn't available, they may as well vote for the Liberal Party. These folks want a leader who'll throw a few punches and we've got one who's positivity popping out of his suit wanting to get his hands on someone. Kevin Rudd would have been better but Julia'll do. Equality and all that! So give 'em a logo and a four point plan and we'll hand out the red meat at the rallies. We've got a lot of work to do!!!
What's Interesting About Both Ads
That there is neither an ALP nor a Liberal Party symbol on display anywhere. Are these guys running as independents?