Why Gillard's contest will be surreal

Between a sheltered electorate, journalists grasping to amplify their own voices and little substantial difference between Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard, the next eight months will feel as dreamlike as the past week.

Ignore for a moment the 'chaos' enveloping the Gillard government. This is hard to do because it has been embraced with gleeful commitment by the Canberra press gallery and by the ever-multiplying number of commentators who are in a ceaseless life and death struggle with each other to be heard.

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