We’re hopeful that 2012 — and humanity — won’t end as the Mayans predicted. But in a year of presidential elections, royal commissions, media inquiries, hurricanes, cinema and school shootings, journo redundancies and scandals — who is the person that should be declared this year’s best? And which absolute arsehat deserves the uncoveted title?

As part of the 2012 Crikeys, we’re taking your votes on the Crikey Person of the Year and the Crikey Arsehat of the Year.

We’ve rounded up the most interesting and powerful from 2012. Some are household names; others are known more by their actions than their surname. No local pollies appear — the Gillard/Abbott tussle is just predictable — so we’ve looked across the world to find players and stars from politics, business, media, sport and arts. And the nominations are …


  • Barack Obama: came out in support of gay marriage and easily defeated Mitt Romney to win a second term.
  • Lord Justice Brian Leveson: few people can make Rupert Murdoch feel humble, but Leveson pulled it off this year as he held a mirror up to the UK tabloids.
  • Malala Yousafzai: Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for her campaign for girls’ education.
  • Michael Clarke: four double centuries (and a triple century!) in a calendar year — even non-cricket fans are impressed.
  • P-ssy Riot: Russian girl power punk group which protested the Orthodox Church’s support of Vladimir Putin and ended up in a gulag.
  • Nate Silver: The New York Times blogger made maths s-xy again in the US presidential election, making a fool of pollsters.
  • Peter Fox: the NSW police detective whistleblower who called for a royal commission into institutionalised child s-x abuse in the Hunter Valley, and got it.
  • Gina Rinehart: this year she increased her shareholding in Fairfax, warred with her children (a story which helped seal the Gold Walkley for Steve Pennells) and wrote her first book.
  • Queen Liz: celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60 years as boss) and appeared with her corgis in the London Olympics opening ceremony.
  • Gotye: his earworm hit Somebody That I Used To Know ensured Gotye became the first Australian artist to hit the US number one spot in over a decade.

Other contenders: Mars Rover CuriosityDanny Boyle, Peter Higgs (and the scientists who confirmed a Higgs-Boson like particle), Aung San Suu Kyi, Mitt Romney, Elisabeth Murdoch, Angus Houston, Christine Lagarde, Hilary Mantel, Yumi Stynes, Michael Fassbender, Sally Pearson, NASA’s Mohawk Guy, Hillary Clinton, the Royal foetus.


  • Bashar al-Assad: president of Syria, where the two-year civil war is estimated to have cost 40,000 lives.
  • Jimmy Savile: he’s been dead awhile but hundreds of stories of s-xual abuse committed against children during his time as a BBC TV personality have come out in recent months.
  • Meryl Dorey: head of the dodgily named Australian Vaccination Network, an anti-vaccine group scaring parents into avoiding vaccinating their kids.
  • Alan Jones: the 2GB broadcaster can’t die of shame, because he hasn’t got any.
  • Jerry del Missier, Marcus Agius, Bob Diamond: former executives at Barclays Bank, where a culture of fraud and corruption — through manipulating Libor rates — was revealed.
  • Vladimir Putin: claimed victory in Russia’s election, despite widespread claims of electoral corruption.
  • Jason Russell: sure, Joseph Kony is terrible, but the founder of Invisible Children and creator of the KONY 2012 campaign makes us hate clicktivism.
  • Lance Armstrong: drugs and cheating resulted in the seven-time Tour de France winner losing all his titles.
  • Todd Akin: “… if it’s a legitimate r-pe, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Luckily voters had a way of shutting Akin down, who lost his seat in Congress.
  • Paul Henry: thank god Ten finally killed Breakfast, and this expensive obnoxious Kiwi no longer appears on our screens.

Other contenders: Tom Waterhouse, David Petraeus, Kyle Sandilands, Miranda Devine, Ian Rintoul, Judith Sloan, James Magnussen, Captain Francesco Schettino (from the Costa Concordia), Sandi Logan, Peta Credlin, Mia Freedman, Prince Harry.

Plus, Crikey‘s famous s-xiest politician of the year trophy continues. Whose ballot box do you want to stuff? Wait, that’s inappropriate. Whose poll would you like to see rise? Sorry, that’s disgusting. Which Canberra hottie (state-based nominations also welcome) gets your heart racing?

Winners of all three categories will be announced on Monday, so vote early and vote often (actually, just vote once please, but make sure you do it).