Steve Irwin

The Poll Bludger sends his condolences to the family of Steve Irwin, dead at 44.

Would it be insensitive of me to note that the death of possibly the world’s most famous Queenslander is another setback for a Coalition that needs every bit of news space it can get in the final week of the campaign? Perhaps. But don’t imagine that such thoughts aren’t going through the minds of Queensland political operators right now.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

13 comments on “Steve Irwin”

  1. I too extend my sympathies to Steve Irwin’s family – a dreadful tragedy!
    Yes, the last thing the Qld Coalition needed in the last week of the election campaign.
    Today’s Australian newspaper: the Labor party thinks it has a chance of winning back Gaven from the Nationals.

  2. It would be even more insensitve of me, but absolutely truthful, to state that today Bruce Flegg decided to scrap Beatties Land Clearing Ban and Wild Rivers policies. These are the two most important pieces of environmental legislation in Queensland, and up until now have been supported by the liberals but opposed by the nationals. Flegg changed that this morning. Then the news of steve’s death came, and as our foremost ambasador for the environement and protecting native animals, bruce fleggs policy backflip is like spitting on steve’s legacy.

    Shame on the liberals. And i mourn the loss of a great man.

  3. This campaign has been plauged by many deaths it seems… don’t want to jinx myself. Tribute to a great aussie icon. He was a true aussie larrikin – something left of a dying aussie culture. [paul hogan and even mark latham come to mind in that catergory] He will be sorely missed. [I just hope the Qld Labor Party dont take cheap shots at the liberals in re: scrapping environ policy on the eve of irwins death…. then again maybe this happened for a reason and needs to be highlighted in the political campaign]

  4. Politics_Obsessed: “I just hope the Qld Labor Party dont take cheap shots at the liberals in re: scrapping environ policy on the eve of irwins death…. ”

    I’m pretty sure beattie has enough political sense not to exploit his death. But surely the media should have the guts to say what has to be said – that the coallitions policies are a disaster for steves legacy.

  5. The election campaign is over. It ended this morning. Irwin’s death is a tragedy. He is the the most famous Australian in the world and will surely be awarded a state funeral in Brisbane. The Liberals will lose spectactularly, though I am predicting the Nationals vote to hold well and for there to be a general swing in their favour.

  6. I’m a political junkie, but confess I did not even consider news of this death as an event with political ramifications.

    Voters, unlike US Presidents, can walk and chew gum at the same time. Yes, they are easily titillated – that was Irwin’s forte. Others film, study, care for the world’s fauna. He cajoled it as part of his showmanship, and that was his life and death. But wild animals don’t vote (on the contrary) and people over the age of 12, outside the poor folk of Landsborough shire who owed their jobs to Irwin, will quickly move on.

  7. A tragedy really.

    But to compare Mark Latham to Steve Irwin??? I don’t think I ever heard Irwin say anything bad about anyone, he was generous, enthusiatic and happy. On the other hand, Latham was vitriolic and mean, evidenced by his comments about Bush, Staley, Albrechtsen and others. Latham should never be categorised as somebody Aussies should aspire to be like.

  8. I think it is unwise to assume that the effect of such unexpected events will run a particular way. During the 1999 Victorian campaign it was assumed that the events in East Timor would starve the opposition of oxygen and make it even harder for them to get elected. Likewise the Crows premiership in the middle of the 1997 SA campaign.

    Afterwards, when both elections turned out much better for the oppositions than anyone expected people started to think that in some ways these events probably helped them (the Victorian theories on how had some credibility IMHO, while I never could get my head around the South Australian explanations).

    BTW, I found Irwin’s style incredibly grating, but clearly many people loved it and will miss his work enormously, and of course its a tragedy for such a young family.

  9. Premier Bleattie of course instantly sniffed the punters’ move with his promise of a ‘state’ funeral.

    I do trust the Americans will bury Evil Kneivel in Arlington…

  10. Keeping up the insensitive electoral speculation, Irwin’s Australia Zoo is in the marginal Labor seat of Glass House. As others have commented about the statewide campaign, Irwin’s death shouldn’t directly change votes in that electorate but may harm the Coalition by starving them of airplay, perhaps more so there than in the rest of the state. Not that anyone seems to think Labor’s in any trouble in Glass House anyway.

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