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Footy ump would have been great in election debate

Mark Knight, May 12, 2022 6:00PM Kids News

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If only Channel 9 had called in a footy umpire to adjudicate “The Great Debate” between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, says Mark Knight in his latest cartoon. media_cameraIf only Channel 9 had called in a footy umpire to adjudicate “The Great Debate” between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, says Mark Knight in his latest cartoon.

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The leaders of the two major political parties agreed to three debates during the six-week election campaign.

Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese would debate each other over their policies and plans for the future of the nation.

The first debate went ahead on Sky News with a studio audience and a moderator*. The audience got to ask questions of the candidates and it all went fairly smoothly.

Two weeks later we had the second debate. This time we had a moderator and three journalists from the Nine Media group.

Scott Morrison And Anthony Albanese Take Part In Second Leaders' Debate Ahead Of Federal Election media_cameraThe second election debate between Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Prime Minister Scott Morrison included a moderator and three other journalists from the Nine Media group. Picture: Getty Images

It unfortunately turned into a bit of a shouting match, with the moderator struggling to pull them into line. ScoMo and Albo talked over each other and it sounded like a free-for-all.

I imagined the scene if they were just left to go at it!

My drawing took shape based on one candidate taking offence at the other’s answer.

I drew the PM leaving his lectern* and hitting the opposition leader with a shirt-front tackle you might see on the footy field.

Albo is not going down lightly though as he lays into the PM. We see both of them, like in one of those bar room brawl scenes in a western movie, crashing through “The Great Debate” banner, bringing it and the studio lighting down. Lecterns are knocked over and paper debating notes are sent flying.

The moderator stands at her lectern aghast* at what is happening, just as she did during the actual debate.

Scott Morrison And Anthony Albanese Take Part In Second Leaders' Debate Ahead Of Federal Election media_cameraThe second debate turned into a bit of a shouting match between Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: Getty Images

In drawings of this type, creating the feeling of movement is important, getting the poses right as well as objects flying about. You are trying to take a “freeze-frame” of the action.

The cartoon is about the fact that the debate got out of control, so I wanted to show how it could have been better adjudicated*.

Because I had drawn Albo and ScoMo in a football-like tackle pose, I quickly came to the idea that the moderator should not have been a journalist, but instead a football umpire with a very loud whistle! An umpire would have brought them to attention. Maybe even a few penalty free kicks too.

So I added my umpire, with a whistle.

Now come to think of it, I reckon that it is a pretty good idea for the next federal election television debate!

GLOSSARY

  • moderator: person who is in charge of a discussion, meeting or debate
  • lectern: a tall stand that is used to support a book or notes as someone speaks
  • aghast: filled with horror or shock
  • adjudicated: judged

EXTRA READING

Australia is off to the polls

Political leaders ready for election showdown

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Which television channel hosted the first debate between the prime minister and opposition leader?
  2. Besides the two political leaders, who was on the second debate?
  3. What movie scene does Mark Knight compare his drawing of the fighting leaders to?
  4. How does Mark try to create a feeling of movement in his cartoon?
  5. Why does Mark decide to include a football umpire in his cartoon?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. What happens next?
Imagine this cartoon is part of a story that is made up of three cartoons. The three cartoons tell a complete story, and Mark’s cartoon is the start of the story. Think about what the story could be and draw the next two cartoons that tell the story.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
Being able to draw is only one of the skills needed to be a great cartoonist. Write a list of all of the other skills that you think cartoonists like Mark need to do their job.

Next to each skill, write a sentence that explains why that skill is important or helps them to do a great job.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability, Media Arts, Visual Communication Design

VCOP ACTIVITY
Stretch your sentence
Choose one of the people in the cartoon.

Write down three adjectives to describe them better.

Now add a verb to your list. What are they doing?

Add an adverb about how they are doing the action.

Using all the words listed, create one descriptive sentence to describe this person.

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