Meet Australia's alternate prime minister Bill Shorten.
The Labor leader loves his phone to keep up-to-date and text his MPs to crunch the numbers.
He was back at it over the weekend, marshaling his allies to significant votes on marriage equality and asylum seeker policy at his party's national conference in Melbourne.
BuzzFeed News thought that we'd ~slide~ into his Twitter DMs to interview him and get to know more about the man who would be Australia's next prime minister.
Like all politicians, Shorten has been criticised for avoiding tough questions. We decided it was only appropriate to put them in the most direct format: "would you rathers."
This is what happened...
We started by posing him a stickler about his two big left wing rivals: rugby league mad Anthony Albanese and formidable public speaker Penny Wong.
Next we moved to his love of truly groanworthy Dad-like political point scoring.
Sticking with the theme, we adapted a classic "would you rather" form.
Then we moved to something a bit more serious. The ALP has just adopted a "turnback" policy for asylum seeker boats...
There are several important differences between the Abbott government's policy and Shorten's:
- The ALP would only turnback boats coming from Indonesia
- It would end the media blackout of reporting boat arrivals
- It would also double the refugee intake to 27,000
Reflecting on Shorten's answer to the "would you rather" it appears he'd rather be prime minister with the government's controversial policy, than not be PM with Australia having the ALP's "more humane" approach.
Next we asked about whether he'd rather see the Labor party's anti-LGBT right wing powerbroker Joe De Bruyn or the Liberal party's more moderate Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister.
Shorten kept the ALP's conscience vote on marriage equality, much to the disappointment of LGBT activists. So we asked him about how far he'd go to get marriage equality passed.
For our penultimate question we wanted to know about what would be more embarrassing for the man.
And finally, how haunted he was from being saddled with bringing down two former Labor prime ministers.
... a face saving end to a very revealing Twitter DM.
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Alex Lee at email@example.com.
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