Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has unveiled his new cabinet and it’s one for the record books. While Kevin Rudd, after ousting Julia Gillard, chose to elevate a record number of women to ministry, Mr Abbott has named his cabinet with only one woman listed: Julie Bishop took on the Foreign Minister position held by Labor’s Bob Carr under the Gillard/Rudd government.
For Margie Abbott it’s nothing but egg on her face. The woman married to Tony Abbott and the mother to his three daughters, spoke out on breakfast TV in October last year against allegations that Mr Abbott didn’t understand women and didn’t like dealing with powerful women.
It’s something that doesn’t sit well now that Mr Abbott has won government and has ensured he doesn’t have to deal with powerful women on a daily basis through surrounding himself with predominately older, white men. It proves he still unequivocally believes in what he said on Four Corners in 2010:
‘I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons’
Mr Abbott’s cabinet consists of 19 men and one woman, while his outer ministry boasts four woman and seven men. One female parliamentary secretary rounds it out. As the Labor Party have pointed out, Australia now has less women in its ministry than Afghanistan which has three women on it’s front bench.
PHOTO: AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY
It’s official – Kevin Rudd has come to his senses, officially changing his stance on marriage equality. In a blog post on his site last night, the former prime minister wrote: “I have come to the conclusion that church and state can have different positions and practices on the question of same sex marriage. I believe the secular Australian state should be able to recognise same sex marriage.”
The reversal follows his vote against a marriage equality bill last year – he was one of 98 MPs who voted against the bill. The change, he says, is a result of “a lot of reflection” and “conversations with good people grappling with deep questions of life, sexuality and faith.”
It’s a move that will most likely make the controversial politician more popular with the people, but get him into strife with his party as he upstages Prime Minister Julia Gillard once again.
If rumours are correct, Tony Abbott wants John Howard to be Australia’s next Governor-General.
Fairfax Media has reported the Opposition Leader has sent a letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard demanding she not name a replacement for Governor-General Quentin Bryce, whose term will end next March.
The government is suspicious that Mr Abbott is hoping to keep the G-G position vacant in order to appoint his former boss, former primer minister John Howard.
But would former prime minister John Howard, the second longest serving PM in Australia’s history, be a suitable choice for the position?
Australian politics since the GFC and the consequent crash in profits in our national coffers, has left the Australian political scene dominated by one obsession: can we get a surplus?
With the Federal election looming, the question now is which political party will deliver this desired surplus? However, the real question Australians should be asking is, “At what cost will a surplus be delivered and how can it impact me?”
A surplus will only be gained through budget cuts and taxes, but what Australians will politicians put in the firing line? Continue reading
He’s in for the fight of his life as tries to gain the trust of the Australian voting population; but is Tony Abbott the new-age sensitive man he says he is?
On Sunday night, Abbott tried to present as a changed man in an interview with Liz Hayes for Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.
Nothing was off the table for the interview. His views on sexuality, marriage rights and how his religion impacts on his politics were all discussed. The Abbott presented was a family man, pouring dressing on a salad and joking with his three daughters at a family BBQ.
But like all families, this one has had its dramas too.
The theme for Sydney’s New Year celebrations was “embrace” – which means to take up especially readily or gladly. The theme seems ironic considering the year we have just said goodbye to. While we may have shut the door on 2012, a year filled with cultural violence, political sexism and a lack of progress on gay marriage rights within Australia; 2013 will most likely be painted with the same brush.
Politically 2012 is a year to be ashamed of. From the Peter Slipper-James Ashby embarrassment, to the “misogynist” dribble of Tony Abbott, 2012 was a year of inexcusable behaviour. It makes it difficult to believe that 2013, a federal election year, is going to be any different.
But one thing could change all of that. If 2013 is to be a year of embracing change, a year to be proud of: it must be the year gay marriage is made legal.
It’s been a long and tumultuous year for Australian federal politics. The hung parliament has provided us with many scandals, a leadership challenge and some seriously weird moments. Here’s our favourite political moments that left most Australians thinking, “What the hell?”
1. Craig Emerson breaking into song and dance
During an ABC interview about the carbon tax, Trade Minister Craig Emerson broke into a Skyhooks-inspired rendition of Whyalla Wipeout.
The awkward pause while the music started is enough to make most of us cringe, but it’s the weird head-bob that you can’t turn away from.
Sensitive Tony, sexist Tony, misogynist Tony.
You’ve heard the debate, you’ve heard about our BAMF PM telling Tony Abbott off for his sexist views.
But, a point has been raised.
On Saturday Agenda which airs on Sky News, Cassandra Wilkinson (Australian author, former public servant and former senior political advisor) raised the point that she doesn’t believe Tony Abbott is a sexist. Rather, he’s old fashioned. She says, the argument of Abbott as a sexist is distracting from the very real debate we should be having of whether Abbott is modern enough to lead? She made the comment that if he were to become Prime Minister of this country his old-fashioned views would impact on legislation across the board – not just relating to women.
It’s something we’ve all said: they should die of shame, I died of shame, I wanted to die of shame. But Tony Abbott should have known better.
Question Time on Tuesday quickly degenerated into a vigorous game of cat-calling between the federal government and its opposition when “Sensitive Tony” blew his cover, calling on the government to die of shame, echoing recent controversial remarks by shock-jock Alan Jones.