Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tony Abbott: Prime Minister

Oh boy, how did we get here.

I have not written on this blog in at least 4 or 5 months, just before election 2013 here in Australia launched into full swing - perhaps out of disgust, or perhaps out of frustration with guessing the result, I stopped writing.

Instead, I took macro photos of bugs and flowers, and ignored our election as much as possible.

But now we must face the fact that Tony Abbott, the most conservative right politician to grace our proverbial dinner plates, is Prime Minister.

A comeback from Kevin Rudd couldn't save us from this fate, and nor could various gaffes by Abbott and the Liberal Party themselves.

To add insult to injury, Joe Hockey is Treasurer, and three months into this 'new' (recycled) Coalition government, all of the panic about the economy and boat people has seemingly evaporated away into nothingness.

On the economic front, Big Joe actually handed over $8.8 billion to the Reserve Bank of Australia, apparently in some sort of insurance policy against global economic instability - all of a sudden, Joe Hockey acknowledges that the global economy even exists.

And raising Australia's debt limit from $300 billion to $500 billion in the process also must signal that the 'Budget emergency' that was touted by him before the election must be over.

Oh, joyous.

Since they've been returned to power, this government has held a grand total of about eight press conferences - and during a recent visit to Indonesia, only Australian media was allowed into a press conference by Tony Abbott himself; a highly unusual and downright odd state of affairs.

However, still and all, our young news media go-getters still swoon lovingly towards the new Prime Minister and his new (recycled) cabinet - the honeymoon is well underway.

The Coalition is taking a very softly-softly approach to the media, and it is at least refreshing not to be bombarded with political dramas and infighting, as was the case with Labor.

There is a feeling that everyone was just fed up with Labor - as I myself have previously written, they did not deserve to govern.

They had some really great policies and a glinting of good ideas, but they were unable to implement them, and their own dramas overshadowed any positive progress with the electorate.

Their message became lost in a cacophony of spite, especially after Rudd returned to the Labor leadership.

However it must said that Rudd did indeed save Labor from what appeared to be an inevitable bloodbath under Julia Gillard.

But it won't all be plain sailing for Mr Abbott.

He faces a very hostile Senate next year, which could stop him in his tracks in his promise to 'axe the tax', the fabled, evil carbon tax, which was really just a prelude to a full blown carbon trading scheme.

It would have been a free market answer to climate change, and it does bring this country straight back to square one on the issue.

Loud and proud mining magnate Clive Palmer is in the Senate by 50-something votes after a marathon recount in his seat of Fairfax, along with an unruly gang of motoring enthusiasts and pro-gun mavericks.

The Greens didn't fair as well as they expected, and as I had eluded to in previous posts, they have become less popular with the electorate.

Political pundits have criticised the Senate preferences system, as some minor and fringe parties have rode to their seats with only handfuls of votes - however, it does make the Senate more representative of the wider Australia, and it will at least be insanely interesting to watch how they work with Abbott.

Yes Virginia, there is a Tony Abbott.


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