Politics and pop culture collide on the #ausvotes campaign trail

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Ever since Frank Underwood Tweeted Malcolm Turnbull to congratulate him on his political methodology before the election, we’ve seen a tonne of fantastic Tweets from #ausvotes candidates, commentators and everyday users linking the campaign to their favourite TV shows and movies.

Twitter has always been a good barometer of how Australians and the rest of the world connect with culture, so it’s no surprise that over this marathon election campaign, Twitter users have turned to TV references and memes to add a little more fun and colour to their Tweets.

Even before the campaign officially kicked off, Prime Minister @TurnbullMalcolm was accused of taking inspiration for his campaign slogan from political comedy @VEEPHBO

With the increasing shift towards personality politics in Australian, it seems people are associating the personalities they see on the campaign trail with the on-screen characters they know so well. Here are some of the highlights:

Opposition Leader @billshortenmp is compared to Forrest Gump for his daily running routine and his attire likened to a prison jumpsuit from Orange is the New Black (@OITNB) because of his love of a high vis vest photo opportunity.

Following his public spat with Pirates of the Caribbean star, Johnny Depp, Deputy Prime Minister @Barnaby_Joyce takes it all in his stride posing with a corflute of a parody candidate for the seat of New England.

Senator Joyce’s campaign opponents haven’t been spared, with users comparing Independent candidate @TonyHWindsor’s attempt at a political comeback with Game of Thrones.

But it’s not just the personality comparisons shining through, some pollies have been caught out directly quoting television shows or blockbuster movies.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) directly quoted the character of Frank Underwood from House of Cards during an interview with ABC’s @leighsales.

Federal Minister for Finance @MathiasCormann accused the Opposition of lifting their election playbook straight out of an episode of the The West Wing.

One astute voter even picked up some interesting similarities between a Liberal Party direct mail letter and the speech delivered by Julia Roberts as the character of Anna Scott in Notting Hill.

For more #ausvotes television and film references see this list: