What a campaign!

Swanny had all the highlights in his final video of the campaign.

And with almost no further ado, we turn to the winners of Crikey’s Election Awards.

Special thanks to the readers who added their own categories because they thought ours were lacking!

We note that while there were many entries for the “Suspend-Your-Cynicism Cup” only one was cynicism-free. Bless Crikey sceptics.

Unlike The Age , we have made a decision:

The Evolution-Of-Dance Award for most excruciating YouTube campaign moment:

And the winner is…

The Derrida inspired post modern meta-narrative, I’m watching you, watching me, watching you Howard reply to Rudd’s reply to Howard (I think that’s how it goes). — Beau McCafferty


John Howard with his ape. He should have listened to WC Field and not performed with animals or children. Appearing with a disabled child and an endangered species raised too many analogies with his own situation — Ian Matthews (1)

The Pork-Me Plate for the most gratuitous spending pledge:

And the winner is…

John Howard’s pledge of $500K to save the orangutans in the wallabies dressing room as the most egregious and gratuitous spending pledge of the campaign. Apart from leaving me wondering just how the damn things got in there in the first place, it did account for what was another lacklustre World Cup campaign by the Wallabies. I mean, how could they concentrate on winning the World Cup when their dressing room was filled with young boys, orangutans, PM’s and possibly rugby union players. Stirling Mortlock was heard to complain after losing to England “What chance did we have, I had to borrow George Gregan’s spare boots after a primate stole them and taunted me with them. It totally put me off my game.” And in any case, even the orangutan knew that the polls were predicting the PM’s demise. It is understood the primate in question was last seen at the bookmakers trying to get set on the Labor Party as a ‘saver’ — Andrew Lewis 


It’s gotta be Mark Vaile, Deputy PM, for once knocking Southern Cross Uni’s Diploma of Sport Management Surfing Studies as a waste of time (a booming multi-billion global industry Rip Curl, Billabong etc) and now he’s promising $3.7 million to the same marginal seat of Richmond to help fund an elite surfing training centre. Although he reckons this one isn’t from the embattled “Regional Partnerships” program, then where is it from Mark? — Owen Jones

Mark Vaile for continuing to splurge from the slush fund (sorry Regional Partnerships Program) after the Auditor-General blew the whistle on the rort — Ian Matthews (2)

The Latham Handshake Clasp for biggest campaign cock-up:

And the winner is…

Peter Garrett should get 1st and 2nd prize. First for his stupidity in even responding to Steve Price, and second for his unconvincing attempt to dismiss it as ‘a jocular off-the-cuff remark’. (It would also mean the award stays in the family, because Latham originally recruited him.) — John Knott


Plenty to choose from, including a real c-ck-up by Family First, but John Howard’s retracted apology is my choice. — Dave Smartt

Tony Abbott opening his mouth – anytime, anywhere, on any issue. As one of the few coalition Minister’s with any regard for, and concept of policy innovation, his performance is symptomatic of the Coalition’s loss of any idea about what the government stands for. — Evan

The Dennis Shanahan Medal for the most courageous spinning of a bad news moment:

And the winner is…

I thought Andrew Robb had it sewn up when he tried to present a practical example of the uses of Google. But the hands-down winner has to be Jackie Kelly, with her stand-by-your-man defence of “skylarking” and “Chaser-style pranks.” Two days out from the election and the PM’s favourite girl destroys his National Press Club farewell and wipes any good news off the front of a number of papers – but it was all just a bit of fun! — Peter Burnett 


Has to go to Jackie Kelly who, although not a candidate but the retiring member, defended the “Ala Akba” leaflet as a bit of a “Chaser style prank”. After wiping away the tears of laughter after reading the pamphlet, as Jackie said I would, I realised Jackie’s back peddling on AM was nothing more than a continuation of her opening up post politics career opportunities after her ice-skating and t-shirt manufacturing exploits came to nought. Not sensing the difference between satire and fraud means that the routine still needs a little work. — Brendan Egan

The Coalition on Interest Rates. Although we: lied five times about keeping Interest Rates low, had let inflation get out of control, made that worse with a pre-election budget tax, when that didn’t work promised $34 billion in more tax cuts at the start of the campaign, and when that didn’t work spent tens more billions of dollars buying votes during the campaign, then said, when interest rates went up again, that only we could be trusted to run the economy. — Ian Matthews  (1)

The Suspend-Your-Cynicism Cup for the most inspiring campaign moment:

And the winner is…

The grumpy Scottish accordion player who told Kevin Rudd to p-ss off in Tasmania. Who would have thought that an accordion player could have any political influence at all? Absolutely no-one could have predicted this. To add to the moment, Kevin Rudd was singing Seekers songs, including the appropriate “The Carnival is Over”. What would Liberal MLA Athol Guy have thought of this? And, gratuitously, can I add this joke: Q. What’s the difference between an accordionist and a terrorist? A. Terrorists have sympathisers. — Robert O’Connor


K-Rudd’s on-air discovery of a long-lost cousin. Truly inspiring, when one considers that his entire extended family hates him because of the way he retold his family history. Or built a dam across the family farm. Or was it that he forgot to build the dam and that was why they lost the farm? Still not clear on this one … — Tony Allan

Jackie Kelly vindicating my thoughts of the past 11 years that she was a dud and a loose cannon. — Andrew Burt

Howard and Costello jointly for their promise of “Lower wages under a Liberal Government” — Ronda Schweinsberg

Rescuing the miners before Channel 9 arrived. Well this deserves an award. — Matthew Brennan

Malcolm Fraser & Gough Whitlam uniting to remind us that Ministerial Accountability used to actually mean something. — Ian Matthews (1)

And now, a final category, best new awards by Crikey readers:

  • Where does Turnbull’s spin the babies until they fall over go? It didn’t fit into any of the categories. — Rowen Cross
  • I’m surprised that there’s no category in your Election Awards for honouring the fine art of the policy backflip. If there was, last night’s appearance on Today Tonight by Howard and Costello to talk about their political marriage would be a clear winner for its repudiation of the Government’s ‘traditional’ view of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of bringing up children (more like the Rudd-Gillard political marriage?).  — Michael Frost
  • I simply cannot overlook a front page p-nis from Family First, the quote, “That’s not my p-nis” has to be the slogan of the campaign. However it is followed by, “I was either drunk or one of my political opponents drugged me.” — Jacquelynne Willcox
  • I’d like to suggest an additional category: the Baden Powell award for being prepared, and nominate Jeanette Howard for the prize. She doesn’t get nearly enough glory for the contribution she makes to this country. — Nichola Patterson
  • Don’t know about any of those awards, but you HAVE to give Hugh Atkin, that Uni of Sydney kid who did the Chinese propaganda spoof of Rudd, some sort of award – easily the funniest thing of the election. — Shannon Walker