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Thursday, 16 June 2016
Australia MP Bob Katter 'shoots rivals dead' in election ..
Australian politician Bob Katter has defended a video that depicts him killing his electoral rivals.
Mr Katter is an independent country politician from north Queensland.
In the ad, he is seen blowing on a puff of smoke from a toy gun with the bodies of two "faceless men" from the major parties lying dead in the dirt.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on Mr Katter to withdraw the ads, which were "in the worst of taste".
But 71-year-old Mr Katter, who heads Katter's Australia Party and represents the electorate of Kennedy, said he thought the ads were "brilliant" and "screamingly funny".
Comedy and tragedy
The ad, made with the help of satirical website Betoota Advocate, begins with members of the Labor Party and the Liberal-National coalition hammering a sign into the ground that reads "Australia for sale".
Mr Katter tosses the sign on the ground, and when it is replaced, uses a large black market to alter the sign to "Australia not for sale", before cutting to the scene with the gun.
"I think most people will enjoy the humour. I thought it was very funny, I must admit," he told the ABC.
"What's not funny is the selling off of this country. We hate it and we're tenaciously opposed to it."
Queensland Senator Barry O'Sullivan called the ad "abhorrent" and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said it was "unfortunate".
On the Sunrise breakfast television program, presenter David Koch pressed Mr Katter on why he released the video so soon after a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Mr Katter responded that there were similar advertisements that did not cause controversy and also claimed not to be aware of the shooting.
Analysis: Shaun Davies, Australia Editor, BBC News website
If this is the best Australia has to offer in the way of political scandal, then we truly are witnessing the world's most boring election campaign.
Mr Katter's ad is typical of Australia's larrikin sense of humour - politically incorrect, jarring and perhaps not quite as funny as it thinks it is.
But is it "abhorrent" or in "the worst of taste"? Should it have been released in the aftermath of the shootings in Orlando?
Australia is a long way from Florida and many people in regional centres will share Mr Katter's bawdy sense of humour.
Sometimes humour is rough or tasteless. Sometimes it doesn't hit the bulls eye. But if Katter's constituents don't like his joke, they can toss him out at the election on 2 July.
Winding people up
Betoota Advocate editor Clancy Overell, who played one of the shot men in the video, said he was aware the video might "wind people up" but was not sure Mr Katter had the same understanding.
Mr Overell defended the video's timing, telling the BBC that shootings occurred in the US every day.
"Australians can't be prevented from making jokes and about cowboys and western-style gunplay," he said.
A video from the 2012 Queensland state election featured Mr Katter line dancing with a group of young people.
The same video depicted him spinning on his head, although it is likely a body double was used for the stunt.