Should Tony Abbott quit politics?

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticising the Federal Government again, prompting calls for his resignation from politics.

Long-serving Federal MP Warren Entsch said the criticisms by Mr Abbott in a recent newspaper opinion piece and on radio, show he should quit or risk being remembered as a ‘spoiler’.

Mr Abbott has called on the government to change several policies, including cutting renewable energy subsidies, making more changes to the Senate, and abolishing the Safe Schools program aimed at protecting gay and transgender children from bullying.

Do you think Mr Abbott is is engaging in a ‘spoiler’ tactics against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, perhaps with the aim of having himself reinstated as leader? Or are his criticisms justified?

Comments   38 Comments

Lorikeet, in the first Australian Parliament there was only one national political party, the Free Trade Party. There were enough Protectionist MPs to elect Edmund Barton as PM but they were not initially a formal party. There were I think about a dozen Labor MPs but no ALP at that time - they were elected representing their various State Labor Parties. There was only a small number of genuine independent MPs - from memory, about three out of the 75 members. Although the Protectionists and Labor groupings were not formal parties at that stage they were still reasonably strong groups.

So it is not completely accurate to say they could say what they chose and vote according to their consciences. There was some degree of group loyalty even then.

Just clarifying. BG.

Lorikeet, I have to tell you freedom of speech is not supported in the Australian Constitution.

We have an implied freedom of speech coming from Acts of Parliament which provide boundaries to free speech. In other words, if it is not limited by legislation, eg libel and defamation, trade practices and advertising, or racial discrimination among others, then we can say pretty much what we like. Some would argue the restrictions are too severe but that is another subject.

Tony Abbott will never lack a platform to get his opinions publicised and, as you say, he has the same right to be heard as anyone else. But the Constitution itself is silent on freedom of speech. Maybe that should change. BG.

Once again, I would also like to remind everyone that in the early years after federation, the people were represented by independents who said whatever they chose, disagreed with anyone they wanted, voted according to their consciences. This idea of "white anting" is a construct of undemocratic domination by a duopoly of politicians enabled by the media.

Election outcomes are not decided by the majority at all. They are decided through media manipulation of the masses, and by whoever has the most $$$$$$ to work with. This is why I support equal public funding for all candidates and equal media time. However this will never happen as it will send both of the very well hated anti-Australian major parties to the electoral outhouse overnight.

Everyone knows that Tony Abbott doesn't like Malcolm Turnbull as they belong to different factions. This is normal and to be expected, along with a bit of public undermining and feuding.

And no, I didn't do the test taken by train drivers. If someone can earmark it for me, I will be more than happy to give it a go. This idea that problems with Queensland Rail emanates from the unions is largely right wing rubbish.

I don't support anarchy, but I do believe that one person can be right when a large group of others are wrong. It has happened to me a number of times. It can depend on their sphere of influence or their knowledge base.

Tony Abbott got the heave ho after he had tried his best to float a long list of unpalatable party policies, not necessarily his own ideas.

I agree with WEG to some degree, as she seems to better understand the nature of democracy than some bloggers on this topic thread. When I have witnessed or experienced bad things happening in organisations, I have taken the matter to a higher level in order to attempt to correct obvious wrongs, procedural misdemeanours and sometimes to protect the reputation of a school.

However politics is an entirely different kettle of fish, due to a heavy dependency on the media cycle and Buckley's chance of achieving any kind of redress at a higher level. Maybe Tony Abbott has even been asked to "diss" Malcolm Turnbull so Peter Dutton can be moved into the position of golden haired boy more quickly.

Freedom of Speech, as supported by the Australian Constitution, should allow Tony Abbott (or anyone) to say whatever they want.

Missed the name calling Weg! Just because we criticise Tony Abbott for white-anting his own leader, does not make us "craven socialist populists" as you allege.

I totally agree that as a Liberal MP, Tony Abbott has the right to express his views in the party room on any topic. But once his party makes a decision, such as policy or electing a leader, it is normal to accept the majority decion of the party.

It is not that Tony speaks to the media, it's the fact that he is openly sniping from the sidelines, and white-anting his own leader, despite the fact that he promised not to. He simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth. That is why the people deserted him and why his own party sacked him.

It seems that he still won't accept his dumping. It also seems that he will say and do anything to get his way. Unfortunately he lost the trust of the people and his party, and he will never get that back. No one is listening, just laughing.

So Lorikeet thinks it's ok to diss the club in the media when the club votes and adopts a position that she doesn't like or agree with? I'm not sure that I would like you in my club.
There is an age old principle that the majority rules. This is how elections are decided, how clubs make decisions and how parliament operates. The proper forum for discussion is to make your views known in discussions prior to a vote, not in the media after the majority has decided. Majority rules, ok!
Dissing your club in the media, when they make a decision you do not support, makes your position in the club untenable. You are saying the majority are wrong and you are right. Do you support anarchy instead?
The only difference between club decision making and parliamentary votes, is that the club votes are not influenced by campaign contributors. So I agree with you there. Money rules, ok!

I have missed the rose coloured lense approach of Weg since he announced his exit. His second coming is just like the Weg of old. Nothing the Liberals do is wrong and everything the Labor/unions/Greens do is bad.
It matters not that Abbott is doing exactly what Rudd did, (whiteant the new leader as revenge for being successfully challenged), it is ok for Abbot but not for Rudd. Who says that the truth is always a casualty of politics, certainly not Weg.

Weg, the consistency of the message is clear. Everyone else including the PM and majority of the Liberal Party is wrong. Only Abbott knows the the correct policies to make "Australia great again".
This premise is flawed and steeped in political loyalty rather than the facts. Abbott was successful as an Opposition Leader because he wrecked the Labor Governments of Rudd and Gillard with slogans and untrue statements. But he stayed on message and the mud stuck.
But his stint as PM was marked by poorly designed rushed legislation, aimed at punishing the poor to protect the rich. Fixing the budget apparently justified reducing pensions, but at the same time protecting the tax concessions that pad the wealth of the wealthy.
Abbott had his time and after the voting public abandoned him in droves, his own party kicked him out. When will he see that the people have spoken, and they will never revisit the incoherent, incompetent, devisive policies that he brings as baggage.

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