Do Australians have a thing about politicians’ ears? Their last leader, Kevin Rudd, was famously filmed in Parliament House extracting and chewing on his own earwax and on Thursday the woman who last month terminated his brief prime ministership, Julia Gillard, was assailed about the size of her earlobes.

The Labour leader showed no embarrassment after claims her earlobes were “so big they could have their own seat in parliament.” Ms. Gillard earlobe fan clubs sprang up on the social networking site Facebook after Sunday’s televised debate between Ms. Gillard and Tony Abbott, her conservative opponent in the August 21 parliamentary election.

“I can’t remember a thing from the debate ... just those earlobes,” one blogger wrote.

Another anonymous poster had it that the prime minister’s appendages were large enough for her to display all her earrings at one go.

Scott Barnes joked “they are so big they could have their own seat in parliament.” While jug—eared Abbott is a gift for cartoonists, Gillard’s lugs are a recent find, courtesy of the televised debate and Gillard wearing her famed red mane a different way.

Serious political analysts deplored the distraction. To ordinary Australians, though, the great earlobe debate merely pointed up the dismal quality of the election campaign so far.

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