The Winner Of The Third Leaders’ Debate Was Shorten’s Attempt To Describe A Meme

Shorten leaders debate.

You might well disagree but it’s my personal belief that political debates suck ass. Theoretically, they’re supposed to put participants on the spot and hold their feet to the fire but, in practice, they operate almost entirely as platforms for the politicians to trot out pre-written, pre-rehearsed soundbites verbatim as responses to unrelated questions. They feel inauthentic, because they are.

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The only reason you could possibly have to watch any of the leaders’ debates in Australia in the year 2019 is if a) like me, you have been compelled to do by your employer, or b) you enjoy being both bored and in pain at the same time.

If you didn’t watch it, you did not miss much; the substance of what was said is documented as part of both party’s policy platforms. The good stuff is mainly in the flubs — like Scott Morrison getting laughed at for the time-travelling sentence “We brought the budget back to surplus next year“:

But for me, the absolute winner, far ahead of either participant, was the desperately strange moment that Bill Shorten took to slowly and methodically attempt to describe something funny he saw on the internet. When moderator Sabra Lane asked both leaders if they thought social media could be a tough place to be, Turnbull responded thusly:

Social media can sometimes make public life very hard living? Yes. I Certainly agree with that. You should read my Twitter feed. The comments on it. I suspect Bill’s is similar.

Bill, for his part, replied like this:

I don’t always read my Twitter feed. I saw a very funny cartoon, a meme of Michelle Obama. Barack Obama’s looking at a computer screen and Michelle is saying, “Don’t read that. Just go to bed.” Good advice there I suspect.

Probably needed to be there, I guess. The answer was delivered to complete silence as, I presume, every single person in the room scratched their head contemplatively.

The leading theory from some of the internet’s most powerful minds is that he is remembering something that is similar to, but probably not exactly this:

Whatever it was, it was awfully reminiscent of this cracker of a tweet from former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull:

Christ there are some weird people in politics.