LISA – I didn’t know you played poker, Marianne.

MARIANNE – It’s not poker. It’s a new game called Identity Politics.

LISA – How does it work?

MARIANNE – Each player is a candidate in a local election. The goal is to put together the best combination of cards to win the election. How about I deal a demonstration hand to show you.


MARIANNE – In Identity Politics, that means you’ve got the backing of the Labour Council, social justice warriors, the LGBT community and the pro-development lobby.

LISA – Those are strong cards to be holding going into an election.

MARIANNE – Believe me, Lisa, I know that as well as you do.

LISA – But don’t you need five cards to make a hand?

MARIANNE – The fifth card is the wild card.

LISA – And what’s that?

MARIANNE – The wild card is the state of mind of voters. If voters are happy, then a strong hand is going to win every time. But if voters are angry, then all rules get thrown out the window. Take Dino in 2014. He went into the election with a hand that you would have thought was unbeatable, but even that wasn’t enough to overcome the anger over the Johnson Street bridge.

LISA – Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about the bridge anymore.

MARIANNE – I wouldn’t rest too easy, Lisa. This has the makings of the most hotly contested election in the history of Victoria—with more than a few wild cards thrown into the mix.