Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Review of the saga, Federal Election by Jo Wanmer


This saga covers the progress of Turnbull attempting to strengthen his political position in Canberra. His antagonist, Shorten, jumps to the challenge and they parry for eight long weeks. The middle of the story was very boring and drawn out. I found the plot weak and the opposition unbelievable. I wanted to throw it aside but I continued to follow because of my personal involvement. At the close of the saga I had to make a choice. This is a ‘choose our own ending’ story.  

But who wants to select the ending when the two offered choices are uninviting and unsatisfactory? So in a vacuum of brilliance, Aussies added other options, leaving us with a Senate voting paper large enough to wrap my fish and chips.  

On the whole, the characters were grey, dull, and strangely alike. Of average height and weight, living in average suburbs, they were both middle aged males. One had more money than the other, one from Sydney and the other Melbourne and although from different political persuasions, their greatest passion was proving someone else wrong. I longed for a flash of brilliance, innovative thinking, sparkling dialogue about an inspiring future. But I found no daring hero or heroine, just average politicians dancing like puppets, trying  to impress as many people as possible. Their performance was aimed at a particular ‘reader target’. In other words, they were boring at best, blatantly dishonest at worst.

At the extreme edges of the saga, both to the right and the left, a few minor characters added colour. Aussie’s gravitated to the brightness and did the unthinkable. They wrote their own ending to this boring saga. The expected clear-cut, tidy ending was dumped. Pauline Hanson, complete with red hair and loud opinions has been resurrected from the dead. Derryn Hinch, the belligerent outspoken human headline, Bob Katter, a big-mouthed cowboy and many colourful others will join Pauline on the cross benches of the Senate. They’ve lived life. They know hard work, great difficulty, broken marriages, small business challenges, financial success and failure. At least two of them have experienced the clang of jail doors. These characters engender a response. Love them or hate them, they are there and will add ongoing frustration and colour for an indeterminate length of time.

When we compare this colour with blue/grey suited, gray haired merchant banker or professional unionist, is it any wonder Aussies have rebelled and tried to write a more interesting ending than the expected three years of never ending blah? Now the unhappy  lead characters struggle to make sense of this new ending.

Colourful characters and passionate plots draw people, lots of people. Look, for example, at the presidential elections in the USA. Love or hate Donald Trump, we know about him! He has made a long boring campaign much more interesting. Why?  Because he breaks the rules, is full of life, stands his ground...and he has shocking hair!
As I ponder the uncertainty of our political future in Australia, I realise the election saga suffers a similar problem to many books, including mine.  The plot is either predictable or unbelievable. The characters are average or caricatures.


So there is a positive in this saga. I’m heading back into the pages of my book to add colour, interest and the unexpected. After all I want my reader to finish my book inspired and satisfied, not lying in bed at night dreaming of a better ending.

Currently Jo Wanmer is enjoying the Queensland sunshine and wind in her hair. When she's not touring with Steve or minding wonderful grandchildren, she's communicating hope. She is a pastor at a small family church at Burpengary called Access and loves speaking anywhere people want to hear of the love of God. 
Her book ‘Though the Bud be Bruised’ was published in 2012 and there are two more novels in the pipeline. Her passion is to bring the love, healing and hope of Jesus to men and women who have walked through life’s valleys. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.




26 comments:

  1. Fabulous post, Jo! You provided a great start to my morning by that colourful post so cleverly done. You must be a WRITER! :) Loved the way you dissected the Aussie political scene. Your pictures were so relevant as well. I'm sorry none of them were picked up when I posted your blog - unfortunately it doesn't always do that - not sure why! Thanks for the reminder too to add colourful characters and passionate plots to our manuscripts. Great piece of writing!

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    1. Thank you Anusha. I had good raw material to work with. Blogger can be very frustrating at times re pictures. Last night I struggled to get it to print all paragraphs in one size. In the end I had to publish in large as normal wanted to do some of it in very small. I guess it was adding colour and extra drama to my experience.

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  2. I wanted colourful characters in our election, but then I remembered that America has them at the moment and I don't like their candidates either!

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    1. I think that if there was brilliance or strength we wouldn't be as attracted by colour!

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  3. LOL - That's hilarious Jo. I wonder if we'll see a red-headed heroine popping up in your novel, with a back story involving fish and chips, jail-time and lots of dancing? Let's hope the real ending of the saga works out better.

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    1. Hey Nola. We live a funny world don't we. Re red haired heroines...we will have to see.

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  4. Great post Jo.
    Can anyone help me with photo copyright info? Want to include some old buildings from the internet in my current non fiction narrative. If no photographer's name is mentioned, I'm assuming photos are in the public domain and can be freely used. Is this the case?

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    1. Thanks Kaye I usually don't use any that have names on them. On this occassion I decided these were public domain.

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    2. Hi Kaye - unless stated otherwise, it's probably better to assume that images on the net have copyright. One way to check might be to contact the website the images are on to ask 1) about copyright & 2) whether you can use them (with permission). Flickr has a large range of public domain for creative commons photos - so that might also be a place to check.

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    3. Sorry - it's late at night - I meant 'Flickr has a large range of public domain or creative commons photos - so that might also be a place to check.' It's always good to check as you can be fined large sums of money (even if you are not using the images for commercial use).

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  5. Not only hilarious but brilliantly written. Enjoyed every word. Started with a huge smile and ended up almost rolling on the floor laughing. Jo, you made my day!

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  6. Love it Jo! I've copied and paste to our son as we've just gotten off the phone saying virtually the same thing. He owns as huge business and is sooooooo frustrated!

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  7. Brilliant was the first word that came to mind... Passing it on as I know my husband will enjoy it as well :)

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    1. Thanks for your encouragment Margaret.

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  8. Great post Jo
    Thanks for the laugh and the encouragement!
    (if only there was a more satisfying ending to this big event!!)

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    1. Thanks Di, but never fear. We can do it all at some unknown time soon!

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  9. That is the best precis of an election I've ever read. Should have been in the newspapers! Must copy it.At least someone had some fun combing through the mess!

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    1. Haha Rita! We need to be able to laugh at ourselves don't we?

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  10. Hi Jo

    Some great points - I like your point that neither the predictable (grey, boring, average) or the unbelievable (extreme,caricatures, stereotypes) are really good results in the end. It helps if our characters have depth and balance & it would be great if our politics did too.

    I did find it very hard to vote in the current election as, from my perspective, both the major parties had polices that were in line with Biblical values and both parties had policies that were against them. Too often I think as Christians we take only part of what the Bible values - personal morality and piety OR the concern for the poor, acceptance of refugees (the 'alien') that goes beyond a personal response - whereas perhaps we should have a wider ambit. But that's my perspective.

    As CWD members have a range political beliefs and loyalties, I do think we need to respect that range of views.

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    1. I found it hard to vote in this election too, and like many moved away from either of the main stream options. I tried hard not to have a bias in this piece. Its not about politics as much about lack of character anywhere except the extremes.

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  11. Hilarious! Thank you for dispelling the 'cloud' - at least until the 'count' is over.

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  12. There is a Christian Values Checklist around. Could Google it for next election. I found it very helpful for my choices for last 2 elections

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  13. As a few above have said Brilliant!
    If editing - I found Jackie Lambie to fit in to the colourful bracket too.
    The mind boggles at Katter Lambie and Hansen in the Senate.
    As Malcolm would say"there's never been a more exciting time"
    I'm excited to see what happens.
    Question:
    Are you continuing to write as the ending unfolds? Some interesting twists here towards the end.
    Parallels in USA and UK are interesting too.

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    1. Hi Sandra. No I wont be continuing to write. I'm not writing about politics, just using it to illustrate a point. Thanks for commenting.

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