We’ve had a concentrated dose of Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten of late as they race for the Lodge, throwing into sharp relief their personality differences. It began to resonate with me that every time I saw Shorten on the screen, there was an aura of brittle unease emanating from my TV, in sharp contrast to the friendly, often smiling aura that Morrison produced through the electronic fog.
Shorten is short on smiles; his demeanour is dour for much of the time, grumpy or grizzly or whiny the rest. That’s why the one time he showed something other than this fingers-on-chalkboard side of his personality – tears – the media swooned. It was a shocking departure from his image.
So which of these two leaders would you like to see on your daily screen over the next three years? Which face and presentation style has a positive vibe, which does not? You can answer that for yourself; for me and myself, I would prefer Morrison. It helps that he doesn’t promise the clattering incompetence of a suite of Labour promises that will turn Australia into a junkyard of bad ideas wrapped in good intentions smashed on the road to reality.
But of course, outward signs of personality are not why we elect politicians. On the other hand, we all know instinctively that someone who instantly makes us feel uncomfortable is hard to accept as a leader. The polls have always shown him as unpopular. The additional problem behind Shorten’s grim face is the baggage he carries, a mix of untrustworthiness and conniving posturing. Morrison doesn’t have to carry these bags around. Maybe that’s why he smiles more.
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