Curiouser & Curiouser

Follow us down the rabbit hole for an exploration of the strange and topsy-turvy Wonderland of politics.

What a strange and unnerving political world it was in 2018! This year Behind the Lines is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the classic tale of a young girl who falls down a very deep rabbit hole into a topsy-turvy world where nothing is quite as it seems.

The comparison with federal parliament seems particularly apt—politicians from across the parliament were felled by the Constitution’s Section 44, a former prime minister loomed ominously over his party, and the deputy prime minister was replaced.

To top it all off, some in the federal Liberal Party decided a change of leader was essential, giving the long-suffering public its sixth prime minister in 11 years.

To many people, including cartoonists, it felt as though the world of politics just kept getting ‘curiouser and curiouser’.

Think our national political life is accelerating? That it’s as if some unseen deity has surreptitiously rested a finger on the fast-forward button? Politics used to be boring, punctuated only from time to time by something genuinely attention-grabbing. Not anymore. Now, it seems, it’s the dull days that are uncommon. Tumult is the new norm.

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Nothing better represents the important role of a free press in a healthy democracy than political cartooning. And Australia is blessed with outstanding cartoonists from across the political spectrum — cartoonists who are mainstream, regional, digital and, increasingly, independent.

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