This is how to interview a politician. Leigh Sales of Australia's ABC interview Prime Minister Tony Abbott after he barely survived the spill motion (61-39):
The interview is great from the get go. "Prime minister, welcome to the program," Sales begins.
Abbott returns her warm welcome, "Thank you, Leigh. It's lovely to be here."
"Are you a dead man walking?"
Another great question is when Sales asks, "You said at your press conference a few hours ago that good government starts today. If that is so, what on earth have you been delivering for the time since you've been elected?"
“Prime Minister, you’ve been a student of politics all your life. Political history would suggest you cannot recover from such a significant vote of no confidence from your own side.”
“Your disapproval rating in the news poll that was out today was 68 percent — clearly the public is not buying what you’re saying.”
“If you do your best, and you’re unable to turn things around in a reasonable time frame, will you give your colleagues a promise tonight that you will step aside to give them a fighting chance with somebody else as leaders?”
“Why have you given Australia a government with the training wheels on?”
“We’ve had the Tony Abbott in opposition: the guy who promised no more chaos; the adults back in charge; no excuses; no broken promises. Then there’s the Tony Abbott that we’ve had so far in Government, with the surprise policies, and the broken promises, and the Captain’s Picks. Now you’re offering us a third Tony Abbott, one who’s doing to change. Who are you?”
“It is interesting that you’re not able to answer the question to me. Who are you? What do you stand for? Which Tony Abbott are you?”
The victory by hard-nosed conservative Tony Abbott and his Liberal party in Australia’s national election on Saturday may not have lessons for America. But the center-right victory and ouster of the Labor party–it’s the liberal party–makes comparisons between what happened in Australia and American elections worth considering. Here are a few of them:
Melbourne Absent a stunning reversal of fortune, Tony Abbott is a good bet to be the next prime minister of Australia. He’s the head of the Liberal party, which is expected to capture Parliament from the Labor party in the national election on September 7. In today’s politics, Liberals are misnamed. They’re actually the conservative party in Australia. So if all goes well, Abbott will become one of the world’s leading conservatives.