(Meme via Sandi Keane | @jarrapin)

Campaign-comatosed already? Test your knowledge with Quizmaster Alan Austin's fourth pre-election quiz for IA's political tragics. We hope a focus on facts will be a welcome change of diet from the tired old slogans and spin.

1. According to Australia’s Constitution, the prime minister:

(a) is subject to Part IV Section 16 regarding powers and responsibilities.

(b) must lead the nation in agility, creativity and innovation.

(c) must administer the desires of His Majesty the King and his heirs and successors faithfully at all times.

(d) if defeated in a party ballot must ensure no wrecking, no undermining and no sniping.

(e) does not exist.

2. Winning an election is the hard way to become PM. Most contenders get the top job mid-term by coup or the predecessor’s death. One of these didn’t. Who?

(a) Earl Page

(b) Robert Menzies

(c) Frank Forde

(d) Ben Chifley

(e) Harold Holt

(f) John Gorton

(g) William McMahon

(h) Malcolm Fraser 

(i) Bob Hawke

(j) Paul Keating

(k) Julia Gillard

(l) Malcolm Turnbull

3. Only one of these prime ministers was born in Australia. Which one?

(a) Chris Watson

(b) George Reid

(c) Andrew Fisher

(d) Joseph Cook

(e) Billy Hughes

(f) Joseph Lyons

(g) Julia Gillard

(h) Tony Abbott

Bonus point: In which country was Chris Watson born?

4. In the month after Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister last September, which of the following occurred:

(a) consumer confidence rose from 93.9 to 97.8.

(b) the Australian Stock Market all ordinaries index rose from 5046 to 5265.

(c) the Aussie dollar rose from 71.3 to 73.3 U.S. cents .

(d) people employed increased by 47,797.

(e) all of the above

(f) none of the above

5. Which post-war prime minister was the most productive, as measured by Acts proclaimed in any two-year period?

(a) Robert Menzies

(b) Gough Whitlam

(c) Paul Keating

(d) John Howard

(e) Julia Gillard

6. Which prime minister was least productive, by the same measure?

(a) Robert Menzies

(b) Gough Whitlam

(c) Paul Keating

(d) John Howard

(e) Julia Gillard

7. Which prime minister victorious after an election appointed the greatest number of ministers and parliamentary secretaries who were sacked or resigned before the following election?

(a) Stanley Bruce

(b) Gough Whitlam

(c) Malcolm Fraser

(d) John Howard

(e) Tony Abbott

Bonus point: how many?

8. Several prime ministers worked in newspapers before going into politics. Which one of these didn’t?

(a) Alfred Deakin

(b) Chris Watson

(c) John Curtin

(d) Kevin Rudd

(e) Tony Abbott

(f) Malcolm Turnbull

9. Australia’s most famous prime ministerial speech was reported around the world, translated into several languages and lauded by the presidents of France, the USA, Denmark and other nations. Yet it was not reported by Australia’s media for several days. This was:

(a) The opening of the first Parliament by Edmund Barton in 1901.

(b) The “melancholy duty” speech by Robert Menzies declaring war in 1939.

(c) Ben Chifley’s 1949 “light on the hill” speech.

(d) Kevin Rudd’s 2008 formal apology to the stolen generations.

(e) Julia Gillard’s 2012 misogyny speech.

(f) Malcolm Turnbull’s 2015 declaration of the demise of Tony Abbott.

10. Which former Australian prime minister after leaving the job served as:

  • chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism at the International Peace Institute in Vienna, Austria
  • senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • distinguished statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC
  • distinguished fellow at Chatham House, London
  • distinguished fellow at the Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago
  • first President of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York City
  • chair of UNICEF’s Sanitation and Water For All global partnership
  • active contributor to the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council

(a) One person? You’re joking!

(b) Joseph Lyons

(c) Sir Earl Page

(d) Malcolm Fraser

(e) Bob Hawke

(f) Kevin Rudd

11. Which Australian prime minister said this?
“It has never been easier to get away with telling lies. It has never been easier to get away with the glib one liner. Broadcasters or politicians or writers who think that they are respecting Struggle Street, the battlers, by dumbing things down into one-line soundbites are not respecting them, they are treating them with contempt.”
(a) Malcolm Fraser

(b) Paul Keating

(c) Kevin Rudd

(d) Julia Gillard

(e) Malcolm Turnbull


12. Who is the only Australian prime minister who in office never blamed the state of the nation on his predecessor?

(a) Julia Gillard

(b) Paul Keating

(c) John Curtin

(d) Alfred Deakin

(e) Edmund Barton

Find the answers here.

[Editor's note: Pictured from the top down: Gough Whitlam, Robert Menzies, Alfred Deakin,Malcolm Turnbull, Julia Gillard, Stanley Bruce, John Curtin, Edmund Barton,Malcolm Fraser, Kevin Rudd, Paul Keating.]

Disputes with the Quizmaster are welcome and correspondence will enthusiastically be entered into. Feel free to Tweet Alan Austin @AlanTheAmazing.

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