A functional analysis of the 2010 Australian Prime Minister debate
This study applied the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse to the July 25, 2010 Australian Prime Minister debate. Attacks were more common than acclaims, both of which occurred more frequently than defenses. Incumbent Prime Minister Gillard acclaimed more, and attacked less, than challenger Abbott. This contrast was particularly acute when the candidates discussed past deeds (record in office). The two candidates discussed policy more than character. When discussing general goals and ideals, they acclaimed more than they attacked. These results are compared with studies of political leaders debates in other countries and elections.
Keywords: Australia 2010, Prime Minister debate, incumbent, challenger, Functional Theory, policy, character
Published online: 22 September 2014
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