THE Liberal wore a striped tie, the Labor man didn’t bother at all and the Sex Party candidate went “casual”.
But most surprisingly, Greenie Tim Emanuelle not only scored points for being the best dressed on the night, but he looked polished and performed eloquently, scoring plenty of applause throughout.
It was a refreshing change from The Standard’s 2010 Wannon candidate forum when the best clanger of the night came from the Greens candidate: “We’re gonna tax all the bad things to pay for all the good things.”
Therese Corbett, representing the Australian Christians, was abysmal — and that’s being complimentary.
Her answers were confusing and she shuffled through notes, obviously trying to find her party’s stand on particular issues.
But the question needs to be asked. How far can one foot go down one’s throat before you actually suffocate? Blaming the media for her predicament, after she was kicked out of the Katter Party before being picked up by the Christian party, totally backfired.
She had been quoted as comparing gay and lesbian people with paedophiles, which she later refuted.
But Ms Corbett went even further last night. Replying to a question from the moderator about whether she actually knew any homosexuals, she said yes she did — “and I know some paedophiles as well” — in the same sentence. (He never asked about paedophiles).
That response brought a gasp of shock from the audience — and the panel — as Mrs Corbett tried to explain her views: “They do both practise the same sexual activity” Unfortunately, she went on, saying same-sex marriage was not an important issue for Parliament.
“It’s quite detrimental because it’s not a natural or healthy upbringing for a child.”
This gave Mr Emanuelle his opening and he didn’t hold back.
“As a same-sex attracted person who is a youth worker, I find that detestable,” Mr Emanuelle seethed.
“Comments like that have a direct impact on young people in our community.”
It was an unusual exchange for a Wannon forum, but there were plenty of other questions on conservative topics as well.
Barling on roads: “I nearly lost my van in a pothole today.”
Johnson on immigration: “We don’t have an explicit policy on refugees but it won’t be resolved in sound bites.”
Tehan on the NBN: “The NBN was designed on the back of a beer coaster.’’
Barling on the NBN: “And Hockey’s costings were designed on a restaurant napkin.’’
Tehan on agriculture: “We do need to make sure our supermarket system is competitive.”
Emmanuelle on workplace relations: “Australians do $72 billion of unpaid overtime every year.”
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to hear from Family First candidate Craig Haberfield, who was an apology last night. As for the Palmer United man — well, he is just missing in action.