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Obama Campaign Begins Attack On Ryan

Within minutes of the first public appearance by Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, the Obama campaign unveiled a commercial attacking Ryan’s budget proposals.

For Australians, the attack is reminiscent of Keating Labor’s assault on John Hewson’s Fightback! policies in 1993.

[Read more…]


Andrew Robb: The 1993 Federal Election

This is the text of the National Press Club Address by Liberal Party Federal Director Andrew Robb on the outcome of the 1993 Federal Election.

Transcript of Andrew Robb’s Address to the National Press Club.

I suspect this address would have been a touch easier if we’d got over the line two and a half weeks ago.

It wasn’t to be, and I can assure you there is no comfort in having elegant regret.

But everyone ought to recognise that over 5 million people voted against Mr Keating and the Labor Party and the enthusiasm of support for change among our supporters this time was unusually strong.

If 1500 people had changed their mind in certain seats today we would be implementing the Liberal plan. In all of our re-assessment our people must not lose sight of this fact.

Yet, we now face the difficult task of learning the lessons, regrouping and gettingback on the front foot. We must be an effective Opposition, before we can be an effective Government. [Read more…]


As Election Day Nears, Paul Keating Addresses The National Press Club

With his government struggling in the polls, Prime Minister Paul Keating appeared at the National Press Club on March 11, 1993, two days before the federal election.

Keating’s address is notable for its focus on Opposition Leader John Hewson’s Fightback! plan, particularly its 15% Goods and Services Tax. But Keating’s attack on Hewson is broader than just the GST. He talks of industrial relations, Medicare and a host of other policies. The address is a masterclass in Keating’s ability to construct a cohesive story around a disparate range of policies.

Keating also attacks Hewson for refusing to appear at the Press Club, breaking what was then a 20-year election tradition. [Read more…]


Keating Still Confident In Final Week Of Election Campaign

On March 9, 1993, it appeared that Paul Keating was heading for defeat in the Federal Election.

This news report, shown on the ABC’s 7pm television bulletin, captures the mood of those final days.

Outwardly, Keating is confident and pulling out all stops. Sections of the ALP, especially in Queensland, are worried about the polls.

The Liberals believe they are on the verge of a famous victory and an end to ten years of Labor government under Hawke and Keating. Opposition Leader John Hewson is holding public rallies around the country and chanting slogans.

Four days later, the ALP increased its primary vote, its two-party-preferred vote and its majority in the House of Representatives. Keating had his true believers victory.

Look for future Treasurer Wayne Swan standing next to Queensland Premier Wayne Goss, and future Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu at a public rally with John Hewson.



Prime Minister Paul Keating’s 1993 Federal Election Policy Speech

This is the text and audio of Prime Minister Paul Keating’s 1993 Federal Election Policy Speech.

The speech was delivered at Bankstown Town Hall, in Sydney.

Keating was attempting to win a fifth term for the Labor government he had served in since 1983. Having toppled four-time election winner Bob Hawke in 1991, Keating faced Liberal leader Dr. John Hewson and his Fightback! policy, including its 15% Goods and Services Tax.

  • Listen to Keating’s policy speech (24m)

Prime Minister Paul Keating’s 1993 Federal Election Policy Speech.

Let there be no mistake. This IS the most important election in memory.

Today we stand against radical right-wing proposals which are hostile to fundamental Australian beliefs and Australian institutions and all that we have achieved in recent years. [Read more…]


Liberal Party Video: Fightback!

The Liberal Leader of the Opposition, Dr. John Hewson, released his Fightback! policy in November 1991.

The centrepiece of the plan was a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Prime Minister Bob Hawke responded clumsily to Fightback! and this contributed to his toppling by Paul Keating in December 1991.

Negative reaction to Fightback! led to Hewson removing food from the GST and relaunching Fightback! in December 1992. [Read more…]


In Final Question Time Before 1993 Election, Keating Lashes Hewson On Fightback!

This is a video extract from the final Question Time in the House of Representatives for 1992.

Prime Minister Paul Keating took questions on the Opposition’s Fightback! policy, particularly the proposed 15% Goods and Services Tax.

Opposition Leader John Hewson had revised his original version of Fightback! and removed food from the GST.

The video is taken from the ABC’s Order in the House program broadcast on December 20, 1992. The program was presented by Maxine McKew who would go on to defeat John Howard in Bennelong in 2007.

The Parliament did not meet again before the 1993 federal election took place on March 13. Keating’s ALP was re-elected with an increased majority. Hewson stayed in the Liberal leadership for another year before losing a challenge from Alexander Downer.