Culture

Here’s Everything You Need To Get Through This Election Without Dying Of Boredom

This election's been a massive snoozefest so far. It doesn't have to be.

Your eyes may be glazing over at the uninspiring prospect of a battle between some guy who’s taken up jogging and some guy who wears a blue sweater, but there’s no escaping the fact we have to vote soon. The first official leaders’ debate was last night and it was as about as exciting and enlightening as watching a lone sock spin endlessly in a tumble dryer, so you’d be forgiven for not exactly going crazy with excitement this election season.

The good news? While the parties may be trying to out-comatose each other, there’s actually some entertaining and informative election coverage out there that won’t bore the crap out of you.

And the best bit is you don’t have to read a thing. Simply absorb the commentary and by July 2 you can wave away those over-enthusiastic party volunteers with the how-to-vote cards and say “no thanks, I’ve got this”.

Watch

Top of the list is Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell which, thank God, is back to provide some much-needed comedic relief. Despite not having many Trump-like gaffes to riff off (American comedians have it so easy), Micallef dishes up some biting political commentary.

Also, Bill Shorten’s zingers.

To back it up a bit for the political novices out there, the latest from ABC iview’s Story Hunters: What’s Going On? offers bite-sized 101 answers on how Canberra works. Former Rudd staffer Jamila Rizvi takes self-described ‘Canberra Virgin’ Rosie Waterland on a tour of our capital, teaching her about democracy and stuff.

Watch for Sam Dastyari and his lack of buttons.

And a modern Australian election campaign wouldn’t be the same without the Chaser team, who are returning to our screens on 8 June on ABC with The Chaser’s Election Desk.

Listen

For this election every journo in the country has buddied up to present their two cents worth in podcast form. Well-sourced duo Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas spend 20 minutes dissecting the performance of the parties each week with a special guest dropping in for a cocktail in The Party Room. As a bonus, Fran ends the show with a bit of political karaoke.

Dennis Atkins of the Two Grumpy Hacks podcast may not know what a dank meme is, but he and political partner-in-crime Malcolm Farr sure know politics. Only 11 minutes long, this is a handy wrap-up of what’s making the headlines.

The Guardian has two podcasts on its menu. Australian Politics Live is hosted by respected political hacks Lenore Taylor and Katherine Murphy, who hone in on the policy announcements and what they mean for voters. Or if you want to take a break from the weekly rough and tumble, Behind The Lines takes an issues-based approach covering topics such as women in politics or the story behind the Australian Federal Police’s raids on Labor Party offices over the NBN leaks.

If you’re after something a little more combative to listen to on your morning commute, check out the Pidgin Politics podcast with former media advisor to John Howard Paula Matthewson (the ‘head’ of politics) and award-winning journalist Margo Kingston (the ‘heart’) who robustly analyse the players and hot topics of interest to voters. They even throw it open to the listeners by inviting questions, making this podcast the most interactive of the bunch.

But if comedy is the only way you can consume your politics, Stop the Posts is where it’s at with funny guys James Colley and Nick Fischer dishing up commentary sparked by the often-hilarious and mostly scary online comments of #auspol news.

Sit back and enjoy – you’ll be an expert in no time.

Tegan Forder is a Melbourne-based freelance writer. You can follow her on Twitter at @TeganForder.