Feb 6, 2014

They’re hot and bothered in Griffith, but not for these candidates

The good people of Griffith aren't very excited about Saturday's byelection to replace Kevin Rudd -- if they know about it at all. James Rose walked the heat-hazed streets to take the pulse.

Fatigue is a common feeling this time of year in Brisbane. By now, the summer heat has blasted all sense out of the air. Pavements sizzle, a layer of heat haze wobbles over every surface, and it’s hard to imagine ever wearing a light sweater again. And, as everywhere, there’s the back-to-work factor, as employees shuffle back to the drudge and torpor of another year chained to the pay packet. Double whammy.

So you have to feel for the candidates in Griffith. Not only are they having to be out pounding pavements in the blazing daylight and in the languid, watch-the-cricket-in-your-undies evenings, but they have to enthuse voters out of their seasonal ennui.

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9 thoughts on “They’re hot and bothered in Griffith, but not for these candidates

  1. susan winstanley

    Correction: the AEC does not set the by-election date, that is done by the Speaker of the House

  2. Kevin Rennie


    “Shuffling punters offer little spark. The few I spoke to had little real interest in Saturday’s poll.” So what did you do when you visited Griffith? Certainly not talk to the candidates. There are eleven, but only the one with the donkey vote and the big 2 get a cursory mention. The “torpor” you describe seems to be contagious. Did you join the 150 punters at the candidates forum last night? Even Tim Lawrence was there.

  3. Griffiths Karen

    lazy James. Very lazy. You have ‘reported’ what you thought was the case!

  4. David Coles

    I only know a dozen or so people in the seat but they are keen to send messages to the major parties and, particularly to respond to what has gone on since the national election.

    Some are also likely to be a little surprised at the description of that normally quite busy set of shops.

  5. zut alors

    ‘…the previous holder of the seat was… rarely glimpsed in these parts…’

    James Rose, as a resident in Griffith I would strongly disagree. Rudd was regularly out & about in the electorate – nor was he inevitably accompanied by a phalanx. I have never lived in any electorate where the sitting MP, state or federal, was as involved with the community as Rudd has been.

  6. Laura Curtis

    Please can we have a break from the “Brisbane, so sleepy, so slatternly” routine? I clicked for byelection analysis, not for the same old tropes about, gosh, it’s hot and baked suburban streets and, oh yeah, gotta use the word “languid”. It’s been a few years since I lived in Griffith, but I distinctly recall having discussions about local politics that were entirely uninfluenced by the heady scent of frangipani.

  7. Kevin Rennie

    Laura, if you missed my take on the other candidates it’s here.

  8. pat white

    yes i agree with zut rudd overcome his geek factor by learning the truism that that all politics is local he spent years before he was elected working the electorate and even as pm regularly showed up at community events i met him at quite a few personally lazy journalism

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