Updated: Includes negative reaction to Kevin Rudd’s Reddit AMA.
In all four of the five weeks of the 2013 Federal election campaign the trends in memes - Twitter hashtags, image macros, viral videos, joke websites - are decidedly anti-LNP. There are very few right wing memes, and those that have started have often been co-opted (e.g. #ImVotingLiberal). This ‘people’s comment’ is counter to what both sides might claim about bias in media reportage, and apparently counter to poll trends–at least in terms of visibility, although of course the visibility of memes is unlikely to be an accurate indicator of electoral sentiment.
This left-wing trend in Australian election memes mimics the trends in the United States Federal elections (as I have noted in a prior post about who generates election memes). In those elections the Right tends to dominate both the metaphorical language and the process of distribution in official-to-grassroots ‘message of the day’ ‘slogan-eering’, as George Lakoff has noted in his book “Don’t Think of an Elephant” (Video).
The Left, however, tends to dominate reactive responses in a grassroots fashion, with snarky critique of gaffes, falsehoods, and retorts.
The one glaring exception is the negative reaction to Kevin Rudd’s Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). Rudd was roundly scorned by (frequently left-leaning) Redditors for dodging difficult questions, especially to top-rated question about Australia’s response to the NSA PRISM surveillance issue.
I have collected as many as I can find in the Storify below for your perusal. Today’s fun includes the now-trending #tonyabbottfilms, e.g. “The Devil wears Speedos”. The collection is only roughly curated at present, with little explanatory material. At the end of the election I hope to flesh it out into a more full explanation and analysis. If you know of memes that are not included, please let me know in the comments.