Category: COMM11108 Communication and the Political Process

COMM11108: Communication and the Political Process, blog 4, Malcolm Turnbull New Prime Minister Part Two

Figure 1: Tony Abbott and supporters arrive for the leadership ballot. Source: Strange (2015)
Figure 1: Tony Abbott and supporters arrive for the leadership ballot.
Source: Strange (2015)

It seems that many say that Australia has apparently has become the ‘International laughing stock’ after the Prime Minister has once again changed overnight. In a ploy by the government to try to get re-elected in 2016 (ABC 2015). As the Australian government see themselves fit to remove any Prime Minister out before their term is up regardless of the fact that the Australian people voted them in. If this is the case then why make it mandatory to vote in the first place.

In many ways this incident with Turnball taking over Prime Ministership from Abbott is very similar to the Gillard and Rudd one. As both were very sudden. Both Prime Ministers were not in for the whole term that they were voted in for and both were removed by their own political party.

When Julia Gillard took over Kevin Rudd, not only did people not trust the government but they were very unhappy that their choice of Prime Minister had been taken away from them (Sheehan 2013). Mr Abbott himself even made mention of this during parliament (Tokenism 2012). It was also used in the campaign against labour as a strategy of winning the election (Grattan 2015). There has not been a Prime Minister allowed to finish a term since John Howard and now that it has once again happened with the Prime Minister, the Australian people cannot trust either of the two parties (Marks 2015). According to Dodds (2015) it seems that the government continue to fail to learn from past lessons such as: Gillard and Rudd.

This example of talking about being the Labor carbon copy is mentioned several times by a number of different politicians such as: Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott and a number of others (Keating Media, 2015). This can be seen in the video provided by Keating Media (2015).

Figure references

Owens, J 2015, Abbott v Turnbull liberals vote on leadership, video, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-v-turnbull-liberals-vote-on-leadership/story-fn59niix-1227527047757?sv=e43f9bf791a0e38780e70099231947e5

Keating Media 2015, The Hon Joe Hockey MP discusses Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership challenge, video, viewed 18 september 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg4V7jNnLPQ

Strange, R 2015, Tony Abbott and supporters arrive for the leadership ballot, digital image, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-v-turnbull-liberals-vote-on-leadership/story-fn59niix-1227527047757?sv=e43f9bf791a0e38780e70099231947e5

Tokenism, T 2012, Tony Abbott speaks in Parliament about the Labor leadership ballot, video, viewed 17 September 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyp_t-LNTLY

References

ABC 2015, As it happened: Malcolm Turnbull topples Tony Abbott in liberal leadership ballot, viewed 20 September 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-14/malcolm-turnbull-beats-tony-abbott-in-liberal-leadership-ballot/6774546

Dodds, T 2015, Australian politics becomes a laughing stock, viewed 20 September 2015, http://westernweekender.com.au/australian-politics-becomes-a-laughing-stock/

Grattan, M 2015, Explainer why is Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott facing a leadership crisis, viewed 20 September 2015, http://theconversation.com/explainer-why-is-australian-prime-minister-tony-abbott-facing-a-leadership-crisis-37323

Owens, J 2015, Abbott v Turnbull liberals vote on leadership, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-v-turnbull-liberals-vote-on-leadership/story-fn59niix-1227527047757?sv=e43f9bf791a0e38780e70099231947e5

Marks, K 2015, Tony Abbott out: how progressive republican Malcolm Turnbull seized his moment to unseat long-time rival, viewed 21 September 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/tony-abbott-out-how-progressive-republican-malcolm-turnbull-seized-his-moment-to-unseat-long-time-10500881.html

Sheehan, P 2013, Blood still fresh on Gillard’s guillotine, viewed 20 September 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/comment/blood-still-fresh-on-gillards-guillotine-20130627-2oyz5.html

COMM11108: Communication and the Political Process, blog 4, Malcolm Turnbull New Prime Minister Part One

Figure 1:Rich dude becomes PM how the media covered Turnbull’s ascension Source: Mumbrella 2015
Figure 1:Rich dude becomes PM how the media covered Turnbull’s ascension
Source: Mumbrella 2015

This is part one of the issue regarding the replacement of Prime Minister Abbott. The second part will be continuing with the next blog discussing in relation to Gillard and Abbott.

The latest national political issue that has arisen in the past week is the replacement of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. On the 13th of September Malcolm Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott and has now been sworn in as the new prime minister (Keating 2015). This is a political issue as the freedom of the Australians to choose their Prime Minister has once again been removed by the Australian political parties as a ploy to be voted in again on the next election in 2016 (Miragliotta, Errington & Barry 2013). Yet political parties lose the trust of Australians because they remove Prime Minister without involving voters.

9News (2015) covers the fact that the government has once again changed leaders over night in the video Malcolm Turnbull says Australia owes Tony Abbott ‘enormous debt of gratitude.

Instead of the governor general calling a double dissolution election (Corcoran & Dickenson 2010). The government has once again taken away the freedom of the people to choose to remove a prime minister or to choose to stay with the same prime minister. This is a ploy to be voted in again on the next election in 2016 (Bourke 2015). However, should the government decide to actually pay attention to the results of most times that this has happened then they would find that it would do the exact opposite of that effect (Mcguirk 2015). Australians end up not wanting to vote at all.

Figure 3: McCormack disappointed at leadership spill Source: ABC 2015
Figure 3: McCormack disappointed at leadership spill
Source: ABC 2015

Not to mention the fact that Malcolm Turnbull was kicked out of the leadership of the party when Tony Abbott took over (Coorey 2009).

Picture references

Australian Labor 2015, Malcolm Turnbull supports the Abbott Budget, video, viewed 18 September 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RphBK_VYfL0

ABC 2015, McCormack disappointed at leadership spill Taylor not saying who he backed in vote, digital image, viewed 16 September 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-15/turnbull-local/6776484

Mumbrella 2015, Rich dude becomes PM how the media covered Turnbull’s ascension, digital image, viewed 18 September 2015, http://mumbrella.com.au/rich-dude-becomes-pm-how-the-media-covered-turnbulls-ascension-318575

Murphy, K & Chan, G 2015, Liberal leadership spill Malcolm Turnbull ousts Tony Abbott to become Australia’s 29th prime minister politics live, digital image, viewed 18 September 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2015/sep/14/tony-abbotts-leadership-under-pressure-as-mps-gather-politics-live

9News 2015 , Malcolm Turnbull says Australia owes Tony Abbott ‘enormous debt of gratitude, video, viewed 17 September 2015, http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/09/14/15/51/malcolm-turnbull-requests-ballot-for-liberal-leadership

References

Bourke, L 2015, Malcolm Turnbull defeats Tony Abbott in liberal leadership spill to become prime minister, viewed 18 September, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-defeats-tony-abbott-in-liberal-leadership-spill-to-become-prime-minister-20150914-gjmhiu.html

Coorey, P 2009, Shock result as Abbott wins liberal leadership by one vote ETS dead, viewed 18 September 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/national/shock-result-as-abbott-wins-liberal-leadership-by-one-vote–ets-dead-20091130-k1uz.html

Corcoran R & Dickenson J 2010, A dictionary of Australian politics, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest.

Keating, J 2015, Australia just changed Prime Ministers out of the blue again, viewed 17 September 2015, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/09/14/australia_just_changed_prime_ministers_out_of_the_blue_again.html

Mcguirk, R 2015, New Australian Prime Minister says government remains strong, viewed 17 September 2015, http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/minister-asks-australian-prime-minister-leadership-vote-33736529

Miragliotta, N, Errington, W & Barry, N 2013, The Australian Political system in action, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

COMM11108: Communication and the Political Process, blog 3, Australia’s Missing Voters

Figure 1: Voting Guide Source: AEC (2014)
Figure 1: Voting Guide
Source: AEC (2014)

The issue of the electoral system is a national one, according to Miragliotta, Errington & Barry (2013) the Australian Electoral Commission estimated in 2013 that 1.5 million names were absent from the electoral roll.

Former PM Julia Gillard Permitted the introduction of AEC being able to automatically enrol a citizen when they turn eighteen. Many could see this as removing the freedom of the individual to choose to vote or not. Although, there is a benefit in the entire population voting for their preferred political party. According to Miragliotta, Errington & Barry (2013) the benefit of voting is that we get to hold an elected representative to account. However, one may ask if that is truly the case.

As the power to remove a Prime Minister when they break policy promises when elected, is false as there is no actual power given to Australians to remove a Prime Minister in power (Commonwealth of Australia). The double dissolution does exist; however, according to Corcoran & Dickenson (2010) the governor general has the power to dissolve parliament, but traditionally only does so on the advice of the prime minister.

This suggests that the Prime Minister does not get held accountable for any or all actions taken which may be deemed as wrong (Commonwealth of Australia). Yet, they have the power to rule the entire country and make many decisions with the potential to ruined millions of people’s lives.

An example of a Prime Minister breaking promises is Tony Abbot, most of the Prime Minister’s policies are being fought and not passed either, as well as Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budgets not passing through parliament and yet the governor general has still not called a double dissolution.

Australian electoral Commission (2015) suggest that there are 1, 100, 446 missing from the electoral roll which means there is only 93.2% enrolled in Australia. Northern Territory has the lowest number of eligible Australians enrolled at 79.3% of the eligible population (Australian electoral Commission 2015).

Figure 2: You can't waste your vote Source: Patrick (2013)
Figure 2: You can’t waste your vote
Source: Patrick (2013)

This large population if they chose could swing the vote either way (Corcoran & Dickenson 2010). Reasons for not voting Hamilton (2015) may include:

  • Disbelief that their vote count
  • Not wanting anything to do with the government
  • Not Liking either candidates
  • Not seeing a point

Thus the government attempts to remove the Australian people’s freedom to make them vote, but taking away the freedom of the people is not how to go about it.

Figure References

Australian Electoral Commission 2014, Make sure you count: a guide to enrolling and voting, digital image, viewed 7 September, http://www.aec.gov.au/voting/your_vote.htm

Patrick 2013, You can’t waste your vote, digital image, viewed 7 September, http://www.chickennation.com/2013/08/18/you-cant-waste-your-vote/

References

Australian Electoral Commission 2015, Enrolment statistics, viewed 7 September 2015, http://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/Enrolment_stats/

Australian Electoral Commission 2015, Enrolment statistics, viewed 7 September 2015, http://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/Enrolment_stats/national/2015.htm

Commonwealth of Australia n.d, Powers practice and procedure, viewed 10 September 2015, http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/House_of_Representatives/Powers_practice_and_procedure/practice/chapter2#pri

Corcoran R & Dickenson J 2010, A dictionary of Australian politics, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest.

Hamilton, L 2015, On voting or not voting, viewed 7 September, http://www.myeasternshoremd.com/opinion/article_7f68d2b7-ff76-5bff-bed2-7efc81209ffa.html

Miragliotta, N, Errington, W & Barry, N 2013, The Australian Political system in action, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

COMM11108: Communication and the Political Process, Blog 2

A political issue that is both an international and a national issue is the same sex marriage idea being passed through the constitutions. This a very heated and popular issue that both the public and politicians alike debate about. However, the same sex marriage debate is certainly not new; it has been going on for many years. Prime Minister Tony Abbott that was most recently voted in the last election in 2012 is currently involved in deciding whether or not same sex marriage is put to the people (Henderson 2015).

Figure 1: marriage bill Source: The Shovel 2015
Figure 1: marriage bill
Source: The Shovel 2015

According to Hurst (2015) Mr Abbott has decided the Liberal party will keep its policies for this term and when the next election comes the party’s idea is to give the people a chance to vote in a referendum. However, many MP’s are sceptical of Mr Abbott’s promise to put it to the people later; mainly due in part to the idea that the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to a traditional marriage is the reason he refuses to allow a vote on it (Kenny & Ireland 2015). According to Kenny & Ireland (2015) the belief is the proposal is simply to halt/prevent changes for as long as possible.

According to Kenny & Ireland (2015) this gives the Australian people in favour of same sex marriage a huge reason to vote out the liberal party next election, but if somehow the vote does go to parliament then a number of Liberal MP’s have said they will cross the floor (Henderson 2015). According to Miragliotta, Errington & Barry (2013) Cross the floor is when a member of parliament votes on legislation with the opposite political party.

Figure 2: Tony Abbott grey filter Source: Overell 2015
Figure 2: Tony Abbott grey filter
Source: Overell 2015

From these articles in the newspapers the audience get the impression that the reason Mr Abbott prevents a vote on the same sex marriage is due to him being personally against it; consequently, bringing with that impression an outrage from the people (Overell 2015). Subsequently, it is unknown whether the impression given by the articles is false or true; yet, there is one fact that has not changed which is that this debate has not yet reached a conclusion and will still continue.

This issue could be resolved by making this a referendum which is to put to the people, so that the Australian people may choose for themselves whether or not there should be such a thing as same sex marriage or not.

Figure References

The Shovel 2015, Liberal Party urged to stay away from same sex marriage bill to avoid catching gay, digital image, viewed 14 August 2015, http://www.theshovel.com.au/2015/06/01/liberal-party-urged-to-stay-away-from-same-sex-marriage-bill-to-avoid-catching-gay/

Open Slather 2015, Open Slather Liz Hayes sketch, video, 28 June, viewed 14 August 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWywrrAmFCM

Overell, C 2015, Tony Abbott makes fun of gay pride movement with new Facebook photo, digital image, viewed 14 August 2015, http://www.betootaadvocate.com/uncategorized/tony-abbott-makes-fun-of-gay-pride-movement-with-new-facebook-photo/

Reference List

Henderson, A 2015, Malcolm Turnbull warns of political fallout over same-sex marriage decision; Abbott defends call, viewed 10 August 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-12/tony-abbott-defends-call-on-same-sex-marriage-vote/6690388

Hurst, D 2015, Same-sex marriage: Tony Abbott wears Liberals’ anger over free vote failure, viewed 10 August 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/aug/12/same-sex-marriage-tony-abbott-wears-liberals-anger-over-free-vote-failure

Kenny, M & Ireland, J 2015, Lingering same sex marriage tensions threaten Tony Abbott’s political union, viewed 10 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/lingering-same-sex-marriage-tensions-threaten-tony-abbotts-political-union-20150812-gixf3h.html

Miragliotta, N, Errington, W & Barry, N 2013, The Australian Political system in action, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

COMM11108: Communication and the Political Process, Blog 1

There is a major political issue about the role of the speaker in the national House of Representatives or the parliament. According to (Miragliotta, Errington & Barry 2013) the speaker is the person who presides over all the proceedings; this office is often referred to as the president and is elected by the members of the House of Representatives.

The previous three speakers have been accused of various scandalous actions which have caused an uproar and the call for a resignation. The latest speaker in the line of scandals is Bronwyn Bishop who ran from late 2013 to middle 2015 (Ireland 2015). Considering the combination of namings with 94as, Bishop kicked out 393 Labor MPs and 7 Liberal MPs making a total of 400 MPs (Ireland, J 2015). Gartrell (2015) remarks that there was also scandals of Bishop using the tax payers’ money to fund her travel engagements which is said to be going back 10 years. Bishop resigned on the 2nd of August 2015 after her infamous time with MP member naming and the expenses scandal as a speaker.

Figure 1: Bronwyn Bishop's greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament Source: Ireland (2015)
Figure 1: Bronwyn Bishop’s greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament
Source: Ireland (2015)

The parliament is still currently without a speaker and Prime Minister Tony Abbott currently avoids making the choice as he is states that it is a matter for the Liberal party room to decide (Skynews 2015). Resolving the issue might have to come to using an independent body of investigators to regulate the parliamentary members and to check that they are not using the tax payers money to pay for things that should not be being funded by the tax payers money.

It may be considered that the person in the role of speaker needs to be watched as past examples of this career have shown that people have been abusing it. However, that being said it is hard to tell whether this is just a scandal and no more than that as there are other past speakers such as Peter Slipper, who were accused of the same travel entitlements abuse scandal (ABC 2013).

Figure Reference

Ireland, J 2015, Bronwyn Bishop’s greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament, digital image, viewed 5 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bronwyn-bishops-greatest-hits-or-misses-as-speaker-of-the-parliament-20150803-giq25m.html

References

ABC 2013, Peter Slipper says repayment of MPs’ entitlement claims prove double standard, ABC News, 13 October, viewed 5 August 2015 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-12/peter-slipper-claims-double-standard-in-entitlements-scandal/5018732

Farr, M 2015, Tony Abbott has a delicate choice to make over a job with dodgy prospects, News Australia, 3 August, viewed 5 August 2015, http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/tony-abbott-has-a-delicate-choice-to-make-over-a-job-with-dodgy-prospects/story-fnkgbb3b-1227467757421

Gartrell, A 2015, Bishop grounded: Speaker cancels overseas trip as expenses scandal rages on, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 August, viewed 5 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bishop-grounded-speaker-cancels-overseas-trip-as-expenses-scandal-rages-on-20150801-gipbxy.html

Ireland, J 2015, Bronwyn Bishop’s greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 August, viewed 5 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bronwyn-bishops-greatest-hits-or-misses-as-speaker-of-the-parliament-20150803-giq25m.html