It was a double-dissolution election year, the Olympics were on in Rio, and there was a census. There had never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s skilfully calibrated actions and decisions shaped the final months of the 44th parliament and aimed to decisively influence the makeup of the 45th parliament. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten positioned his team for a make-or-break showdown, while a flurry of independents made their own plans. Around the world, the United States hunkered down for a bruising presidential election, while Britain pondered its future. All of three countries had a date with destiny.
For Australia’s political cartoonists it was another rich year, but one in which their own destinies seemed uncertain as the digital revolution transformed our media.
Welcome to 2016 – the year of political destiny.
2016 was a make-or-break year for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States – three countries with parallel stories and conflicting intentions.
Imagine our news without political cartoons. It is almost unthinkable. In a world where cartoonists are censored, persecuted and even killed, political cartoons are a vital part of Australia’s tradition of free speech. But, like many areas of contemporary life, the digital revolution is sweeping through Australia’s media leaving no aspect untouched – including political cartooning.