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Campaign Diary: "Game on" in election decider


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South Australia’s electoral system has been replaced by the AFL premiership season model, say some key players.

While the state awaits the decision of two independents, every person and his dog are rolling out theories on how it should be judged.

Labor’s “go nuclear” mining minister and all-round numbers man, Tom Koutsantonis tweeted his AFL theory when it became clear that the two-party-preferred vote was going to end at around 53-47 in the Liberals favour.

“Saying you should form govt with 2PP results but less seats is like saying teams should lead the AFL ladder with highest percentage not games won,” he said during the week.

FIVEaa’s David Penberthy took up the notion and explained to listeners on Thursday that the election could be viewed as a premiership ladder with electorates as “games won” and the overall vote as the percentage.

“It’s about winning the most games,” said the avowed Crows fan.

Had Penbo forgotten 1997 and 1998?

The Crows’ dual premiership years were notable for the fact that the Adelaide Football Club won far less minor round games – a mere 13 – than the sides they beat on that “one day in September”.

So, back to the “one day in March” that we had last weekend.

Using the footy analogy the score is: 23 goals 47 behinds to 22 goals 53 behinds.

The score, it appears, is a draw.

In the AFL that would mean fronting up for a replay.

Instead, the two umpires – Such and Brock – will get together and they will make the decision.

Or will they?

What if one goes Liberal and the other decides they can’t make a decision?

The ABC’s Matt Abraham continued the football analogies today when he recalled the “Mal Meninga moment”.

Meninga, a rugby league champion of the ’80s and ’90s, briefly campaigned as an independent in the Australian Capital Territory’s 2001 election.

He declared his candidacy live on ABC Radio – and lasted just 28 seconds before pulling out of the race. It was the shortest political career in history.

“And the thing about that is, I guess, I was a public figure and I was put on the podium where I was just a person out there … I’m buggered, I’m sorry, I have to resign,” he said mid-sentence.

Could one of the independents have a Mal moment?

The Australian’s Michael Owen today predicted “four years of chaos and instability”.

Next week might be even more chaotic.

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