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Debate. Yawn. Discuss.

"Just think.. if this were a soccer match we could have had 30 minutes extra time followed by penalty kicks. #ausvotes #debate #nilnil"

- me on Twitter, 7.36pm 25.7.10

The Leaders Debate between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott took place on Sunday night. There's nothing more that I can say about the content. Really. The transcript is here.

Youtubes do dia: Abbott and Costello meet The Invisible Man

My focus today is on Tony Abbott, minister for health and aging, and honourable member for Warringah; and Peter Costello, federal treasurer and honourable member for Higgins.

First, Abbott and Costello debate themselves over the major issue of the day.
Second, the Invisible Man acts as stunt double for Abbott at the National Press Club.
Third, Costello is picked on by someone smaller than him who is not John Howard.
And finally, exclusive footage as Federal Cabinet calculate the size of a budget surplus.

The debate

While you were watching Australian Idol or National Bingo Night, channels Nine, ABC and Sky News were holding their own contrived talent quest/game of chance.

Kevin Rudd won last night's debate, and in my view won it quite comfortably. John Howard started well and was best when he was delivering set pieces, but increasingly he sounded more and more cranky and defensive, and repeatedly side-stepping questions he didn't want to answer. Rudd kept his cool, however he was surprisingly weak at handling the climate change questions.

To debate en masse or to play with oneself

Political debates really serve little purpose. They do, sometimes, distort the vote depending on who performs best. It all started with Kennedy v Nixon, which arguably won the 1960 Presidential election for JFK (though some would credit Mayor Daley of Chicago and his team of vote-riggers). But look at America now. The "presidential" debates have gotten way out of control. We've had squllions of debates with squillions of Republican and Democrat hopefuls this year, the year before the presidential election.

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