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Bizarre moments from the 2022 federal election campaign

Federal election campaigns are not quite as dry as Weetbix sandwiches, but you’d you’d hardly invite your mates around to watch the highlights over a beer.

But the six-week festival of political pleading can produce a few memorable moments between the long-winded explanations of why you should vote for one of the 1,624 candidates.

Who could forget Mark Latham’s aggro handshake with John Howard in 2004? Less well known but even stranger was Liberal candidate Jaymes Diaz’s six point plan to stop the boats in 2013 that had only one point. 

Then there was the shocking moment would-be One Nation candidate Mark Ellis was forced to deny kidnapping three children in a forgettable ‘ask-me-anything’ twitter discussion in 2017.

These are some of the strangest moments from the 2022 campaign since it kicked off on April 10, and a few from the weeks before when the country was campaigning in all but name.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese suffered a few gaffes on the campaign trail in an election that has produced no shortage of bizarre moments

All was not weld for the Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison is known for his love of a good photo opportunity and with a likely poll date in mind, he ramped up his photo ops in early 2022. 

To be fair it’d be hard to do them all perfectly. 

The PM’s ukulele rendition of the classic song April Sun in Cuba upset music fans, while footage of his accidental crash tackle on a child while playing soccer will be replayed for years.

But the pick of his awkward moments had to be his welding mishap at an Alice Springs factory.

The Prime Minister donned PPE including a safety visor during a visit to a workshop in Alice Springs but lifted the mask as he touched the blazing arc of a welding torch to a metal beam

The Prime Minister donned PPE including a safety visor during a visit to a workshop in Alice Springs but lifted the mask as he touched the blazing arc of a welding torch to a metal beam

Poll

Who would you rather have a beer with?

  • Scott Morrison 0 votes
  • Anthony Albanese 0 votes

He lifted his protective helmet moments before he touched the blazing arc of the welding torch to a metal beam on video, prompting tradies across the country to scream ‘safety breach!’. 

Mr Morrison’s defensive response to his stuff up was: ‘So if people want to have a chip at me because I’m not a good welder, well, that’s not my day job.’

‘If all the narcs in the bubble want to have a crack at me, well, they can. But what I’m doing is showcasing the great work of our apprentices and small businesses.’

Australians have reacted in horror after Scott Morrison posted a photo of his family curry night, with social media users pointing out the 'chicken is still raw'

Australians have reacted in horror after Scott Morrison posted a photo of his family curry night, with social media users pointing out the ‘chicken is still raw’

Mr Morrison’s dodgy curry post

The prime minister talking up his curry and economy in the same Facebook post has to go down as one of the most random pieces of electioneering in Australian history.

Mr Morrison regularly posted his South Asian cooking adventures on his social media pages, where opinions on his culinary prowess were divisive.

But one creation had many Australians in uproar when some of the chicken in a traditional Sri Lankan meal looked raw.

The tamarind eggplant and okra dish alongside steamed rice and a classic chicken korma with the cheeky caption: ‘Strong Curry. Strong Economy. Stronger Future.’ 

But eagle-eyed commenters said his family are also going to need ‘strong stomachs’ with a portion of the chicken korma appearing dangerously undercooked.

Mr Morrison later insisted: ‘I can assure you, the chicken was cooked.’ 

An Italian porn cartoonist whose twitter handle is @albo has been tagged countless times in recent years by people mistaking him for Anthony Albanese.

An Italian porn cartoonist whose twitter handle is @albo has been tagged countless times in recent years by people mistaking him for Anthony Albanese.

The erotic cartoonist who offered Anthony Albanese his services

An Italian porn cartoonist whose twitter handle is @albo has been tagged countless times in recent years by people mistaking him for Anthony Albanese.

Its only increased during the election, with people failing again and again to write the Labor leader’s handle correctly – @AlboMP.  

When he was asked by Australian political website Crikey what he thought of the 2022 election, the erotic cartoonist responded: ‘If he needs an erotic cartoonist, I am at his disposal.’

And predictably, he endorsed the other Albo – hoping it would mean more followers and maybe even some saucy commissions.

The Italian Albo said people had been mistaking him for the Aussie one for a decade.

Albo’s ‘borders are closed’ Biden moment?

Mr Albanese tried to stuff and entire sausage sanger in his gob in a weird way and forgot Reserve Bank’s cash rate and the unemployment rate – numbers first year business students would be flunked for not knowing.

But his most bizarre moment came two days out from the poll when he insisted on ABC News breakfast that people are ‘doing it tough’ because ‘our borders are closed’.

This is despite the fact Australia’s borders re-opened in February.

Later in a press conference later in the morning, the Labor leader said he meant to say the borders were closed.

‘The borders were closed. The borders were closed,’ he said.

A close second for Albo’s weirdest campaign moment came when he told a dog he was holding that ‘I’m running for prime minister’ – in a pretend dog voice. 

Albo the ‘loose unit’

Scott Morrison saw his chance when the Labor leader said he would support a 5.1 per cent increase in the minimum wage, dubbing him a ‘loose unit’ on the economy.

The younger, cooler Albo, before he started to forget, well pretty much everything

The younger, cooler Albo, before he started to forget, well pretty much everything

Mr Morrison, never lost for words when it comes to strong political rhetoric said ‘[Albanese] just unzips his head and lets everything fall on the table.’ 

Labor’s brains trust embraced the ‘loose unit’ label in its meaning as a fun mate who like to have a good time in a cheeky TikTok.

The TikTok video begins with Mr Morrison’s ‘loose unit’ remark, and cuts to clips of Mr Albanese DJing and speaking to applauding crowds.

His team also produced a memorable graphic widely shared on social media of a younger, much cooler Albo with cigarette dangling from his lips.  

A music producer dressed as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un gatecrashed a campaign event attended by Scott Morrison

A music producer dressed as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un gatecrashed a campaign event attended by Scott Morrison 

‘Kim Jong Un’ hits the campaign trail

A music producer dressed as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gatecrashed a campaign event held by Scott Morrison with Gladys Liu at Extel Technologies manufacturing facility in Mount Waverley on Friday May 13.

As election trail stunts go, it was cheeky, but the campaign staff – from party handlers to journalists – tore into the stunned impersonator, who probably expected some cheap laughs and a quick exit.

He accused Liberal MP Gladys Liu of being a communist before saying he supported the Liberal candidate for Chisholm 

‘If you want the Chinese Communist Party to be in control of Australia, vote Liberal,’ he said. 

On social media a photo of the recommended ballot card was posted with two tenth options and no eighth.

On social media a photo of the recommended ballot card was posted with two tenth options and no eighth.

One Nation how to vote card blunder

Nick Suduk, One Nation’s candidate for Hawke, was left red-faced after issuing a How to Vote card that would not have been counted, if followed.

On social media a photo of the recommended ballot card was posted with two tenth options and no eighth.

It was shared on social media by a popular twitter account with the title ‘The time One Nation gave out How To Vote instructions that would get your vote ballot chucked in the bin.’

The Australian Electoral Commission confirmed that if voters followed the card’s suggestion the vote would have been rendered informal – which means not counted.

The post was corrected and re-published. 

One Nation did not respond to questions about the card.  

A Sky news reporter confronted Ms Le about the voicemail while on the 2022 campaign trail

She denied knowledge of it and challenged the network to 'play it'. So Sky's Andrew Clennell did

Ms Le denied knowledge of the controversial voicemail and challenged the network to ‘play it’. So Sky’s Andrew Clennell did

Independent Dai Le’s voicemail dare own goal

Independent Fowler candidate Dai Le appeared to kick a significant own goal when she dared a Sky news reporter to play a voicemail she left claiming to be in charge of the Cabramatta Liberals.

So Sky’s political editor, Andrew Clennell. did just that.

What made it one of the most cringeworthy moments of the campaign was that Ms Le was suspended by the party for 10 years in 2016 for running against its official candidate, Joe Molluso, as an independent.

Ms Le, deputy mayor of Fairfield, is considered an outside chance of upsetting Ms Keneally in Fowler, who was parachuted in to replace the retiring Labor member Chris Hayes.

Police spoke to the cavemen but left the scene as they weren't causing any problems

Police spoke to the cavemen but left the scene as they weren’t causing any problems

Cavemen’s political point goes extinct 

Award for the poorest preparation in a campaign stunt would have gone to three ‘cavemen’ who attempted to make a point to Mr Morrison at Perth that they refused to explain and nobody understood. 

The prime minister’s public appearance at a Perth Bunnings took a bizarre turn as it was interrupted by protesters dressed as prehistoric humans.

Mr Morrison arrived in the seat of Cowan to speak with locals but instead he was met by three men wearing dresses and wielding clubs who could only say ‘ooga booga’. 

The three cavemen are believed to have worn the costumes in reference to Mr Morrison calling Western Australians ‘cave people’ for keeping the border closed during the Covid pandemic. 

The grunting trio left the scene after being confronted by police.

Scott Morrison saw a public appearance at a Perth Bunnings interrupted by protesters dressed as cavemen

Scott Morrison saw a public appearance at a Perth Bunnings interrupted by protesters dressed as cavemen

One Nation ghost candidates

One of the stranger stories from the election was the non-appearance of so-called ‘ghost’ One Nation candidates.

Narelle Seymour, standing in the seat of Hughes, in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, wasn’t seen in two months of campaigning and later said to actually live 450km away in Wagga Wagga.

Up to 12 of the party’s candidates were said to live outside the electorate they are standing in.

Tracey Bell-Henselin, who lives in Queensland but is registered as the One Nation candidate for Richmond in northern NSW, was another. 

She failed to appear at a meet-the-candidates event and her profile still hadn’t appeared on the party’s website two days out from the poll. 

The Australian Electoral Commission confirmed there is no legal requirement for candidates to live in the same electorate but acknowledged most voters would reasonably expect a local to represent them. 

Malcolm Heffernan, right, is pictured with former senator Fraser Anning - he stood as a candidate for Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party in the WA seat of Canning at the 2019 Federal election

Malcolm Heffernan, right, is pictured with former senator Fraser Anning – he stood as a candidate for Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party in the WA seat of Canning at the 2019 Federal election

Mr Palmer announced during his speech a populist policy to cap home loan interest rates at three per cent for the next five years

Mr Palmer announced during his speech a populist policy to cap home loan interest rates at three per cent for the next five years

Clive Palmer blames invisible protester for his tumble

Billionaire mining tycoon turned politician Clive Palmer thought he was tackled by a protester when he fell off a stage on April 16 and hit his head.

Mr Palmer, 68, was knocked out in the fall at a rehearsal for his United Australia Party campaign launch at his Coolum resort on the Sunshine Coast.

First-aid was administered and he was taken to hospital and later discharged, after a brain scan, with a nasty egg on his head but thankfully recovered.

‘It took me back to when I played for Southport Tigers rugby league… When I came to I looked around to see who’d tackled me,’ Palmer later said.

In extraordinary scenes, the woman (pictured right) crushed an egg on the back of Mr Kelly's head before declaring he was a 'Nazi lover' and a 'piece of s*it'

In extraordinary scenes, the woman (pictured right) crushed an egg on the back of Mr Kelly’s head before declaring he was a ‘Nazi lover’ and a ‘piece of s*it’

Craig Kelly’s ‘high calibre’ people

The revelation that more than 10 per cent of United Australia Party candidates have faced court in the past, or face ongoing matters may have raised eyebrows but it didn’t bother the party’s number two, Craig Kelly.

‘These are at least some of the highest-calibre people I’ve met in my life,’ when asked about the character of the party’s candidates, Mr Kelly told The Australian on May 18.

One is Blaxland candidate Elvis Sinosic, former UFC fighter and anti-lockdown warrior, who was charged with possessio of a knife in a public place in 2021.

Another is Adam Jannis, who was on a stalking and intimidation charge in 2014. he was convicted and sentenced to a good behaviour bond.

Kelly himself was egged on the campaign trail by a woman who repeatedly yelled at him to ‘stop hanging out with Nazis’.

To Kelly’s credit, he responded in a relatively civilised manner. 

In case you’re wondering, the rough percentage of the population who have committed a crime is about two per cent, according to ABS data. 

The timing by Family Voice to name Pauline Hanson 'mother of the year' in the middle of an election campaign was a bit weird

The timing by Family Voice to name Pauline Hanson ‘mother of the year’ in the middle of an election campaign was a bit weird

Pauline – Mother of the year

Nobody is doubting Pauline Hanson is a good mum to her four children, but the timing by Family Voice to name her ‘mother of the year’ in the middle of an election campaign was a bit weird.

Plus, Hanson didn’t even know she’s been nominated.

Hanson, now 67, has been responsible for a glittering line-up of memorable and infamous moments in Australian political history but in the 2022 campaign at least, she was relatively quiet.

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