By MAMAMIA ROGUE
Is it just us or is this whole election caper feeling a little… lackluster?
Australian politics has always been missing the grand patriotism and stirring rhetoric of our American friends. And even when compared with our nation’s own recent past – we currently don’t have anyone with the quick turn of phrase or razor sharp wit of Gough Whitlam or Paul Keating.
Can you imagine Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivering a speech to the National Press Club about having a dream?
No. He’d just outline his seven point plan for improved programatic specificity.
Can you see Opposition Leader Tony Abbott asking the assembled voters at the Rooty Hill RSL not to think about what their country can do for them but what they can do for their country?
No again. He’d just reel off another three word slogan.
But you know what? An election campaign is only as much fun as you choose to make it. So we’ve decided to inject a little hypothetical inspiration into Australian politics.
We’ve taken one of the most succinct and powerful speeches of all time, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, and used it as a basis for Rudd and Abbott’s next public speeches. For your reference, here is a transcript the original:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
And here is what our pollies would have said: