It’s been a long and tumultuous year for Australian federal politics. The hung parliament has provided us with many scandals, a leadership challenge and some seriously weird moments. Here’s our favourite political moments that left most Australians thinking, “What the hell?”
1. Craig Emerson breaking into song and dance
During an ABC interview about the carbon tax, Trade Minister Craig Emerson broke into a Skyhooks-inspired rendition of Whyalla Wipeout.
The awkward pause while the music started is enough to make most of us cringe, but it’s the weird head-bob that you can’t turn away from.
2. Kevin Rudd dancing Gangnam Style on Sunrise
Kevin Rudd has been the centre of much 2012 leadership speculation, even mounting an unsuccessful leadership challenge against the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, but it’s his recent appearance on Channel 7’s Sunrise that has earned him on a spot on this list. Mr Rudd appeared on the morning show to announce the winner of his campaign t-shirt competition, during which he attempted the dance made famous by K-pop sensation Psy. The lack of commitment to the dance is what makes this moment so incredibly awkward, and well, I always thought K Rudd would be a better dancer!
3. Kevin Rudd losing it
A leaked video of Australia’s favourite “happy little Vegemite” showed that good boy Rudd had a potty mouth. The video was filmed during Mr Rudd’s time as Prime Minister and shows him swearing repeatedly in frustration while recording a Chinese language message.
If you’re not opposed to strong language, check out the video for to hear Kevin Rudd’s usually smooth demeanour degenerate.
4. Tony Abbott running from parliament to avoid accepting Craig Thomson’s vote
The Craig Thomson scandal has consumed Australian federal politics for over a year now. In April, the embattled Labor MP moved to the crossbench to sit out his term as the Member for Dobell as an independent. The Opposition Leader vowed to never accept what he called Thomson’s “tainted” vote. But in May, Tony Abbott was forced to. The government had moved a motion to gag shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, who was addressing a suspension motion regarding the Commonwealth debt ceiling. When it was noted Mr Thomson was moving to side with the opposition over the gag motion, Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott made a frantic dash for it from the chamber. Mr Pyne made it out but Mr Abbott wasn’t quite fast enough, and he was forced to vote alongside Mr Thomson.
This was just a weird and embarrassing moment for a politician who isn’t ashamed to be seen in public in budgie smugglers.
5. Julia Gillard speaking on the Mayan Apocalypse
And what would this list be without the Prime Minister’s speech for Triple J on the Mayan Apocalypse? It was a tough year for our first female Prime Minister, dealing with a hung parliament riddled with scandals, the loss of her father and increasing personal attacks against her. But, it’s also been a year that has shown us what Julia Gillard is made of. While her speech against misogyny showed us that she wasn’t going to continue to accept the sexist nonsense that politics sometimes attracts, her words of advice on the Mayan Apocalypse shows she still has a sense of humour.