A Functional Analysis of 2013 Australian Member of Parliament and Prime Minister Debates

William L. Benoit, Jennifer M. Benoit-Bryan


Kevin Rudd (Labor) engaged in two election debates in 2013: first for his seat in Parliament (Griffith) and then for Prime Minister. In seeking re-election to his Griffith seat he was challenged by Bill Glasson (Liberal), Geoff Ebbs (Green), and Karen Hunter (Palmer United). He faced Tony Abbott (Liberal) in the PM Debate. This study content analyses these two debates: an August 6, 2013 Member of Parliament debate and an August 11, 2013 Prime Minister debate. Acclaims were more common in these two debates than attacks; defenses were the least common function. Statements about policy outnumbered those on policy. In each debate, when the candidates discussed record in office (past deeds), the incumbent acclaimed more and attacked less than the challenger. More acclaims and fewer attacks addressed general goals and ideals.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/smc.v3i2.882


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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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