The Final Federal Leaders Debate Was Better, But Still Very Depressing

"He thought the question was ‘say one nice and one nasty thing about your opponent’???"

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If you’re like me, it came as a complete surprise that the final televised debate between Scott Morrison and Antony Albanese would be taking place last night. Here’s a quick recap of what went down if you didn’t tune in.

Dubbed ‘The Final Showdown’, the third and final leaders’ debate aired on Channel Seven last night following widespread condemnation of the previous iteration which was dubbed a “genuine shit blizzard” by commentators.

To address previous criticism, moderators at Seven went to extreme lengths to stress that their ‘Final Showdown’ would be a fair fight. Debate moderator Mark Riley mostly ensured that the bout was a fair fight, despite frequent side sniping from the Prime Minister.

Taking place only days apart from Channel Nine’s debate, one of the new fronts Morrison and Albanese clashed on early in the debate was around the issue of wage rises with the PM refusing to commit to a 5.1 percent increase in the minimum wage. The PM told the audience that wage increases would hurt small business owners and risk further inflaming inflation rises, something that appears to be…uh…not true?

Later on, discussions about policies like renewable energy and immigration remained largely the same stale, depressing lines that we’ve all heard earlier in the election campaign.

One of the spectacular highlights of the final debate was the final question asked by moderator Mark Riley, who asked both politicians to name a good quality about their opponent that they respected (dawwwww).

However before giving the podium over to Morrison, Riley re-iterated the question with a weird turn of phrase, asking the PM to name “one nice thing and one thing that worries you”.

Morrison then launched into a speech praising Albo’s “humble” childhood in public housing, before pivoting to use this “good” quality as a weakness, saying that the opposition leader wasn’t ready for the responsibilities of Prime Minister.

What transpired next was Auspol’s version of that dress, with Riley and other critics dragging Morrison for using the feel-good question as an opportunity to insult Albanese.

To declare a winner of the debate Channel Seven decided to take a literal ‘pub test’, assembled from undecided voters in marginal seats across Australia in their local pubs.

The assumption that the gathered pub voters were undecided in their political persuasions was challenged in an early interview, where an elderly woman repeatedly criticised the PM by calling him “Scotty from marketing”.

The results would eventually declare Albanese the winner, claiming 50% of the vote with Morrison earning 34% and 16% remaining undecided. This however, didn’t stop the official Twitter account for the Young Liberals slavishly claiming the PM as the victor.