Is Australia turning into Italy? Abbott cries political crisis and calls for action

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for "resolute action" to break the protracted crisis in Australia’s national parliament. Is he right?

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for “resolute action” to break the protracted crisis in Australia’s national parliament as reported in today’s Australian.  Abbott is recommending that the Turnbull government  confront the constitutional gridlock that has been tearing apart our nation for more than 5 years by urging the Turnbull government to hold a constitutional referendum to enable governments to govern.

Abbott has warned that “Australia is mired by gridlock” and “increasingly resembles Italy” referring to our regular changes of leadership and inability to pass legislation in the Senate.  

His statements are an apparent pre-cursor to a speech he intends to give in coming days which the Australian Newspaper reports that he will say Australians must confront yet again the kind of country they want. “He nails the public’s disenchantment with politics, saying our democracy is now run by the perverse practice of politicians seeking election on an agenda and being denied the right to implement that agenda in ­office.”

“Over time the Senate has ceased being a house of review and become a house of rejection,” Mr Abbott said. “The result is gridlock, not government, and it has to change. In the end, the government of the day has to be allowed to govern — and not with one hand tied behind its back because its legislation can’t pass.”

Abbott is calling for a referendum to enable a joint sitting of both houses to pass deadlocked bills without the need for a ­double-dissolution election, knowing the Government simply cannot continue to adapt and trade out the policy agendas and intended legislation on which they won government.  The greatest example of this had him pointing to the final result for the Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation saying it was “amended almost to the point of futility”. 


Mr Abbott has put up the fight that parliamentary paralysis has a direct effect on the prime minister. He says, perhaps reflecting on his own challenges, that if a prime minister cannot secure his agenda, there can be “no expectation” such a prime minister will survive.

Let’s open this one up to a big debate this afternoon!  Do you think we should hold a constitutional referendum to bring both houses together when legislation can’t pass to try and avoid the gridlock we are seeing? 



  1. Garry Bates  

    It is interesting that Mr Abbott has said this. It is mainly as a result of the Double Dissolution called by his party that Australia finds itself in this predicament.

    • Anne  

      Especially as spent a great deal of his time as opposition leader doing exactly this. The senate is doing exactly what I expect them to do and we saw what happens when parties have it all their way under the later part of John Howards term.

    • Gavin Weston  

      What other choice did Mr Abbott have? Deal with the facts. Australia is wollowing in the political situation we have in Parliment is really ludicrous and will remain so while those in office play their political points to their advantage regardless of the results for our country.

  2. Glenda Mary Honan  

    He’s part of the problem

  3. John McInerney  

    How strange – it was Abbott who, as Oposition Leader, turned the Senate into a House of Rejection. Remember, he was known as Doctor No.

    • Margaret  

      So true John McInerney. Funny how it is not so hot when the tables are turned.

  4. Wayne Mclean  

    in the referrendum questions to be asked is 1should politicians be allowed to have adifferent pension as the the rest of australia 2 are politicians allowed the right to have extensive rorts not entitled to any other australian 3 are politicians allowed to sell of any infrastructure that australians paid for by there taxes 4 is the government allowed to send billions of aid overseas when we have crisis here in australia (hospitals, failing education standards, Schools under paid police nurses emergency services personell 5 are politician allowed to pass laws that have not been told that they will bring into force when they are elected 6 would australians like to chose a leader to represent australians and lead the government 6 would australians like to see one vote one candidate 7 would australians like to see the abolishment of prefential voting system where if the candidate did not pass the majority of voters he dose not represent that electorate , 8 would australians like to have an independant tribunal and or integrity unit to scrutinise all travel perks rorts pensions for honesty and fairness as to regards the equality of all australians entitlements as to the tax system, 9 to set up a governing body to goal or fine these people and to sack them on the spot as all employers would do in similar circumstances with a loss of all entitlements 10 would australians like to elect these officials for this job so that cronyisms are take from the politicians and there tenure in these jobs to be set at a term of 4 years 11 would australians like to see a set term for all politicians 12 would australian like to see the demise of to many political parties and to bring it 2 a level of 2-4 parties 13 would australians like to see where instead of going to to a senate it goes to a judging body that is represented equally by all parties to pass legislature and is chosen by the people of australia just to name a few that should be on this list and written in such a way that all australians can understand with all poly speak not used


      Great comments from Wayne, Australians need to take more interest in the how our country is run by Canberra

    • Pat  

      so very well said Wayne Mclean , you say what 99% of Australians are thinking

    • Wayne you are saying nothing new but the people me and you included of Australia don’t seem to realise is that your vote counts for absolutely bloody nothing tell me when the last elected P.M was allowed to serve his or her full term none in the last 20 years or since Howard and and his cohorts the behind the scenes liberal managers choose who is in the top job the unions the same so they can maximise the business deals and the unions are not quiet as bad but bad enough. You can go on about anything you like the question is what Abbott said right I normally would agree except the big boy’s won’t let that happen and it would cost us millions the people of Australia are the problem and that is all. Especially the ones collecting government hand outs the captive vote the guaranteed vote. I agree that lots need to happen in Australia the people of AUSTRALIA are piss weak can I say that again piss weak all fell down in a heap when the best woman in politics was ambushed and pushed out the door didn’t take long for FOX to grab her and at the same time Abbott took a few in the back and the almighty GOD &SAVIOUR Turnbull was installed now tell me was the TURNBULL experiment the answer a big NO until the people of Australia wake up then shut up because it’s the media running the place and not a sole is listening we all need to approach our members of parliament and say exactly whats on our collective minds other wise we will get no where and they will keep doing Just what they are doing now bloody nothing.

    • Trish  

      Should add views on immigration, and do we need state governments.

    • Gavin Weston  

      Australia has lacked a clear and effective leader for decades. The parties are fighting too much within themselves as some Polititians fight for recognition in the party as a potential leader. Ledership has in consequence degenerated to a nothing,despite some potential leaders having been elected. Non of the Pollies want to back anyone but themselves and we have the situation we are in now. Don’t blame a specific person it is the lot of them that fail the Australian people.

  5. Dorothy witham  

    Very well said wayne McLean

  6. Steve Parker  

    Doctor No Tony Abbott. He perfected the art of blocking and disruption. A total lack of morals from this grub.

  7. Joseph Eades  

    His attacks on Julia Gillard when she was PM was the start of the Senate obstructing the House of Representatives,you Reap what you Sow

  8. Allan Varcoe  

    Australia needs to streamline its political system that actually stops good ideas being passed by idiots with hidden agendas – practically racist agenda’s. The system encourages double-dipping, indecision and meandering. Change to a simple, though not always perfect system like New Zealand’s. You’ve copied everything else of ours.

    • Robert Green  

      Calling out Australia’s hidden enemies is not racism. It is an attempt to inform the country’s leftards that there is a viper in the nest waiting on the international call to begin the slaughter of infidels. The correct term is patriotism.

      The lefttards have given Australia a limp wrist useful for only wringing hands over the plight of those who fight amongst themselves in their own land and then come here and form gangs to pillage, terrorise and rape at will knowing the lefttard governments have tied the hands of the police and our eunuch judiciary doesn’t have the gonads to deal with them.

      Wake up mate, are you a patriot or not. If not, be prepared to be butchered with the rest of us when the call goes out around the world. Look to Europe!!!!

  9. Lindy Patterson  

    The democratic process is working
    The electorate has voted in the last election in such a way as to prevent the government passing legislation the electorate does not want passed
    So much so that it has resorted to criminal behaviour and lying to push its agenda
    I refer to the Centrelink scandal and surreptitious changes to Medicare, which it promised not to touch
    Abbott is just letting the ruling class know he wants to pass that dreadful 2014 budget, in the hope that they will support his bid for PM which is coming soon

  10. [email protected]  

    Yes Wayne, well said. The rabid religious conservatives who have wrecked the Liberal Party should butt out and form their own Conservative party before they wreck the country. People like old Bob Menzies and Tom Playford must be spinning in their graves.

  11. Ray  

    Abbot is a would be dictator.
    The Senate is working as a house of review.It is not there to pass bad legislation. Thank goodness we have a Senate that rejected Abbot’s 2014 budget, otherwise this country would be in a greater fiscal mess than it is now.

  12. John LEAR  

    Is no one out there going to answer this question or just winge about the past and play the blame game. Well my answer to the question is NO. Reason is that things will change when one of the major parties wins an election in their own right with a workable majority.

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