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Archives for May 1987

Bob Hawke Announces The 1987 Double Dissolution Election

Prime Minister Bob Hawke rose in the House of Representatives at around 5pm on Wednesday, May 27, 1987 to announce a double dissolution of the parliament and an election on July 11.

Hawke had been prime minister since March 1983. His Labor government was seeking election to a third term.

The Leader of the Opposition was the Liberal Party’s John Howard. He responded to Hawke’s announcement, as did the Leader of the National Party, Ian Sinclair.

The double dissolution election was Australia’s sixth overall and its fourth in 13 years. The Hawke government was returned and Hawke went on to win a fourth election in 1990, before being overthrown by Paul Keating in 1991. John Howard and Ian Sinclair were both toppled as leaders of their parties in 1989. Howard returned as leader in 1995 and went on to win the 1996 election, ultimately becoming the nation’s second longest-serving PM. Sinclair briefly served as Speaker of the House before retiring in 1998.


Statement from Prime Minister Bob Hawke to the House of Representatives.

Mr HAWKE (Prime Minister) —by leave- Within the past two weeks two events have taken place of fundamental significance for the future of Australia. I refer to the May statement and to the Premiers Conference. Those events must be placed firmly in the context of the continuing work of this Government. The great need now is for certainty and continuity. In the past two and a half years and especially in recent months, the people of Australia have demonstrated a willingness to shoulder and share burdens and a sense of responsibility in the face of the huge difficulties imposed upon us by the changes in our terms of trade which have wiped $9 billion from our national economic capacity since December 1984. [Read more…]

In Defence Of Protests

This editorial appeared in The Age in 1987. It stands as an eloquent defence of protest and dissent.

Saturday Reflection

A cartoonist has drawn a long-haired, scruffy-looking youth holding a blank placard and asking his room mate of similar appearance: “What shall we protest against today?”

Protesting, dissenting, complaining can become a habit even in a world is which there is so much to be thankful for.

Nevertheless, we smiled at the cartoon while inwardly protesting that not all protesters are way-out, and most know why they are carrying placards.

Some among us see all demonstrators simply as troublemakers, bent on causing disturbance, who ought to be suppressed. That, of course, is what Hitler and Stalin did to dissenters, and other dictators still do today. [Read more…]