Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.

Become a Patron!

Archives for November 2001

Howard Discusses How The Liberal Party Chooses A Speaker

The Prime Minister, John Howard, in an interview on radio 5DN in Adelaide with Jermey Cordeaux, has spoken of the manner in which a new Speaker of the House of Representatives will be chosen.

HowardHoward argued that the Speaker’s position was the one job that was decided by the party-room. He claimed that he was satisfied with being able to choose the ministry, the Senate leadership and the party Whips, but that he had only one vote in the party-room for the Speaker’s position.

It is clear from Howard’s remarks that the incumbent Speaker, Neil Andrew, will not be renominated for the job when Parliament resumes next February.

The dumped minister, Bronwyn Bishop, has ruled herself out of contention. A name frequently touted now is that of Bruce Baird, the member for Cook in NSW. David Hawker, the member for Wannon in Victoria, the seat formerly held by Malcolm Fraser, has also put his name forward. [Read more…]

New Speaker Must Get Order In The House: The Australian Editorial

A scathing editorial in The Australian today calls for the appointment of a new Speaker to replace the incumbent, Neil Andrew.

AndrewThe editorial says “Mr Howard should resist pressure to return Mr. Andrew to the chair in which he did not distinguish himself”.

The newspaper claims that Mr. Andrew has been inconsistent in his rulings, despite the fact that he was willing to stand up to government ministers, as shown when he expelled Tony Abbott in the previous parliament.

Of Parliament, the paper says it is time to restore “some public faith in this tarnished institution” and ridicules the idea reported in some newspapers today that dumped minister Bronwyn Bishop may get the Speaker’s job: “If Bronwyn Bishop, still stinging at her ejection from the ministry, is the best hope for an impartial Speaker, we’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel.” [Read more…]

Howard Sworn In For Third Term As Prime Minister

Prime Minister John Howard has been officially sworn in for his third term as Prime Minister, following the federal election.

Peter Costello has also taken the oath as Treasurer.

  • Listen to the swearing-in

Lynton Crosby: 2001 Federal Election Analysis

Lynton CrosbyIn an address to the National Press Club today, the Federal Director of the Liberal Party, Lynton Crosby, has taken issue with the general belief that the issue of asylum-seekers and refugees was crucial in determining the outcome of the recent election.

In what will be just the beginning of a long struggle to write the history of the election, Crosby argued that economic management was a more significant issue and cited polling which placed asylum-seekers as the sixth most important issue.

  • Listen to Lynton Crosby’s speech (65m)

Transcript of Lynton Crosby’s National Press Club Address.

It is always good to be at the Press Club following an election win!

Today I want to share my thoughts on the underlying influences on the election outcome and make some observations about the myriad of post-election commentary and analysis.

The Challenge

The 2001 federal election, we were frequently told, was near mathematically impossible for the Liberal Party to win. [Read more…]

ACT – State Of The Parties 1995-2001

This is the state of the parties in the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory between 1995 and 2001.

Australian Capital Territory Parliament
Party Legislative
Assembly (2001)
Assembly (1998)
Assembly (1995)
7 6
Australian Democrats
ACT Greens
United Canberra Party
0 1
ALP Government, first elected 2001
Chief Minister: Jon Stanhope


Quotes From The 2001 Federal Election

This page provides a collection of extended quotations gathered during the 2001 Federal Election campaign.

The quotes cover the campaign period and the election’s aftermath.

How A Single-Issue Party Held Onto Power

We shall never know for certain that the Tampa would have been, by itself, sufficient to ensure the Howard Government a third term or whether it was the combination of the Tampa “crisis” and September 11 that the Howard Government required. What we do know, however, is that when the now retired Defence Minister, Peter Reith, suggested that al-Qaeda terrorists might be found among the Afghan and Iraqi asylum seekers on the leaky vessels travelling to Australia, a politically decisive connection between border control and the terrorist threat to Australia was conjured in the public’s mind. [Read more…]

2001 Election Predictions

Check back here after November 10 to see how accurate the “experts” were.

A Sure Bet, So Long As It’s None Of My Money – Matt Price> – (The Australian, Nov 10)

This is the harsh simplicity of politics. All are subject to the whims of those pencils … except, of course, the pundits. They – we – sail on, dispensing wisdom and rolling with the punches. [Read more…]

The Sharp End: The Day After The Night Before

Ari Sharp, Australian Democrats candidate for Kooyong, reports from the campaign frontline.

SharpA smartarse once said that we don’t need elections in Australia – what we need is a test of mental, physical and intellectual endurance that could only be achieved by running candidates through a series of gameshows – from the intellectualism of Sale of the Century, the physical demands of It’s a Knockout to the psychological rollercoaster of Perfect Match .. this is how our nation should choose its politicians.

Well, as is often the case, the smartarse is just about right. The challenges involved in running an election campaign both at a local and national level are incredible, with most of the responsibility falling on the shoulders of candidates and campaign managers. For most of these in a party like the Democrats, it is a job driven by passion rather than money, because, quite simply, we have no money. [Read more…]

ALP National Secretary Geoff Walsh Discusses Labor’s Election Defeat

The morning after the ALP’s federal election defeat in 2001, its National Secretary, Geoff Walsh, was interviewed on Channel 7′ Sunrise program.

Walsh argued that the ALP had done well to claw back the scale of its defeat.

The election resulted in Prime Minister John Howard winning his third successive election.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley stood down after the election defeat. Although he returned to the leadership in 2005, he never again contested an election as leader.

  • Watch Walsh on Sunrise (10m)

Howard Wins A Third Term: Some Historical Comparisons

Sunday TelegraphSunday Herald-SunCourier-MailAdvertiser

TasmanianWA TimesSunday Age

Three-Term Prime Ministers

John Howard’s victory means he joins a select group of Australian Prime Ministers who have won 3 or more elections:

  • John Howard: 1996, 1998, 2001
  • Bob Hawke: 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990
  • Malcolm Fraser: 1975, 1977, 1980
  • Robert Menzies: 1940, 1949, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1961, 1963
  • Joseph Lyons: 1931, 1934, 1937
  • Billy Hughes: 1917, 1919, 1922

Third-Term Governments

Howard’s election win is the first time since 1995 that an Australian government has been elected to a third term. Back then, Wayne Goss’s Labor government narrowly won a third term in Queensland, but lasted only a few months until it lost a by-election. Winning a third term has become a difficult task for incumbent governments since the late 1980s.

The Liberal leader’s victory equals Malcolm Fraser’s record and is second only to Menzies, the founder of the party. It ensures that Howard’s respect within the Liberal Party will be considerably enhanced.

The Swing

The two-party-preferred swing to the coalition is currently 1.25%. Contrary to Howard’s assertion on election night, this is not the biggest two-party-swing to an incumbent government since 1966. That honour belongs to Paul Keating who garnered a swing of 1.54% in 1993. The swing in 1966 was 4.3%.

Howard’s Future

Howard is now on track to become the third longest-serving Prime Minister in Australia’s history, even if he decides to retire before the next election. He is currently the 7th longest-serving of the 25 men who have been PM, having been in office for 5 years and 8 months exactly. On November 26, 2002 Howard will have served 6 years, 8 months and 15 days and will become the 6th longest-serving PM, overtaking Stanley Bruce.

On July 12, 2003 he will overtake Joe Lyons, Billy Hughes and Malcolm Fraser to become the third longest-serving PM with 7 years, 4 months and 1 day under his belt. He could comfortably do this and retire in late 2003, allowing his successor a year to settle in before the next election.

He would need to remain PM until December 21, 2004 to overtake Bob Hawke as the second longest-serving PM with 8 years, 9 months and 9 days. An election will be due around this time, so Howard would need to be prepared to fight and win another poll to claim second place.

Howard’s Past

On this day 26 years ago, November 11, 1975, Malcolm Fraser became Prime Minister following the Dismissal of the Whitlam government. Howard was sworn in on December 22 as the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, his first portfolio.

Despite being promoted to Treasurer in 1977, Howard had a difficult relationship with Fraser. They clashed over budgetary policy and tax reform. Fraser has been a persistent critic of the Howard government on issues as diverse as the republic, reconciliation, asylum-seekers and media ownership. There is little doubt that Howard would derive great satisfaction from overtaking Fraser’s term in office.

Therefore, don’t expect a Howard retirement until after July 12, 2003. If no retirement is forthcoming, start carefully watching Peter Costello’s words and actions.