Four videos today. Saeed Khan is the Greens candidate for my local electorate of Grayndler, he did a video in August as part of the kick-off of his election campaign. On, then, to the Leaders: Rudd switching off a video of a Liberal ad saying "oh come on Howard", followed by Howard switching off a video of Rudd switching off a video of a Liberal ad and saying "grow up" to Rudd.
Three more items today's collection of Federal Election Youtubes.
The Democrats may well be on the brink of oblivion at this election. Of their four remaining senators, two (Lyn Allison and Andrew Bartlett) are standing for re-election, while the other two (Natasha Stott-Despoja and Andrew Murray) are retiring. It would be a huge shame if Senator Bartlett is lost to federal politics. Meanwhile, the current leader of the party, Lyn Allison, is getting on with the job of issuing policies and making videos, even if no one is paying attention. Here she is campaigning for better support for carers.
Family First's Senator Steve Fielding is not up for re-election this time, but having fluked his way into the senate in 2004 on preferences, he is now trying to get more of his stablemates up. In this video, showing the temerity to seek a second senator in Victoria, he attempts to take on both the Nationals and the Greens on home turf.
And finally, John Howard shows, on Monday night's A Current Affair, how he keeps interest rates so low - he gets them wrong!
More proof that John Howard Simply Doesn't Get It comes with this insistence on releasing Youtube videos at 5am. Does he think the Intertubes Generation will just be rolling in from the nightclubs and logging on at that hour?
No, a more plausible reason is that 5am is a good time to issue video press releases in time for the brekky TV shows, not to mention his radio buddies such as Neil Mitchell and Belford Parrott. And Youtube, of course, is a free medium for videos less than ten minutes long.
John Howard's blatant abuse of constitutional power came to an end this morning when he visited the Governor General and obtained a dissolution of the House of Representatives, and a federal election on November 24. This is the date that Peter Costello implied at the AFL Grand Final Breakfast last month.
The Prime Minister's election announcement has been purloined by the Liberal Party for use on their Youtube website. Unfortunately the Liberal Party apparatchik responsible for uploading the video has no concept of 16:9 ratios.
A selection of some of the more interesting unanswered questions in the House of Representatives which have been outstanding for more than twelve months:
Question Time in Federal Parliament is a joke and, as it is currently administered, serves no useful purpose. But you knew that. The real interrogation comes in the fine print of Hansard, that section at the back called "Questions Without Notice".
There's an interesting document on the Australian Parliament website.
Its title is "List of Unanswered Questions in Writing".
Latest Youtuberium from the Australian Democrats:
PETER COSTELLO: This is the last question time—
Opposition members interjecting—
PETER COSTELLO: It could well be the last question time before the election...
(source: Hansard, 20.9.07)
[Dave] Hughes: "What are you talking about, the election or the grand final?"
So John Howard will step down as Prime Minister if he is re-elected for a fifth term of office later this year. But did the former suburban solicitor, who is always so finicky about the exact words that he uses, really say that?
This is the relevant quote from the transcript of his interview on the "7.30 Report" last night: