Best Prime Minister in Last 40 years ?

Best Prime Minister in Last 40 years ?

  • William McMahon

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Gough Whitlam

    Votes: 12 10.1%
  • Malcolm Fraser

    Votes: 2 1.7%
  • Bob Hawke

    Votes: 9 7.6%
  • Paul Keating

    Votes: 18 15.1%
  • John Howard

    Votes: 69 58.0%
  • Kevin Rudd

    Votes: 8 6.7%

  • Total voters
    119
By special request , I have been asked to put in a new pole - Best Prime Minister in Last 40 years ? :)

This is my opinion.
This is a bit tougher to me. Being a labour man at around the time of Hawke - I actually liked the guy. He had that charisma - who could ever forget his statement when Australia won the America's cup? - "Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum". However the major blunder was their stopping neg gearing , and starting it again after they realised their mistake.
Then you have John Howard , who inherited 96 Billion debt and piad it all off , leaving a 20 billion surplus.
So to me , its Howard - only just.
 
It is very subjective how success is measured. I remember a boss of mine visited Hong Kong immediately after the 1983 election. His business collegaues over there were saying to him how good it is that Hawke was elected. Bill said hang on why are you saying that "he's a socialist". They replied he is the first Prime Minister who is a leader since Menzies.

My measure of success would be Hawke/Keating and by a whisker I would give it to Keating because he had the guts to go for leadership.

I think Fraser and Howard squandered a lot of opportunities for good microeconomic reform.
 
How could you go past John Howard ? All we have from labour is a history of very poor economic management . Blind freddy can see it .

There is just no way I could ever vote labour .

I would like to see voting become optional like in the US and I think if that were to happen the labour party would be the losers . What do ya reckon ?
 
Then you have John Howard, who inherited 96 Billion debt and paid it all off, leaving a 20 Billion surplus.

Fully agreed. I believe the PM is the CEO of the country, and the # 1 job of the CEO is to make sure the finances are in order. Everything stems from that. Nothing gets done if the finances are shabby.

After 13 years of Labor in Govt, they had mis-managed to dig a rather large hole of 96 Billion. I remember budget figures with the big slice of pie showing foreign Banks scooping about 7 or 8 Billion every year just to pay the interest on Labor's debt. That's 8 Billion you cannot spend on hospitals roads and police etc.

Howard, and very ably assisted by Costello in the Treasurer role, managed to completely wipe out that debt and have a 20 Billion surplus. So instead of shovelling 8 Billion overseas every year forevermore, they completely reversed that trend and had available about 1.5 Billion in extra funds every year to play with. That's a 9.5 Billion difference every year to spread throughout the community. No theory, no BS, no politics, no spin. Debt paid off.

Of course, most normal Aussie folk couldn't give a rats about money, and no-one really appreciated what they did and so swallowed the spin brigade's fluff and wind.....and here we are today. Joy.

I will be interested to see how big the debt has blown out to when Rudd gets turfed out.
 
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I think Hawke and Keating made a lot of the structural economic changes that were required for us to survive economically... reducing protectionism, floating the dollar etc.
At the time, it was painful, but comparing our situation to that of the US and parts of Europe now, then I can really see the benefits of what they brought about.
I can remember the high levels of unemployment and the number of strikes under Fraser (although I was only in high school). and the change under Hawke was significant. The "Accord's" from my perspective seemed to get everyone working together.
I think Howard did OK as an economic manager, but actually I think most of the talent was Costello's. Howard seemed intent on giving tax cuts, but then putting levies on this and that, so that the tax system became so complicated. But the GST was clearly something that was very effective in raising revenue.
I also think alot of the wealth of Howard's "season" was squandered by not building infrastructure (roads, transport, hospitals, universities etc). The fact that we had no debt was partly because we weren't spending enough money on "nation building". I remember one of my Indian colleagues telling me that within 10 years, Indians would be a nation of managers and Australia a nation of "servants/ workers" because we weren't committed enough to higher education.
I also think Howard brought alot of division to the country.......... he introduced the term "unaustralian" for anything that he did that we disagreed with......... I think the term "unaustralian" is unaustralian!! :D
and I think his treatment of refugees was inhumane.
Costello, on the other hand, I had a lot of time for. I think he was the brains behind the operation. and despite the smirk, I think he was an honest, intelligent economic manager and he would have made a good PM.
 
Of course, most normal Aussie folk couldn't give a rats about money, and no-one really appreciated what they did and so swallowed the spin brigade's fluff and wind.....and here we are today. Joy.

They only care if it affects them. My brother-in-law is a hardcore Labor supporter and claims that Australia would have suffered the same fate as the rest of the world if it wasn't for Kev's stimulus package.

Perhaps we needed to spend our way through but why couldn't we have brought planned spending forward, or spent on something that would add value for the future like infrastructure. Instead almost every school has a new hall while major infrastructure projects in NSW continue to be shelved at a cost of $500m.

Regards

Andrew
 
Fully agreed. I believe the PM is the CEO of the country, and the # 1 job of the CEO is to make sure the finances are in order. Everything stems from that. Nothing gets done if the finances are shabby.

After 13 years of Labor in Govt, they had mis-managed to dig a rather large hole of 96 Billion. I remember budget figures with the big slice of pie showing foreign Banks scooping about 7 or 8 Billion every year just to pay the interest on Labor's debt. That's 8 Billion you cannot spend on hospitals roads and police etc.

Howard, and very ably assisted by Costello in the Treasurer role, managed to completely wipe out that debt and have a 20 Billion surplus. So instead of shovelling 8 Billion overseas every year forevermore, they completely reversed that trend and had available about 1.5 Billion in extra funds every year to play with. That's a 9.5 Billion difference every year to spread throughout the community. No theory, no BS, no politics, no spin. Debt paid off.

Of course, most normal Aussie folk couldn't give a rats about money, and no-one really appreciated what they did and so swallowed the spin brigade's fluff and wind.....and here we are today. Joy.

I will be interested to see how big the debt has blown out to when Rudd gets turfed out.

Well said Dazz

Regards

Regrow
 
I also think alot of the wealth of Howard's "season" was squandered by not building infrastructure (roads, transport, hospitals, universities etc). The fact that we had no debt was partly because we weren't spending enough money on "nation building".

I agree with this wholeheartedly.
 
Howard by the length of the straight....

Sadly, all the good work is being undone quicker than Makybe Diva won her 3 cups....

Here, here!

It takes a gutsy man to stand up against the Unions. All of that good work has now been undone.


On the subject of Insulation - Apparently we are now paying for the poor guys that have lost their businesses and jobs to do a quick 12mth Building Course. Apparently they won't be qualified to build at the end of it but hey...it keeps them busy for a while.:confused::confused::mad:

Regards JO
 
Paul Keating (as treasurer and PM) . And daylight second. Little Johnnie dead last.

The Howard govt (luckily) happened to be in power at a time of worldwide prosperity and growth. No major recessions to worry about.

The Hawke govt inherited a huge deficit from Liberal, which -by the way- was undisclosed.

Plus he benefited hugely from sweeping monetary Keating-Hawke reforms before him (see below). Aside from the financial stuff, his (mostly human rights/humanitarian) policies failed miserably. I cannot remember a more inhumane and lying prime minister. And government.


from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Keating

Paul Keating: Treasurer: 1983-1991

Following the Labor Party's victory in the March 1983 election, Keating was appointed treasurer, a post he held until 1991. Keating succeeded John Howard as treasurer and was able to use the size of the budget deficit that had been left by the outgoing government to attack the former treasurer, and question the economic credibility of the Liberal-National Party. That the deficit had significantly blown out in the lead up to the election was not disclosed by the Liberal-National Party government.[8] The incoming Hawke Labor government only learned about the extent of the deficit when briefed by Treasury officials after the election. According to Bob Hawke, the historically large $9.6 billion budget deficit left by the Coalition ‘became a stick with which we were justifiably able to beat the Liberal National Party Opposition for many years’.[8] Although, as the former treasurer, Howard was ‘discredited’[9] by the budget blowout, he had argued unsuccessfully against Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, that the revised figures should be disclosed before the election.[10]

Keating was one of the driving forces behind the various microeconomic reforms of the Hawke government. The Hawke/Keating governments of 1983–1996 pursued economic policies and restructuring such as floating the Australian dollar in 1983, reducing tariffs on imports, taxation reforms, moving from centralised wage-fixing to enterprise bargaining, privatisation of publicly-owned companies such as Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank, and deregulation of the banking system. Keating was instrumental in the introduction of the Prices and Incomes Accord, an agreement between the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the government to negotiate wages. His management of the Accord, and close working relationship with ACTU leader Bill Kelty, was a source of tremendous political power for Keating. Keating was able to bypass cabinet in many instances, notably in the exercise of monetary policy.[11]

In 1985, Keating proposed the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax or "GST" (known in America as a value-added tax), which was debated by the party before being dropped by Hawke. The early 1990s recession, which Keating called "the recession we had to have",[12] resulted in significant increase in support for the Liberal party, which Keating used in his push for the Labor party leadership.

Keating's tenure as treasurer and prime minister is often criticised for high interest rates and the 1990s recession. In private, Keating actually argued against interest rate rises during the period, but acquiesced to the recommendations of the public service.[11][13] During the subsequent Howard Government (1996–2007), Keating often criticised Howard for taking credit over the relatively good economic conditions Australia experienced over the latter half of Howard's time as prime minister.[14]

At a 1988 meeting at Kirribilli House, Hawke and Keating discussed the handover of the leadership to Keating. Hawke agreed in front of two witnesses that he would resign in Keating's favour after the 1990 election.[11] In June 1991, after Hawke had intimated to Keating that he planned to renege on the deal on the basis that Keating had been publicly disloyal and moreover was less popular than Hawke, Keating challenged him for the leadership. He lost (Hawke won 66-44 in the party room ballot),[15] resigned as Treasurer, and declared in a press conference that he had fired his 'one shot'.[16] Publicly, at least, this made his leadership ambitions unclear. Having lost the first challenge to Hawke, Keating realised that events would have to move very much in his favor for a second challenge to be even possible.[17]

Several factors contributed to the success of Keating’s second challenge in December 1991. Over the remainder of 1991, the economy showed no signs of recovery from the recession, and unemployment continued to rise.[18][19] Some of Keating’s supporters undermined the government.[18] The Government was polling poorly.[17] Perhaps more significantly, Liberal leader John Hewson introduced Fightback!, an economic policy package, which, according to Keating’s biographer, John Edwards, ‘appeared to astonish and stun Hawke’s cabinet’.[20] According to Edwards, ‘Hawke was unprepared to attack it and responded with windy rhetoric’.[20] After Fightback!, Keating ‘did practically nothing’ as Hawke’s support dwindled and the numbers moved in Keating’s favor.[21]
[edit] Prime Minister: 1991–1996
Main article: Hawke-Keating Government

Keating introduced mandatory detention for asylum seekers with bipartisan support in 1992.[22] Mandatory detention was controversial under the Howard Government. On 10 December 1992, Keating delivered a speech on Aboriginal reconciliation, which is considered by many to be one of the great Australian speeches.[23][24][25]

Most commentators believed the 1993 election was "unwinnable" for Labor; the government had been in power for 10 years and the pace of economic recovery from the early 1990s recession was 'weak and slow'.[26] However, Keating succeeded in winning back the electorate with a strong campaign opposing Fightback, memorable for Keating's reference to Hewson's proposed GST as "15% on this, 15% on that", and a focus on creating jobs to reduce unemployment. Keating led Labor to an unexpected election victory, made memorable by his "true believers" victory speech.[27][28] After Keating, some of the reforms of Fightback were implemented under the centre-right coalition government of John Howard, such as the GST.

In December, 1993, Keating was involved in a second diplomatic incident with Malaysia, over Keating's description of Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad as "recalcitrant". The incident occurred after Dr. Mahathir refused to attend the 1993 APEC summit. Keating said, "APEC is bigger than all of us - Australia, the U.S. and Malaysia and Dr. Mahathir and any other recalcitrants." Dr. Mahathir demanded an apology from Keating, and threatened to reduce diplomatic and trade ties with Australia, which became an enormous concern to Australian exporters. Some Malaysian officials talked of launching a "Buy Australian Last" campaign.[29] Keating eventually apologised to Mahathir over the remark.

Keating's agenda included making Australia a republic, reconciliation with Australia's indigenous population, and furthering economic and cultural ties with Asia. The addressing of these issues came to be known as Keating's "big picture."[30] Keating's legislative program included establishing the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA), a review of the Sex Discrimination Act,[clarification needed] and native title rights of Australia's indigenous peoples following the "Mabo" High Court decision. He developed bilateral links with Australia's neighbours - he frequently said there was no other country in the world more important to Australia than Indonesia[31] - and took an active role in the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), initiating the annual leaders' meeting. One of Keating's far-reaching legislative achievements was the introduction of a national superannuation scheme, implemented to address low national savings.

Paul Keating's friendship with Indonesian President Suharto was criticised by human rights activists supportive of East Timorese independence and by Nobel Peace Prize winner, José Ramos-Horta (later to be that country's prime minister and president). The Keating government's cooperation with the Indonesian military and the signing of the Timor Gap Treaty were also criticised.[32]
 
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Paul Keating (as treasurer and PM) . And daylight second. Little Johnnie dead last.

The Howard govt (luckily) happened to be in power at a time of worldwide prosperity and growth. No major recessions to worry about.

The Hawke govt inherited a huge deficit from Liberal, which -by the way- was undisclosed.

Plus he benefited hugely from sweeping monetary Keating-Hawke reforms before him (see below). Aside from the financial stuff, his (mostly human rights/humanitarian) policies failed miserably. I cannot remember a more inhumane and lying prime minister. And government.

The neo-liberal policies of Hawke/Keating certainly had a huge impact on the following years, blessing the Howard/Costello period with strong economic conditions.

However, Howard/Costello are largely seen to have taken neo-liberal policy even further than that of their predecessors.

Just as one could argue that Howard/Costello enjoyed the fruits of Hawke/Keating policy, the same argument could be made that Rudd/Swan enjoyed an easy ride through the GFC thanks to the policies put forth by the previous government.
 
I can't pick one because I believe our success (If you doubt that, compare to the rest of The West) has been in our willingness to change whenever a particular party overstayed their welcome. The average has been above average on an international scale.

The conservatives have always been too conservative over time and we have needed periodical injections of socialism to bring the people back into consideration.

My period of knowledge started with Menzies who was the ultimate conservative who outlived his welcome. We now have the extreme opposite. One is as ugly as the other.

I'm a sceptic too but the alternatives to what we have are beyond the pale.
 
I voted John Howard in this one, and Kevin Rudd in the other thread (worst PM). I'm not old enough to know the pre-hawke ones :p
 
I think the votes on both of these polls are very skewed as being the views of a very select group of people.

Informed, middle class (most likely), property investers.

Would be interesting to compare our viewswith society in general.

:):)
 
I think the votes on both of these polls are very skewed as being the views of a very select group of people.

Informed, middle class (most likely), property investers.

Would be interesting to compare our viewswith society in general.

:):)

Would this do ....?
From the yahoo front page a few weeks ago.
Another one was put up just the other day putting Liberal well ahead if a election was held now.

 
I think the votes on both of these polls are very skewed as being the views of a very select group of people.

Informed, middle class (most likely), property investers.

Would be interesting to compare our viewswith society in general.

:):)

Whether we like it or not perhaps the measure of the quality of a PM (or their leadership) is longevity. In this case little Johnny followed closely by eeerrrrrr Bob Hawke.

I do agree though that big Kev's on the nose, and it's time for a revolution. Off with his head.

Regards

Andrew
 
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