"If you’re interested, here are the some possible themes to have emerged this time round.
• The obvious importance of green issues, and their impact, crucially, as vote-shifters. John Howard’s salutary policy announcement during the televised debate focussed on climate change. The all-important seat of Wentworth has almost become a referendum on green issues.
• Housing affordability. Targeting first-time buyers and possibly the parents who are still providing a roof over their heads, Kevin Rudd kicked off his campaign on this very issue.
• Broadband speed is looming larger as a political issue (which is not surprising in Australia, the land of the sluggish internet connection).
• Ditto the availability of hi-tech teaching materials to schoolchildren, like lap-tops (or the “tool box of the future”, as Kevin Rudd calls it).
• Water shortages have featured, but, in this drought-ridden country, not as much as you might have thought.
• This election has been less about big ideas than managerialism: essentially, who is most capable of running the economy, and, arguably, finding practical solutions to meet the challenge of climate change.
• Does Kevin Rudd’s fluency in Mandarin herald the day much later in this century, or perhaps the next, when it’s a much more common diplomatic language?
• This is not Australia’s first internet election but it is its first YouTube election. Is the reason we are seeing politicians ambushed so frequently now because within a few minutes the material can be uploaded onto the web? Political performance art is here to stay.I am sure there are others, but I had better go. I missed the debate the other day between Treasurer Peter Costello and Labor’s deputy leader Julia Gillard, and I’m hoping to catch the re-run. Honest."