Words by: Luke Hickey
I don’t ask much of my public servants and representatives. Do your job while keeping religion and morality out of legislation and we should be pretty hunky-dory. It follows then, that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Tony Abbott as Australia’s 28th Prime Minister. I mean, as a comedian, I loved him. His time as PM was 2 years of easy-money jokes for me to relegate to tipsy punters in comedy clubs for guaranteed applause. He was that unpopular amongst The Left and Right that any piece of observational comedy would go from a 4 to an 8 in terms of crowd reaction when it was done at Abbott’s expense. But while Tone was cheap fuel for me and other Internet funny-types, he had to go.
And as of September 14th, we now have Malcolm “Turbo” Turnbull as our incumbent PM. Which should be an improvement. It’s worth reminding ourselves that Tony and Malcolm came from the same political party, but I mean, he can’t possibly be more extreme than Abbott. We at least know from his voting record that Turbo is decidedly more chill than Abbott on issues affecting women. He voted in favour of making abortion pill RU486 more readily accessible as well as being heavily in favour of stem-cell research. But there is one other addition to the still-forming Turnbull government that I am most excited about; his Dog Blog.
Unfortunately, only a few posts remain. It probably wouldn’t be a good look for international diplomacy and credibility if Australia’s Prime Minister was writing weekly blog posts from a canine’s perspective. But dammit, it’s a step in the right direction. One of the great things about social media is how it affords us the luxury of connecting with people we never would have had a chance to, whether it’s a political leader, musician, or porn star. I know of the hobbies and daily commitments of Hollywood actors and comedians because I follow them on Twitter.
As silly as it sounds, through his Dog Blog Turnbull offers countless Australian voters, who probably just see him as yet another PM nobody voted for, a very real window into his daily life and relationships. It’s funny without being corny and constructs a human portrait of someone that many of us wouldn’t personally know.
Some people are already commenting that Abbott was the first leader of an entire country to be taken down by social media, which points to the effect millions of people sharing their opinion in a global forum can have. If Malcolm Turnbull can harness this power effectively, he could very well become the populist face the Liberal Party so desperately need. Now, more please on Senator Leyonhjelm’s cats.