Recently, Tony Abbott has been labeled a misogynist by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has a less than stellar track record with women in the public eye, and yet privately he is surrounded by them. So is he a misogynist, or has he simply been misunderstood?
Here’s the history:
– In a 2010 magazine interview, Abbott claimed that his daughter’s virginity was a ‘gift’ that should not be given away ‘lightly’.
– As Health Minister, he reduced the number of abortions, adding it was a ‘national priority’. In this time he also tried, but failed, to block the introduction of abortion pill RU-486, limiting the autonomy women have in making decisions about their own body.
– Abbott commented in 1998, “What if men are, by physiology or temperament, more suited to exercise authority or to issue commands?”
– In 2010, when trying to appeal to a female audience about the carbon tax stated, “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price”.
– Rejected the inclusion of Gardasil (the anti-cervical cancer drug) from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Furthermore, he stated he would not be getting his daughters vaccinated.
– As a university student, threaten a fellow SRC candidate by punching the wall beside her head.
Abbott’s wife Margie has publicly come out in support of Abbott, claiming that he does not have a problem women.
With this history, do you think Abbott is a misogynist?
Who are the major national parties, and what have they done for you?
THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
– Abolished work choices
– Increased hospital funding by 50 per cent
– More help for pensioners
– Decisive action during the GFC
– Getting the budget back in black three years early
– Establishing a single national school curriculum
– Investing in new cancer research and treatment
– 1000 new nurse training places and 1300 new GPs
– Building Trade Training Centres in high schools
– Investment in renewable energy and infrastructure
– Tax cuts in the last three budgets
– Building the NBN
– Creating 235 000 new training places.
THE LIBERAL PARTY
– Eliminated more than $96 billion of government debt
– Restored Australia’s AAA credit rating
– Delivered jobs
– Higher wages
– Higher pensions
– Funding for health, education, defence and transport
– Productive workplaces
– 10,000 local green jobs in the economic stimulus package
– Fuel efficiency incentives for luxury cars
– An extra $30 a week for pensioner
– Inclusion of Exclusive Brethren businesses in the Fair Work law
– $50 million for public health
– Protection of youth allowance payments for gap year students
– Continued Medicare funded dental treatments for patients with chronic illness
– Protection for thousands of wind and solar jobs by fixing the renewable energy target
– Negotiating into the economic stimulus package a $400 million into a Local Jobs package
– Secured Parliament’s support for a review of foreign investment in agriculture and water assets
– Established a Senate inquiry into the Water Act
– Established a dams taskforce to develop proposals for new investment in dams
– Introduced a Private Member’s Bill to minimise the risk of fire blight and other pests and diseases to the Australian apple industry
– Led the fight to restore the live cattle export trade to Indonesian abattoirs with acceptable welfare standards
– Led the fight to restore Independent Youth Allowance eligibility to students in regional areas
– Introduced legislation to provide more control to indigenous communities on the regulation of Wild Rivers
Julia Gillard has recently received a boost in the polls; but what are the polls, and who controls them?
There are two primary polling organisations in politics; Nielsen and Newspoll. These two polls survey the opinions and political climate of contemporary Australia to assess approval rating of Prime Ministers, and potential Prime Ministers, as well as the approval ratings for given policies. These polls can give you an indication about the popularity of different leaders and general social approval of different policies. The higher the number, the more popular a leader or policy is, and the more people are willing to vote for it.
An example of a Neilsen Poll demonstrating population voting preferences. Source: The Age.
Did Abbott intimidate fellow Sydney University SRC candidate Barbara Ramjan?
Whether or not you believe Abbott did throw some punches at the wall to intimidate, this debate raises further questions about our pasts, and by how much we can be judged for them. Do our pasts held true to our present character, and we be held accountable for the actions of our past? Or is the past best left in the past?
Here are the facts:
– Barbara Ramjan has said Aboott threw punches either side of her head to intimidate her after she defeated him in the SRC elections in 1977.
– Barrister David Patch, who was Ms Ramjan’s campaign manager, has supported Ramjan’s claims. Although he did not see the incident, he says she came to him after the incident to tell him about it.
– An unidentified witnessed as stated they saw Abbott throwing punches.
– In the Quarterly Essay, David Marr highlighted the incident, having researched it after the story was recounted at a 40th reunion.
– Tony Abbott originally claimed to have no recollection of the incident, and then later denied the incident ever happened.
Confused by the spin placed on all political announcements?
Do you understand what the carbon tax is? What is Gonski and do you give one?
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