Author Topic: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections  (Read 997 times)

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http://ca.news.yahoo.com/conservative-leader-abbott-expected-win-australian-election-polls-022037221.html

Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
ReutersBy Rob Taylor and James Grubel | Reuters – 1 hour 6 minutes ago

By Rob Taylor and James Grubel

SYDNEY/CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia's conservative leader Tony Abbott swept into office in national elections on Saturday as voters punished the outgoing Labor government for six years of turbulent rule and for failing to maximize the benefits of a now fading mining boom.

Abbott, a former boxer, Rhodes scholar and trainee priest, promised to restore political stability, cut taxes and crack down on asylum seekers arriving by boat.

"From today I declare that Australia is under new management and Australia is once more open for business," Abbott told jubilant supporters in Sydney.

It was frustration with Labor's leadership turmoil that cost the government dearly at the polls.

Labor dumped Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010, for Australia's first female prime minister Julia Gillard, only to reinstate Rudd as leader in June 2013 in a desperate bid to stay in power.

"It is the people of Australia to determine the government and the prime minister of this country and you will punish anyone who takes you for granted," said Abbott.

Rudd was given a rousing welcome from dejected Labor party supporters in his hometown of Brisbane, conceding defeat and announcing he would step down as party leader.

"I know that Labor hearts are heavy across the nation tonight. I gave it my all. But it was not enough to win," Rudd said, supported by his wife and family.

Labor's overall vote was its worst since 2004, when then conservative prime minister John Howard won his fourth and final term, but was not as bad as the party had feared. Labor held on to all of its close seats in Rudd's home state of Queensland, and held onto several marginal seats in western Sydney.

Election officials said with about 80 percent of the vote counted, Abbott's Liberal-National Party coalition had won around 52.6 percent of the national vote, and projected it would win at least 88 seats in the 150-seat parliament.

Abbott could end up with a majority of around 30 seats, ending the country's first minority government since World War Two. Labor had relied upon independent and Greens support for the past three years.

"This was an election that was lost by the government more than one that was won by the opposition," former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke told Sky News.

REFUGEES, CARBON TAX

The election was been pitched as a choice on who is best to lead the A$1.5 trillion ($1.4 trillion) economy as it adjusts to an end to a prolonged mining investment boom, fuelled by China's demand for its abundant natural resources.

Abbott, 55, built up a strong opinion poll lead on the back of promises to rein in government spending, scrap an unpopular tax on carbon emissions, and stop the flow of refugee boats arriving in Australia's northwest.

His campaign had support from media magnate Rupert Murdoch and his Australian newspapers, which have urged voters to reject Rudd's Labor government. Australia's other major newspaper group Fairfax also called for a change of government, saying

Rudd had painted Abbott's planned spending cuts as dangerous European-style austerity and said his government was best placed to manage an economy that is slowing but remains the envy of much of the developed world.

A record 1,717 candidates contested the election, including colorful mining entrepreneur Clive Palmer, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Palmer's start-up Palmer United Party was a big winner from the election. Palmer was in strong contention to win his Queensland seat and his party might also win a seat in the upper house Senate.

With Abbott's convincing victory, much of the interest remains on the Senate, where the Greens, independents and fringe parties might still hold the balance of power and frustrate Abbott's legislative agenda.

Final results in the Senate could take more than a week to determine, due to the complicated system of preferential voting and proportional representation.

($1 = 1.0876 Australian dollars)

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Online Bigun

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 10:23:50 AM »
Same thing would happen here IF we would nominate an actual CONSERVATIVE!

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 08:34:32 AM »
Australia has new leader after landslide election victory
By Associated Press
September 7, 2013 | 7:46pm

CANBERRA, Australia  — Australia’s “unelectable” and gaffe-prone political leader, Tony Abbott, confounded critics Saturday by becoming the country’s latest prime minister, leading the opposition to a sweeping election victory and ending six years of Labor Party rule.

Abbott, the leader of the conservative Liberal Party-led coalition, rode a wave of public bitterness over a hated carbon emissions tax, worries about a flagging economy and frustration over government infighting to win the election.

The result was a stunning turnaround for Abbott, a 55-year-old former Roman Catholic seminarian and Rhodes scholar who has never been particularly popular and was once dubbed unelectable by opponents and some of his own supporters.

He emerged victorious thanks, in large part, to the frustration of a country fed up with Labor and its once-popular leader, Kevin Rudd, who had engaged in a years-long power struggle with his former deputy, Julia Gillard. Gillard, who became the nation’s first female prime minister after ousting Rudd in a party vote in 2010, ended up losing her job to Rudd three years later in a similar internal party coup.

“I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to you the Australian people,” Abbott told supporters in his victory speech Saturday night.

With more than 90 percent of votes counted, official figures from the Australian Electoral Commission showed the Liberals ahead 53 percent to Labor’s 47 percent. The coalition was on track to win 91 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives, and Labor 54.

For a range of reasons, Abbott has been dismissed by many critics as not being prime minister material. A supremely fit volunteer lifeguard, he is often parodied in the media for wearing the red-and-yellow cap and brief swimwear worn by Australian lifeguards.

He has joked that he was not allowed to wear swim briefs, known in Australia as “budgie smugglers” — a reference to the budgerigar, a small Australian parrot — during the five-week election campaign.

Abbott’s approval ratings recently improved in polls, but he remains relatively unpopular, particularly among women voters.

“All those ridiculous people who said he was unelectable should understand how foolish they were to underestimate him,” former conservative Prime Minister John Howard, who promoted Abbott to his Cabinet during an 11-year reign, told Seven Network television Saturday.

Abbott was regarded as a competent minister. But his aggressive politics, social conservatism and knack for igniting controversy raised questions about his suitability as a potential national leader. He was elected party leader by his Liberal Party colleagues in late 2009 by a single vote majority.

His coalition was narrowly defeated in 2010 elections following a campaign in which Abbott made some conspicuous deviations from policy.

He came under fire during the campaign over an interview in which he drew a distinction between what he sometimes says “in the heat of discussion” and “an absolutely calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark.”

In the latest campaign, he was criticized for listing a female candidate’s “sex appeal” as a political asset, then defending himself by calling it a “charming compliment.” In another incident, he accidentally drew laughter during a speech by saying that no one is the “suppository” of all wisdom, when he apparently meant to say “repository.”

But the drama between Rudd and Gillard, combined with Labor reneging on an election promise by imposing a deeply unpopular tax on the nation’s biggest carbon polluters, proved deadly for Labor’s re-election chances.

Abbott, who becomes Australia’s third prime minister in three months, will likely end a period of extraordinary political instability and apparent chaos in Australia.

The voter swing away from Labor was a resounding rejection of Australia’s first minority government since World War II. Voters disliked the deals and compromises struck between Labor, the minor Greens party and independent lawmakers to keep their fragile, disparate and sometime chaotic coalition together for the past three years, including the carbon tax.

Abbott has vowed to scrap the carbon tax from July 2014 — two years after it was implemented — and instead introduce taxpayer-funded incentives for polluters to operate cleaner.

It is unclear whether Abbott will be able to pass the necessary law changes through Parliament, but he has threatened to call early elections if the Senate thwarts him.

Australia’s new leader inherits a slowing economy, hurt by the cooling of a mining boom that kept the resource-rich nation out of recession during the global financial crisis.

Abbott has promised to slash foreign aid spending as he concentrates on returning the budget to surplus. Labor spent billions of dollars on economic stimulus projects to avoid recession. But declining corporate tax revenues from a slowdown in mining forced Labor to break a promise to return the budget to surplus in the last fiscal year.

Abbott has also promised to repeal a tax on coal and iron ore mining companies, which he blames in part for the downturn in the mining boom. The 30 percent tax on the profits of iron ore and coal miners was designed to cash in on burgeoning profits from a mineral boom fueled by Chinese industrial demand. But the boom was easing before the tax took effect. The tax was initially forecast to earn the government 3 billion Australian dollars ($2.7 billion) in its first year, but brought in only AU$126 million after six months.

Saturday’s election likely brought Australia’s first Aboriginal woman to Parliament. Former Olympian Nova Peris is almost certain to win a Senate seat for Labor in the Northern Territory, but the final results will not be known for days. Less likely is WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s bid for a Senate seat in Victoria state.
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Gee, do you think the AP disapproves of the election of a conservative, just a smidge?
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Offline happyg

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 09:07:01 AM »
Sounds somewhat familiar around here. Sometimes, you have to stand up for what you believe in.

Online Bigun

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 09:28:31 AM »
Sounds somewhat familiar around here. Sometimes, you have to stand up for what you believe in.

Indeed! All to familiar in fact!

Where I come from standing up for what you believe in is expected and not abnormal.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 09:29:11 AM by Bigun »

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 05:39:48 PM »
Excellent news!
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 05:50:07 PM »
Quote
People of his sort are not supposed to win elections. Abbott believes in God, supports free speech, wants to crack down on illegal immigration and once called global warming "crap". He opposes same-sex marriage, though in courteous and temperate language (his sister, who is gay, campaigned for him). He has no time for the notion, favoured by some Melbourne cleverdicks, that Australia is an Asian power: his country's alliances with Britain, the United States and the other Anglophone democracies are central to his world-view.


And if that weren't enough he's a friend of Mark Steyn.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100234883/tony-abbott-won-because-australians-trust-him/
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 10:09:09 PM »
Same thing would happen here IF we would nominate an actual CONSERVATIVE!


"Conservative" in Australian politics does not mean the same thing it means here - just as "Liberal" has a diametrically opposite meaning there than it does here - and the conditions in Australia were not the same as they are here.  This is a good thing for Australia, relatively speaking, but one should be very chary of drawing too-easy parallels between there and here.

Online Bigun

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 08:40:04 AM »
"Conservative" in Australian politics does not mean the same thing it means here - just as "Liberal" has a diametrically opposite meaning there than it does here - and the conditions in Australia were not the same as they are here.  This is a good thing for Australia, relatively speaking, but one should be very chary of drawing too-easy parallels between there and here.

That may be true to some degree but politics works the same everywhere. It's always the current establishment against those who would shake things up and we see that, yet again, in this case.
.

Offline Oceander

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 08:50:47 AM »
That may be true to some degree but politics works the same everywhere. It's always the current establishment against those who would shake things up and we see that, yet again, in this case.
.


And we see just how well Romney did under similar circumstances.  The skillset is the same, but the personalities involved, the policies involved, and the circumstances involved all have significant differences that make parallels uncertain.  I would also point out that in the US conservatives have made such a stink about calling things like abortion a holocaust, etc, etc, and have made serious efforts to impose restrictions based on religious beliefs - and that is what motivates most anti-abortionists, not medical fact - that American conservatives have put a legitimate fear of a religious government into the minds of many, including many nominally non-aligned voters; this is not something that Australian conservatives indulge themselves in.

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 12:12:43 PM »
Bull.

I would also point out that in the US conservatives have made such a stink about calling things like abortion a holocaust, etc, etc, and have made serious efforts to impose restrictions based on religious beliefs - and that is what motivates most anti-abortionists, not medical fact...

If you believe that you know little about what motivates ProLifers. It may well be we are motivated to speak out due to our religious beliefs but that is because science, biology and neonatology, show us clearly that what is being destroyed is a human life. For the same reason some ProLifers, me not among them, also oppose capital punishment which also takes a human life.

It is the same viewpoint which made Christians the leaders of the abolitionist movement. In addition to opposing the suffering it entailed, their principles also taught them you cannot own another human being.

More bull: that American conservatives have put a legitimate fear of a religious government into the minds of many, including many nominally non-aligned voters.

What we have engendered is a fear the ProLife movement may negatively impact the sexually libertine lifestyle and prevent people from killing the costly and demanding babies who result. They aren't afraid of "a religious government". They are afraid of a crimp in their conduct.
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Australian conservatives run successfully against carbon tax
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 03:11:23 PM »
http://dailycaller.com/2013/09/09/australian-conservatives-run-successfully-against-carbon-tax/

Australian conservatives run successfully against carbon tax
by Michael Bastasch
September 9, 2013

The Australian Labor Party’s support for a carbon tax contributed to its crushing defeat at the ballot box, a possible warning shot to tax-supporters in the United States.

“The results of the election should be an instructive lesson for U.S. lawmakers who have yet to understand the economic consequences of a carbon tax,” Benjamin Cole, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Australia’s new conservative government will push new reforms to help the country’s economy, including repealing the vastly unpopular tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

The conservative Liberal-National coalition ousted the liberal Labor government last week, assembling the biggest ruling coalition since 2004. The new Prime Minister Tony Abbott has pledged to lower taxes, in particularly on the mining sector; lower subsidies and welfare programs; and scrap the country’s year-old carbon tax, which is by some measures the most expensive in the world.

“I declare the government is under new management,” Abbott said in a victory speech on Saturday. “Australia is once more open for business.”

Australia’s carbon tax was imposed by the Labor government last year and was widely unpopular. Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd attempted to win over voters by moving away from a carbon tax to a cap and trade system with a floating price, but this strategy may have been too little too late.

American conservatives argue that the election should serve as a warning to lawmakers — if you support a carbon tax, it could cost you your job.

The American Energy Alliance (AEA) and other conservative groups have banded together to oppose a carbon tax in the U.S., backing efforts by House Republicans to block attempts by the Obama administration to regulate carbon dioxide.

“Given the results of Aussies’ election, U.S. policymakers who want to replicate the failed Australian experiment on the U.S. economy will do so at their own peril,” Cole added.

The Institute for Energy Research, AEA’s policy arm, released a study which found that Australia’s carbon tax hurt the economy by increasing unemployment and raising energy prices — all while having a minimal impact on global warming.

“It is no secret that Australia’s controversial carbon tax isn’t delivering the promised improvements,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter. “One obvious misstep in Australia was that there was no full cost-benefit analysis conducted before implementation. And as a result, electricity prices increased, unemployment rose significantly, and there hasn’t even been any reduction in the level of domestically-produced CO2 emissions.”

The specter of voter backlash has not deterred all lawmakers, some of whom have gone ahead and introduced legislation to impose a carbon tax.

California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced legislation earlier this year that would slap a gradually rising tax on carbon emissions, raising $1.2 trillion in the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and 60 percent of that revenue would be used to offset higher energy bills.

“Carbon could cost us the planet,” Boxer said. “The least we could do is put a little charge on it so people move to clean energy.”
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 03:11:51 PM by jmyrlefuller »
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

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Offline raml

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 03:32:26 PM »
We haven't had a real conservative run since Reagan. Romney wasn't even close to being a conservative. No comparison when you bring Romney up. The republicans ought to put in a real conservative and see if they will win. I think all you moderates would be surprised by how they would do. A lot of the people that gave up voting did so because of the moderates and liberal republicans that have been running. I don't believe moderate or liberals have any idea how many of us are out here since many have given up thinking they could ever be heard with all the crap being put out there by liberal republicans.

Online Bigun

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 03:35:07 PM »
And we see just how well Romney did under similar circumstances.  The skillset is the same, but the personalities involved, the policies involved, and the circumstances involved all have significant differences that make parallels uncertain.  I would also point out that in the US conservatives have made such a stink about calling things like abortion a holocaust, etc, etc, and have made serious efforts to impose restrictions based on religious beliefs - and that is what motivates most anti-abortionists, not medical fact - that American conservatives have put a legitimate fear of a religious government into the minds of many, including many nominally non-aligned voters; this is not something that Australian conservatives indulge themselves in.

Do you think Romney was (is) and actual conservative?  If so I have some swampland in West Texas I want you to take a look at!

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 03:50:36 PM »
Do you think Romney was (is) and actual conservative?  If so I have some swampland in West Texas I want you to take a look at!


He was anything but... I never had blinders in that regard. He was also a cautious poll-driven candidate who allowed his advisors to convince him playing it cautious would get him elected... a very disastrous decision running against the Obama machine.  Just as McCain lost support when he said at a townhall meeting "Obama is a very good man" so did Romney lose support when it was clear he was wrapping up the primaries in his favor and his spokesman said now he has to swing to the left to win the election, a lot of people who had until then supported him - albeit reluctantly - were angered that they had been had.. that more than his religion.... aided by backstabbing from Christie cost us the November 2012 election.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 03:51:05 PM by Rapunzel »
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online aligncare

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Re: Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2013, 04:12:06 PM »
Romney had as conservative a record as can be had as governor in a predominately democrat state like Massachusetts, and still accomplish something. That said, I have no desire to argue the past. Obama won, now let's set about repairing the damage.
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