So you think you know Australian politics, do ya? Well, find out for sure with quizmaster Alan Austin's eighth pre-election quiz for IA's political tragics — this time you need to try to be right about the Right.


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

(a) Jobs and growth.

(b) One and we have a plan to make this transition a success.

(c) One, but remember it was Labor who broke it.

(d) None, voters should be kept in the dark.

(e) Other. Suggestions welcome.


2. When Julie Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd as prime minister in June 2010, no other ministers, assistant ministers or parliamentary secretaries were ejected from the executive council.

When Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister in September 2015, how many were tossed out?

(a) Two: Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey

(b) Four

(c) Seven

(d) Nine

3. Which former Coalition federal cabinet member is credited with these achievements?

  • Engaged in wartime military activity.
  • Introduced Australia’s first child endowment scheme.
  • Ministerial responsibility for the 1956 Olympic Games.
  • Appointed a Privy Councillor by the Queen.
  • Established the Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Planned the introduction of decimal currency.
  • Convinced cabinet to call the new currency dollars rather than royals.
  • Implemented a credit squeeze which almost lost his government the next election.
  • Began to dismantle the White Australia Policy.
  • Planned the 1967 referendum which gave the Commonwealth responsibility for indigenous affairs and included Aborigines in the census.

(a) John McEwan

(b) Harold Holt

(c) Les Bury

(d) Garfield Barwick

(e) John Gorton


4. The Abbott Coalition Government in November/December 2014 achieved which breakthrough in the employment of women?

(a) The percentage of women in full-time jobs rose above 50% for the first time since records have been kept.

(b) Percentage of women in full-time jobs fell below 50% for the first time since records have been kept.

(c) Average hours worked per woman per month rose above 64 hours for the first time in more than 10 years.

(d) Average hours worked per woman per month fell below 64 hours for the first time in more than 10 years.


5. A Coalition prime minister appointed Australia’s first deputy prime minister. Who and why?

(a) Prime Minister Joseph Lyons gave Harold Tompkins the new deputy role in 1937 as part of his winnings in a poker game.

(b) Arthur Fadden gave Percy Spender the position in 1941 to acknowledge the senior role Spender took on during World War II.

(c) Robert Menzies appointed Harold Holt as deputy PM in 1963 in a deal to allow the then 69 year-old Menzies to contest the next election before retiring gracefully.

(d) John Gorton appointed John McEwan in 1968 to consolidate the power of the Country Party in the fragile coalition.

(e) Malcolm Fraser appointed Doug Anthony in 1976 in a futile attempt to quell the leadership rivalry between ambitious upstarts John Howard and Andrew Peacock.


6. The U.S.-based Institute of Economic and Peace ranks 163 countries from safest to most dangerous in its annual global peace index.

In the 2016 report released this month, Australia:

(a) Was declared the most peaceful nation on earth, rising from 5th place to 1st.

(b) Rose from 15th place to 10th, gaining the "very high" peaceful rating for the first time.

(c) Stayed where it has been for the last four years in 10th place.

(d) Lost its "very high" peaceful rating, slipping from 10th most peaceful country to 15th.

(e) Was disqualified when it ordered 12 modified nuclear Shortfin Barracuda submarines, implicitly signalling its intent to invade China.


7. In 2013 the heads of Treasury and the Finance Department set out their non-partisan deficit forecasts for the next three years: 2014-15 to 2016-17 (in their pre-election economic and fiscal outlook [PEFO]). It projected total deficits of -$24.5 billion.

What were the actual deficits the Coalition has delivered, according to the 2016 non-partisan PEFO?

(a) -$23.35 billion, a better outcome by 4.7 per cent.

(b) -$24.5 billion, bang on target.

(c) -$25.65 billion, a worse outcome by 4.7 per cent.

(d) -$36.02 billion, a worse outcome by 47 per cent.

(e) -$115.0 billion, a worse outcome by 470 per cent.

(f) Nobody knows because the media refuses to report this.


8. Which of these prestigious international journals expressed dismay at Australia’s alarming economic collapse since Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison replaced their predecessors?

(a) Le Figaro, France.

(b) The Telegraph, UK.

(c) The Wall Street Journal, USA.

(d) Reuters, worldwide.

(e) The Straits Times, Singapore.

(f) The New Zealand Herald, NZ.

(g) Chicago Tribune, USA.

(h) All of the above.


9. One of the following statements is false — which one?

(a) The greatest decrease in Australia's gross debt in any month was when John Howard was prime minister.

(b) The greatest increase in Australia's gross debt in any 6-month period was when Mr Turnbull was prime minister.

(c) The greatest increase in Australia's gross debt in any financial year was when Mr Abbott was prime minister.

(d) Net debt relative to gross domestic product has increased from 10.5% at the last election to a projected 18.9% next financial year.


10. Coalition ministers refer to the Howard years as a golden age of economic management and recall wistfully the mining boom, the rivers of gold and the surplus budgets. Commodity prices, they claim, have now collapsed.

During the last two years of the Howard Government, the iron ore price fluctuated between $28 and $36. In 2015 and 2016, it has fluctuated between:

(a) $19 and $31, significantly lower.

(b) $27 and $39, about the same.

(c) $35 and $48, significantly higher.

(d) $40 and $67, much higher.


11. Which former or current Coalition party leader said this?

“Shouldn’t one key benchmark for politicians be: have we made an issue clearer and the complex comprehensible? We all want cut through messages. How about cutting through with clarity, rather than with spin?”

(a) John Howard

(b) Tim Fischer

(c) Warren Truss

(d) Malcolm Turnbull

(e) Barnaby Joyce


12. According to Malcolm Turnbull, a key strategy

“... to ensure that we remain a first-world economy is trade."

Which of these is true?

(a) Australia’s worst-ever trade deficit was in April 2015, just 19 months after the Coalition took office.

(b) the monthly result for March 2016 was the thirteenth consecutive deficit above $2.0 billion – first time ever.

(c) Australia’s longest run of deficits – 78 months – began in April 2002 and continued through the last six years of the Howard Government until October 2008.

(d) all of the above.

[Note: A trade deficit is when imports are higher than exports; the opposite scenario is a trade surplus.]


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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