Election QUIZ #9: How well do you know the Labor Opposition?

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So you think you're a political expert, 'eh? Well, let's find out with quizmaster Alan Austin's eighth pre-election quiz — this time about the Opposition.


1. How many Labor prime ministers does it take to change a light bulb?

(a) One; and no light bulb will remain unchanged by 1990.

(b) None; this is the dead light bulb we had to have.

(c) One; it will be changed in the financial year 2022-23, provided demand from China continues.

(d) None; there will be no dead light bulbs under a government that I lead.

(e) Other. Suggestions?


2. The first meeting of the Australian Labor Party was convened when, where and by whom?

(a) in 1879, at the Sovereign Hill Hotel near Ballarat by mine workers celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade.

(b) in 1883, at Parramatta, by followers of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who had been transported from England for agitating for better conditions for workers.

(c) in 1891, by striking shearers under the gum tree now known as the Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine, Queensland.

(d) in 1896, by the first federal parliamentary Labour leader, Chris Watson, during a Sunday afternoon of roast lamb, rum and cribbage at his home in Double Bay in Sydney.


3. The last five Labor prime ministers were:

  • Gough Whitlam
  • Bob Hawke
  • Paul Keating
  • Kevin Rudd
  • Julia Gillard

Who got the top job soonest after entering parliament and who had to wait the longest?

(a) Gough Whitlam longest wait, Bob Hawke shortest wait

(b) Gough Whitlam longest, Kevin Rudd shortest

(c) Paul Keating longest, Bob Hawke shortest

(d) Julia Gillard longest, Kevin Rudd shortest

Bonus points: How long?


4. The Howard Government had 15 ministers resign or sacked for incompetence or integrity issues and several others leave over loyalty matters. The Abbott/Turnbull Government has had ten removed from executive positions for incompetence or integrity matters — so far.

How many ministers were sacked or resigned for incompetence or integrity failures during the five years and ten months of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd (not counting loyalty matters)?

(a) 15

(b) Ten

(c) Five

(d) One

(e) None


5. Malcolm Turnbull has nine women out of 42 in his front bench. How many women does Bill Shorten have among the 46 on his shadow front bench?

(a) Nine

(b) 12

(c) 19

(d) 23


6. How many of these 20 profound reforms in Australia were proposed by Labor?

  • Universal superannuation
  • Universal health insurance
  • Universal disability insurance
  • the current system of pensions and benefits
  • National competition policy
  • enterprise bargaining
  • The formation of the Australia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum
  • Home insulation program
  • Building education revolution
  • Company dividends franked tax
  • Floating the Australian dollar
  • Deregulating the banking system
  • Taxing capital gains and fringe benefits
  • Removing import protection
  • Removing exchange and interest rate controls
  • The independent central bank
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Commission
  • The goods and services tax
  • Decimal currency
  • Slashing trade tariffs by 25%

(a) 11, more than half

(b) 15, the vast majority

(c) 19, nearly all

(d) All 20


7. Which former Labor 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
  • Owner of dog called Abby

(a) One person? You’re joking!

(b) Frank Forde

(c) Gough Whitlam

(d) Bob Hawke

(e) Kevin Rudd


8. Which one of these has Bill Shorten not been heavily involved with?

(a) The national disability insurance scheme

(b) The Gonski school funding reforms

(c) The Western Bulldogs football club

(d) The Australian Netball Players Association 

(e) The Australian Cricketers' Association.

(f) Replacing Kevin Rudd as PM with Julia Gillard


9. Which one of these propositions regarding Wayne Swan’s record as Labor treasurer is false?

(a) He is the only Australian treasurer to cut spending in dollar terms since World War II.

(b) The budget surplus he delivered in 2008 was more than $2.5 billion greater than the best surplus Peter Costello ever delivered during the Howard years.

(c) The greatest reduction in gross debt in any three-month period in Australia’s history was when he was treasurer.

(d) He reduced taxes to 20.2% of gross domestic product in 2009-10 and further to 20.0% the following year, the equal lowest level since 1978.

(e) He was the second treasurer in Australia’s history, after Paul Keating, to achieve a triple A credit rating with all three major credit agencies.


10. Bill Shorten has 21 members in his inner shadow ministry. How many served in the first Rudd ministry in 2007? How many in the first Gillard ministry after the 2010 election?

(a) 5 in Rudd’s first ministry, 8 in Gillard’s first.

(b) 8 in Rudd’s first ministry, 12 in Gillard’s first.

(c) 12 in Rudd’s first ministry, 14 in Gillard’s first.

(d) 16 in Rudd’s first ministry, 17 in Gillard’s first.


11. One national media group is vigorously campaigning against the Labor Party, as shown in these recent headlines:

  • ‘Scott Morrison says Labor’s savings plan is a recipe for fiscal chaos’
  • ‘Swinging voters say Bill Shorten is out of his depth’
  • ‘Australian Medical Association criticises Labor's Medicare claims’
  • ‘Malcolm Turnbull says Bill Shorten puts Indigenous recognition at risk’
  • ‘Govt says Labor's plan to fund Gonski will risk deficit blowout’
  • ‘Shorten lacks power to stand up to unions: Martin Ferguson’
  • ‘Govt says Labor's 5-year budget plan would jeopardise AAA credit rating’

Which media group?

(a) Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited

(b) The Australian Broadcasting Corporation

(c) Fairfax Media Limited

(d) Channel Seven Network

(e) Independent Australiaza


12. One of these assertions about Labor Party leader Bill Shorten is false. Which one?

(a) His father, William Robert Shorten, was a waterside worker and union official born in England.

(b) He has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Melbourne’s Business School. 

(c) Justifying his challenge to a sitting Labor MP in Maribyrnong in 2005, he said, "...we haven't won a Federal election since 1993. When your footy team loses four consecutive grand finals, you renew the team."

(d) During his period as Party leader, ALP membership has fallen from above 60,000 to below 50,000.

(e) He was best man at the wedding of his friend John Roskam, executive director of the anti-Labor Institute of Public Affairs.


Check your answers here!

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


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