We’ve been playing a little game in the office called Where in the World is Tony Abbott? It’s a little bit like the geography game played as children—Where in the World is Carmen San Diego—but far less educational, instructive and, well, productive.

And as we scour the interweb and twitterverse, we find we’re not the only ones playing the game. In fact, the game started up pretty much straight after the election, as a national hunt got underway for the incredible vanishing Prime Minister.

So far, sightings have been rare. Just eight press conferences, in fact, since the Abbott government came to power.

Even our esteemed colleague Laurie Oakes has been playing with the Abbott Government, and losing. In a piece he wrote in the Herald Sun recently, Oakes politely suggested the government’s wish to keep a lower profile than the Rudd/Gillard years was all well and good, but “that does not relieve the Government of a responsibility to keep the public informed”.

A week or so later, Oakes seems a little more cranky about the chase. And when Laurie Oakes comes up empty, that’s a story in itself.

Despite the increasing rumblings from journos, it appears the government is committed to maintaining its no-news-is-good-news tactic and keeping us all in the dark. All we’re left to do is keep on the hunt, keep playing the game, and keep asking questions—just know, though, that they probably won’t get answered. Why? Because they can get away with it. And, it seems, they are held to different standards than the previous government.

And mainstream political media channels have been so tied up on the hunt for some (largely uninformative) sound bites from PM Abbott and his ministerial team,  they have forgotten to hold them to account, at least to the same scrutiny of the previous government.

So perhaps it’s time to put down our spyglasses and crank up the pressure for some accountability. Maybe some of the tactics that were so effective in undermining the previous government should be called for…



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