You mean it isn’t all roses? Did the PM get a little too full and frank when he tried to bag Kevin Rudd in a speech in the Central Coast Liberal marginal of Robertson on Friday? Does he really want any focus on “nasty bits” at the moment:

I paint necessarily a rosy, even optimistic picture. And I don’t apologise for that. But I do it to set the context of what we’re being told by our political opponents. They’re in effect saying look, vote for us, we’re really the same as Mr Howard and Mr Costello. There’s really just a few tiny teeny weenie differences here and there over in the corner and you shouldn’t really take any notice of them because we’ll be very nice to you if we get into government – now that basically is what the opposition is saying – that there’s really no difference. They take as a given the strong economy. Now that sounds pretty alluring on the face of it and I can understand some people saying, oh gee, this looks alright, here’s this bloke, he’s come along and he’s agreeing with Howard on everything and he’s saying, yes, I’ll take up where Howard left off if you elect me and I’ll keep all the good things in place and I’ll just get rid of a few of those nasty bits that he brought in and then everybody will be wonderful and you can have everything…

Territory test. One of the four Country Liberal Party MPs left after Labor’s 2005 Northern Territory debacle, Richard Lim, will formally retire this week, sparking a by-election for his Alice Springs seat of Greatorex. The Top End’s federal marginal, Solomon, is centred on Darwin. Alice is CLP heartland, and Chief Minister Clare Martin says Labor will go into the campaign as the underdog. But it will be interesting to see if the federal government’s indigenous intervention has any impact. Northern Territory electorates are tiny. Could an independent appear?

Tech election yawns. Finally, the rest of the Australian media seem to be discovering that politicians have blogs and Facebook pages and there are these interweb thingies that can be used for campaigning. But just as they are way behind the game, so is online campaigning. Crikey gave GetUp’s Brett Solomon a free ad on Friday for their GetTogether initiative. Yawn. It seems very similar to the big buzz in tech politics from the US elections in 2004, www.meetup.com . The likes of Barack Obama are now into www.eventful.com .

Demonstrator run out . The Prime Minister and Kevin Rudd didn’t just pose for identical photos next to a Superhornet on the USS Kittyhawk. They posed with the same aircraft – as the crew names stencilled on the side shows. It must be the demonstrator model.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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