Saturday, October 04, 2008

Playbill: The Australian Cast of the U.S. Election 2008

But first - congrats to our outgoing President, George W Bush. I'm surprised nothing much has been made of what must be the major achievement of his two-term presidency. - The solving of the illegal immigration problem!

The number of illegal immigrants arriving in the United States has dropped from about 800,000 a year earlier this decade to about 500,000 a year from 2005 to 2008(Pew Hispanic Center October 2008).

There's doubt about it - and what's more it was achieved without recourse to any draconian measures. Of course the solution was simple and it's amazing that no one thought of it before.

Make your country unattractive - increase unemployment and ensure that basics like gas and food cost more - and no one wants to come!

Back on topic - Like many others, I've been intrigued by the run up to U.S. elections for the past year and a half. This is my fourth US election experienced in situ. It's interesting itself but ... just what would it be like with ... a cast of Aussies.
I got the idea of an Australian themed U.S. election when I heard Joe Biden's comment comment on Guiliani. Biden: "Rudy Giuliani... I mean, think about it! Rudy Giuliani. There's only three things he mentions in a sentence -- a noun, a verb, and 9/11. There's nothing else! There's nothing else! And I mean this sincerely." Paul Keating redux!

The Rest of the Cast

Some were easy - Kennedy Edward to be played by Edward Gough Whitlam. Both grand old me of yesteryear. Others were more difficult. Take Sarah Palin for instance ...

My first thought was Pauline Hanson. But no, Pauline has no kittenish sex appeal and I can't imagine her winking at the camera Palin-style. Or IS IT a wink. Could it be ... a twitch?

Hanson wouldn't do, which is a pity as their names have the same number of syllables and there's something eloquent about that, if not about the names' owners.

So I thought a bit more and came up with an Australian politician, one that everybody old enough to remember has forgotten about. Cleaver Ernest Bunton. His name even sounds American! But I dismissed him, for although in some ways he was a maverick and although he knew little about his own country's constitution, there the resemblance ends.

Then I got it! No one better to play The Governor of Alaska than our own ... Bindi Irwin. She's got all the qualities. She loves playing to the camera. She's photogenic. Female. I'm sure Bindi could learn to wink if she thought it'd help her TV persona,

and she's always got something to say. So Bindi Irwin it is - and again, the same number of syllables in their names.

Now for Obama - a difficult one. For some reason my first thought was Australia's Andrew Peacock, for his charm. But nothing else fitted. Malcolm Fraser for his arrogance? Maybe, but the politics are all wrong, and Obama looks nothing like an Easter Island statue. Neville Wran perhaps? Probably a bit far to the left for Obama. Bob Hawke was supposed to be charismatic, though I couldn't see it. Same as I don't see Obama's charisma. Both arrogant. Both intelligent and academically successful. Bob Hawke it is.

Last, but not least, we have George W. I couldn't find any Australian politician to equal him. I thought of Jeff Kennett (seen here coming out of his "Rubbery Figures" mold - Nicholson's Sculpture Gallery). Jeff came close with his frequent gaffes. And of both it has been said that they are great blokes to have a beer with. But Kennett was a statepolitician and made no mark nationally.

Unlike Bush who (almost) single-handedly solved the United State's illegal immigration problem.

Maybe Sir Joh Bjelke Peterson who was for many years Premier of perhaps Australia's most Texas-like state.

Australian columnist Phillip Adams, compared Sir Joh with Peter Sellers' character, the moronic Chance, in the movie, Being There: "Both (Joh and Ronald Reagan) have visions as limited as their vocabularies, yet both these grotesque garden gnomes are seen as colossi by their deluded followers. The louder we laughed at them, the more powerful they became. The more improbable their careers, the more certain their ascendancy."

I read the Adams quote, and read it again. And again. Stuck on these words - "The louder we laughed at them, the more powerful they became.

Now why does the image of Sarah Palin pop into my mind?

Hockey Mom, Joe Six Pack, Hockey Mom, Joe Six Pack.

Let the play begin!

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