The derp is already knee deep
Well we're only a couple of weeks into the official unofficial election campaign and already the derp is knee deep. I can confidently predict that by the time the actual poll rolls around, we're not going to be able to get to a polling station due to the fact that we're all going to be trapped in a great steaming layer of derp several miles deep.
Let's have a look at some of the highlights of the past two weeks shall we?
Virtual Caretaker Mode derp
As soon as the PM announced the date of the election, the Opposition went into full derp mode, demanding that the government and associated bodies essentially shut up shop for the next eight months and enter into a "virtual caretaker mode"
For those of you who aren't politics wonks, the caretaker period is that bit of time between the actual launch of the election period (when writs are issued) and the election itself. During that time the government is not allowed to make new policy and essentially the idea is to just keep things running as they were on the day the writs were issued.
So, the Coalition in effect demanded that the Government just put the handbrake on and idle for the next eight months, stop passing laws, stop making policy, and just generally stop.
The two stand out examples of this sort of derp for me were Malcolm Turnbulls demand that the NBN Co stop entering into any new contracts until the election and Greg Hunt demanding that the Climate Change Fund not hand out any funds when it starts operating in July.
Stop the boats derp
We all know how fond the Coalition is of the Stop the boats campaign. It reaches to that mean little nugget of bile that drives a certain demographic.
Well they managed to reach a new low/high (depending on your point of view I guess) this week when they declared that they would have the Navy forcibly turn back boats from Sri Lanka before they hit Australian territorial waters. I don't know if this moves into the territory of state sanctioned piracy or not, but at the very least it seems to be a complete abrogation of our treaty obligations.
They also claimed people are leaving Sri Lanka in crappy boats to travel thousands of miles across the ocean purely for economic reasons. This, despite the mass of evidence that suggests that Sri Lanka is less than the harmonious and healing nation that it might be portrayed by the Sri Lankan government.
Northern Australia derp
Of course the latest in the constant rain of derp is the leaked Coalition "discussion paper" for developing North Australia.
This appears to be an adaption of the plans put forward both by Gina Reinhardt and the Citizens Electoral Council. It also has the backing of patron Saint and founder of Katter's Australia Party, Bob Katter.
I'm just going to leave that particular pedigree there.
As to actual details? Well the document above recommends a lot of working parties and inquiries into various areas, including the following:
- Moving government departments from Canberra to towns and cities such as Townsville, Karratha and Darwin
- Increased "incentives" to encourage migration from the southern states. These include tax incentives, grants and so on.
- Creating a working party with south east asian neighbours to plan out a special economic zone in the north.
- Oh and they want to re-direct 800 million dollars from the Foreigh Aid budget to the building of tropical disease research and care facilities
- Establish a Water Project Development Fund. No word yet as whether this will involve turning the rivers back.
All this is and we're only two weeks in.
We are so going to be swimming in it by the time the polls roll around.