Let’s talk: Who was Australia’s best leader? 22

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It’s no secret that Australian politics has been somewhat of a shambles over the past five years.

Deposed leaders, party in-fighting, government leaks, and public temper tantrums are just the tip of the iceberg with it comes to our representatives in Parliament House.

All over the world people have watched as Australia’s leaders seemingly fumbled their way from one election to another.

The BBC even went as far as to call Australia the “coup capital of the Western World” – a label many people say they would rather do without.

When looking back at our prime ministers over the past few years, some wonder whether or not it would do them good to take a leaf out of the book of prime ministers past and change their tact on certain issues.

Gough Whitlam brought reforms and free education for all, while Sir Robert Menzies, creator of the Liberal party, who showed us that when you’re down, you’re not necessarily out.

Malcolm Fraser is credited with bringing stability back to the government after the chaos of the Whitlam dismissal, he also embraced multiculturalism by welcoming refugees from the Indochina conflict, and created the SBS.

Bob Hawke could down a yard glass but was teetotal during his four terms in office, Paul Keating was arguably the best financial Labor prime minister, and Julia Gillard smashed the glass ceiling by becoming the first female in the top job before being ousted by the very man she had deposed.

Tony Abbott only made it half way through his term as PM before being knocked out of the top job, and now Malcolm Turnbull is yet to prove whether or not he can fulfil his promises to the country.

While no prime minster is perfect, there are those that seemed to be favoured more than others.

Who was your favourite prime minister and why? Do you have a least favourite PM?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. We seem to have drawn the short straw in this department

  2. The leaders of today are very poor,in past years we had better leaders
    I liked Mr Whitlam,Mr Hawke,Mr Keating they were my favourite PM’s Miss Gillard wasn’t given a fair change as a woman she was given bad press and nasty comments no man has to put up with.

    1 REPLY
  3. Gough Whitlam- favourite. For all the reforms he bought in, also for helping to stop Australia’s cultural , making us proud of Australia, not making excuses for it. Least favourite – Tony Abbott, too many reasons to list really.

  4. John Curtin. Robert Menzies. BobHawke and John Howard. Over the last 9 years the so called leaders we have had could not run a chook raffle in a pub

  5. I really liked John Howard, he put Australia first and had the courage of his convictions. He went ahead and did what he had to do for this country .

    1 REPLY
  6. I believe, if given the opportunity Gough Whitlam or Julia Gillard would have made great changes to this Country, for the better, But when you have people, who believe they are born to rule, like Abbott and crew, we will never know.

  7. Gough Whitlam dragged Australia kicking and screaming into the 20th centruy and Paul Keating made changes as Treasurer that are the basis for our prosperity today. Could you compare Joe Hockey or Scott Morrison to the major intellect of PJK. He would eat them for breakfast.

  8. Definitely Julia Gillard, she achieved more by consensus politics due to a wafer thin majority, than all those before her. As for the worst, Tony Abbott, thought he could govern by bully boy tactics …

  9. [email protected]

    All the leaders mentioned brought about long term changes. Sadly the world is bereft of leaders at the moment. Everything is centered around the news cycle, no long term vision for the good of the country or the people – all has to be instant and populous. Intellectual and moral rigour from politicians all over the world is lacking.

  10. In my life time, I would rate the greats as- Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating and Julia Gillard. and, Yes, it is no fluke that they were all Labor Leaders!

  11. Joseph Benedict Chifley. With Nugget Coombes, he set Australia on the path of potential manufacturing greatness after WWII. What a sad legacy we have now.

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