Talking on ABC TV about elections, Obama, Greens and trains

Last night I appeared on ABC TV’s News24 channel on The Drum panel alongside The Chaser’s Chas Licciardello and former Liberal leader Kerry Chikarovski (video here)

We talked about the Australian election campaign and why personality politics is seemingly the name of the game. Policies are mostly secondary items (though there are exceptions).

Even those of us who want to avoid talking incessantly about looks and who is up and who is down find it hard to ignore discussing the details that are noticed by nobody except the political tragics.

I kept banging on about sustainability, a word that’s used and abused these days but is central to understanding how a country must engage with climate change, public transport, food production and quality of life. A shame that a three year election cycle convinces most politicians to not take the issue seriously.

The highlight was the interview with Nation political correspondent John Nichols, currently in Sydney, who spoke about the comparison between the US and Australian election campaigns. He said that down under it appeared that personality was less of an issue, as too many were seduced in the US by Barack Obama’s slick performance. But he’s simply a “moderate Republican”, a profound disappointment. A third party is needed, he argued.

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