51 Times Australian Politics Was Too Fucking Insane To Be Real In 2016

What did we just watch?

1. Let’s start with independent senator Jacqui Lambie who appeared in an Australia Day video saying people don’t take the “Oath of Allegiance” anymore… but she read the wrong oath, instead citing the “Citizen’s Pledge”.

2. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had a long year, but remember the time he gently caressed a pet rat named Splinter in a shopping centre?

3. You do? Good. Well, you may have missed the fact Labor’s Tanya Plibersek was then given a rat by The Chaser. Plibersek adopted the rat, taking it home to her kids.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

If that wasn’t bizarre enough, Plibersek then ran into the same dude with the fucking rat!

4. Immigration minister Peter Dutton had an unreal year. Like that time he accidentally sent a text message to a female journalist calling her a “mad fucking witch”. Good times.

5. There was that time the PM staged a press conference about housing affordability in the front yard of a home owned by a one-year-old.

Dan Himbrechts / AAPIMAGE

6. Or the time the PM did a nice thing by putting $5 in a homeless man’s coffee cup, which of course led to days of debate about whether he did the right thing.

Tracey Nearmy / AAPIMAGE

7. Turnbull signalled his intention to call a double dissolution election and a TV show congratulated him.

.@TurnbullMalcolm I admire your methodology, Prime Minister. If you don't like how the table is set, turn over the table.

— House of Cards (@HouseofCards)

8. What about that time senator Lambie said Aussie soldiers should get “pre-emptive pardons” from all charges of committing war crimes. The defence minister disagreed.

Senator @JacquiLambie says Australian soldiers should get "pre-emptive pardons" if accused of war crimes or breache… https://t.co/9qzI12PmMZ

— Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef)

9. Back to old mate Dutto: His office asked a photographer to take down an unflattering photo, so naturally it became an insane meme.

Peter Dutton #auspol

— Olivia Copse (@OliviaCopse)

10. After some guy wrote an op-ed complaining about kids eating smashed avocado, the avocado became a national symbol of housing stress… because of course it fucking did.

ParlView

11. Labor leader Bill Shorten asked this lovely woman about her favourite type of lettuce. This led to several days of debate about his favourite type of lettuce (he declined to pick one variety).

.@billshortenmp is visting "BIG SAM’S MARKET" in Melbourne today. Fingers crossed we find out his favourite lettuce. https://t.co/86CdcT2FGu

— Alice Workman (@workmanalice)

12. Attorney general George Brandis had a shitty year, but don’t forget about that time he was dragged on the internet because of his weird-looking signature.

@dunkingdad/Twitter

13. There were a lot of high-minded environmental debates in Australia in 2016. Like when a government MP linked renewable energy to child drownings.

ParlView / AAP

14. There was that bizarre “Budgie Nine” story about a bunch of blokes who got arrested for stripping down to speedos at the Malaysian Grand Prix, chanting, “Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi” and drinking beers from shoes.

Getty Images

It just so happened one of the guys was a senior adviser to the defence industry minister Christopher Pyne. He resigned :(

Supplied

15. Malcolm Turnbull came up with a new slogan, “continuity with change”. It just so happened the slogan had been said many times on Veep.

Of course, the star of the show noticed.

I am dumbstruck. @VeepHBO https://t.co/emEjFmWDgE

— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD)

16. The deputy prime minister used a special cream that burned off cancers from his face, leaving him to look like the best walking, talking PSA for sunscreen.

Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

17. Sticking with Joyce… remember that fucking insane video Johnny Depp and Amber Heard filmed to apologise to all of Australia for illegally bringing their little dogs.

Department of Agriculture

What a ridiculous day.

— neggy gearmas ⛄️ (@bortofdarkness)

18. If Pauline Hanson getting re-elected after 20 years wasn’t weird enough, there was that awkward AF encounter on national TV when she found out Sam Dastyari was born Muslim.

ABC Q&A

19. And when some people figured out some of her policies were literally word-for-word Wikipedia entries.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

20. Her colleague, senator Malcolm Roberts, also had a past as a “sovereign citizen” meaning he spelled his name with punctuation in it to escape the government’s clutches.

Supplied

21. Then there was time a petition circulated around parliament calling for changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. There was something ~similar~ about all the people who had signed on.

APH

22. Ross Hart had a good year.

Everything about this is good

— Alex Lee (@alex_c_lee)

23. The “fake tradie” was this year as well. He turned out to be a real tradie.

Liberal party Australia

24. The election was heaps fucking weird tbh. That guy who once allegedly flashed his wang at the ARIAs was out campaigning for the Liberal party.

Duncan McGauchie

25. Treasurer Scott Morrison was coming up with phrases that belonged in a Dr Seuss book.

26. Former PM Tony Abbott dropped into this teen’s wave and the stink-eye was stunning.

27. This seemed like a good idea at the time.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

Yes, that Greg Hunt.

Last week Phil Ruddock wins human rights gig, this week Greg Hunt wins world's best minister, NEXT WEEK: CLIVE PALMER WINS SEXIEST MAN ALIVE

— John Johnsonson (@JohnJohnsonson)

29. An MP was harassed by “Bronies” when he took a My Little Pony into parliament.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

30. Billionaire Clive Palmer was caught counting his money in parliament.

Counting his money #auspol @abcnews @ABCNews24

— Nick Haggarty (@NickHaggarty)

So he also became a meme.

31. Barnaby Joyce announced a plan to kill carp with herpes by just yelling “carp!” a lot.

32. Some protesters literally glued themselves to parliament.

Mick Tsikas / AAP

33. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie dropped a c-bomb on TV.

34. Meanwhile senator Cory Bernardi was so angry about being called a homophobe that he went on a rant at “homophobe mones”.

35. A former rugby league player turned senator was so shitty at the food offered at the PM’s house he went for a Macca’s run.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

36. Malcolm Turnbull cold-called president-elect Donald Trump by getting his phone number through champion golfer Greg Norman.

Getty Images

37. This happened.

38. Turnbull also met with Ludacris. So many questions.

39. Pokémon GO was fucking huge for a while. Of course the whole of Parliament House was infested by zubats.

Alice Workman/BuzzFeed

40. Oh FFS.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

41. Independent MP Bob Katter made an ad that implied he shot two people with a gun… in the same week as the Orlando nightclub massacre.

42. This little kid trolled the hell out of the PM.

Prime Minister @TurnbullMalcolm returned to Canberra today - then things got awkward. #auspol https://t.co/nlNzSbgXHg

— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust)

43. The census went into a full scale meltdown, but not before Malcolm Turnbull tweeted about how easy it was.

We filled in the @ABSCensus tonight online - v easy to do. And so important for planning better Govt services & investment for the future

— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm)

44. Tony Abbott gave a gift to a primary school he was visiting. That gift was, of course, a signed copy of his book.

45. Government MP Dennis Jensen wrote some fantasy war erotica.

The Australian

46. Liberal candidate Chris Jermyn had a really bad election campaign, which wasn’t helped when his Facebook complaints about Dominos from 2013 re-surfaced.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

47. Victorian MP Steve Herbert was forced to resign after it was revealed he had used his ministerial car to transport his little dogs.

Angus Livingston / AAPIMAGE

48. The Senate had a “sleepover”.

Poor @Nick_Xenophon is plum tuckered he has slipped into his PJ's & slippers & he needed a goodnight hug @murpharoo

— Mikearoo (@mpbowers)

49. And it nearly killed us.

If you want a micro nap @samdastyari don't sit behind the person with the call #HotTip

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo)

50. Government MP Wyatt Roy lost his job. So naturally he showed up on the ISIS frontlines in Iraq.

Supplied

51. But really, senator Bill Heffernan summed up 2016 with this bloody perfect expression. Bring on 2017.

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Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.
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