Politics of Australia

Abbott recovers in polls

Andrew Bolt blogs about Tony Abbott’s stunning reversal in the polls:

Wow. Despite everything they’ve tried to throw at Abbott – false claims about “unilateral invasions”, heckling at media conferences, wall-to-wall ABC and Fairfax attacks, open campaigning for Malcolm Turnbull and constant peddling of false claims of an imminent challenge – the media have not destroyed Tony Abbott.

In fact, they have failed to stop an astonishing recovery, if the latest IPSOS poll can be believed. The Sydney Morning Herald grudgingly admits:

Australian voters have thrown Tony Abbott a lifeline just as his internal opponents were shaping to dump him, with a Fairfax-Ipsos poll confirming a pro-government shift is under way.

In a result set to strengthen the Prime Minister’s hand in the short term, the Abbott government has staged an unlikely recovery and, while still trailing, is now within striking distance of overhauling the ALP lead at 49-51.

Incredible. How far would the Liberals be ahead if Malcolm Turnbull were loyal?   Read more »

Move against Abbott underway

Tony Abbott is under intense pressure, with a leadership spill underway.

West Australian Liberal MP Luke Simpkins will move a spill motion against Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday.

The motion will be seconded by fellow WA Liberal Don Randall.

Mr Simpkins said in an email to party colleagues the knighthood for Prince Philip was “the final proof of a disconnection with the people”.

“I think we must bring this to a head and test the support of the leadership in the party room,” he wrote.   Read more »

Australia, the first ever nation to win a Darwin award?

Well one columnist in Australia thinks they should win a Darwin Award for being dumber than a sack of hammers.

I’M THINKING of setting up a national version of the Darwin Awards; you know, where they give an award to the stupidest way people manage to kill themselves each year, or, as the website puts it, “contribute to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilisation by their own actions”.

When I say “national”, I mean it literally – my Darwin Awards aren’t for people, they’re for nations. I’m going to hand out an annual prize for the dumbest, most imbecilic country on the planet that is setting out to destroy its own comfortable way of life via its own moronic actions.

I’m going to find the one nation that’s doing the equivalent of putting its head out of the train window to see if there’s a tunnel approaching.

And right now, Australia looks like being the 2014 National Darwin Award winner. Why? Because we are among the most collectively stupid people on the planet. Just look at the statistics – or rather, the opinion polls.

Apparently, a majority of us think Bill Shorten would be a better prime minister of our country than Tony Abbott.

Let me run that past you again – slowly this time, really slowly, because it’s obvious there are some pretty slow people out there: a … majority … (in other words, enough voters to win an election) … think … (i.e. have apparently used what passes for their brains and come to this conclusion) … that Bill Shorten … (a bloke who is so empty-headed he once said: “I don’t know what Julia Gillard said, but I agree with every word of it”) … would be a better prime minister … (in other words, be making every single decision every single day for three years that will determine the prosperity and financial success of every one of us and all our children) … than Tony Abbott (a bloke who, regardless of whether you like him or not, has as his sole focus a single-minded determination to fix the economic mess that this country is in).

Come again? Are we for real?

The best Darwin Awards always have a neat slice of bitter irony to them; like the guy who tries to impress his fiancee by climbing on to her balcony – on the 101st floor.

The irony with our National Darwin winner – Australia – is that the very bloke Australians want as their next prime minister was part of the team that got us into our financial mess in the first place.

Worse, Shorten is either so dumb or so devious that he is now opposing the very same $5 billion worth of cuts to spending that he supported when he was in government.

Read more »

I await howls of outrage over Tony Abbott’s latest comments + Sledge of the Day

Tony Abbott is not one to mince words…and he has got stuck into the Greens over their attack on toys and who should or shouldn’t pay with them…yes…they are attacking toys.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has weighed in on a debate about gender-specific toys in the lead-up to Christmas, saying boys should be boys and girls should be girls

Greens senator Larissa Waters has backed a “No Gender December” campaign, aimed at breaking down stereotypes around buying dolls for girls and trucks for boys.

But Abbott, a conservative who has three grown-up daughters, said parents should be allowed to do what was in the best interests of their children.

“I certainly don’t believe in that kind of political correctness,” Abbott told Channel Nine television.

“Let boys be boys, let girls be girls – that’s always been my philosophy – and above all else, let parents do what they think is in the best interests of their children.”

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An evening with Julia Gillard

I went to listen to Julia Gillard last night with Mum. It was enjoyable. Mum like me is a conservative but she appreciates women in positions of power and what we can learn from them. I didn’t agree with Julia’s position on ‘Affirmative action’ to get women into politics. Affirmative action whether applied to race or sex is reverse discrimination in my opinion and my Mum agrees.

My Mother heads a very large business and she built it from the ground up. She earned the respect she now commands and nothing was handed to her on a platter. We both find the idea of ‘ giving ‘ women a quota disrespectful to women’s abilities. As far as I know Julia Gillard got to the top job on merit yet she doesn’t expect other women to achieve what she achieved in the same way.To be fair I think her real problem was the number of women currently in Politics. She reasoned that if only a few are in it then that reduces the chances of a leader being a woman. Sure it does but it also ensures that when women like her and Helen Clark do make the top job,they will be more than equipped to handle it. As she said last night, Politics is an adversarial environment. Julia made it very clear that she did not think as some women do, that more women in Politics would make the environment more consensual. She believes that you should fight passionately for what you believe in and she makes no apology for doing that.

That aside, Julia had plenty of pertinent things to share with the audience and some of it was very relevant to why I am so excited about Freed.

She pointed out how the Media in Australia had become Protagonists in Politics instead of interested observers reporting on the action. Julia herself described some of the ways in which she was attacked in the media and media campaigns against her.

During the evening Julia’s world famous Misogyny speech  was discussed so I just had to watch it today. It was a very well structured and argued speech. Her experience as a lawyer was obvious as she used evidence to build her case with skill. I appreciate a good speech or debate because I understand the techniques used to make it good and the skill required to deliver it effectively. When I was at primary school we had a speech competition every year at every level. My brother made his first speech at only 5 years old. I was 9 when I started at that school and I took part every year until I was 12 and won every competition. At High School I won every year bar one when I came second to a guy called Grant who went on to become a lawyer.

 

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The advent of The Ruddliffe

ruddliffe

David Cunliffe has morphed into The Ruddliffe.

Like Kevin Rudd he is tone deaf to his caucus, thoroughly disliked by the majority of the caucus and the general public and so narcissistic he believes that he alone is blameless.

His career path and ending are remarkably similar as well.  Read more »

It’s not just our politicians on the bludge

Politicians the world over just cannot help themselves helping themselves to our taxpayer cash, especially when it benefits them directly.

We have seen Paul Foster-Bell, Claudette Hauiti and now David Cunliffe trough it up on travel.

We see the two main parties working out better ways to avail themselves for more entitlements.

Politicians, wherever they are from, become afflicted with entitleitis…they even use the same justifications.

The ”age of entitlement” is over, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, but politicians continue to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on flights to sporting events, study tours, recipe collections and children’s books – such as Aliens in Underpants Save the World.

Department of Finance records show rising Liberal Party MP Jamie Briggs claimed almost $11,000 in entitlements over two years for travel to and from sporting events. For most of this period, November 2011 to November 2013, Mr Briggs was chairman of the Coalition’s government waste committee, established to highlight the mismanagement of taxpayer money.

His entitlement claims included:

■ $2800 last November for him and a family member to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where they attended Derby Day in the Emirates marquee.

■ $1600 last June to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where he attended an AFL game as a guest of BHP.

■ $2300 in December 2012 to travel between Adelaide and Sydney, where he attended the Australian Open as a guest of Golf Australia.

Mr Briggs said: ”Each trip was undertaken within the entitlement rules and publicly declared as required. They included meetings with a range of people related to my work as a federal member of Parliament.”

Read more »

Abbott to slash $10bn off corporate welfare

The corporate bludgers in Australia are about to get a hair cut…a $10 billion hair cut…as Tony Abbott seeks to shave he corporate welfare budget.

CORPORATE welfare will be slashed in a bid to wean the nation off $10 billion in business aid, as the Abbott government fights off fears it will slap new taxes on ­families without forcing others to shoulder some of the budget ­burden.

Taking a knife to industry assistance, the government will send employers the same message it is sending welfare recipients about the need to curb reliance on benefits.

Joe Hockey told The Weekend Australian that his vow to end the “age of entitlement” meant asking business to give up some of the payments and services Canberra had been giving it for years.

The government approaches Tuesday’s budget in a political fight over a tax hike on petrol and a “deficit tax” that leaves Tony ­Abbott increasingly exposed to charges of breaching his election promises.

Bill Shorten said the plan to lift fuel excise was not only a breach of faith with voters but also a hit to ­ordinary families.

“We know two things about Tony Abbott’s petrol tax: it’s a broken promise, and it’s going to put more pressure on the cost of living of all Australians who have to fill up their car every week,” the Opposition Leader said. Read more »

John Howard on parties, membership and ideology

John Howard was interviewed by The Australian in Australia and offers some interesting perspectives on political parties, membership and ideology.

“All political parties need reform,” Howard said in an interview with this columnist to mark the 40th anniversary of his election to parliament.

“The greatest problem that my party has, the greatest problem the Labor Party has, is that we no longer pursue with zeal the idea of expanding the membership.”

The problem has become ­particularly acute for Labor.

The party’s terrible result in the West Australian Senate ­election underscores the need for reform.

With its two lead candidates beholden to unions and each representing polar ideological ­extremes, it is not surprising Labor received a dismal 22 per cent of the vote.

Both Labour and National face similar issues here, though I suspect Labour’s issue is more pressing.

When Howard joined the Young Liberals as an 18 year old in the late 1950s, he said it was the “mission” of every member to ­recruit new members.

“We spend too much time arguing about what the existing membership does rather than throwing open the doors to new members.”

However, given the loss of members in both major parties, retaining new members has ­become a life or death matter. At Labor’s peak in the 1930s, it boasted a membership of more than 150,000. The Liberals had a membership of more than 150,000 in the 1950s.

Today, membership of both major parties has declined even though the population has expanded. Labor and the Liberals each have about 45,000 members nationally.

“People don’t join local sporting clubs, local churches, local service clubs and political parties the way they did 50 years ago,” Howard says.  Read more »

The toxicity of the Greens and lessons from Tasmania for Labour

Labour faces a dilemma.

They can’t win the election without some sort of formal accommodation with the Greens. They also can’t win without Winston Peters.

And thus their dilemma is apparent. The Greens are toxic. David Cunliffe knows it, Shane Jones knows it, Winston Peters knows it.

But the problem is Moira Coatsworth is shrieking at Cunliffe that the attitude tot eh Greens must end, that they are the preferred coalition partner and that Labour needs to be nicer.

Russel Norman is exerting pressure behind the scenes as well.  But the fact remains that the Greens are toxic in any support or coalition deal.

This is a position that Tasmanian’s saw only too well and punished both Labor and the Greens over in their state elections last weekend.

Labor and the Greens have blamed each other for the loss of votes in Saturday’s Tasmanian state election, while the South Australian Liberals insisted electoral boundaries prevented them from claiming a “deserved” outright win.

The simultaneous state elections resulted in a decisive Liberal win in Tasmania and a likely hung parliament in South Australia, where the focus is now turning to negotiations with two independents.

The Liberals have raised questions over the South Australian electoral system given the party could miss out on forming government despite securing about 53% of the two-party vote.  Read more »