Tired of whiling away those long spring evenings waiting for a Costello Challenge? Then play Liberal Leadership … the new board game from Crikey.

Rules of the Game

You can play as Brendan Nelson, Peter Costello or Malcolm Turnbull. No, you’re not allowed to play as Julie Bishop, she’s not interested in the leadership and we couldn’t make her at all funny… oh those eyes, those eyes, those lidless eyes staring back with that furious expression… scary.

Anyway, roll the dice, move ahead, if you land on one of your squares, do what it says. If Andrew Robb comes into the room, quickly flip the game over and pretend you’re discussing pension rates and how to annoy Wayne Swan. If Robb catches you playing, go back to the start.

In order to start you must roll a six, unless you are Costello in which case you miss a turn, say “I’m not interested in the leadership”, and then roll an even number. Or an odd number — you decide.

If you are Costello, you cannot speak unless you are on an orange Costello square. If you speak while not on an orange square you must start again and repay your advance to those left-wing publishers at MUP. One of them is married to Max Gillies, you know. It’s obviously a Labor conspiracy. Probably linked to the Heiner affair which may yet end the careers of Kevin Rudd, Quentin Bryce and in fact the entire Labor Party. Would you like some coke?

If you are Turnbull, you have five seconds to declare your loyalty for the current leadership every time you land on a green or orange square. If you fail to do so you must start again and Peter Costello moves ahead 4. Unless he decides not to.

If you are Brendan Nelson you must articulate a policy position each time you land on a purple or orange square. Your policy must include at least one of the following: alcopops, petrol or an ETS. Each time you articulate a policy it must contradict a previous policy. If you fail to do so, you must start again. If you cry, you must start again. If you start again, you must start again.

In order to win you must be on the Australian flag and roll a six, unless you are Peter Costello in which case you must be on the Australian flag, and then decide which number you will roll in order to win. Once you have decided, you then have to roll that number, unless you decide you want to roll a different number, in which case you need to roll the new number. You can only decide before you roll, unless you decide you should decide after you roll. If you can’t decide about deciding, ask your wife.

If you still can’t, ask her father, then your brother, then someone at The Australian. After that, you can decide not to make a decision, in which case, advance token to the nearest utility, and if you pass “Go”, collect $200 — which of course is not worth as much as when you were Treasurer due to the mistakes made by Labor, who live in terror of your return.

As you are all in opposition it really doesn’t matter what you do so you can ignore all of these rules and do what you like. It’s a beautiful day — why don’t you go outside and kick a ball around?

The winner, in the sense that any of us can ever really said to be “winners” in this vale of tears, is the player with the largest book advance. Unless you’re Peter Costello and you decide that it’s not. Can you tell we think Peter Costello can’t make up his mind about anything? Or can’t you decide?

Now all you need to do is download your printable game board and the rules and tokens.

Good luck!

Peter Fray

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