Australia’s ongoing problem with prime ministers is getting serious

Australia, we may have a problem. In the last six years we’ve had five prime ministers (one of them twice)

Australia, we may have a problem.

In the last six years we’ve had five prime ministers (one of them twice) and unfortunately they’ve all bared the same fate. Dogged by bad polling numbers, political in-fighting and constant power struggles, Australia has seen one leader after another take the top job without too much success.

While this may sound blunt, the numbers speak for themselves. Kevin Rudd enjoyed the highest satisfaction rate with a whopping 71 per cent approving of him in 2008. Following his reelection in 2013 though, his numbers plummeted to 32 per cent. After that it all becomes even bleaker.

Julia Gillard only had a 50 per cent satisfaction and a low of 23 per cent. She was followed by Tony Abbott with a high of 47 per cent satisfaction and a low of 24 per cent.

Given Mr Abbott’s low numbers, the Liberals decided to oust him and try Malcolm Turnbull instead. Unfortunately, he hasn’t fared much better. While he enjoyed a 60 per cent satisfaction rating in 2015, numbers out this week show he has now fallen to 23 per cent – lower than the number he believed justified Mr Abbott’s ousting.

So why can’t we get a PM who keeps the nation happy? While there are always going to be divides between voters, the plummeting numbers from both parties seem to prove that even people who are traditionally staunch supporters of one party aren’t happy with what’s going on.

Shouldn’t a prime minister be someone who inspirers and leads the nation into a better future? To many, it seems all we’ve had lately are people who divide and disappoint.

Of cause it’s not all negative. Each of these prime ministers have had their moments in the sun and each have a band of faithful followers who praise what they were able to achieve in their time in office.

The problem is that overwhelmingly, numbers show that as a whole we are not happy with them. There has been outrage from the public about expense claims, harsh budgets and a single-mindedness that many say has been about putting pollies first and leaving every-day Australians to fend for themselves.

The relationship between both major parties has also been fraught with bitterness, with each hypocritically bad-mouthing the other for their failure to hold onto a leader.

The last prime minister who had the most impressive numbers was John Howard, with a 67 per cent satisfaction rating and a low of 28 per cent. Although his time as leader was considered to be trying by many, when asked in 2011 a whopping 50 per cent of Australians named him as the best leader we’d had in years.

It makes you wonder what they’d say if they were asked now after both Mr Turnbull and Mr Abbott have been named to the mix.

Would the Australian public be able to say they’re satisfied with the leadership we’ve had in the past six years? Would they say they had faith in their prime ministers to do the right thing by them and put their needs first?

As politicians these men and women have a responsibility to put the interests of the country and their voters first. It’s balancing these two priorities that can cause them trouble though.

Former treasurer Joe Hockey, and his boss Mr Abbott, suffered major backlash after they delivered particularly harsh budgets according to some. While supporters argued they were doing what was necessary to keep the country’s economy afloat and bring it out of the red, others accused them of sticking it to the people – especially the country’s most needy.

Finding this balance seems to be imperative for a leader if they are to do their duty to both the country and the people. The question is: will we ever have a leader who can do both?

Do you think we need better candidates for PM? Who do you think has been the best PM for Australia?

  1. Nick pendragon  

    None of them stand for anything anymore and don’t represent anyone. You could split the two parties into three the left the middle and conservative. The country is divided on so many issue and nothing is uniting us.

  2. Most people think politicians are paid too much, well, I think they aren’t paid enough. If they were paid better then we would get much better candidates and that is what we need. Unfortunately, we are most disappointed with what we have had over the last few years and so try to elect more small parties or independents and that has just caused more problems because we have fringe groups, eg., One Nation, controlling the house. A political career is only a temporary job at best, so each pollie is going to do what he/she thinks will keep them in the job the longest, and not necessarily what is the best for their electorate. Funny thing is, look at electorates where the pollie listens to and honours the voters wishes (Bob Katter) and they get elected time and time again. Solution to our problem is for the politicians to LISTEN to the people and explain everything in detail and stop blaming everyone else for their problems. But most importantly, stop extorting the less well-off and make the top end of town pay their fair share.

  3. Truth 13  

    Looking at the four photos of the PMs, what I have to say is, Bob Hawke did a lot to the, not so well off workers, had union reforms & an orderly wage increases, but was thrown out by an ambitious Paul Keating, In 1992, who made the compulsory employer contribution scheme. Rudd was elected by a massive swing against “Never never” Howard, after he sold many assets to show a budget surplus. Rudd managed to save the country from 2007 GFC (global financial crises), but was over thrown by a greedy woman, who wanted to be the “First Woman PM. Then came the “No Cuts” Abbott, who couldn’t do anything other than keep cutting funds to every establishment, that was helping the general public. He was so unpopular, in no time, which brought Malcolm Turnbull. Everyone expected him to “turn the bull”, and do something for the benefit of the people of the country, but he is still trying to do the “Jobs & Growth”, and give the NON TAX PAYING big business a MASSIVE TAX CUT, while cutting the benefits to the pensioners, disable, sick & students. He thinks, if a retired couple has $800,000(may be just another small house in Syd. or Mel which gets about $500 a week in rent) they don’t need anything more, and may be expecting them to sell it & live ONLY 20 YEARS, at a rate of about $3500 a month, for living, medical treatment & other expenses, by just staying at home, without a holiday or not giving any gifts to the grandchildren etc. VERY SOON, THE OLDER PEOPLE WILL BE TOLD, “REVERSE MORTGAGE THE HOUSE”, TO THE GREEDY BANKS, SO THAT BANKS CAN POSSES THE HOUSE AFTER FEW YEARS, WHEN THE OLD PEOPLE WITHOUT ANY OTHER INCOME, WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PAY THE INTEREST TO THE BANK. He is very generous on people who doesn’t want to work, stay at home & breed children 6, 8 or even 10, are well looked after. They are even given a place to live or a rental allowance & various other payments. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE COUNTRY. WHY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO PAID TAXES, DEFENDED THE COUNTRY, EDUCATED THEIR CHILDREN, BUILD COUNTRY, ARE NOW THROWN IN TO THE DUSTBIN ? IT IS TIME FOR A “PAPAS & MAMAS REVOLUTION. Wake up over 60 years old voters. You are 35% of them. Form a party & give the politicians the same treatment. Ask for at least 50% back, of the taxes you paid in the 35 or 40 years of your life, FOR NOTHING. What did you get back, for the taxes that were paid. You paid taxes on petrol to use roads, paid medicare levy for medical treatment, when necessary at old age, paid another 100 or more taxes. What did you get back ?. You have the power to “put the thumb” on them & squeeze the “blood” out of these codgers. WAKE UP.

  4. Irene Friend  

    I am tired of hearing the govt say ‘we have to tighten our belts and live within our means’. Let’s get rid of Commonwealth cars, we did not get cars to take us to our places of work. Remove all the extra perks for politicians after they are no longer serving. If politicians take a position after they leave the parliament eg ambassador to a foreign country, and I refer to the report that Mr Hockey earns $360k a year and still gets his pension. As well as these payments he bills the Australian taxpayers for general and household expenses. No pension until full retirement, and on that sort of money pay your own way. I can’t imagine receiving my pension if I had that sort of money, not that I would expect it. Politicians are elected by Australians to act on our behalf. As a person who paid taxes and worked for most of my life and raised a family, I am disgusted by the amount of ‘extras’ politicians get. Where there is power and money, arrogance and corruption walk hand in hand. The Governments of the day should be looking to how they can contribute to ‘living within our means’.

  5. Angelina Nic  


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