(Meme via Sandi Keane | @jarrapin)

It's Election Day and if your brain hasn't gone to putty, test your knowledge with Quizmaster Alan Austin's final quiz for IA's political tragics. 

1. There was a remarkable period in Australia’s post-war history when the government received all these international accolades in one brief three-year period:

  • highest level of economic freedom in the OECD, according to Heritage Foundation.
  • infrastructure minister of the year award from London-based publication Infrastructure Investor.
  • highest median wealth in the world, according to Credit Suisse.
  • voted a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
  • voted to chair the G20 group of the world’s 20 major economies
  • asked to host the Pacific Island Forum.
  • Euromoney award for world’s best treasurer.

In that three-year period the government changed prime ministers. They were:

(a) Robert Menzies and Harold Holt

(b) Bob Hawke and Paul Keating

(c) Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard

(d) Didn’t happen. Too good to be true


2. Who was the longest continuously serving government minister in Australian history?

(a) Billy Hughes

(b) Billy Snedden

(c) Bill Hayden

(d) Billy McMahon

(e) Bill Heffernan

(f) Bill Shorten

Bonus point: How long?


3. Which deputy party leader, in 2012, wrote this hymn of praise to Communist China?

‘The greatest achievement in human history in terms of lifting people out of poverty has occurred in China, where hundreds of millions of people have found prosperity after reforms that underpinned economic growth and fostered development. The unleashing of human potential by the liberalisation of China’s economy has been the force that has driven this miracle of development.’

(a) Dio Wang, Palmer United Party

(b) Julie Bishop, Liberal Party

(c) Wayne Swan, Labor Party

(d) Nigel Scullion, National Party

(e) Adam Bandt, Greens Party


4. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in March 2013, when in Opposition, “One of the great failings of the Gillard Government is its inability to curb spending. From zero government debt to gross debt nearing $300 billion, the government has no plans to repay it ... The burden of paying down Labor debt will once more fall on the shoulders of a future Coalition government.”

By June 2013, as a result of the global financial crisis, gross debt reached $257.37 billion. (AOFM figures)

In the two and a half years the Coalition has had to repay the debt, has it:

(a) been reduced by $42 billion

(b) stayed pretty much the same

(c) increased by $42 billion

(d) increased by $142 billion


5. Most Australian federal political party leaders are fairly new in the current job. The average time as leader is less than a year and eight months. Who is the longest-serving of these six?

(a) Labor leader Bill Shorten

(b) Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull

(c) Greens leader Richard Di Natale

(d) Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce

(e) Nick Xenophon Team leader, Nick Xenophon

(f) Pauline Hanson’s One Nation leader, Pauline Hanson


6. The Gillard Government’s decision to ban live cattle sales to Indonesia for six weeks in mid 2011 generated shock, outrage and hatred within the industry. But what happened to sales and profits?

For the first four months of 2011, before the ban, Indonesia bought an average of 30,452 animals per month at an average price of $838.82.

For the last four months of 2011, after the ban, averages were:

(a) 30,300 animals per month at an average price of $839.50, virtually unchanged.

b) 26,797 animals, down 12%, at $785.97, down 6.3%.

(c) 34,106 animals, up 12%, at $891.61, up 6.3%.

(d) 43,227 animals, up 42%, at $950.71, up 13.3%.


7. Match these actual quotes with their author:

(i) "If you think we're not going to rule out never not being some kind of blank stamp or a rubber cheque for this government's broken lies and their smelly bag of fish budget … then you need to move into a house with mirrors and have a look at yourself, because a crocodile wouldn't swallow that."

(ii) “Submarines are the spaceships of the ocean.”

(iii) "I've always said before the year's out, and it's going to happen before the year's out – and if it doesn't you can have another press conference and drag me backwards and forth through the prickles and kick the crap out of me.”

(iv) “I’m prepared to use the Hopoate tactic.”

(v) "The literature (regarding genetically modified crops) so far, on the issue of human health, hasn't produced evidence of widespread and significant health harms."

(vi) “On this vital issue of climate change we are not simply without a policy, without any prospect of having a credible policy, but we are now without integrity. We have given our opponents the irrefutable, undeniable evidence that we cannot be trusted.”

(vii) “First of all we don’t have advisers, we have employees that follow our direction and our party policy … I just have my brain which is very effective and I’m quite happy with my own advice.”

(viii) "For your sake, I hope the children you (childless adults) are forced to support don't end up as juvenile delinquents, and I hope that they get immunised so that you don't end up getting sick ... It's bad enough that people continue to bring wave upon wave of these little blighters into the world. The least they can do is immunise their bundles of dribble and sputum." 

(ix) “People have been paying more attention to my metaphors. Which is pleasing, because all of us put a lot of work into them, whether it's writing them, delivering them ... or explaining them afterwards.”

(a) Clive Palmer

(b) Malcolm Turnbull

(c) Bill Shorten

(d) Senator Richard Di Natale

(e) Barnaby Joyce

(f) Senator David Leyonhjelm

(g) Senator John Madigan

(h) Senator Glenn Lazarus


8. Who of these past or present party leaders have served a term in prison?

(a) Bill Shorten

(b) Christine Milne

(c) Pauline Hanson

(d) Nick Xenophon

(e) Derryn Hinch


9. Ten countries in the world have triple A credit ratings with all three major credit ratings agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s.

How many of the ten have managed to lower their gross debt relative to gross domestic product (GDP) since 2012?

(a) None. Global headwinds are too strong.

(b) Only two. Singapore and Sweden.

(c) Four. Norway, Luxembourg and Denmark.

(d) Seven. All except. Germany, Canada, Singapore and Australia

(e) Nine. All except Australia


10. Which of these prime ministers were removed by their own party during their first term?

(a) Robert Menzies

(b) John Gorton

(c) Kevin Rudd

(d) Julia Gillard

(e) Tony Abbott


11. The Coalition always asserts it is the party of low taxes. Is this true?

Taxes as a percentage of GDP through the recent Labor years fell to 20.2% in 2009-10 and stabilised at 21.5 for Labor’s last two years.

Taxes as a percentage of GDP under the current Coalition, according to the May budget papers, for next year and the year after will be:

(a) 19.7% and 20.3%

(b) 20.7% and 21.3%

(c) 22.7% and 23.1%

(d) 23.7% and 24.3%


12. Four years ago, at the end of the global financial crisis, Australia was second only to China in this list of twenty advancing countries on economic growth (annual rate of increase in GDP).

Algeria, Australia, China, Egypt, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Nicaragua, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

Where is Australia ranked now, during this period of steady global economic recovery?

(a) First, right at the top

(b) Still second

(c) Fifth, behind China, Iceland, Monaco and Sweden

(d) Tenth, near the middle

(e) Last – 20th

Find the answers here!

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

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