(meme via Sandi Keane | @jarrapin)

Campaign-comatosed already? Test your knowledge with Quizmaster Alan Austin's sixth 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. Australia – with a population ranked 53rd in the world – has just ordered 12 new submarines. Where would having 12 rank Australia in the world by number of submarines deployed today?

(a) in the top forty

(b) in the top twenty

(c) in the top ten

(d) in the top five


2. Kidman’s pastoral property is on the market and may yet be sold to foreign bidders. At 101,000 square kilometres when it went on sale last year, it was approximately the same size as:

(a) Switzerland

(b) Hungary

(c) Portugal and Cyprus combined

(d) Italy


3. In its last budget, 2013-14, Labor struggled with the aftermath of the global financial crisis, but still managed to allocate $5,666 million in development aid to the poorest of the world’s poor. Now, with Labor’s budget emergency under control and a steady global recovery, the amount allocated to overseas aid in 2016-17 will be:

(a) $6,346 million, an increase of 12%

(b) $7,502 million, an increase of 32%

(c) $5,670 million, about the same

(d) $4,986, a reduction of 12%

(e) $3,828 million, a reduction of 32%


4. The US-based Akamai group publishes State of the Internet reports which track global broadband adoption and connection speeds. Where does Australia rank in the world by average peak internet connection speed?

(a) 6th, beaten only by South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Norway

(b) 16th, about average for the developed countries

(c) 36th, but at least we’re ahead of New Zealand

(d) 60th, at the bottom among developed countries


5. Which prestigious international journal recently wrote scathingly of Australia’s refugee detention regime?

(a) The New York Times, USA

(b) The Vancouver Sun, Canada

(c) Le Figaro, France

(d) The Straits Times, Singapore

(e) Die Welt, Germany

(f) The Khmer Times, Cambodia

(g) The New Zealand Herald, NZ

(h) all of the above

(i) none of the above


6. On Indigenous affairs, which of these statements is true?

(a) An Australian Indigenous woman now leads the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, based in New York.

(b) Sydney University researchers believe axe grinding technology was invented in Australia more than 46,000 years ago and reached Africa and Europe relatively recently.

(c) The UK medical journal Lancet found in April that the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people was greater in Australia than in the USA, Canada, Greenland, New Zealand, Panama, Norway, Sweden, China, Nigeria and India.

(d) Amnesty International reports that Western Australia imprisons Aboriginal children at a much higher rate than any other state – 53 times more than non-Aboriginal children.

(e) All of the above.

(f) None of the above.


7. “Papua New Guinea must be one of Australia's highest foreign policy priorities. In government, the Coalition will seek to be judged on what it does when it comes to the bilateral relationship, not what it says it will do.”

Foreign minister Julie Bishop said that during the Gillard years when Australia’s annual trade with PNG (for the three calendar years 2011 to 2013) averaged $5,907 million. In 2015, trade with PNG:

(a) increased 10.7% over that level to $6,539 million

(b) stayed much the same around $5,910 million

(c) decreased 10.7% to $5,275 million

(d) decreased 20.7% to $4,684 million

8. “We can only do that – maintain a high-income, developed economy – by raising our productivity and competitiveness.” Malcolm Turnbull, June 2013.

According to the World Economic Forum, Australia’s competitiveness ranking in 2016 relative to 2013 has:

(a) risen four places from 20th to 16th

(b) risen one place from 20th to 19th

(c) stayed the same

(d) fallen one place from 20th to 21st

(e) fallen four places from 20th to 24th


9. Global trade figures show the current economic recovery is advancing strongly. Of the 34 rich developed countries comprising the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ten achieved the highest ever trade surplus in 2015. Several others came close. Only three countries recorded their worst ever trade deficits in 2015. These were:

(a) Australia, Canada and Sweden

(b) Italy, Mexico and Turkey

(c) Poland, Greece and Hungary

(d) Greece, Portugal and Australia


10. When the United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples was adopted by the General Assembly in 2007 four countries refused to sign  Australia, the United States, New Zealand, and Canada. Some have signed since. Last month the final permanent objector changed course and signed. The last country was:

(a) Australia

(b) United States

(c) New Zealand

(d) Canada

11. According to foreign minister Julie Bishop, “One of the most important tasks for an Australian government is to build and maintain a strong relationship with the government of Indonesia.” In the last two overseas aid budgets Australia’s development assistance to Indonesia has:

(a) increased 10% from $614 million to $675 million

(b) stayed the same at around $614 million

(c) decreased 10% from $614 million to $552 million

(d) decreased 40% from $614 million to $366 million


12. The Washington-based free enterprise group Heritage Foundation publishes an annual index of economic freedom. This measures capitalism’s ability to operate “unconstrained by the state.” Since the last change of government, Australia’s freedom ranking among the 34 developed OECD nations has:

(a) tumbled from top of the table to third, behind New Zealand and Switzerland.

(b) stayed the same, near the middle.

(c) leapfrogged Sweden, Chile and New Zealand to move from fifth place to second behind only Canada.

(d) risen to the top of the table.

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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