'Marginal teats' cartoon by Matt Golding, the Sunday Age, 2007


This is a cartoon by Matt Golding about pork barrelling, where governments spend up big on marginal seats during election campaigns. Prime Minister John Howard is depicted as a giant sow providing succour to the voters of key electorates.

Educational value

Much of 2007 was marked by speculation as to when the federal election would be called. Keeping a close watch on the opinion polls, both major parties jockeyed for positions in marginal seats. The significant budget surplus underwrote many election promises. Labor's tactic of installing celebrity candidates in marginal seats was cause for comment, as was the federal government's takeover of the state-run Mersey Hospital in Tasmania.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Although caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch and the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Matt Golding is a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne. Golding draws political and gag cartoons on a weekly basis for the Sunday Age, the Melbourne Times and the Melbourne Weekly Magazine.

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