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Time to get off the election campaign bus (and onto a motorbike)

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It’s time for political campaigns to go the full mock-up.

All that is required are a couple of large warehouses, each with a selection of factory equipment on one side, a food market on the other, and a few dozen extras capable of playing the parts of tradies, shoppers and the occasional hospital patient.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten (foreground) meets with workers at the Volgren bus facility in Perth, WA, on Wednesday.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Wheel in the TV cameras and the journos and a stray candidate or two and hey presto, you’ve got your ersatz election campaigns covered.

Think we’re joking here?

True, it’s not going to happen. But there is reason to be facetious.

Today’s election offensives have all the drama, authenticity and substance of a low-rent soapie filmed on a soundstage.

You’ve seen one prime minister or opposition leader in a high-viz jacket, and you’ve seen them all.

The journalists assigned to follow Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten around the country on planes and buses and through the entrails of a thousand factories during this election period are, of course, performing a valuable task.

In the past, this was known (quietly) as a “death watch”.

Should a leader blunder so badly that his (or, once, her) party’s campaign enters a fatal spiral, or, heaven forbid, one of them actually expired, you’d want to be there to report it.

But there’s not much more point to what's become of this ritualised circus.


Leaders and their campaign staffers - and particularly this time, Morrison and his people, because they are on the back foot -........

© Brisbane Times