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The Hon. Hillary Clinton, MP
Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Australia
After the federal election, the result delivered an increased return for the Progressive Alliance compared to Labor, gaining 20 seats. National Party did increase its share as well, setting up a two party showdown between the two as Kevin Rudd says he will step aside and allow Labor to contemplate its future without him. The seat total has arrived at 131 for the Progressive Alliance, which is short of the 151 they would have needed for an overall majority. That total was significantly larger than their previous seats allocation, and would make this a very strong minority government that could function with confidence that Labor would back most of their proposals out of government.
The Senate will form their own deal, and it is widely speculated that the Progressive Alliance minority government will do many deals with Labor directly before heading to the crossbench.
National Party leader Christian Porter at the National Press Club delivering a speech on the economy
CANBERRA --- Very rarely has a politician of the left taken such a lead over a politician of the right among the National Press Club members, but such was the occasion. That Hillary Clinton, the Prime Minister and Progressive Alliance leader, and National Party leader Christian Porter went on the same day was already an amazing opportunity as it was, but to see them back to back deliver their speeches on the vision for the country. No starker contrast was the standpoint on the refugee issue. Here's Hillary Clinton:
"Australia is a nation blessed with riches and a culture that accepts all as long as they are ready to work hard and have a fair go at prosperity. For some political parties to use refugees as bargaining chips for political gain, that is wrong and immoral. I challenge Labor, the National Party and the rest of the Australian political spectrum: what exactly are you proposing as an alternative to accepting refugees and helping not only the military effort in Dromund Kaas but the humanitarian effort as well?"
Here's Christian Porter:
"Hillary Clinton and the Government will find a way to sell Australian security down the drain. Economic security will be lost by the fact that these refugees will have a free pass to economic migrant status and work for pennies on the dollar. She will bring in radicals that will conduct terrorist attacks in our nation, much like they have in the United Kingdom at Piccadilly Circus. She will not stop the boats of humanity, destroying Australia's moral security in its position as a leader in the region. She is perhaps the most dangerous politician we have had in Australian history ever occupy the Lodge (the residence of the Australian Prime Minister)".
Two quotes, but the response from the audience was clear as a standing ovation for Clinton last almost 4 minutes while tepid applause greeted Christian Porter. The National Press Club has been, for now, the bastion of the centre-right and has acted as coronations for National Party Prime Ministers like John Howard and Tony Abbott. That took a step towards changing this weekend with the arrival of Hillary Clinton.
Election Week 1 Round-Up Edition
Credlin: Good evening and welcome to the only Australian political show where two real pillars of the left and right. I'm Peta Credlin and I'm joined in our Melbourne studio by Kristina Keneally, former Labor Premier of New South Wales. We're in election fever, aren't we? Angleter, Australia, the devolved Irish Parliament had an election last week that had your Irish comrades put into power for the first time as a majority partner in a coalition in the near 100 year history of Irish devolution.
Keneally: Yes, it's been an exciting one. Let's start closer to home with the federal election here in Australia.
Credlin: Number One; the Progressive Alliance is going to use this as its chance to either take down or absorb Labor. Listen, I know you are gal pals with the Prime Minister, but Hillary Clinton has her eyes SET on either the complete take over or take down of the Australian Labor Party. Polling shows that she is in a position to potentially form at the very least minority government. What do you think about that?
Keneally: I don't think she will be able to do that. The proportional representation system of voting for the lower house, the House of Representatives, has made it so parties can continue to exist as long as their base is at or above 5% of the electorate. The Progressive Alliance is at 44%, by far and away the largest party most likely and through MMP, they can target marginal seats as well and win more seats than their base would suggest. If that ALL falls into place they could most likely form a minority government with a supply and confidence deal with one other party. Who would that party be? Labor. We have quite a lot in common on key social and economic issues, but differ in policy delivery. I honestly think that a Progressive Alliance majority government would be a bad thing for Australia as most majority governments are. Let's look at the Gillard Government. Minority government, needed support from the crossbench in both Houses, and they put forward good policies. Mrs. Clinton could get lazy in a majority government. The ideas that they've put out from both the Progressive and Labor booklets have been great, but we can't ignore the 15% Labor vote as well.
Credlin: Well, and as popular as Clinton is, she also is a popular lightning rod for the right of Australian politics. I know that I don't particularly like her. I can't fault her running of the economy, but the institution of the Native Title Court has just made Australia rule against its rural citizens and mining companies. How is that progressive and fair? Now she's letting in all of these refugees that will soon become economic migrants and undercut wages.
Keneally: I see we're still Tony Abbott's advisor here, aren't we?
Credlin: But it's true. The United Kingdom, Angleter and others have placed sensible restrictions and processes in place for their acceptance of migrants. Hillary Clinton is just telling them to show up. Even Kevin Rudd said that the boats have to stop.
Keneally: I agree, and that's why a Labor presence in a likely Progressive-Labor coalition will deliver...
Credlin: Oh, and you're Kevin Rudd's attack dog! Focus on beating the Progressives and getting the Labor Right back in your party. Ever since you lost them in the split in the 90's, Labor hasn't been quite the same. You kept Rudd which is probably the best thing Labor has done, but that's about it. Bill and Hillary Clinton are having their way with the unions, you've lost half of them to the Progressive Alliance, including your biggest one in the cities.
Keneally: And we could go on all day about how the National Party has lost the centre to the aptly named Centrist Party, they're losing the far right to Pauline Hanson. What's left for the your old boss and Christian Porter to stand on?
Credlin: Which brings us to number two; take it a way Krsitina.
Keneally: Angleter will see a much more radical government, and the efforts of Montenbourg to progressive ideals will only turn more to the right.
Credlin: Montenbourg is a new nation to the European Union, and they have already caused a mass amount of diplomatic headaches for itself. It has claimed nations have mistreated refugees with no proper evidence, their Foreign Secretary is a disgrace to such a high office and should resign if she knew what was good for her country. She's made Angleter and the United Kingdom, two of the level-headed nations of Europe, both holding it down on the left and on the right, come out and demand she retract statements or back them up with fact. This is also the same country that housed Shane Raimi from Omnibus, who was trying to influence the election there.
Keneally: Oh man, you're not helping are you?
Credlin: No, I'm doing what Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, and future Prime MInister Christian Porter would do and call them out. Look, we get the Refugee Act. Protecting innocent people at a European level is needed so that we don't have masses of people dying in a conflict. But to try and stiff arm EVERY nation in Europe into progressive ideals that would make Sam Courtenay, Hillary Clinton and Emily Thornberry look like conservatives is grounds for leaving the European Union. We've already seen Pravoslavya leave.
Keneally: Good riddance too.
Credlin: And the tides of leaving the European Union has been bubbling for a few years in the United Kingdom.
Keneally: I think their intent is good, but why not engage in dialogue with nations before making inflammatory statements. There is potential for a huge trade agreement with the UK ready to go and they've reached out to Angleter. The problem is that I think the UK Government has some reservations about the behaviour of the Government of Montenbourg, having been burned by Davishire in the past as well as Framptonia, all under my good friends in the UK Labour Party. They would do better not to make sweeping statements but instead go around Europe building consensus. By the way, where is Chelsea Clinton in getting some of this stuff done?
Credlin: I know, Chelsea is absent from all of this. When we come back from the break: can Theresa May bounce back after an Irish election sets up a potential for being left with only Southern England and Central England as regional governments that the Liberal Party controls in the United Kingdom, or can she pull off enough wins at the local council elections?
MELBOURNE --- Campaigning in the Labor heartlands of the Melbourne's west, Kevin Rudd announced to his supporters and the rest of political Australia that he and other parties will use the refugee situation as a major campaign issue in the election.
"The next Australian Government will have to put forward a response to the situation that will be able to withstand the migrant situation. Labor and the Progressive Alliance have worked well together so far, but a strong Labor presence in Parliament and a strong Labor presence in Government will give people the choice to limit the migrant numbers, stop the boats from coming and figure out safe arrangements to Australia," said Labor leader Kevin Rudd.
The National Party have also postured on a more aggressive refugee policy that would involve screenings in Dromund Kaas and the admittance to Australia of 10,000 refugee women and children per year. The Progressive Alliance have set themselves as more open to bringing in as many as 50,000 migrants per year, prioritising complete nuclear families. Christian Porter, the Nationals' leader, seems to be very strong on this issue with the public, having a 5 point lead over Hillary Clinton when it comes to immigration and refugee policy.
"If the Government is returned to Canberra with a majority, you can expect an out of control situation. Hillary Clinton does not understand the fact that Australia has finite space and resources, a large swath of our country being the Outback...desert! Why crowd the liveable spaces of our country, a country of 47 million people, with more people? Not to mention the radicalised Sith refugees that carried out the terrorist attack in London last year."
Despite the increased focus on immigration, the economy has been doing well and employment has increased under the Government, and people are voting with their pocket book. With Workplace Participation Rates at 84%, people are in work, taking home more money than ever before in their pay packets and the Progressive Alliance seems to be making key demographic gains with younger Labor voters and suburban National voters. If the election were held right now, a 4% swing towards the Progressive Alliance would put them at 45% of the seats in Parliament as a baseline, with projected gains of 15 seats, meaning the Progressive Alliance would govern alone.
Hillary Clinton campaigning in Sydney the first weekend of the snap federal election.
MELBOURNE --- Perhaps it's just the way that everything has shaped up and the dynamics of the coalition government between the Progressive Alliance and Labor, but the election has implications for both sides of politics and it is far more interesting on the right than on the left. Under the leadership of Christian Porter, the National Party (though quiet in the lead-up to the election being called) has been unified and figuring out its messaging, and perhaps it has found something that could hit in the core of its support base: regional Australia and suburbs, particularly since the Progressive Alliance is going hard at metropolitan areas.
The right of Australian politics has undergone some scene shifting. Economic conservatives will find comfort in Porter's plans for the National Party, including a hefty company tax cut to replace the tax rises on businesses under the Clinton coalition government. Social conservatives have always called the National Party home, but the right-wing of the party and its supporters are seeing a challenge from Pauline Hanson's One Nation. Classical liberals and libertarians are also finding solace in the Centrist Party, keen for representation. We are seeing several parties on the centre-right to solid right emerge as a new coalition that could boot both the Progressive Alliance and Labor out of power.
Is that likely though? No; for all the shifting on the right, it looks very clear that the Progressive Alliance may gain enough seats to have its way with coalition partner Labor or simply govern alone as a minority or majority government. However, it is very clear that the interest in this election lies on the right while the distraction and headlines will be with Clinton and Rudd.
Mark Ferguson: Good afternoon, we are live at Parliament House in Canberra where the Prime Minister, Hillary Clinton, will be calling a snap general election for 5 May. Let's go to the Prime Minister now:
Hillary Clinton: Good afternoon. After a meeting of the Cabinet, our coalition partners in Labor, and the President of Australia, I am announcing that the President of Australia will issue a writ of election for the House of Representatives. The Government believes that it is time to secure the gains that Australians have seen under the Progressive Alliance and Labor Government, and to seek a mandate for further reforms that the Australian economy and society so desperately need.
We also seek re-election to prove that Australia is a player on the world stage and that includes this Government. So if you want to keep the gains on your take-home pay, the security of a union that fights for its workers without stiffing its members, rights for all our Australian brothers and sisters including our Aboriginal first owners, and if you want to see the real social change including a law passing marriage equality, then I think the choice is clear.
My fellow Europeans:
In Omnibus, we are seeing a crisis of unimaginable proportion. It is becoming increasingly clear that our Union must act and ensure that the rule of law and democracy is upheld. As it is a requirement that proper representative democracy is instituted to be a member of our European Union, the clear reaching steps of Omnibus to pay of Senators, propose suspending the rule of law, calls of revolution, and chaos through illness are threatening that very tenet for our brothers in Omnibus. I call on the people of Omnibus to remain calm, for the Senate of Omnibus to remember that they are representatives by the will of the people, and for Vladimir Rhaegar to stop his acts of disregard for democracy. Europe is watching, and she will not sit idly by.
Commissioner for Internal Affairs
Leigh Sales: Good evening, I'm Leigh Sales and this is the 7.30 programme. The Prime Minister looks primed and ready to go to the President and ask for a snap general election to be held in May, trying to hit a timetable of a 5 May election day. The reason behind the Government's want of a federal election looks like it would be a way to catch the National Party, struggling to get their support higher than 30%, off guard. The Government, sitting ahead of the National Party with a combined 27 point lead, now looks to see who will win the majority of the left if the election were to be held. Joining us tonight is the Deputy Leader of the Progressive Alliance and Cabinet minister Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd from Labor, and the Shadow Treasurer of the National Party Scott Morrison. First, we dive into the psyche of Kevin Rudd.
Rudd was Australia's Prime Minister from 2008-2010 before being deposed by Julia Gillard, who in the face of dismal numbers during the general election potentially losing to Tony Abbott at the next federal election, only for the Labor Government to be defeated by Abbott under the rule of Julia Gillard, opening the door for the Progressive Alliance to start to pick off key Labor seats at the 2012 federal election, setting them up to challenge Labor as the party of the left. Labor under Rudd again came in third at the 2016 election and formed part of the coalition government as of now. Foreign Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, welcome.
Kevin Rudd: Quite an auspicious welcome, Leigh. Thank you for having me.
LS: Let's begin with Labor's third place currently in the polls, and their status as the third party, swapped with the Progressive Alliance since 2016. You are currently sitting at 12% of the Government's 57% polling. Is Labor at risk of being put permanently in third place?
KR: Oh, Leigh, what a question to lead out on. I think that we should instead be talking about Labor's contribution to the government. When the Prime Minister wanted to form a formal coalition with us for the Parliament, she had to incorporate Labor's key issues into the Government's agenda. Hillary had to compromise and bring forward Labor's proposal for increasing the rights of workers and unions in pay and workplace disputes, she's had to compromise and give the Fair Work Commission more powers to settle disputes and enforce them. She's had to compromise and not pursue the privatisation of the investment bank, but instead use it as a way to get the Federal Government to contribute to state and regional projects. Remember, her idea for the investment bank was to make it a private entity that took more into account the profitability of the project, not if it contributes to the greater good. Labor has done a good job in moderating some of the more economically conservative elements of the Progressive Alliance and gave Australia a true centre-left, economically and socially progressive government that it needed.
LS: I'm going to have to challenge you on that. I have the manifestos right here from the last election, and Mrs. Clinton clearly promised that she wanted an investment bank backed by the Treasury. It says it right here, and Labor called for the same thing. You weren't the one who changed her mind. She made that up herself.
KR: But Leigh, you fail to realise that I'm the Deputy Prime Minister, sitting at the Cabinet table and hearing these things. She maybe posed as a champion of the left, but she took a hard turn to the right initially once she got into Government, and it is only with Labor's Cabinet members and support that she backed down and delivered her own manifesto promise. That is something that we did for the people of Australia.
LS: Yes, but how is that Labor's contribution. Again, it's in the Progressive's manifesto in 2016, it's even in their manifesto in 2012 but not in the Labor one that you took to the 2012 election that you lost. So, how can you claim to be helping the Progressives stay on the left if they had one of the most progressive ideas before you did?
KR: Leigh, we can go back and forth all night. I promise you, when I was leading the Labor Party...
LS: You're leading it now!
KR: ...We were putting it to the party; we have a different mechanism to the Progressives. They can just put whatever they want in; we have to put it past the unions and the party membership before it is officially in our manifesto.
LS: Let's move on to another topic: the Government has taken Australia out of neutrality. This was a proposal that was pushed heavily by you and Malcolm Turnbull onto Hillary Clinton, have you decided that you got it wrong?
KR: No, but times change. Europe is dangerous and we are looking to bring ourselves closer to our allies and contribute to the efforts in Dromund Kaas. As the Foreign Minister, I've been happy to work with the Prime Minister on our foreign policy, with our Civil Service, and with DFAT specifically to maximise Australia's reach.
LS: Is that why we have been so slow to move on the Omnibus situation or invite new EU members to Canberra or Sydney?
KR: Leigh, you're only focusing on the negatives and not the achievements of the coalition.
LS: Because the achievements aren't the only thing the public deserves to know about Labor's record in the coalition. The Prime Minister has put her credentials forward as a trading, economically sound leader of a competent government, but as you are the nation's chief diplomat, you are responsible for the fact that aside from meetings with Theresa May and Sam Courtenay, Australia has done nothing on the international scene.
KR: I do not agree with that. The Prime Minister reached out to Turkmenbaijan and responded to that crisis much to the leadership that I and DFAT put forward to her. As a coalition, cabinet government, each minister has to fight for their department's agenda with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet and then we take some collective decision making with relevant ministers and the PM.
LS: So it's even more important that you, the Foreign Minister, are fighting for Australia's voice to be magnified on the world stage. We're a large economy, a nation of riches from its culture and people to its minerals and resource wealth. You are also the leading minister in the Department. Why aren't you getting on the Trade Minister to get more business to Australia?
KR: The Government has made trade deals with Angleter, the Duxburian Union, and the United Kingdom, 3 of the 4 largest economies in Europe, and we are ready to get a deal in place with Inquista, the largest economy in Europe. We are the fifth largest economy in Europe, we are doing well. Why don't we look at the economic growth, the strongest of the developed economies in Europe, in part due to our good trade arrangements. Leigh, this is the kind of talking down of Australia that the people are tired of...
LS: With all due respect, Deputy Prime Minister, if I am talking down anyone, I'm talking down you and the fact that you are not holding up your part of the deal as the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Australia. Anyway, we have to come back after the break. Tanya Plibersek, the Deputy Leader of the Progressive Alliance and Scott Morrison, Shadow Treasurer up next.
12 March 2018
Kia Ora, good morning. Here's the top news stories across Australia:
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